Investigators Accuse Attorney of Bootlegging Beer

Investigators Accuse Attorney of Bootlegging Beer

Vermont liquor investigators say a defense attorney was busted for bootlegging beer.
MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont liquor investigators say a defense attorney was busted for bootlegging beer.

They say 28-year-old Stephanie Hoffman of Burlington was cited for unlawful sale of alcohol. She's expected in court December 30th.

Investigators say the case involves the very popular Heady Topper, Craigslist, and was a potentially dangerous plan to make a few hundred bucks.

It can be hard to find the popular Vermont beer - Heady Topper.

Liquor control investigators Hoffman tried to cash in on the craze. They say she posted an ad on Craigslist offering to sell cases of the beer.

"We're finding it's becoming more common than in the past," says William Goggins, Director of Education, Licensing, & Enforcement at the Vermont Department of Liquor Control.

Goggins says during an undercover operation Hoffman sold 120 cans of the beer for $825. That's about seven-dollars a can and about double the store price.

"Any time you have a product that's in demand people will try to get it wherever they are at," says Goggins.

In Vermont, it's against the law to sell alcohol without a license.

According to investigators, Hoffman is a defense attorney with the firm Langrock, Sperry & Wool. On the firm's website, Hoffman's biography says she a former clerk for a Vermont Supreme Court justice.

Goggins says there are good reasons people can't sell without a license.

"Alcohol is a regulated substance. Over consumption results in intoxication which sometimes results in death unfortunately," says Goggins.

On Craigslist Wednesday, we found more ads selling Heady Topper. But to bust the bootleggers usually requires someone tipping off investigators.

"We really don't have the man power to search all the internet sites that could be out there for alcohol," says Goggins.

If found guilty, Hoffman could face up to a year in jail and up to a one-thousand dollar fine.

She did not return our repeated requests for comment.

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