Attorney General: Tobacco corporation settles with the state of Mississippi for $15 million

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JACKSON, MS – R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) and Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation (B&W) has settled with the state of Mississippi for $15 million.

Brown and Williamson dodged paying the state of Mississippi properly by using a company called Star Tobacco to manufacture their cigarettes.

“Several years ago, we discovered that Brown and Williamson…failed to pay what they were required to pay us under the original 1997 tobacco settlement agreement,”  explained Attorney General Jim Hood.

According to an official release, “the original settlement requires the company to pay Mississippi for every cigarette it makes and ships to the state.”

It also says “the $15 million represents principal and interest on what R. J. Reynolds and Brown and Williamson’s companies should have paid years ago. The lawsuit was brought at no cost to the State, as the tobacco companies agreed in 1997 to the pay the State attorneys’ fees anytime it becomes necessary to go to court to enforce the settlement.”

“During the investigation of Brown and Williamson’s conduct, we also discovered other instances where RJR/B&W tobacco companies shortchanged the State of Mississippi. The 1997 settlement with the tobacco companies is perpetual, and contributes on average over $100 million per year to the State’s health care budget. I will continue to closely monitor the tobacco companies and hold them accountable for their actions.”” said Attorney General Hood.

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