Tobacco: Smoke Screen?

A new lawsuit says cigarette smugglers had a friend in R.J. Reynolds

When their products are smuggled across international borders, most U.S. companies do one of two things: write off the loss as a cost of doing business or crack down and prosecute. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco--according to an unusual lawsuit filed against the company by the European Union and 10 member nations--had a different approach to smugglers of its cigarettes: it took them out to dinner, using expense accounts that, for some executives, totaled nearly $1 million a year.

In the lawsuit, filed recently in federal court in New York City, the E.U. charges that Italian mafiosi, Colombian cocaine dealers and Saddam Hussein's...

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