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Consumer Frauds: Mislabelled Liquor

On May 23, 2013 the New Jersey Attorney General and Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control announced that more than 100 investigators raided 29 restaurants and bars that were allegedly substituting premium alcoholic beverage brands with non-premium brands. They creatively titled the project “Operation Swill.” These establishments allegedly filled premium brand bottles with non-premium alcohol in an effort to deceive the customers who paid increased prices for premium brand alcohol, but received non-premium brands.

Investigators seized about 1,000 opened bottles of premium booze (like Absolute vodka, Jim Beam whiskey and Bombay Sapphire Gin) and will test it with a device called the True Spirit Authenticator as well as allow the manufacturers of the premium brands to test some samples.

Businesses targeted in Operation Swill include several TGI Fridays locations.

Companies that commit consumer frauds by using misrepresentations to sell non-premium products for premium prices, earn an unfair profit whether or not the customers realize they are not getting what they paid for.

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