Man pleads guilty to stealing up to $1.5M in wine

Man pleads guilty to stealing up to $1.5M in wine

An expert reaches for a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon during a tasting session as more than 250 wines from some 60 Israeli wineries compete for coveted awards. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE, Md. — A Maryland man has pleaded guilty to embezzling up to $1.5 million in upscale wine from customers who paid him to store the bottles, which he sold without their knowledge.

A plea agreement calls for 54-year-old William Lamont Holder to be sentenced to 18 months in prison for his guilty plea to a wire fraud charge. A federal judge must decide whether to accept the agreement's terms.

Holder owned Safe Harbour Wine Storage LLC.

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According to court filings, private collectors and businesses paid him a monthly fee to store their inventory in a climate-controlled warehouse.


Prosecutors said Holder's customers lost between $550,000 and $1.5 million worth of wine that he sold to wine retailers and brokers without their consent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.