Four New York state prosecutors said they will not prosecute an Ohio-based trucking company for allegedly carrying untaxed cigarettes after the company agreed to take measures to avoid the practice.
Prosecutors said an investigation into Greenwood Motor Lines, which does business as R+L Carriers, revealed that from 2010 to 2013, the Wilmington, Ohio-based company provided trucking services to certain shippers by transporting “tribal” or “native-brand” cigarettes to points throughout New York state. New York taxes on these cigarettes had not been paid and the cigarettes were in packages that did not bear New York tax stamps, the prosecutors said.
R+L did not return requests for comment from Transport Topics and the Associated Press.
In a statement about the settlement, the prosecutors said R+L did not admit to breaking the law. It agreed to donate $140,000 to lung cancer organizations and to implement a system to ensure tax compliance.
“The bootlegging of contraband cigarettes is a major problem for state revenues and for public health, and it is gratifying to make some significant progress in enforcement,” Nicole Duvé, district attorney for St. Lawrence County, said in the statement.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said those who traffic cigarettes often claim that they cannot be taxed if they come from an American Indian reservation. “There is no basis in the law for such claims, and this agreement reflects that,” he said.