A New Jersey beverage distribution company is paying more than a half a million dollars in penalties and costs for allegedly violating New York's bottle deposit rules.
North Bergen Beverage allegedly sold millions of containers of regulated beverages in New York without collecting deposits and placing that money into a dedicated account, the New York state attorney general's office said.
The business will pay $400,000 in new penalties, on top of a previous payment of $100,000, and $50,000 in costs. That $500,000 total in penalties is more than three times the highest previous penalty in similar cases.
"By flooding the New York market with these beverages, North Bergen Beverage allegedly undermined the law, gained an unfair price advantage over competitors playing by the rules, and denied the state revenue," the state alleged.
Not all container deposits are ultimately redeemed, and New York requires payment to the state of 80 percent of unclaimed funds.
The company also is not allowed to sell any beverages covered under the bottle bill in New York for three years.
"As we allege, North Bergen Beverage persistently, repeatedly, and knowingly broke the law," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.