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Former liquor-control official sentenced on fraud charge

August 6, 2018

A Harrisburg man and former Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board official has been sentenced to probation and house arrest after pleading guilty to accepting bribes from alcohol vendors he was in charge of regulating.

James H. Short, 53, was sentenced on Tuesday to two years’ probation and six months’ house arrest for a scheme to defraud the state, Pennsylvania residents and the PLCB through bribes, kickbacks and concealed information, prosecutors said.

Justice Department officials from the Middle District of Pennsylvania said that between 2002 and 2012, Short -- who was the PLCB’s director of marketing and merchandising -- received improper benefits from a distributor and manufacturer whose beverages were sold at state stores.

Those benefits included all-expenses-paid golf trips, gift cards, meals and other benefits.

As marketing and merchandising director, Short supervised the process of recommending what new products should be sold in the state’s 500 liquor stores.

Short pled guilty to a charge of honest services mail fraud in September 2015.

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