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US: Former Domecq chief gets ten years for fraud

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The former president and co-owner of Domecq Importers in the US has been sentenced to ten years in prison for conspiring to defraud Allied Domecq.

Michael Domecq was yesterday sentenced to serve two consecutive 60-month sentences and ordered to pay over US$4.5m in restitution.

In June, Domecq and several other senior Domecq Importers executives pleaded guilty to diverting more than $14.6m from Domecq Importers into their personal offshore bank accounts. The conspiracy took place from at earliest 1989 until October 1995, the US Department of Justice said.

"Today's sentence reflects the seriousness of the offenses and the obstructive conduct committed by the defendant while attempting to escape US jurisdiction," said Thomas Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the department's antitrust division.

Three former executives of Domecq Importers - CFO Alfredo Valdes, vice president of marketing Gabriel Sagaz, and vice president of sales Thomas Kaminsky - had also pleaded guilty to charges related to the same conspiracy. Valdes was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $1.6m in restitution, while Sagaz was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay a $15,000 criminal fine and $300,000 in restitution. Kaminsky was sentenced to three years in prison with six months of home confinement. Additionally, two outside vendors of advertising display materials, Mary Burke and Alvin Appel, previously pleaded guilty to related offences.

Domecq Importers was a US subsidiary of Allied Domecq from 1994 until Allied was acquired by Pernod Ricard in July 2005.


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