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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 7, 2015
Investigators with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission have joined forces with U.S. Postal Inspectors to identify the culprits behind a suspected extortion scam involving several TABC-licensed businesses.
TABC investigators first learned about the possible scam in October, after retailers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area reported receiving letters claiming that a third-party observer had witnessed violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Code at that retailer's business. The letters went on to state that those alleged violations would be reported to TABC unless the business owner/operator agreed to pay $500 using an anonymous cash-card payment.
These letters are in no way connected to TABC, and the agency only investigates complaints received from verifiable sources. Retailers who receive letters they suspect to be connected to the scam are urged to contact their local TABC enforcement office or the U.S. Postal Inspectors immediately.
"TABC values the partnerships we've built over the years with our retailers, and when there is an attempt to extort the holder of a permit or license, we take the matter very seriously," said Chief Robert Saenz, TABC Chief of Field Operations. "Our Special Investigations Unit will be working closely with the U.S. Postal Inspectors to get to the bottom of this. Mailed threats such as this fall under the federal government's jurisdiction, which means these culprits could face federal charges when caught."
Retailers who believe they've been targeted in the scam are asked to call TABC at 1-888-THE-TABC or the U.S. Postal Inspectors at 1-877-876-2455.
Public Information Officer, TABC Headquarters