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Collector battles to save 2k wine bottles

The US lawyer battling to save his seized cache of wine has said that they were for personal use, as prosecutors seek to have them destroyed for allegedly breaking state liquor laws.

Goldman’s huge wine collection could be destroyed or donated (Photo: Stockimages)

The case dates back to January when Arthur Goldman, a lawyer from Pennsylvania, had his 2,447 bottles of wine taken by police under suspicion that some were being sold on for profit, breaking the state’s strict alcohol laws that prohibit private off-trade sales.

In August, Goldman accepted a first-time-offender punishment of two-years probation and 300 hours of community service without having to enter a guilty plea, meaning that the case was resolved and he wasn’t officially convicted.

This has left the hope that his wine collection – which includes Canadian and Californian small-batch offerings – might be saved.

State law dictates that contraband alcohol must be destroyed or given to hospitals.

According to Bloomberg, lawyers for Goldman wrote that forfeiture is excessive and “grossly disproportionate to the alleged wrongdoing,” continuing that the “personal wine collection was not contraband.”

The filing by Goldman’s lawyers explains that his wines were bought legally and for personal use. It says he shared his order allocations from wineries with friends on his e-mail list so they could order on their own, with some people offering to join with Goldman in ordering from a single invoice form, his lawyers wrote.

Prosecutors argue that this is in fact evidence that he was passing on information to these friends with the intention of selling on the wines to them for profit.

“Goldman did not have any customers to whom he sold wines,” says his team.

A hearing to decide what is to be done with the wine has not yet been scheduled, an Attorney General spokesperson told Bloomberg. 

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