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Tag Archives: tobacco

Hood says Mississippi settles some tobacco claims for $15M

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  JACKSON — Mississippi’s attorney general says the nation’s largest tobacco company will pay the state $15 million to settle claims that it was underreporting the number of cigarettes it was shipping to the state. On Monday, Attorney General Jim Hood announced the settlement with Reynolds American of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Reynolds American succeeded two companies that Mississippi raised claims ...

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Health care group wants to put smoking ban on ballot

JACKSON — Having failed to persuade lawmakers to ban smoking in public places, the Mississippi State Medical Association now wants lawmakers to put the question to voters. The association, which represents Mississippi’s 4,700 physicians, announced this week it will gather petition signatures in doctors’ offices asking the 2015 Legislature to set a referendum. “We hope we get 100,000 people or ...

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Tobacco company to pay $750K for contraband trafficking

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Kentucky-based tobacco company that makes Golden Harvest, Millennium and Red Buck cigars will pay $750,000 in restitution and forfeitures after pleading guilty to conspiracy to engage in contraband cigarette trafficking. U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley sentenced Tantus Tobacco of Russell Springs, Kentucky, on Monday. The company will pay $200,000 to the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet in lost ...

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City officials vote to relax smoking ban at bars, businesses

GAUTIER — The Gautier City Council has changed the local smoking ordinance to exclude bars from having to go smoke free and will allow businesses to have separate indoor rooms where people can smoke, as long as they have proper ventilation systems. On June 3, the city council passed the ordinance for all businesses. The only exclusion was a private ...

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Report: State should be spending more to keep kids tobacco-free

A national ranking has been released that does not have Mississippi at the bottom, but the report finds the state should rank higher. Fifteen years after the 1998 state tobacco settlement, Mississippi ranks 16th in the nation in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a national report released today by a coalition of ...

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'King of Torts' has finally abdicated

The legal saga of Richard “Dickie” Scruggs is finally over. The U.S. Supreme Court has chosen not to hear an appeal from the former attorney who earned the nickname “King of Torts” and amassed a fortune from the tobacco-related lawsuits in the 1990s. Scruggs, who practiced out of Oxford, pleaded guilty to trying to influence a Mississippi judge back in ...

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Man's sentencing for role in contraband tobacco case delayed

ABERDEEN — The sentencing hearing has been postponed for a North Carolina man scheduled to be sentenced for his involvement in a multi-state scheme to avoid taxes and fees on tobacco sales. Calvin Phelps, who operated four tobacco sales businesses in Mocksville, N.C., pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud, contraband cigarette trafficking and money laundering in June 2012. ...

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Former AG Mike Moore named to anti-tobacco foundation board

Mike Moore, former Mississippi attorney general and now head of Mike Moore Law Firm in Flowood, has been named to the board of directors of Legacy, an anti-tobacco foundation in Washington, D.C. Legacy was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Moore, ...

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City given tobacco warehouse seized by FBI

TUPELO — The federal government has handed over a downtown warehouse seized during FBI raids in 2009 to the city of Tupelo. The FBI, the U.S. attorney’s office and the U.S. Marshals Service made the announcement Tuesday. Authorities said in a news release that the 100,000-square-foot warehouse was forfeited as the result of an investigation into a nationwide network of ...

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Plea saves Ky. man from charges for contraband tobacco

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Florida tobacco distributor long watched by federal investigators has pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy in a scheme to avoid paying taxes owed on online cigarette sales in Kentucky. Pedro “Peter” Bello became the second person to admit to plotting to use phony invoices to avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars’ worth of cigarettes. ...

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