Office of the State Treasurer


CONTACTS: Kathy Hennessy
December 20, 2004
(609) 984-7110
Taxation Agents Seize 9,097 cartons of Counterfeit Cigarettes in Lodi
 TRENTON – State Treasurer John E. McCormac and Director Robert K. Thompson announced today that the Division of Taxation’s Office of Criminal Investigation seized 9,097 cartons of untaxed cigarettes from a self-storage facility in Lodi, N.J.. Treasurer McCormac and Director Thompson also announced the creation of a hotline dedicated to the reporting of contraband cigarettes.
 Acting on a tip from a confidential informant that a unit in the self-storage center contained counterfeit cigarettes, Taxation agents obtained a warrant, conducted a search, and confiscated contraband cigarettes with an estimated retail value of over $566,000 on Nov. 30.
 “We continue to work aggressively to prevent the illegal sale of cigarettes, a practice which can bring violators huge profits while depriving the State of tax revenue,” said Treasurer McCormac.
 McCormac thanked the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance in the seizure. “Together, we averted a possible tax loss to New Jersey of over $250,000,” McCormac said.
 To stop further losses from the illegal sale of untaxed, smuggled or counterfeit cigarettes, the Division of Taxation’s Office of Criminal Investigation is operating the TIP (Tobacco Interdiction Program) hotline at (609) 984-1225. Anyone with information regarding contraband cigarettes is encouraged to call the TIP hotline.
 “The seizure and the creation of the TIP hotline demonstrate that New Jersey is dedicated in its resolve to enforce State tax laws,” Thompson said.


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