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Twin Liquor Owners Fight Back Against “Witch-Hunt” As TABC Threatens Shut Down

March 21, 2014

Twin Liquors owners David and Margaret Jabour say the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is trying to shut down their stores amid an investigation into possible links between Twin and convicted drug traffickers, and the Jabours are now fighting what they call a TABC “witch-hunt” in court.

The Jabours, whose family has owned the Austin-based Twin Liquors since the 1930s, said in a statement released to SND last night, “Our attorneys filed a pleading in (Travis County) District Court on March 18 concerning technical issues in an effort to further protect our constitutional rights to due process. We believe we are innocent. We have no intention of shutting down and apologize to our staff and customers if anything in the court pleading sent a signal otherwise. TABC has not demonstrated anything that warrants the revocation of any of our permits. We don’t agree with what they are doing, and we’re vigorously defending ourselves.”

The lawsuit says that Twin, which currently operates 75 stores across Texas, has been denied access to documents, prevented from questioning witnesses and that the TABC has exceeded its statutory authority.

Last April, a joint task force comprised of state and federal agents raided Twin’s headquarters. At the time, spokesmen for the FBI and IRS told the Austin American-Statesman they were “conducting official business,” but they wouldn’t elaborate. Twin’s stores have remained open during the investigation.

According to the Statesman, Twin’s attorneys say the TABC is seeking to revoke the company’s liquor permits because investigators believe it had dealings with Yassine Enterprises, a former nightclub owner whose business was shuttered by state and federal investigators in 2012. The Statesman reports that three members of the Yassine family were accused by federal agents of an array of drug trafficking, money laundering and weapons charges and are now serving time in federal prison. The newspaper also says that a TABC spokesperson confirmed yesterday that the agency has a pending case against Twin and is seeking permanent revocation of the company’s alcohol permits.

Nearly a year after the raid, and just after filing the lawsuit, the Jabours (David is president of the company, while Margaret, his sister, is executive vice president), say, “it’s business as usual at Twin Liquors. Our customers, employees, wholesalers, and suppliers are our highest priority.”

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