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Former Domecq exec pleads guilty to conspiracy
June 27, 2007 / 12:28 AM / 10 years ago

Former Domecq exec pleads guilty to conspiracy

NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - The former president of a U.S. unit of Allied Domecq PLC pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to tax fraud and a plan to defraud the liquor company of more than $14 million, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

The Justice Department said Michael L. Domecq, who was president and co-owner of Domecq Importers Inc., faces a combined maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the two counts of conspiracy. Sentencing is set tentatively for August 15, it said.

The Justice Department said Michael Domecq was originally indicted on Sept. 5, 2000, in U.S. District Court in Manhattan for taking part in a scheme to divert more than $14.6 million from Domecq Importers into personal offshore bank accounts.

The prosecution alleged that Michael Domecq and other executives teamed up with certain vendors that would send fake invoices to the company.

The Justice Department alleged Michael Domecq and his co-conspirators approved the phony invoices, and were then paid for goods and services that were never delivered.

The vendors then issued checks to shell corporations owned by Domecq and co-conspirators, it said. The checks were usually deposited into offshore bank accounts, and Michael Domecq and the co-conspirators failed to pay income taxes on most of the money, the Justice Department said.

Fortune Brands Inc. FO.N bought Allied Domecq jointly with Pernod Ricard in 2005.

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