There are many aspects of running a business. To successfully run a winery, for example, a person likely needs to be aware of how to manage operations in addition to being knowledgeable about wine. Unfortunately, without knowledge of both, mistakes that some might construe as illegal acts could be made. One man in California was recently charged with embezzlement and tax fraud after his business partners accused him of illegally taking money from the business.

The 41-year-old manger owned a small stake in the winery while two others owned the majority. These two owners claim they became suspicious when they say they discovered that the inventory did not match documents. An audit was conducted, and the two owners claim they discovered that the manager had taken $200,000 from the business. After the audit, the manager left his position.

In 2013, a criminal investigation began. As a result of this investigation, officials claim that the man actually diverted $2.3 million into his personal accounts. Because the man’s state income tax returns did not reflect the income from the money that he allegedly embezzled, he now faces tax fraud and embezzlement charges. He recently pleaded not guilty.

Cases involving accusations of embezzlement are complex, and the consequences of a conviction can be severe. Many people in California who face such charges do not have the experience with the legal system to make informed decisions about their case. Fortunately, there is help available. By hiring an attorney with experience regarding such cases, a defendant is likely better prepared to make decisions about the direction the case will take.

Source: calcoastnews.com, “Santa Barbara winemaker allegedly embezzled $1.2 million“, Nov. 11, 2015