Tobacco companies to pay USD 50 million

Grand River Enterprises Six Nations, Ltd. (Grand River) and its wholesaler Native Wholesale Supply Company, Inc. (Native Wholesale) evaded state taxes on millions of cigarettes sold in New York, according to the New York State General Attorney.

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that an agreement had been reached with Grand River which is based in Canada and Native Wholesale located in Western New York. The companies had violated state and federal laws by bringing unstamped cigarettes into New York from Canada and selling them without paying state taxes, according to the New York State General Attorney. The companies have now agreed to pay a USD 50 million settlement and no longer sell unstamped cigarettes in New York. According to the New York State General Attorney, the agreement also means the companies are obliged to:
– create and maintain records of all Grand River cigarettes that enter New York;
– obtain statements from out-of-state customers indicating that they do not intend to reimport any unstamped cigarettes back into New York;
– cooperate with OAG when OAG is conducting an investigation into sales of unstamped Grand River cigarettes, or the sale of any unstamped cigarettes made by defendants;
– utilize authorized common carriers to transport unstamped cigarettes while they are transiting through New York;
– restrict sales of unstamped cigarettes to licensed cigarette stamping agents, federally bonded facilities, and other specified entities.
“Hardworking New Yorkers pay taxes and so should multi-million-dollar companies,” said Attorney General James. “Regulating and taxing cigarettes is a critical tool to protect public health from the deadly dangers of tobacco. Today’s agreement enforces New York’s laws and will stop the overflow of unstamped cigarettes into New York. I will continue to enforce the law against companies and individuals who flout New York state laws and put our residents in jeopardy.”

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