Boozy web site targeting campus busted - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Boozy web site targeting campus busted

MADISON (WKOW) -- City officials said a web business called "Campus Drank" violated several laws, as its operators took Internet orders for beer and liquor and delivered the booze, often to UW-Madison students.

Starting last fall, authorities said the business operated for several months, and more than five hundred sales receipts have been recovered.  

The web site Campus Drank remains online, but the business has gone dark.   The site's setup included choosing from various types of beer and liquor, clicking an order, and having the booze brought to your doorstep, with a delivery fee included.

Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Zilavy told WKOW27 News there was no function on the web site for a customer to enter date of birth.  

Zilavy said after a state department of revenue official notified the city attorney's office of the existence of Campus Drank, police officials were consulted, and a sting operation carried out.

Zilavy said an undercover officer ordered liquor online, and when the shipment was delivered to her in downtown Madison, she claimed to have misplaced her identification.   Zilavy said one of the business' co-owners, Matthew Seigel, 19, said she looked old enough and gave her the alcohol and left.

Zilavy said in addition to documented online sales and deliveries to underage customers, Campus Drank's supplier, University Avenue Liquor, was acting as the web business' wholesaler without a wholesale license.

Authorities also said a face-to-face transaction at a premise with an alcohol license must proceed any delivery of alcohol, and said that did not take place with the sales made at Campus Drank.   They said Campus Drank's operators did not have a needed liquor license.

In municipal court documents, authorities stated Seigel said downtown alder person Mike Verveer had looked over the business' contract with University Avenue Liquor.

"Seigel stated that Verveer indicated everything was good for them to go with the business based on what he thought was a 'loophole' in the ordinance regarding delivery."

Verveer has yet to return a call for comment from WKOW27 News.

Phone calls and a visit to the Madison apartment of Seigel and co-owner Danny Haber have not produced any response.

Zilavy said the maximum fines associated with all the alleged violations in the operation of the online and delivery business topped $1 million dollars.

The initial court appearance for the web business' operators is May 24.

Online reporting by Tony Galli.





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