ATF - The Alcohol and Tobacco Newsletter: Office of Alcohol and Tobacco
Volume 2, Issue 4
April 2001

Three Convicted of Alcohol- Tax ConvictedEvasion
By Tami Light (202) 927-3580

Deepak Kumar, 41; Miguel Delgado, 42; and Jose Luis Bermudez, 58, were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States by evading excise taxes on distilled spirits. The defendants operated a sophisticated scheme which began with ordering 26,000 cases of tax-free alcohol from a U.S. producer, exporting the alcohol to Honduras, re-importing the same alcohol to a bonded warehouse in Miami allegedly for re-exportation to Guatemala and Venezuela, and then ended with the diversion of the alcohol to Buffalo, New York, where it was sold within the United States. Approximately $800,000 in Federal excise taxes was evaded as a result of this scheme. The men are scheduled to be sentenced on June 25, 2001. They face a maximum of five years in prison each on at least 20 counts of conviction. These convictions send a strong message that those who seek to evade taxes on alcohol and unlawfully profit from not paying those taxes will be vigorously prosecuted.

National Craft Brewers Conference Brewers Conference Photo
By Jeannette Compton (202) 927-8130

Representatives from the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco and the Seattle Field Division attended the National Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America held in Portland, Oregon, April 5-7, 2001. The ATF booth was staffed by Specialist Di-Anne Fletcher of the Market Compliance Branch, Roger Bowling, Chief, National Revenue Center, and Inspector Bernie Kipp. Susan Stewart, Chief, Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division made a presentation to approximately 40 craft brewers at their national convention. The presentation covered the basics of malt beverage labeling, statement of process requirements, and proposed Federal labeling initiatives.


By Jeannette Compton (202) 927-8130

The Director, Industry Operations, New York Field Division, accepted an Offer-in-Compromise (OIC) of $300,000 from Diamond Hong, Inc., Brooklyn, New York. Diamond Hong, Inc. caused the importation, into the United States, of distilled spirits that did not contain the required Government Warning statement on the labels. The proprietor obtained the distilled spirits through an affiliate company. In addition to the OIC, Diamond Hong, Inc. served a 45-day suspension.

Vit Area Public Reading File Artwork
By Nancy Sutton (415) 744-9420

The Regulations Division is issuing a General Notice announcing that copies of the comments generated by California Coast viticultural area Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will be available for public viewing in San Francisco, CA, until the rulemaking process is complete. The California Coast proposed area covers approximately 22,000 square miles of predominantly California coastline area, from Mexico to north of San Francisco in Mendocino County, and encompasses 67 ATF-approved viticultural areas. The NPRM comment period closes April 25, 2001, and 131 letters have been received as of April 10, 2001, with a wide majority opposing the petition.

Viewing of the petition, the proposed regulations, the appropriate maps, and any written, e-mail or fax comments received is available through Specialist Nancy Sutton (415-744-9420) at 221 Main Street, 11th Floor, San Francisco, CA. The comments, only, are also available during normal business hours at the ATF Reading Room in Washington, DC.

The San Francisco ATF office does not have comments related to any other ATF notices.


April 27-30

Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 58th Annual Convention

San Francisco, California

May 8

Meeting of the Joint Committee of the States

Arlington, Virginia

May 16-20

National Alcohol Beverage Control Association

La Quinta, California

Questions or suggestions relating to the Alcohol & Tobacco Newsletter should be directed to the Editor by fax at (202) 927-5611 or by mail at the following address: Bureau of ATF, 650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Room 8110, Attention: Donna Smith, Editor, Alcohol & Tobacco Newsletter, Washington, D.C. 20226.