04/02/2007

LAPD asks Philip Morris for $50K to help fund probe of counterfeit cigarettes

By Patrick McGreevy
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Amid budget shortfalls, the Los Angeles Police Department has sparked controversy by asking Philip Morris USA to donate $50,000 to help pay for an investigation into counterfeiting of its cigarettes.

In a letter to the company, Police Chief William J. Bratton said the department was requesting the funds to help defray the costs of an ongoing investigation into the "illicit manufacture, transport, distribution or sale of Philip Morris USA products." The LAPD would be in control of the probe.

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