The lurid allegations against Modelo's fired finance exec
A Fingers special report with dark new details in the Dick Harder/Constellation saga
Editor’s note: The Fingers special report below is in the public interest, so I’m publishing it for all to read for free. However, this story was not free to produce. Please consider upgrading to a paid subscription today to support my work:
Thank you to all the paying subscribers who already fund my independent journalism about drinking in America.—Dave.
Earlier this month, Constellation Brands announced a raft of executive changes and promotions. Tom McCorry’s name was missing from the list of high-level moves, but the job he’d held until earlier this year as the senior vice president of finance for the company’s beer division—home to Modelo, Corona, and other red-hot brands—appeared next to someone else’s name.
The reshuffle, detailed in a corporate press release issued at the news-dump hour of 5pm EST on Friday, December 8th, came after weeks of confusion and scrutiny at Constellation, the country’s third-largest macrobrewer, about another name: Investigator Richard Harder.
In early November, McCorry was arrested on charges of stalking, harassment, and criminal impersonation of two victims and Investigator Harder, a fake law-enforcement officer. (Detective Dick Harder, if you will.) By early December, he was out at Constellation, his profile pulled off its corporate site and his role overseeing the finances of the country’s red-hot, best-selling beer assigned filled by a former colleague.
Now, Fingers has obtained court documents containing lurid details of McCorry’s alleged crimes, as well as an internal memo from the Fortune 500 company’s chief financial officer that briefly and favorably glosses over his departure.
“Tom McCorry will be leaving Constellation Brands,” wrote Garth Hankinson, Constellation CFO in a company-wide message sent December 1st detailing the new assignments, which would be announced publicly a week later. “We thank Tom for his contributions over the years and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
It’s a fairly friendly send-off for a guy who was just arrested by the New York State Police for allegedly mailing used condoms to a middle school.
Editor’s note: If you are a current or former Constellation employee (or anybody else) with information to share about McCorry, his arrest, or the charges he now faces, email firstname.lastname@example.org. I will protect your identity.—Dave
Constellation has not responded to multiple emails and phone calls seeking comment for this story. McCorry did not respond to an email sent to his corporate address prior to the close of business on his last day, nor to another sent to a personal Gmail address listed on the lead-generation platform Rocket Reach. The arresting New York State Police (NYSP) troop, Troop A, did not respond to a phone call seeking comment for this story.
The details of the charges against McCorry are graphic and sexual in nature, and concern McCorry’s alleged interactions with two victims over a period of no less than six months starting in February 2023. (I have elected to withhold the victims’ names, consistent with the recommendation of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence and other advocacy groups. They are a married couple that do not appear to work at Constellation or with McCorry. I was unable to reach either of them.)
According to a trove of lightly redacted documents pertaining to McCorry’s arraignment provided to Fingers by the Town of Penfield court system (located approximately a 20min drive from Constellation’s headquarters), the victims allege that McCorry sent them, their close relatives, and at least one colleague more than 25 letters and emails containing false accusations and threats “meant to intimidate us and slander our names.”
McCorry is alleged to have sent more than obscene messages. Statements provided by the victims to NYSP under penalty of perjury describe a lurid stream of “fake nude images” and “fake sex profiles” sent to their home, workplaces, and relatives’ houses. McCorry, who police say “claimed to be, [sic] Investigator Richard Harder in some of the emails and digital correspondence,” is also accused of sending a used condom to the victims’ home, and another three to the middle school where one of them worked.
“This has caused a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety and has altered the way [spouse] and I and live our lives, including straining our family and marriage,” one victim told (real) investigators on October 25th of this year. McCorry was arrested 14 days later, on November 8th.
Beer Marketer’s Insight, a venerable and widely read trade publication, first reported that the arrested man and the Constellation executive were one and the same in a newsletter on November 29th, which contained the following statement from the firm (emphasis mine):
We’ve recently become aware of media reports related to allegations about one of our employees in the Upstate New York area. Our team is working to understand more about this matter but there is currently no indication that this is related to our business.
Fingers has since received confirmation from several current Constellation employees confirming BMI’s reporting.
As I wrote in my initial coverage of this bizarre saga, “[w]hile the idea of masquerading around the Empire State as ‘Investigator Richard Harder’ is a very funny premise for like, a spoof porn, or something, the crimes McCorry is charged with are no joke.” The grotesque details above underscore this point. The US Department of Justice found in 2019 that 67% of victims of “traditional stalking and stalking with technology” say they are “fearful of being killed or physically harmed as a result of the stalking.” A report the year prior from the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC) shows that 47% of stalking victims did experience one or more violent incidents. This is serious stuff.
The charges are so serious that they may have put McCorry in violation of Constellation’s Chief Executive Officer and Senior Financial Executive Code of Ethics. This governance document requires all “Senior Financial Executives” to “observe the highest standards of ethical business conduct,” “conduct Company business in compliance with all applicable federal, state, foreign and local laws, rules and regulations,” and promptly report “any actual or potential violation” to appropriate company officials. McCorry’s former role is not explicitly listed as subject to this guidance document, but it’s hard to fathom his conduct as an SVP wouldn’t be held to similar standards. The consequences for violation of the code include “disciplinary actions… up to and including termination of service with the Company.”
We know McCorry was arrested, we know he was terminated, and now we know the gravity of the charges he now faces. What’s not clear is when Constellation’s executives found out, or what happened once they did. CFO Garth Hankinson’s dispatch on December 1st is completely opaque on any corporate machinations that led to McCorry’s termination, and when they began, despite McCorry’s important role and two-decade tenure with the company. A current Constellation employee I spoke with on condition of anonymity told me that such a sparse announcement was “fairly typical when someone separate[s] involuntarily” from the company.
Searching for answers the firm did not provide, that employee filed their own Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking more information about McCorry’s mysterious exit and alleged criminal behavior. (Fingers has also FOILed the NYSP for the police report from McCorry’s arrest; my request was denied because the record “concerns a case that is pending adjudication.”) It’s a baffling outcome: McCorry, the employee told Fingers via email, “was on the fast track to becoming a prominent leader within the company. His lack of good judgement and restraint is hard to explain.”
The only thing harder (ahem) to explain? How a prominent beer exec allegedly managed to moonlight as a sex pest for so long without anybody at his Fortune 500 firm finding out for at least half a year.
Editor’s note: As a reminder, Fingers is a reader-supported publication. If you value this type of independent journalism about drinking in America, please consider purchasing a subscription to support my work. Annual subscriptions are 25% off through December 25th.—Dave.