NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Attorney General Hector Balderas is suing several tobacco companies. He is suing the companies for breach of contract, defrauding New Mexicans and conspiracy.

The Attorney General’s Office claims the companies have “withheld a portion of their annual payments to New Mexicans in bad faith and in breach of the 1998 master settlement agreement.” The agreement obliges each tobacco company to make a payment to the state. The agreement is part of a settlement with big tobacco companies accusing them of distorting the science of nicotine addiction and marketing their products to children.