New York files $180 million lawsuit against UPS over untaxed cigarettes

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ALBANY, NY -- New York authorities have accused United Parcel Service in a federal lawsuit of shipping 700,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes in the state between 2010 and 2014 despite an earlier agreement to stop.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York City Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter are seeking $180 million from UPS, saying the cheap cigarettes increased smoking by New Yorkers while also costing $29.7 million in lost tax revenue.

The lawsuit claims UPS shipped unstamped cigarettes from at least six unlicensed vendors on Indian reservations.

UPS denies it knowingly shipped cigarettes, saying it agreed in 2005 to stop delivering cigarettes to consumers nationwide.

The civil suit filed Wednesday in Manhattan seeks an injunction to halt the shipping along with damages and penalties for contraband cigarette trafficking and treble damages for enterprise corruption.