After I posted last year on John Calicchio being charged with embezzlement, the owner of EuroMasters vintage and rare cars called asking that I take the post down because it was not true. I explained that, on the advice of our attorneys, we don't take posts down but if something was incorrect I'd be happy to make it right or link from that post to a second one detailing his side of the story. He said he'd contact his attorney ... and I never heard back. I forgot about the Fountain Valley businessman until he pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $178,000 in restitution to his dozen victims.
The 64-year-old's plea deal with Orange County Superior Court Judge Gerald Johnston allows Calicchio to serve about half of his sentence behind bars and the other half in mandatory custody. Violation of any terms of his supervision could send him back to the pokey. Meanwhile, his attorney is negotiating with the sheriff's department to spare his client prison or county time by having that stretch done in a city jail or as home confinement.
He faced nearly 17 years in state prison without the guilty plea.
Between June 2010 and October 2011, Calicchio agreed to sell vintage Porsches for owners on consignment. But he pocketed proceeds from the sales that ranged from $25,000 to $47,000 per car, according to prosecutors. He was further accused of defrauding the buyers, who could not obtain titles to the Porsches because the real owners were never paid through the consignment sales.
Calicchio closed EuroMasters in October 2011, filing for bankruptcy in an attempt to discharge the debts owed to the owners and purchasers of vehicles he sold on consignment, the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) charged.
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Jake Brower, Calicchio's defense attorney, reportedly told a City News Service reporter outside court his client is sorry for his crimes. "He has great remorse for the people who lost money and is very sorry for what they went through," Brower said.
Calicchio copped to 10 counts of embezzlement, six counts of money laundering and two counts of diversion of funds, all felonies, and also admitted a sentencing enhancement for loss more than $200,000. Five felony counts of grand theft were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
Some of Calicchio's victims received a portion of their losses back through an insurance claim on the defendant's business bond, according to the OCDA.