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Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Sued for Fraudulent “Will Call” Activities

Albany bar and restaurant owner, Chris Pratt, has sued national liquor wholesaler, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Upstate New York, over fraudulent business practices occurring over seven years costing Pratt’s businesses tens of thousands of dollars. The Complaint filed in State Supreme Court in Albany County outlines how wine and liquor was allegedly sold to but never received by Pratt’s businesses. The Complaint filed by Pratt’s attorneys, Linnan and Fallon, of Albany, shows a continuous course of transactions in which employees of Southern Glazer’s would fraudulently place orders for alcoholic beverages in the name of one of Pratt’s businesses, in a system known as “WILL CALL” then pick up those orders from Southern Glazer’s warehouse, fraudulently sign a receipt for the alcohol but never deliver the product to the retail customer. In this scheme, the customer never got the liquor or knew of the transaction.

According to Mr. Pratt’s attorney, James D. Linnan, they have evidence that Southern Glazer’s management had actual knowledge of the deceitful practices of its employees. He stated “we know that persons who were previously discovered to have engaged in this scheme were promoted within the company. It would have been impossible for management to not know what was going on”. Mr. Linnan went on to state that he has personally spoken with former employees of Southern Wine & Spirits and Glazer’s Inc. who have confirmed that the fraud committed on Chris Pratt’s businesses was rampant within the Southern Glazer’s business. Mr. Linnan cautioned that any retail distributor in either the on-premises or liquor store business should thoroughly review their will call receipts and invoices.

Southern Glazer’s is a state allowed monopoly that is the sole wholesale distributor of several brands of wines and liquors. As a result Mr. Pratt must continue to do business with this wholesaler to lawfully purchase alcoholic beverages in spite of knowing that Southern has defrauded his businesses out of tens of thousands of dollars. Please contact James D. Linnan at 518.449.5400 or lawinfo@linnan-fallon.com for more information about this or other legal matters regarding your licensed premises.