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HOT TOPIC UPS faces $872M fine in NY contraband cigarette lawsuit

NEW YORK, NY — A New York court’s ruling on whether UPS should have been aware that it was shipping contraband cigarettes from aboriginal reserves is expected to come before year’s end, a judge said following closing arguments yesterday in the federal-civil trial of America’s largest courier service.

In addition to an $872-million fine, the lawsuit, filed in February 2015, seeks a court-appointed monitor to police shipment compliance from UPS.

In a statement, UPS officials said, "They pursue UPS rather than the criminal cigarette traffickers who profit from selling untaxed cigarettes and have relied on convicted felons as the witnesses they called at trial.”

New York state and city are also arguing that UPS violated a 2005 agreement with the state in which the company agreed to stop cigarette shipments to consumers and unlicensed dealers.

Throughout the eight-day trial, state prosecutors suggested that UPS favored sales numbers over accountability for public health.

New York state and city have a similar lawsuit pending against courier service FedEx Corp. 

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