BUSINESS OPERATOR TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING $2.7 MILLION WORTH OF WINE FROM CLIENTS’ STORAGE LOCKERS

For Immediate Release
Case # 12CF2828






October 4, 2012

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

BUSINESS OPERATOR TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING $2.7 MILLION WORTH OF WINE FROM CLIENTS’ STORAGE LOCKERS

*Defendant is also being charged with tax and insurance fraud in a separate case (Case # 12ZF0129)

 

SANTA ANA – A business operator will be arraigned tomorrow for stealing $2.7 million worth of wine from his clients’ storage lockers. George Osumi, 64, Newport Beach, is charged with three felony counts of second degree commercial burglary, one felony count each of grand theft, embezzlement by employee, receiving stolen property, and one misdemeanor count for possession of burglary tools with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000 property damage over $1.3 million, and crime-bail-crime. Osumi faces a maximum sentence of 16 years and four months in state prison if convicted. Osumi is being held on $4,000,000 bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment hearing tomorrow, Oct. 5, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

Between Jan. 1, 2008, and June 21, 2012, Osumi is accused of operating the commercial building Legend Cellars, Inc. in Irvine. The business allowed people to store their wine in storage lockers at a controlled temperature. On three occasions, Osumi is accused of breaking into the private storage lockers of three different owners and stealing their wine that had an estimated value of $2.7 million. Osumi is accused of replacing the bottles of wine he stole with a much cheaper brand.

 

In 2008, Osumi is accused of hiring a friend, who did not know the wine was stolen, to auction off some of the stolen wine in exchange for a portion of the proceeds. Osumi is accused of having approximately $280,000 deposited into his business account and using the money to pay for personal expenses and legal fees.

 

Between July 20, 2011, and June 7, 2012, Osumi is accused of directly auctioning some of the stolen wine for $310,965 and having the money deposited into his business account.

 

A family member of one of the clients reported the theft to the Irvine Police Department (IPD), who investigated this case.

 

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of the theft at Legend Cellars is encouraged to contact IPD Detective Sarah Tunnicliffe at (949) 724-7170 by Nov. 30, 2012, to reclaim possession of their wine.

 

Deputy District Attorney Shaddi Kamiabipour of the Insurance Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case. 

 

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