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Wegmans and liquor stores fined $1.1 million by State Liquor Authority

Gates-based supermarket chain Wegmans and five affiliated liquor stores were fined Wednesday by the New York State Liquor Authority.

The SLA said Wegmans was fined for “availing their license to five affiliated liquor stores.” It accused the supermarket chain of “effectively” managing “five liquor stores without a proper license.”

The liquor authority said that the stores were Whitehouse Wine and Liquor in Henrietta and Century Liquor and Wines in Pittsford. The other locations were in Amherst, Erie County; Johnson City, Broome County; and Fayetteville, Onondaga County.

The total fine was $1.125 million. State law prohibits supermarkets from selling wines and liquors. Wegmans was fined $750,000 to settle eight charges to settle eight charges, including six violations for availing their license to five affiliated liquor stores, one charge for availing the license of a wholesaler, one charge for aiding and abetting illegal gifts and services, and one charge for illegally trafficking in wine.

Each store was also additionally fined $75,000 for charges of availing their license to Wegmans and accepting illegal gifts and services from Milton’s Wholesale.

The SLA received a complaint that Amherst St. Wine and Liquor was “allowing” Wegmans to “control their business by managing purchasing and pricing decisions.” The complaint also alleged that the liquor store was also letting Wegmans exert control over its relationship with wholesalers.

The SLA concluded that Wegmans was “exercising significant control” over the store and four other affiliated businesses.

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