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Former liquor store employee sold inventory information to rare bourbon hunters, Virginia ABC says

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A former Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority employee pled guilty to charges of computer trespassing and embezzling after allegedly taking part in a scheme to sell inventory information to people looking to get rare bourbon.

According to a release from Virginia ABC, 28-year-old Edgar Smith Garcia was a lead sales associate at a store from Feb. 14, 2020 to March 25, 2022, during which time he was found to be passing information on the store’s inventory to an accomplice who would then sell it online to people looking to get rare bourbon.

Virginia ABC received complaints about their “limited availability products” possibly being sold unfairly and began an internal investigation in early 2022. During the investigation, which was done in collaboration with Virginia State Police, ABC’s Bureau of Law Enforcement identified Garcia and his accomplice, 45-year-old Robert William Adams, as suspects.

Garcia and Adams were both arrested and charged with computer trespassing and embezzlement. On Monday, Sept. 19, Garcia pled guilty and was sentenced to two years in prison which were suspended for five years on the condition of good behavior.

Garcia must also pay a $600 fine and is banned from all Virginia ABC stores and other property for life. Additional charges for embezzlement, as well as conspiracy charges, were dropped as part of the plea agreement. Adams is due in court Dec. 12.

As a result of their internal review, Virginia ABC decided to implement a new, random distribution process for rare products, which began on April 20.



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