- REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
A bar served rubbing alcohol instead of Scotch, according to state officials in New Jersey this week.
The bar was creating a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring, and passing it off to customers as Scotch.
In another bar, officials explained, premium liquor bottles were being refilled with water, and there are also doubts over whether the water was fit for drinking as well.
The revelations came on Thursday as state officials explained and gave new details about raids they had conducted on Wednesday. The raids came at the end of a year long investigation authorities had labeled "Operation Swill."
According to officials, 29 New Jersey Bars, including 13 TGI Fridays restaurants, were accused of providing either cheaper, lower grade alcoholic beverages than advertised to customers.
Police have reported that they recovered 1,000 open bottles of vodka, gin, scotch, rum, whiskey and tequila from various bars across the state.
State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said, "This alleged scheme is a dishonest ruse to increase profits and is a slap in the face of the consumer."
The accused establishments must now hand records to authorities to help them determine how many customers may have been overcharged, and by how much they had been duped.
Despite the obvious serious nature of the frauds, officials did confirm that no health issues had been reported in relation to the scam.
TGI Fridays Inc – one of the largest family food restaurant franchises in America – has confirmed that it is conducting its own investigation into the allegations, and will be talking to the owners of the 13 restaurants cited in the police report.
"We want every assurance possible that our guests can continue to feel confident in the great food and drink they order at our T.G.I. Friday's restaurants," said Rick Barbrick, president of The Briad Restaurant Group.