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U.S. seeks $10B, instead of $130B, in tobacco case

The Department of Justice wrapped up its racketeering case against the tobacco industry on Tuesday by asking for $10 billion in penalties rather than the $130 billion that had been suggested by a government witness.

The tobacco companies involved in the suit and anti-tobacco advocates were surprised by the development, The Washington Post reported. "It's clear the government hasn't thought through what it's doing," a lawyer for Philip Morris told the paper.

Government attorneys gave no explanation at the hearing for seeking lower penalties. The money would be used to pay for tobacco cessation programs, according to news reports.

Get the Story:
Tobacco Escapes Huge Penalty (The Washington Post 6/7)
U.S. Finishes Tobacco Racketeering Case (The New York Times 6/7)

Relevant Links:
Tobacco Litigation -

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