For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: March 5, 2008
Internet Tobacco Seller Ordered to Pay $163,000 Penalty
(Boise) – A high-volume Internet tobacco seller has been ordered to pay a $163,225 civil penalty to the State of Idaho and enjoined from future illegal tobacco sales practices, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said.
Wasden’s office obtained a judgment and order against Scott Maybee for violations of Idaho’s Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement Complementary (Complementary Act) and Prevention of Minors’ Access to Tobacco (Minors’ Access) Acts. The judgment resolves a lawsuit Wasden filed against Maybee in Fourth District Court in Ada County for repeated violations of these Idaho tobacco sales laws.
Maybee sells cigarettes over the Internet under several names, including smartsmoker.com, ordersmokesdirect.com, and buycheapcigarettes.com.
In the lawsuit, Wasden alleged that Maybee sold more than two million cigarettes in violation of Idaho law. Specifically, Maybee sold cigarettes that were not on the Attorney General’s Directory of Compliant Tobacco Product Manufacturers and Brand Families. Idaho’s Complementary Act only allows the sale of cigarettes listed on this Directory.
In addition, Maybee sold these cigarettes at retail without obtaining a tobacco permit from the Department of Health and Welfare as required by Idaho’s Minors’ Access Act.
Even after being apprised that these sales were illegal, Maybee did not cease making them. Accordingly, the Office of the Attorney General filed suit.
Fourth District Judge Kathryn Sticklen also awarded the Attorney General his attorney fees and costs.
“The Legislature has adopted these laws regulating the sales of tobacco to protect the public health and the fiscal soundness of our state and to prohibit targeting children for tobacco use,” Attorney General Wasden said. “We’ve taken seriously our responsibility to thoroughly and diligently enforce these laws.”
Since entering into the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement on November 23, 1998, the Attorney General’s Office has obtained judgments or settlements with eleven tobacco manufacturers and cigarette distributors, resolving alleged violations of Idaho’s tobacco sales laws.
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