The state of New York and New York City are filing a lawsuit against the United Parcel Service (UPS) for the alleged shipping of more than 136 million untaxed cigarettes across the state for the past five years. The suit was recently filed in federal court in Manhattan, and seeks $180 million from UPS in damages and penalties.
The state filed a similar suit against FedEx last year, seeking $70 for alleged contraband shipments and $165 million in penalties, and that case remains pending.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a spokesperson for UPS denied the allegations levied against the company.
"Since 2005, UPS has continued to work with regulators on this issue," the spokesperson said to the public. "In fact, UPS agreed to stop delivering cigarettes to consumers nationwide at that time — a policy that went beyond the requirements of federal and state law."
The suit accuses UPS of shipping nearly 700,000 cigarette cartons between 2010 and 2014, resulting in a tax loss of about $5 million for the city of New York and $30 million for the state. The lawsuit also alleges that UPS worked with dealers to traffic the illegally sold cigarettes, and that 70 of the cartons were recorded as having been signed for by a child. Selling cigarettes to a minor is, of course, illegal under New York state law.
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