State Liquor Commission

N.Y. Tax Department of Taxation

Internal Revenue Service agents want to review communications between New Hampshire state liquor store employees and two New York residents, one of whom was arrested in that state in December on charges of bootlegging.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Agents from the Internal Revenue Service made unannounced visits to New Hampshire liquor stores last week, according to multiple sources. The action comes in the wake of allegations made by an elected official that the state-run stores aren’t doing enough to stop potentially illegal all-cash transactions, exposing the state and liquor store employees to possible lawsuits and harm.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr/Creative Commons

It may not be every New Hampshire reveler’s go-to drink order, but Hennessy cognac was the top selling spirit by volume at state-run liquor stores in 2017, accounting for nearly 5 percent of total sales that year.

 

Hennessy also happens to be the liquor at the center of bootlegging allegations made last month by Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky, who is calling for an investigation into how the New Hampshire Liquor Commission handles large all-cash sales made by out-of-state residents.

Courtesy of NH Liquor Commission

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission has fired a retail employee who it says violated policies by improperly completing a large all-cash sale at a state liquor store last month.

That transaction, involving $24,000 worth of Hennessy cognac, is at the heart of allegations being made Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky into wrongdoing by the Liquor Commission.

Lauren Chooljian/NHPR

Large all-cash transactions. Out-of-state customers going store to store to buy enormous quantities of Hennessy cognac. Employees unsure about how to handle potentially illegal liquor sales.

NHPR File Photo

The Chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party Monday criticized an Executive Councilor for conducting his own "misguided sting" investigation into potential money laundering at state liquor stores.

After receiving allegations about potential money laundering taking place at state-run New Hampshire liquor stores, Gov. Chris Sununu says the source of the allegations--an elected official--may have acted improperly in gathering information.

Andru Volinsky, Letter to Governor and Attorney General

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky is calling for an investigation into the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, alleging that the state’s liquor stores are engaging in business practices that could “unquestionably facilitate money laundering related to criminal activities.”

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission set an all-time sales record of $698.2 million during the 2017 fiscal year. That’s an increase of 2.92 percent, or $19.8 million, from the previous fiscal year.

According to the liquor commission, $155.7 million in profits were transferred to New Hampshire’s General Fund, which will be used for programs like education, health and social services, transportation, and natural resource protection.

Another $3 million dollars was transferred to the state’s Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund.