A Maryland man who operated a high-end wine storage service was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Wednesday for stealing up to $1.5 million worth of wine from his customers, prosecutors said. According to The Justice Department, William Lamont Holder will also have to pay $1.5 million in restitution after he stole his customers’ wine and sold them without their knowledge. Holder was paid monthly fees and pick-up charges by “private collectors and commercial establishments” to store their wine in his Maryland facility. However, between 2013 and 2017, Holder was passing off some of his customers’ bottles as his own and selling them to “wine retailers and brokers”—all while continuing to collect monthly fees from his clients, prosecutors said. Holder allegedly kept all of the sales proceeds and spent it on “personal expenses.” His customers are estimated to have lost between $550,000 and $1.5 million worth of wine.
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