California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control recently warned that it has received reports from licensees throughout the state of persons impersonating ABC representatives.

The impersonators are reportedly calling ABC license holders and claiming that the ABC has conducted an investigation and found the licensee to have violated the prohibition against the sale of alcohol to minors.  The ABC-issued statement explains that the ABC does not contact licensees via telephone regarding potential violations and instructing them to make payment of administrative penalties via electronic funds transfer.  Although the ABC does have the authority to assess administrative penalties for violations of the state’s alcoholic beverage laws and conditions placed on licenses, if the ABC has evidence of a violation, it will file an administrative complaint, called an accusation, in writing, and a copy will be delivered to the licensee. An accusation, if proven, will lead to the suspension or revocation of the license, unless the department accepts an offer in compromise (usually involving payment of a fine) in lieu of the suspension.

If you are contacted by telephone by anyone claiming to be an ABC enforcement agent, do not fall prey to this scam, and please contact your local ABC Office.


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