Update: Distributor responds to lawsuit alleging fraud

lawsuit-iconUPDATE (11/18/16): Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has responded to allegations in a lawsuit that it has been defrauding four Albany, NY,  bars. Its statement: "We at Southern Glazer’s of Upstate New York are deeply concerned by the inaccurate accusations made in a recent lawsuit filed in Albany. We plan to vigorously defend the lawsuit. The lawsuit arises out of the alleged wrongful conduct of a single employee acting independently in violation of company policy and who has been terminated. We have a long and proud tradition of the highest ethical business practices and our nearly 2,000 employees in New York fulfill our expectations in this regard every day. We take these allegations very seriously and our customers can rest assured that we have rigorous policies, procedures and training in place. We will not have any further comments about the lawsuit but anticipate we will ultimately prevail."  

(Originally published 11/15/16)

These are strange times for major New York State players in the adult-beverage sales industry.

As I reported on Friday, the huge Empire Merchants has filed a lawsuit alleging fraud by an Illinois company that responded by trying to buy out Empire ("Drinks distributor war takes an odd turn"). Today comes word that Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits is being accused in a $1.25 million lawsuit of defrauding four Albany bars over a period of years by charging for alcohol the businesses never ordered or received.

The suit, according to the Times Union, filed on Tuesday alleges that a salesman for Southern Wine and Spirits, with knowledge of management, repeatedly put through unrequested last-minute orders, known as “will calls,” that the representative signed for under his own name or with forged signatures, sometimes misspelled, of representatives of The Barrel Saloon, The Capital Bistro, Public House 42, and Pearl Street Pub.

The suit, filed on behalf of Pratt and Depoli by attorney James D. Linnan, seeks $500,000 for Pearl Street Pub, the oldest of the four bars, $250,000 apiece for the other three, punitive damages to be determined, court costs and attorney fees, according to the TU.

Go here for the full story.
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