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The City of New York has accused several cigarette dealers on a Long Island Indian reservation of secretly defying a court order that was supposed to have shut them down.

The charge is the latest in a legal battle between New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and smoke shops on the Poospatuck Indian Reservation over the sale of millions of dollars in untaxed cigarettes.

In August, a federal judge ordered most of the largest shops on the reservation to stop selling untaxed packs to the general public, saying such sales were illegal, despite the state's tolerance of the practice.

Publicly, the shops promised to abide by the ruling, but in a motion filed in federal court on Wednesday, lawyers for the city said three dealers quietly continued to do business through newly formed cigarette stores not covered by the court order.

"It shows contempt for the court's authority," said Eric Proshansky, an attorney for the city.

The tribe's chief, Harry Wallace, didn't immediately return a phone and e-mail message from The Associated Press on Thursday, but told Newsday that the allegations are false.

The city has asked U.S. District Court Judge Carol Amon for thousands of dollars in penalties against the three dealers.

Lawyers for two of the dealers declined comment. Richard Levitt, a lawyer who represents dealer Wayne Harris, wouldn't discuss his client's case in detail but said, "the evidence will show that he is not in contempt of the court's order."


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