Canadian cigarette maker paying up in Pennsylvania

Bryan Cohen Oct. 25, 2011, 12:54pm


HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) - Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly announced a settlement on Monday with a Canadian-based cigarette manufacturer for allegedly failing to make escrow payments as required by the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Act.

Grand River Enterprises Six Nations Ltd., based in Ohsweken, Ontario, will pay more than $72,000 in civil penalties and $10,000 for costs related to the case. Grand River, which sells under the brand name Seneca in the United States, agreed to make the escrow payments required by the TSAA on a quarterly basis from now on.

The TSAA requires tobacco manufacturers to make payments into an escrow account for cigarette sales within the state. According to the agreement, Grand River allegedly failed to escrow more than $88,000 for the sale of more than five million cigarettes between 2001 and 2004.

Grand River has completed the certification process to become an approved manufacturer and will now be listed in the state's Tobacco Product Directory.

The settlement was negotiated by Deputy Attorney General Sharon Rogers from Kelly's Tobacco Enforcement Section.

Grand River reached a settlement in the state of Ohio earlier this month resolving a similar allegation of failing to establish an escrow account for the sale of its cigarettes as required by law. The company paid penalties and post-judgment interest of $1,052,000 to the state's General Revenue Fund and paid attorneys fees and costs of $82,000 to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office as part of the settlement.

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