MA Accuses Internet Alcohol Sites of Sales to Minors

Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly sued four out-of-state online retailers in the sales of alcohol to underage buyers who participated in an undercover sting, his office announced this week.

In addition to alcohol sales to people younger than 21, all four are accused of selling alcohol in Massachusetts without a license from the state's Alcohol Beverages Control Commission. The four companies are Sherry-Lehmann Wines and Spirits of New York; Wine Globe of San Mateo, CA; Queen Anne Wines and Spirits Emporium of Teaneck, NJ; and Clubs of America of Lakemoor, IL.

Reilly also forwarded evidence alleging United Parcel Service, FedEx and DHL delivered alcohol to minors without requiring proof of age. He also referred three other online sellers that do have licenses to sell alcohol in the state but are alleged to have made illegal sales to underage buyers. They are Geerlings & Wade of Canton, MA; of San Francisco and The Wine Messenger of New Rochelle, NY.

The investigation follows the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to hear two cases in which Michigan and New York are defending their constitutional right to regulate the sale and distribution of alcohol in order to protect children, track sales and ensure that taxes are collected. Thirty-eight state attorneys general have petitioned the court to reaffirm the states' right to continue regulating alcohol.

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