As we have discussed previously, the three tier alcohol distribution system continues to be an area of contention in the alcohol industry. According to Wine Searcher, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) appears to be stepping up its enforcement efforts when it comes to alcohol distribution:
It's been a big year already for federal agencies when it comes to dishing out fines – and a painful one for the recipients.
In the past year, US enforcement agencies – such as the Washington DC-based Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) – have had a field day tracking down and fining major suppliers and importers that have violated the well-entrenched laws of the American three-tier, drinks sales system.
The agency's renewed focus is thanks to additional funding and the TTB's continued desire to root out illegal activity. In the past few years some major suppliers have been fined for a variety of illegal activity. One of the biggest busts included a $1.9 million payment received from six industry members – including Bacardi, Diageo, Gallo, Future Brands, Moët Hennessy and Pernod Ricard – for a multi-level, pay-to-play arrangement with Harrah's, a Las Vegas casino in 2011.
Read more about the TTB's tax levies here.