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Former PLCB Marketing And Merchandising Director Charged With Taking Bribes

September 1, 2015

Former Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board executive James Short, who served as director of marketing and merchandising from 2003-2012, is expected to plead guilty to federal charges alleging he took bribes and kickbacks in return for favoring certain products in the PLCB retail system. According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Harrisburg, Short received “benefits from a distributor and a manufacturer of alcoholic beverages sold in Pennsylvania’s stores. These benefits included all-expense paid golf trips, cash, gift cards, meals, and other benefits.”

The attorney’s office describes “an ongoing stream of benefits the (unnamed) vendor and manufacturer provided to Short to influence his decisions” as he supervised the process through which drinks products are selected for sale in Pennsylvania’s state-run liquor stores. No date has been set for Short’s guilty plea. The maximum penalty for the offense—Honest Services Mail Fraud—is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release and a fine.

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