Tennessee’s attorney general, Jonathan Skrmetti, recently filed a federal lawsuit to immediately stop what’s described by him as the flow of illegal liquor shipments into his state made by six unlicensed, out-of-state defendants.
A statement from the Tennessee attorney general’s office explained that this lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee at Nashville.
The suit asks for a preliminary and permanent injunction against the defendants under the federal Twenty-First Amendment Enforcement Act along with the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.
In the lawsuit, the attorney general alleges that the six defendants made illegal shipments of distilled spirits where no state license was available. For specific details on the plaintiffs and defendants, read the full lawsuit here.
In six separate investigations, the prepared statement explains, undercover agents from the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission purchased and received unauthenticated and untaxed distilled spirits from each of these defendants.
Those shipments went around the state’s three-tier alcohol licensing system that monitors the manufacture, distribution, and retail sales of all alcohol through state licensing.
Attorneys first sent each defendant cease and desist letters by certified mail. When the letters were ignored, and those companies continued to ship distilled spirits to Tennessee illegally, it took this case to the next level.
Skrmetti’s office noted that this is the first instance of a Tennessee attorney general prosecuting a violation of law under the Twenty-First Amendment Enforcement Act.
The act itself first passed the U.S. Congress in 2000, and allowed state attorneys general to bring civil actions against anyone believed to be illegally importing or transporting alcohol within the state.
“I am very happy that General Skrmetti decided to prosecute this case,” said Russell Thomas, executive director of the TABC, in the prepared statement. “Our agents and staff worked hard to collect the evidence against these bad actors. Too often, we find websites operated by unscrupulous individuals willing to deceive consumers.”
Read the full article at Tennessee Seeks To Stop Six Online Businesses Sending Liquor To Its Residents