St. Regis Mohawk Tribe suspends wholesale tobacco licenses; tribe owed $103,745 in licensing fees
AKWESASNE -- The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Compliance Department recently completed an investigation into the improper sale and distribution of New York State-issued cigarettes from mid-October to Dec. 1.
The investigation found that three licensed vendors conducted transactions that did not comply with the established tribal approval process, which prevented local businesses from having access to major brand tobacco products.As a result, the Compliance Department suspended three tribal wholesale licenses and assessed monetary penalties totaling $103,745.
“The Compliance Department has been entrusted by the tribal government to oversee tribally licensed vendors and enforce relevant tribal regulations and laws,” stated Compliance Director Elliott Lazore. He added, “The issuance of licenses provides an important source of revenue that supports essential tribal programs and services. As a result, our compliance officers routinely conduct investigations to ensure tribal fees are properly remitted and the general welfare of tribal members continues to be protected.”
On November 6, 2017, the compliance department suspended the tribal wholesale license issued to Day Wholesale, Inc. The suspension was the result of transactions involving 6,052 cartons of cigarettes distributed out of compliance with the SRMT compliance approval process. In addition, the department has assessed a monetary penalty of $73,485; which is the amount of tribal fees owed from Day Wholesale’s reported profits.
On December 20, 2017, they suspended the tribal wholesale license issued to Mohawk Market for the sale of 3,360 cartons of cigarettes that did not comply with the SRMT compliance approval process. In addition, the department has assessed a monetary penalty of $16,800; which is the amount of tribal fees owed from Mohawk Markets reported profits.
On the same day, the department suspended the tribal wholesale license issued to Nation Trading following the sale of 2,692 cartons of cigarettes that did not comply with the SRMT approval process. Due to the suspension, Nation Trading has forfeited $13,460 to have their wholesale license reinstated.