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The Ohio State Attorney General (AG) has a commanding lead in the Direct Shipping legal tournament he started in July against seven companies.
Currently, The AG has racked up four clear victories, two game delays, and one contender who decided to fight on.
Charged with illegally shipping alcoholic beverages in the July 8, 2020 complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio were:
- ShakeStir, LLC (d/b/a Cocktail Courier)
- AWS Hopkins, LLC (d/b/a Ace Spirits)
- Houdini, Inc. (d/b/a Wine Country Gift Baskets)
- Pacific Wine & Spirits, LLC
- U.S. Beverage Advertising Corp. (d/b/a ReserveBar)
- Winc, Inc. (Formerly Club W, Inc.) NOTE: Possible game-delay foul.
- Wine.com, Inc.
The charges followed an AG sting operation in 2019 and 2020. The sting involved employees of the Ohio Division of Liquor Control who purchased wines and spirits from the defendants' web sites and had them shipped to the Division's headquarters in Reynoldsburg, OH.
The shipments and deliveries were verified by records the AG obtained from Federal Express and United Parcel Service.
As noted in the chart, ShakeStir is the only defendant to contest the charges. Four have accepted plea deals. Wine.com has been granted an extension until January 22, 2021 to enter a response.
Winc had been granted an extension until Dec. 4 to respond, but according to the online PACER Federal Court Docket as of 2:54 p.m. PDT, December 15, has not yet done so.
What happens when a company blows a federal court filing deadline? Two top litigators weigh in here: Winc deadline, Part 1 and Winc deadline, Part 2.
ShakeStir, Wine.Com, Winc look set to finish shipping this holiday season.
Could Winc be back to Ohio...Legally?
Ohio law may have a provision that could allow Winc to return legally it can qualify for an "S Permit."
Depending upon the size of its production, Winc might be eligible because it holds a California Type 02 Winegrower's license and makes its own wine.
The Ohio AG's original Complaint for Injunctive Relief explains:
Full Court Filings for Premium Wine Executive News Subscribers.
- Ohio Attorney General Complaint for Injunctive Relief ECF 1
- Ohio AG Motion For Preliminary Injunction ECF 2
- Consent Decree and Final Judgment between the State and U.S. Beverage, ReserveBar ECF 69
- Consent Decree and Final Judgment between the State and AWS Hopkins/Ace Spirits ECF 60
- Consent Decree and Final Judgment Pacific Wine and Spirits ECF 68-1
- Shakestir Cocktail Courier Answer to Complaint ECF 73
- Consent Decree and Final Judgment Houdini/Wine Country Gift Baskets ECF 77
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