LOS ANGELES, July 13 (Xinhua) -- A lawsuit against a Canadian cigarette manufacturer Grand River Enterprises Six Nations (GRE) was filed by California Attorney General for illegal selling on Thursday.
The company violates the California laws regarding tobacco sales, and sells the product in the state illegally, according to a press release of California Department of Justice.
The GRE sold hundreds of millions of cigarettes in California, but failed to make annual payments into an escrow fund for their sales in the years of 2014, 2015 and 2016 as required by the law.
The company now owes over 13 million dollars' escrow deposit, plus civil penalties to the state.
The Attorney General asked the court to ban the GRE from selling tobaccos in California until it pays off the money and penalties.
The lawsuit is filed to prevent the sale of cheap and illegal cigarettes in the state, and to protect fair competition in the industry.
"Protecting Californians, especially youth, from cheap, illegal cigarettes is a public health priority," said Xavier Becerra, the Attorney General.