SANTA ANA (AP) — A wine storage business owner has been sentenced to six years in state prison for stealing $2.7 million worth of wine from his clients’ storage lockers and under-reporting about $3.5 million in payroll taxes.

Orange County prosecutors said 65-year-old George Osumi pleaded guilty Thursday to more than 70 counts, including burglary, perjury and grand theft. He could have faced up to 80 years in prison if convicted at trial.

Authorities say Osumi ran Legend Cellars Inc. in Irvine where he broke into private storage lockers and stole customers’ wine. Osumi was able to conceal the theft by leaving behind bottles of a much cheaper vintage. Among the victims were Osumi’s son and daughter.

Osumi also used the names of relatives and friends to avoid tax liability while operating multiple companies he created.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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