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Sununu Questions 'Sting Operation' Into Alleged Money Laundering at Liquor Stores

After receiving allegations about potential money laundering taking place at state-run New Hampshire liquor stores, Gov. Chris Sununu says the source of the allegations--an elected official--may have acted improperly in gathering information.

Earlier this week, Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky, a Democrat, submitted to the Attorney General what he considers evidence of potential money laundering taking place at state-run liquor stores. He says he personally witnessed a large all-cash transaction illegally structured in such a way that it could go unreported to the IRS.

[You can read NHPR’s previous coverage of this story here.]

Volinsky submitted photos of the customers, as well as their hand-written order, and New York license plate.

In its response to the concerns raised by Volinsky, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, along with rejecting allegations that it is turning a blind eye to possibly illegal transactions, criticized the covert actions taken by Volinsky. The Commission says he may have violated customer privacy, as well as the “integrity” of its inventory.

Sununu, a Republican, on Friday echoed those misgivings about how Volinsky may have carried out his investigation.

“[The Liquor Commission’s] letter raises a lot of concerns about what exactly took place that day,” said Sununu.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office is reviewing the material submitted by Volinsky and would not comment. Volinsky is calling for an outside investigation of the Liquor Commission’s handling of all-cash transactions.

“I’ll say that obviously there are a lot of questions to be answered on both sides,” added Sununu.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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