Winemaker Sentenced 8 Years for Embezzlement and Tax Evasion

Winemaker Sentenced 8 Years for Embezzlement and Tax Evasion title=
Winemaker Sentenced 8 Years for Embezzlement and Tax Evasion
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Source: Santa Barbara County District Attorney

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce. E. Dudley announced today that on Thursday September 21, 2017, Christian Lucas Garvin, the former manager and winemaker at Oreana Winery, was sentenced to 8 years state prison, ordered to pay $1,050,270 in restitution, and ordered to pay a fine of $1,759,080.00.

On August 8, 2017, Christian Garvin pled guilty to Grand Theft by Embezzlement, a violation of Penal Code section 487(a), and three counts of Filing False Tax Returns for tax year 2008-2010, a violation of Revenue and Taxation Code section 19706.  Mr. Garvin also admitted an excessive loss enhancement and an aggravated white-collar crime enhancement because the amount of theft exceeded $500,000.

A joint investigation by the Santa Barbara Police Department, the California Franchise Tax Board, and the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, determined that between 2006 and 2013 Mr. Garvin was embezzling money from his employer, Oreana Winery, by depositing checks in a DBA account opened by him, in which the name of the account closely resembled the name Oreana Winery, instead of depositing those funds in the legitimate Oreana Winery bank account.  During that time, Mr. Garvin was the manager and winemaker at Oreana Winery.  In addition to embezzling funds from Oreana Winery, Mr. Garvin was also filing false tax returns in an attempt to cover up his embezzlement.

At sentencing, the Court ordered restitution in the amount of $879,540 to Oreana Winery, and $170,730 to the California Franchise Tax Board.

District Attorney Joyce Dudley stated, "As a direct result of Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Cota's diligent and comprehensive prosecution, Mr. Garvin was remanded into custody after the sentencing and is now awaiting transportation to the California Department of Corrections."

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420722 Sep 23, 2017 10:23 PM
Winemaker Sentenced 8 Years for Embezzlement and Tax Evasion

I'm pretty sure we all know what restitution and fines are we are just confused that are 4 separate amounts. Either way this guy deserves more than 2-3 years, especially if he isn't going to be able to pay the money back.

Gobbledygook Sep 23, 2017 01:48 PM
Winemaker Sentenced 8 Years for Embezzlement and Tax Evasion

"Restitution" means paying back money that he stole: 879k lifted from Oreana, 170k unpaid taxes to the State of California. A "fine" is punitive, meant to punish beyond what's actually owed. The article doesn't say, but I'd guess that fine would be going to the Feds, mostly Treasury, to pay back taxes, plus interest, plus penalties, which are even greater for purposeful evasion than they are for just making a mistake. Because of laws passed during Prohibition, the punishment for Federal tax evasion is way worse than the taxes or the punishment for embezzlement itself. This guy is going to be a debt peon for the rest of his life. Rule #1, always launder your stolen money and Pay Your Taxes!

Flicka Sep 23, 2017 10:20 AM
Winemaker Sentenced 8 Years for Embezzlement and Tax Evasion

How can stealing go on so long? I'd think the winery owner would wonder about the final tally of income. Glad the guy was caught. I imagine all the money ordered to be paid back will be like getting blood from a turnip. Not likely he saved it all. REX, you're right. quite confusing.

a-1560872769 Sep 23, 2017 09:55 AM
Winemaker Sentenced 8 Years for Embezzlement and Tax Evasion

REX: ....not only is what you pointed out confusing, but he was sentenced to 8 years, but will serve maybe 2 or 3. Why say "8" years when it's really going to be far less? Now THAT is confusing.....

REX OF SB Sep 23, 2017 08:41 AM
Winemaker Sentenced 8 Years for Embezzlement and Tax Evasion

FIRST PARAGRAPH: "… ordered to pay $1,050,270 in restitution, and ordered to pay a fine of $1,759,080.00." FOURTH PARAGRAPH: "…restitution in the amount of $879,540 to Oreana Winery, and $170,730 to the California Franchise Tax Board." I'm a little confused…

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