Michigan stings Internet vendors

Out-of-state firms caught shipping alcohol to minors

Feb 17, 2000 - Michigan's Attorney General has added ammunition to the cause of those trying to limit the sale of alcohol over the Internet with a sting operation that rounded up several out-of-state vendors and gained an agreement from UPS to restrict shipments.


Attorney General Jennifer M. Granholm announced that criminal and civil charges have been or will be filed against several vendors for selling alcohol to minors. In the sting, an 18-year-old Michigan minor under the supervision of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission purchased alcohol over the Internet from three separate on-line alcohol merchants based in Illinois.

Different retailers shipped gin, scotch and several bottles of wine into Michigan. Some sold to minors, while others shipped to adults but did not pay Michigan taxes.

One -- Schatz Enterprises, doing business as Extra Value Beverage

Shop, of Brookfield, Ill. -- sold and shipped two twelve-packs of microbrewed beer to an Attorney General investigator without assessing appropriate Michigan taxes. The company is charged with the sale of alcohol without a Michigan license, non-payment of state liquor and sales taxes, and violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

The Attorney General's office alleged that by transporting and delivering alcohol into Michigan from a supplier unlicensed to operate in the state and by delivering alcohol to a minor, UPS was in violation of several provisions of the Liquor Control Code.

To resolve the matter, UPS has entered into an assurance of discontinuance. As part of the agreement, UPS has agreed to notify all of its alcohol-shipping customers that it will no longer deliver alcohol into the state of Michigan from an out-of-state shipper and will only deliver shipments made legally within Michigan to a person over 21 years of age.

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