NC to Receive $2.1 Million in Settlement with Feds over Illegal Cigarettes
North Carolina will be receiving a $2.1 million check from the federal government for its share in the proceeds of illegal cigarette sales.
The state, along with 10 others, sued the federal government for seizing millions of dollars from a tobacco manufacturer and holding the money in escrow.
Belcorp Tobacco owners and officers pled guilty in federal court to conspiracy to violate the Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act, commit fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud and other crimes related to illegal cigarette sales in North Carolina and other states. The federal government used a forfeiture order to seize millions of dollars from the company and placed the money in escrow.
Together with other states, Attorney General Roy Cooper's office filed an action in federal court objecting to the seizure and argued that the failure to disperse the money was against federal law and exceeded the government's authority.
North Carolina is expected to receive $2.194 million, which will be deposited in the Special Reserve Fund.