TRENTON - An operator of TGI Fridays restaurants in New Jersey raided as part of "Operation Swill" has agreed to pay a $500,000 fine for serving customers cheap booze when they paid for top shelf.

Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced today the fine levied against Livingston-based Briad Group.

“This unlawful practice took advantage of consumers who were cheated out of what they thought they were purchasing. This fine should send a clear message to every bar and restaurant throughout New Jersey that customers should get what they pay for every time without exception,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman.

Twenty-nine establishments were raided as part of the operation.

The eight TGI Fridays included in the settlement are in West Orange, East Windsor, Old Bridge, Piscataway, Freehold, Marlboro, Hazlet and Linden.

Under terms of the settlement, Briad will employ a state-appointed monitor through June 2014 to ensure the restaurants and employees are in compliance.