The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from Business Wire

Philip Morris USA Sues Retailers on the Poospatuck Reservation to Combat Counterfeit Cigarette Sales

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Philip Morris USA Sues Retailers on the Poospatuck Reservation to Combat Counterfeit Cigarette Sales09:53 EST Wednesday, February 02, 2011 RICHMOND, Va. (Business Wire) -- On Friday, working with the Suffolk County Police Department, Philip Morris USA (PM USA) seized two hundred and ninety packs of counterfeit Marlboro® cigarettes from two retailers on the Poospatuck Reservation in Suffolk County, NY as part of a lawsuit filed by PM USA against the smoke shops. Earlier last week, a federal judge in New York granted PM USA's request for emergency relief including the ability to search the smoke shops for counterfeit Marlboro® cigarettes. This lawsuit is the latest in a series of lawsuits by PM USA aimed at combating the sale of counterfeit Marlboro® cigarettes in New York. Since May 2009, PM USA has filed lawsuits against 48 retailers in New York for selling counterfeit Marlboro® cigarettes, including six other Poospatuck retailers. Counterfeit cigarettes continue to flow through the Poospatuck reservation despite legislation, litigation, law enforcement actions and media attention. “The sale of counterfeit and contraband cigarettes results in significant lost revenue for the State and City in a time when these additional funds are sorely needed,” said Joe Murillo, vice president and associate general counsel, Altria Client Services speaking on behalf of PM USA. “Philip Morris USA will continue to combat illicit cigarette sales by supporting law enforcement investigations and pursuing litigation,” added Murillo. “The sale of counterfeit cigarettes undermines the value of Philip Morris USA's brands and the legitimate channels through which our products are distributed and sold," said Murillo. "Selling counterfeit cigarettes is illegal, and we will take appropriate action to protect our brands." The retailers named in the lawsuits filed in the Eastern District of New York are:                   Eastern District ofNew York       Calvin's Smokes Bright Eye Smokes       150 Poospatuck Lane, Mastic, NY 11980 142 Poospatuck Lane, Mastic, NY 11980 Philip Morris USA is an operating company of Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO). More information on PM USA and its policies and positions on tobacco issues is available at ALCS Media Relations(804) 484-8897