- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

An operator of TGI Fridays restaurants in New Jersey was slapped with a $500,000 fine Wednesday for trying to pass off well liquor as top shelf to their higher-paying customers.

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said Wednesday that the fine levied against Livingston-based Briad Group should send a message to every bar owner that customers should get what they pay for, the Associated Press reported.

Briad agreed not to contest charges that eight of its restaurants were selling customers cheap substitutes in place of premium alcohol, the AP reported. Twenty-nine establishments had been accused of cheating customers when the state first announced the raids as part of Operation Swill.

At one of the businesses, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch, the AP reported. In another, premium liquor bottles were refilled with water.

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