Archive for December 8th, 2011

Native Wholesale Supply, a giant cigarette wholesaler located on the Seneca Nation Reservation in Ontario, has filed for federal bankruptcy protection, Buffalo News reports.

The filings comes one month after the USDA took the company to court saying it owed $43 million to a federal trust fund. The company is also involved in several investigations and court actions in other states, which are questioning its cigarette shipping practices, reported Tom Precious of the Buffalo News.

    In October, U. S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara ordered Montour’s company to comply with the terms of the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 and pay into the tobacco trust fund. In his company’s Chapter 11 filing with the U. S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of New York, (Arthur Montour, owner of Native Wholesale Supply) listed the $43 million owed to the Agriculture Department as an unsecured claim.

    Montour acts as a wholesaler of cigarettes — chiefly the Seneca brand—made by Grand River Enterprises, a plant on the Six Nations of the Grand River Indian Reservation in Ohsweken, Ont., near Hamilton.

    Oklahoma went after Montour’s company in court, alleging that he failed to make required payments into an escrow account created in the wake of a landmark 1998 settlement by 49 states and the nation’s major tobacco companies.

    In court papers filed last week in U. S. Bankruptcy Court in Buffalo, the State of Oklahoma—at $5.1 million — is listed as the second-largest unsecured claim for Montour’s wholesale company.

Jenna Cederberg

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