PM USA found more counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes in the NYC area..

May 21, 2009 - Philip Morris USA (PM USA) continues to pursue counterfeit sellers of the company's Marlboro brand cigarettes in New York. Following last week's filing against Mastic, N.Y.-based Tammy's moke Shop, PM USA filed three lawsuits today, May 20th against seven New York and New Jersey retailers in federal courts: Eastern District of New York (Ashley One Stop Deli, Richmond Hill, N.Y.; 88 Stop & Go Newsstand, Forest Hills, N.Y.; Prospect Park Deli, Brooklyn, N.Y.). Southern District of New York (336 Deli Grocery, New York; Manhattan Tobacco & Grocery, New York). District of New Jersey (Jaritza II Supermarket, Jersey City, N.J.; New York Deli Grocery, Union City, N.J.

Increases in federal, state and local excise taxes have provided new incentives for tax evasion and other criminal activity related to cigarettes. In New Jersey, the average retail price for Marlboro brand cigarettes is $7.25, of which $3.58 is excise taxes (excise taxes include federal FET], state [SET] and, where applicable, locality excise taxes). By comparison, the average retail price for Marlboro brand cigarettes is $9.64 in New York City, of which $5.26 is excise taxes. The counterfeit cigarettes purchased from the retailers above bore no tax stamp or a counterfeit tax stamp. As a result, the applicable excise taxes were not paid.

Reference: PM USA Files More Counterfeit Cigarette Sales Suits While Congress hopes to make impact with PACT, Convenience Store/Peroleum (CSP) Daily News, 5/20/2009.