Pair Charged in Pricey California Wine Thefts


     SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – The federal government says two California men stole expensive bottles of wine from Bay Area distributors and restaurants and then sold the stolen goods to an unidentified person in North Carolina.
     Federal prosecutors indicted Alfred Georgis and Davis Kiyarkoz on charges of conspiracy, transportation of stolen goods and money laundering related to the wine-theft scheme.
     Prosecutors say in the 15-page indictment that the two men burglarized Fine Wines International, a wine purveyor in San Francisco, on March 27, 2013, taking approximately 142 bottles of wine.
     Soon after the burglary, the pair transported the stolen wine to an unidentified buyer in North Carolina and received money orders in exchange, according to the indictment.
     Prosecutors say Georgis and Kiyarkoz burglarized Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino, California more than a year later, taking about 29 bottles of wine. They sent 17 of those to the buyer in North Carolina and received about $5,700 in return, according to the indictment
     The two defendants are accused of burglarizing yet another Bay Area restaurant — The French Laundry in Yountville, California.
     The two men stole about 100 bottles of wine from the restaurant, sending about 66 of those to the buyer in North Carolina and receiving between $120,000 and $150,000 as payment, according to the indictment.
     Federal prosecutors say the pair instructed the buyer to make payments in wire transfers of less than $10,000 from November 2014 to December 2014, accounting for the conspiracy to commit money laundering charge.

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