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New York company admits guilt in contraband cigarette case

Updated: 2014-02-06T22:28:51Z

A New York state tobacco wholesaler pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Kansas City to trafficking contraband cigarettes and agreed to pay up to $1 million in fines, forfeitures and restitution.

AJ’s Candy & Tobacco LLC of Irving, N.Y., agreed that it participated in a conspiracy to sell unstamped packages of cigarettes, obtained in the Kansas City area, on Indian reservations between June 2010 through January 2012.

Under the company’s plea agreement, it must forfeit $221,550 to the government and pay a $243,400 fine. U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes may order the firm at sentencing to pay $535,050 in restitution to the state of New York to cover lost tax revenue.

The agreement also calls for the company to be on federal probation for two years.

| Mark Morris, mmorris@kcstar.com

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