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Man who stole $2.7 million worth of wine gets six years in prison

August 31, 2013|By Jeremiah Dobruck

A Newport Beach man was sentenced to six years in state prison Friday after pleading guilty to charges that he stole $2.7 million worth of wine from a storage facility and in a separate case underreported more than $3.5 million of payroll costs at his construction company.

The two cases came to a close with guilty pleas to more than 75 felony counts, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

In the first case, George Osumi, 64, broke into wine storage lockers at Legend Cellars Inc., which he operated in Irvine, and replaced expensive bottles with cheaper wines, according to the district attorney.

He then hired a friend to auction off some of the stolen wine or sold it at auction himself, netting almost $600,000.

In the second case, Osumi, created dummy companies using the names of friends and relatives to avoid taxes even though he was the one operating the businesses, according to the district attorney.

He also underreported his payroll to avoid paying higher premiums for workers' compensation insurance.


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Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

Dobruck writes for Times Community News.

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