Friday, July 31, 2015

The booze stops there: Lawyer charged in alleged wine-smuggling

State police have arrested a Chester County attorney for allegedly running an illegal high-end wine smuggling business out of his Malvern home.

The booze stops there: Lawyer charged in alleged wine-smuggling

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State police have busted a Chester County attorney for allegedly running an illegal high-end wine smuggling business out of his Malvern home.

Police seized 2,426 bottles of wine - valued between $150,000 and $200,000 - from the home of Arthur David Goldman, 49, on Jan. 6 and charged him with violating the state liquor code, according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan's office.

First Assistant District Attorney Michael Noone said Goldman kept a 97-page list of wines that he sold (wines unavailable for sale in Pennsylvania state stores) and maintained an email list of customers who he alerted as new wines became available. Tipped to the business by someone in the community, state police began investigating last March.

Goldman does not have a liquor license that would allow him to import, buy or sell alcohol in Pennsylvania, according to Hogan's office.

"This was a brazen violation of the law by someone who clearly knew better," Noone said. "He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he continued to systematically break the law."

If convicted, Goldman faces a fine of nearly $200,000 and the forfeiture of the wine. Reached at his office today, Goldman declined to comment and directed questions to his attorney Peter E. Kratsa.

Kratsa released this statement: "I have read statements attributed to my friend, (First Assistant District Attorney) Mike Noone, and, as is typical, we do disagree on certain salient points, which points will be resolved by a fact-finder in a courtroom, if necessary. I have found Mr. Goldman to be a very engaging man even during this extremely trying time in his life. He is an accomplished professional. He is appropriately contrite. To the extent it is procedurally practical, we will continue to cooperate with the investigation. I will have no further comment."

Goldman's firm specializes in "business-related needs," especially employment law, commercial transactions and real estate and contract law, according to its website.

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Philly Confidential, which covers crime in Philadelphia and the suburbs, is written by Daily News staffers Dana DiFilippo, Stephanie Farr and Vinny Vella.

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