Pennsylvania Attorney General Pappert Reaches Settlement With Tobacco Company Allowing its Cigarettes to be Sold in Pennsylvania

Apr 06, 2004, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Jerry Pappert
 today announced that he has reached a $7,500 settlement with Protobacco, a
 Colombia tobacco company, to resolve allegations that it violated a
 Pennsylvania law by failing to escrow funds to be used for potential future
 healthcare-related settlements.  Protobacco manufactures "GT One," "Bronco,"
 "Cowboys" and "Silver" brand cigarettes for sale throughout Pennsylvania.
     In 1998, the states' attorneys general reached a $206 billion settlement
 with major tobacco companies.  The settlement contained severe restrictions on
 the sale and advertisement of cigarettes.  Not all tobacco manufactures
 participated in the national settlement.
     Manufacturers that do not join the settlement are required, under the 2000
 Tobacco Settlement Agreement Act, to escrow funds to guard against future
 potential liabilities.  The law also ensures that non-participating companies
 do not receive an economic advantage over companies that agreed to the
 settlement.
     Pappert's Tobacco Enforcement Unit accused Protobacco of Bogota, Colombia,
 of failing to escrow the required funds.  As a result of its failure to comply
 with the law, Protobacco was not listed in the Directory of Tobacco Product
 Manufactures.  The directory, which can be found at www.attorneygeneral.gov,
 lists all the companies that are allowed to sell cigarettes in Pennsylvania.
 The directory was released on March 27, and any brand not listed on it must be
 removed from sale by April 11.
     Pappert said that Protobacco has agreed to escrow the money it owes and
 pay $7,500 in civil penalties and attorney fees to resolve the issue and be
 listed in the directory.  In addition, Protobacco has entered into an
 Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, agreeing to escrow all required funds and
 submit proof of compliance with the terms of the Tobacco Settlement Act by the
 proscribed yearly deadlines.  Pappert said that failure to comply with the AVC
 would result in Protobacco's removal from the directory.  The company would
 also be required to pay fines and any costs incurred by the Commonwealth in
 the enforcement of the law.
 
     CONTACT:  SEAN CONNOLLY
               PRESS SECRETARY
               PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
               717-787-5211
 
 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Jerry Pappert
 today announced that he has reached a $7,500 settlement with Protobacco, a
 Colombia tobacco company, to resolve allegations that it violated a
 Pennsylvania law by failing to escrow funds to be used for potential future
 healthcare-related settlements.  Protobacco manufactures "GT One," "Bronco,"
 "Cowboys" and "Silver" brand cigarettes for sale throughout Pennsylvania.
     In 1998, the states' attorneys general reached a $206 billion settlement
 with major tobacco companies.  The settlement contained severe restrictions on
 the sale and advertisement of cigarettes.  Not all tobacco manufactures
 participated in the national settlement.
     Manufacturers that do not join the settlement are required, under the 2000
 Tobacco Settlement Agreement Act, to escrow funds to guard against future
 potential liabilities.  The law also ensures that non-participating companies
 do not receive an economic advantage over companies that agreed to the
 settlement.
     Pappert's Tobacco Enforcement Unit accused Protobacco of Bogota, Colombia,
 of failing to escrow the required funds.  As a result of its failure to comply
 with the law, Protobacco was not listed in the Directory of Tobacco Product
 Manufactures.  The directory, which can be found at www.attorneygeneral.gov,
 lists all the companies that are allowed to sell cigarettes in Pennsylvania.
 The directory was released on March 27, and any brand not listed on it must be
 removed from sale by April 11.
     Pappert said that Protobacco has agreed to escrow the money it owes and
 pay $7,500 in civil penalties and attorney fees to resolve the issue and be
 listed in the directory.  In addition, Protobacco has entered into an
 Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, agreeing to escrow all required funds and
 submit proof of compliance with the terms of the Tobacco Settlement Act by the
 proscribed yearly deadlines.  Pappert said that failure to comply with the AVC
 would result in Protobacco's removal from the directory.  The company would
 also be required to pay fines and any costs incurred by the Commonwealth in
 the enforcement of the law.
 
     CONTACT:  SEAN CONNOLLY
               PRESS SECRETARY
               PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
               717-787-5211
 
 SOURCE  Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General