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MB&WWA applauds Attorney General Dana Nessel’s continued crackdown on illegal alcohol shipping

Friday, May 07, 2021 9:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Nessel has sued two more out-of-state retailers for illegally shipping alcohol into Michigan

LANSING — The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA) today applauded Attorney General Dana Nessel for her ongoing efforts to stop out-of-state retailers from illegally shipping alcohol into Michigan. On Wednesday, Nessel sued two retailers in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. This latest pair of lawsuits follows others filed against two other companies last year.

“We applaud Attorney General Dana Nessel for her aggressive approach to stopping out-of-state retailers from illegally shipping wine into Michigan,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the MB&WWA. “Her efforts send a clear message to out-of-state retailers that have been skirting state law, putting Michigan consumers at risk and cheating the state out of much-needed tax revenue: It is time to stop violating Michigan law or you will be caught, and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Nessel’s lawsuits call for permanent injunctions against Taste Wine, LLC and Villa Amorosa and fines of $25,000 for each retailer. In the complaint, Nessel says both retailers ignored cease-and-desist letters and that their continued flaunting of state law threatened the health, safety and welfare of Michiganders.

Last year, Nessel sued two companies, Vintners Collective LLC and Go to Gifts Inc., for illegally shipping alcohol to consumers in Michigan. In February, judges in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan entered consent agreements with both companies. Neither will be able to ship alcohol into Michigan unless they become eligible to get a license and must prevent their websites from accepting orders from Michigan. Both companies will also have to pay $10,000 each in fines.

According to data compiled by the MB&WWA, nearly one-third of every bottle of alcohol shipped into Michigan in 2019 was shipped illegally. In total, 2,233,880 bottles of alcohol were shipped into the state in 2019 and of those bottles, 734,365 were shipped illegally.

“For years, these bad actors were flouting state law and illegally shipping hundreds of thousands of bottles of alcohol into the state every year — but those days have come to an end,” Nevins said. “We urge Attorney General Nessel and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to keep their foot on the gas and continuing going after these unscrupulous retailers until illegal alcohol shipments are a thing of the past.”

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