- Whiskey Ring
(1875) Group of U.S. whiskey distillers who defrauded the government of taxes.The ring operated mainly in St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Chicago and kept liquor taxes after bribing Internal Revenue officials in Washington, D.C. A secret investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department resulted in 238 indictments and 110 convictions. While not involved, Pres. Ulysses S. Grant was tarnished by the scandal; his private secretary, Orville E. Babcock, was indicted but acquitted on Grant's testimony. The Republican Party allegedly received some of the illegally held tax money.
* * *▪ United States historyin U.S. history, group of whiskey distillers (dissolved in 1875) who conspired to defraud the federal government of taxes. Operating mainly in St. Louis, Mo., Milwaukee, Wis., and Chicago, Ill., the Whiskey Ring bribed Internal Revenue officials and accomplices in Washington in order to keep liquor taxes for themselves. Benjamin H. Bristow (Bristow, Benjamin Helm), secretary of the Treasury, organized a secret investigation that exposed the ring and resulted in 238 indictments and 110 convictions. Allegations that the illegally held tax money was to be used in the Republican Party's national campaign for the reelection of President Ulysses S. Grant (Grant, Ulysses S.) aroused the public. Though Grant was not suspected, his private secretary, Orville E. Babcock, was indicted in the conspiracy but was acquitted after Grant testified to his innocence.
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