TABC Investigation Results in Monetary Penalties and Federal Court Injunction Against Illegal Alcohol Shippers

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | 09:23am

NASHVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) today announced a significant victory against illegal alcohol sales in Tennessee. A federal court approved a settlement that includes injunctive relief and over $50,000 in civil penalties levied against five online liquor stores unlawfully shipping alcohol direct to consumers without proper licensing.

“These penalties mark a significant step in our efforts to halt illegal online alcohol distribution and ensure compliance with legal and safety standards. Businesses selling alcohol without a license in Tennessee should expect severe penalties. We are committed to ensuring public safety and upholding state laws,” said Russell F. Thomas, Director of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

During separate investigations, undercover agents from the TABC purchased distilled spirits from each of the alcohol shipper defendants. Despite being warned that these unlicensed alcohol sales violated Tennessee law, each company continued to illegally ship distilled spirits direct to consumers in the state. Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti initiated the civil enforcement action on July 14, 2023, under the Twenty-First Amendment Enforcement Act and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. The defendants agreed to pay penalties totaling $58,320, cease illegal shipping, and acknowledge their violations.

This case is the first successful prosecution in Tennessee using the Twenty-First Amendment Enforcement Act, which allows state attorneys general to seek injunctive relief against illegal alcohol imports. Tennessee, Michigan and Ohio are the only states that have prosecuted cases under this Act.

Since his appointment in 2019, TABC Executive Director Russell F. Thomas has emphasized curtailing illegal alcohol shipments. “This injunction is a significant step in our ongoing efforts to combat illegal alcohol distribution by enforcing Tennessee licensure laws. These are the same laws that prevent minors from obtaining alcohol, ensure that taxes are paid, and that keep counterfeit alcohol products off the market. I thank General Skrmetti and his team for their excellent work,” said Thomas.

The Consent Decree can be read here.

To report illegal shipping or other violations of state alcohol law, please visit our complaint portal.

To learn more about the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission visit our website at


TABC Investigation Results in Monetary Penalties and Federal Court Injunction Against Illegal Alcohol Shippers