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NY sues WA company for selling untaxed cigarettes

The state Attorney General's Office has filed a lawsuit accusing a Washington-based tobacco manufacturer of illegally selling hundreds of thousands of untaxed cigarettes in New York State. WAMC's Dave Lucas has details.

The lawsuit against King Mountain Tobacco Company and its president, Delbert Wheeler, was filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claims the company sells and distributes its cigarettes in New York without shipping them to a state licensed stamping agent as required by state tax laws.

Prosecutors say state police stopped a truck on Dec. 3 in Clinton County carrying 84,000 packs of unstamped King Mountain cigarettes, a potential tax loss to the state of more than $365,000.

Messages seeking comment from Wheeler and King Mountain were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.