A federal judge on Friday held United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) liable for having illegally shipped hundreds of thousands of cartons of untaxed cigarettes in New York, depriving the state and New York City of millions of dollars of taxes.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said the state and city are entitled to compensatory damages and fines, and that UPS’ “high degree of culpability” meant “significant penalties” were appropriate.
“UPS largely relied on its size and weak internal procedures to excuse blatantly culpable conduct,” she wrote. “But there were many, many people within UPS who consciously avoided the truth, for years.
“The state and city had sought more than $872 million, and Forrest could determine the award as soon as next month.