A new multimillion-dollar federal lawsuit alleges that UPS unlawfully shipped almost 700,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes in New York, undercutting anti-smoking efforts and depriving the state of millions of dollars in tax revenue.
The joint lawsuit, filed Wednesday by both the state and the city of New York, says the shipping giant made nearly 80,000 illicit shipments of cigarettes from unlicensed vendors on the state's Native American reservations to locations elsewhere in the state from 2010 to 2014.
"Our lawsuit alleges that UPS blatantly disregarded New York and federal tax and public health laws, by shipping tens of millions of cheap, untaxed cigarettes to New Yorkers," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement Wednesday. "We contend that UPS cost this state millions in revenue and is helping to make illegal, low-cost cigarettes available to our young people, who are disproportionately lured to smoking by lower costs."
"To limit smoking, which remains the number one preventable public health crisis today, we must stop the flow of illegal cigarettes and enforce the law," he continued.