HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane filed a civil lawsuit Friday against four individuals who allegedly sold cigarettes online and failed to pay state cigarette taxes.
Wendy Boon, Heidi Jimerson, Philip Jimerson and William Achord sold cigarettes online through multiple websites and businesses, including Sovran-Solutions-Online.com, SavonTobacco.com, NativeBlends.net, Cloud and Company, Member Service Payment Center and Allegany Sales and Marketing, also known as Allegany Sales. The defendants allegedly violated federal and state laws by not charging sales tax to customers.
Consumers visiting the websites of the defendants were allegedly told they would be subject to no state taxes and no surprise tax bills. The Sovran Solutions Online website allegedly said the company did not have to comply with federal tax laws because it was based in Panama, but it deposited payments to its buyers' club into a bank in Nevada. The company then allegedly ordered cigarettes from a warehouse in New York that were shipped from Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas, not Panama.
Kane's lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated the Pennsylvania Delivery Sales statute, the Cigarette Fire and Safety and Firefighter Protection Act, the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the Tobacco Product Manufacturer Directory Act, the Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act and the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009.
On Thursday, Kane obtained a temporary restraining order against the defendants to freeze their assets and stop further sales.
The lawsuit seeks civil penalties and monetary damages from the defendants.