Six obtains $2.6M from cigarette companies

Ashley Stinnett Sep. 1, 2009, 12:04am

Steve Six (D)

TOPEKA, Kan. (Legal Newsline) - Kansas Attorney General Steve Six on Monday announced his office has obtained $2.6 million from judgments against two tobacco companies.

The judgments were obtained against Veneto, S A and Tapti Tobacco Products, after the companies failed to pay state required payments into an escrow account.

Under Kansas law, non-participating tobacco manufacturers are required to make payments into an escrow account maintained by the state. Both companies failed to make payments in 2007 and 2008, according to Six.

In addition to the penalties owed, Veneto and Tapti are prohibited from selling cigarettes in the state whether as a retailer or through a distributor for two years.

"It is the attorney general's responsibility to enforce the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement and the subsequent statutes governing tobacco sales in Kansas," Six said.

Tapti and its "Nova" brand, and Veneto and its "American Hero" brand were removed from the Kansas Directory of Compliant Non-Participating Manufacturers earlier this spring, according to Six.

Kansas law makes it illegal to possess cigarettes or roll-your-own tobacco not listed on the Kansas Directory of Compliant Non-Participating Manufacturers or the Kansas Directory of Compliant Participating Manufacturers.

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