Nessel files federal lawsuits against two California companies illegally shipping wine, beer to Michigan consumers
LANSING – The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA) today applauded Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel for aggressively cracking down on illegal wine shipments coming into Michigan. On Wednesday, Nessel announced federal lawsuits against two California companies that were repeatedly shipping wine and beer illegally into the state.
“Attorney General Nessel’s actions should send a clear message to out-of-state retailers that have been illegally shipping wine to consumers in Michigan: ‘You are breaking the law and you will get caught,’” said Spencer Nevins, MB&WWA president. “We urge the attorney general and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to continue to pursue legal action against out-of-state retailers that have been shipping hundreds of thousands of bottles of wine into the state illegally for years.”
The lawsuits were filed in the Eastern District of Michigan against Go to Gifts Inc. and Vintner’s Collective LLC. According to the attorney general, both companies were sent cease and desist letters but continued to ship wine and beer into Michigan illegally. Neither company is licensed to ship alcohol to consumers in Michigan.
“These two companies were brazenly thumbing their noses at Michigan’s laws and robbing the state of much-needed tax revenue – and they aren’t the only ones,” Nevins said. “We hope these lawsuits will make out of-state-retailers that are knowingly breaking the law think twice before doing so in our state.”
Two years ago, the MB&WWA began issuing quarterly reports — using information from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and excise tax data from the State of Michigan — to show how much alcohol is shipped into the state.
During two quarters of 2018, more than 1 million bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan in just six months and at least 300,000 of those bottles were shipped illegally by out-of-state retailers.
During the first three quarters of 2019 more than 1.5 million bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan. It’s estimated 484,101 bottles of wine were illegally shipped into the state during the same period.
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