George Osumi II Gets 6 Years for Stealing $2.7 Million Worth of Wine, Various Other Crimes

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

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Remember the Irvine fellow who was accused of stealing $2.7 million worth of wine from the storage lockers of his son's business?

George Osumi II, 65, pleaded guilty Friday to the embezzlement as well as under-reporting more than $3.5 million in payroll to his workers' compensation insurance carrier for his various businesses and was sentenced to six years in state prison.

Scott Osumi, the son of the defendant and president of Legend Cellars of Irvine, employed his father at the business that kept clients' wine in temperature-controlled lockers. Three times between Jan. 1, 2008, and June 21, 2012, George Osumi II broke into the private storage of three different clients and stole their wine that had a total estimated value of $2.7 million. Osumi replaced the bottles of wine he stole with much cheaper brands.

A friend of Osumi's, who did not know the wine was stolen, auctioned off some of the wine in exchange for a portion of the proceeds. Osumi wound up depositing $280,000 from those sales. Osumi also directly auctioned stolen wine himself for more than $300,000.

A statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office indicates a family member of one of the clients reported the theft to the Irvine Police Department, but Scott Osumi's attorney previously told the Weekly it was his client who turned his father in.

George Osumi, Legend Cellars Worker, Accused of Stealing $2.7 mil in Wine from Clients

George Osumi II's arrest led to a far-ranging investigation into various businesses he owned. According to the OCDA statement:

Between December 2001 and March 2006, Osumi committed workers' compensation insurance premium fraud after he reported his payroll to SCIF [State Compensation Insurance Fund] at just over $1 million. He actually maintained a payroll of over $4.5 million, a difference of over $3.5 million from his reporting to SCIF. This resulted in a loss of over $814,000 in premium owed to SCIF.

Between May 2004 and October 2011, Osumi obtained an American Express Card under the name of one of his former business associates and made unauthorized purchases.

On April 2011, Osumi committed perjury under the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) contract code after he declared and stated as true a material matter he knew was false under penalty of perjury that he did not operate a business which required workers' compensation insurance.

Between 2009 and 2011, Osumi withheld state taxes and disability insurance benefits payments from his employees and failed to forward these withholdings to the State or filing payroll reports with EDD [Economic Development Department]. Osumi filed false reports, which did not contain the identity of all of his employees. Consequently, when two of his employees filed a claim with EDD to collect unemployment benefits, EDD had no record of their employment and these employees had to provide proof of their employment. Osumi distributed paychecks with insufficient funds to employees, despite him operating a business that earned income.

For the Legend Cellars crimes, Osumi copped Friday to three felony counts of second degree commercial burglary, one felony count each of grand theft, embezzlement by employee, receiving stolen property, and one misdemeanor count for possession of burglary tools with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000 property damage over $1.3 million, and crime-bail-crime.

For the other crimes, he pleaded guilty to 18 felony counts of misrepresenting facts to (SCIF), 14 felony counts of failing to file a return with intent to evade tax, 14 felony counts of willful failure to pay tax, 14 felony counts of willful failure to pay unemployment insurance and employment training tax, nine felony counts of willful failure to pay disability insurance deductions, one felony count of identity theft, and one felony count of perjury. He faces sentencing enhancement allegations for misrepresenting facts to SCIF, committing an aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, property damage over $65,000, and crime-bail-crime.

The courts are not done with Osumi, who is scheduled to face a restitution hearing Nov. 1 in Santa Ana.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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12 comments
HolySmoker
HolySmoker

Why don't they go after the girlfriend for restitution?

Sprinkles
Sprinkles

"Why was OC attorney James Riddett given money orders from a girlfriend of George Osumi's labeled as, WINE SALES"?

Maybe Osumi was strong-armed into his guilty plea!

Something smells corrupt (beyond the theft).

Look into it, people.

Sprinkles
Sprinkles

VDawg23

George's son isn't Asian, he's CockAsian.

Additionally, George never spoke kind words about the son he supposedly adopted (born 'Scott Kenneth CRAWFORD') .

George was OFTEN verbally abusive to Scott and other people he claimed to love (except for his daughter, Katie) , but he still screwed her over nonetheless.

Scott cooperated with authorities to save his own a*s.

George is a sick, selfish coward & Scott was raised by his example (with his mothers consent)

NONE of the Osumi's (George, Scott, Katie) have made any attempt to rectify workman's comp rip-offs either - just ask any former employee who has suffered losses.

Additionally, Katie selfishly had upgrades made to her home and ripped off some contractors by not paying them all! The woman skips around like Miss Goodie Two Shoes, but is only conning herself (and some others) of the truth; she isn't always honest.

I wouldn't defend ANY of them, but would highly suggest cognitive therapy for this bunch.

"Sh* t always rolls down hill"

On an unrelated note: George Osumi is tied in with DAVID HESTER of Storage Wars

I'm surprised nobody has reported about it OR the woman that actually sold the wine that George took

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

Kinda like baseball cards. Books says value is 2 mil market says 200 k. Strange a son would turn his father in for such a petty crime. Buncha wine got stolen. Wasn't like it was luxury cars or bikes or someone breaking into cars in downtown Fullerton. Understand if it was a homeless schizo guy stealing the wine but to turn in your own kin. Your own father at that. Guess what they say about Asians not having a soul has something to it. Wonder if the son was one of those weird hapas. 

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

How many bottles is $2.7M of wine?  I have no idea. It could be 1,000,000 bottles of Two Buck Chuck, or 135,000 bottles of the stuff I drink, or, if it's a special occasion, 27,000 bottles of the stuff I drink. if it's $1000/bottle collector wine, it's 2,700 bottles which is 225 cases.  Old man Osumi must be pretty stout.  Plus he had to replace all the bottles he stole with inferior ones. That doubles the number of bottles moved.

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

He deposited proceeds of $580,000 after auctioning off stolen wine that was worth $2.7M.  I have some questions:

a) Where is the missing wine? Or,

b) Where is the missing money? Or,

c) Is he a very bad wine dealer, losing over $2M of potential income on the deal? Or,

d) Are the cops greatly exaggerating the value of the wine like they do on drug busts? Or,

e) Are the wine owners exaggerating what was stolen? Or,

f) All of the above.

aznzn
aznzn

Is it Osumi II or III? Confused...

Sprinkles
Sprinkles

"I could be wrong, but I could also be RIGHT about my stated opinions"

Nothing is 'fact' until proven, after all , but the public is only getting as much 'fact' as the OCDA will put out in press releases. If any REAL investigative journalist looked into George Osumi, they'd hit an international golden opportunity, but society is fear-based (including people who call themselves 'investigative journalist)

Just say'n...

Sprinkles
Sprinkles

Both MOXLEY and COKER have been left vm and sent emails with the ANSWERS to most of the questions posed here in the comments, but have refused to report them. Maybe COKER has his nose up Scott Osumi's butt for some reason.

A dude named Paul Coker was a wine storage client of Legend Cellars - maybe there's a relation there that they don't want uncovered. Who knows...

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

e) Or, Osumi use vewy, vewy expensive replacement bottles.

Was his ploy to use replacement wine that looked the same as the stolen wine at a glance? It seems like anyone who pulled a bottle would quickly notice that his 1952 Chateau Margaux was really 2013 Sutter Home White Zinfandel.

Or was his ploy just to plug the holes with Two Buck Chuck so the weight was right?

I find this crime fascinating!

MatthewTCoker
MatthewTCoker topcommenter

@aznzn Ah, it's II; thought I'd caught them all, will fix, thanks!

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