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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Former Director Of Marketing And Merchandising For Pa-Liquor Control Board Sentenced To Two Years’ Probation And Six Months’ House Arrest For Honest Services Fraud Scheme

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that James H. Short, Jr., age 53, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the former Director of Marketing and Merchandising for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PA-LCB) was sentenced on July 31, 2018, to two years’ probation and six months of house arrest by U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo, for a scheme to defraud the state, its citizens and the PA-LCB of their right to his honest services as a public official through bribes, kick-backs and concealing information.    

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Short served as the Director of Marketing and Merchandising from approximately 2003 to 2012, and supervised the process through which alcoholic beverages are selected and acquired for sale in Pennsylvania’s state-run liquor stores. Between 2002 and 2012, Short received benefits from a distributor and a manufacturer of alcoholic beverages sold in Pennsylvania’s stores.  These benefits included all-expense paid golf trips, cash, gift cards, meals, and other benefits. As Director of Marketing and Merchandising for the PA-LCB, Short supervised the process of recommending to the PA-LCB which new products should be sold and which products should no longer be sold in Pennsylvania’s 500 state-run liquor stores.

Short pled guilty to the charge of Honest Services Mail Fraud in September 2015.

The case was investigated by the Harrisburg Office of the FBI.  Assistant United States Attorney Michael A. Consiglio prosecuted the case. The case initially was brought by the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission which found that Short violated the Pennsylvania Ethics act when he accepted certain things of value charged in the present federal case.

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Public Corruption
Updated August 1, 2018