Federal authorities have accused a co-founder of the Council of Independent Tobacco Manufacturers of America (CITMA) of stealing more than USD 833,000 (EUR 710,000) from the trade group over seven years, the Richmond Times-Dispatch said.
Ronald Tully, a longtime employee of National Tobacco Company, allegedly used his authority over council accounts to write checks for bogus travel expenses to himself and to a consulting company of his creation, the newspaper said. Authorities have charged him with mail fraud, the Times-Dispatch said.
CITMA is based in Richmond, Virginia, and was founded in 2003. Tully allegedly defrauded the organisation between March 2009 and January 2016, the newspaper said.