Thursday, August 8, 2013

Former Virginia Restauranteur Pleads Guilty To Embezzling Some $200K From 2 Bookkeeping Clients

From the Daily Progress on 6.11.13:

About three years after abruptly closing his Belmont eatery and fleeing the Charlottesville area, former restaurateur James Baldi has pleaded guilty to embezzling about $200,000 from two Albemarle County bookkeeping clients.
Baldi, 49, entered into an agreement Tuesday with county prosecutors that calls for him to plead guilty to five felony embezzlement charges: four in Albemarle and one in Charlottesville, which he is scheduled to appear in court for next month.
"[Baldi] is very anxious to make restitution and set things right," Goodman said.
Baldi still owes about $155,000 to Wood Grill Buffet's parent company and $23,700 to Duraclean, according to court records.
Baldi's alleged crimes stretch back to 2008, nearly a year and a half before a "closed for vacation" sign went up on the former Bel Rio restaurant and he disappeared. He was not indicted on the first of those charges until about 5 months after he left the area, according to court records.
His company, Bel Rio LLC, was dissolved in December 2010 on the same day a Charlottesville circuit judge awarded his former restaurant partner, Gareth Weldon, $45,900 in damages and court costs.
Weldon sued Baldi for breaching his fiduciary duty and conversion, or, making unilateral decisions in a way that deprived Weldon of his stake in their shared property, according to court records.

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