Rare Wine Stolen From Wall Street Executive -- WSJ

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (January 18, 2018).

Federal prosecutors Wednesday accused the personal assistant of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive of stealing more than $1.2 million of wine from his boss.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs identified the executive as David Solomon, the firm's president and co-chief operating officer. The spokesman said the theft of the wine, which includes some of the world's rarest, was discovered in the fall of 2016 and reported to law enforcement at that time.

The indictment charges Nicolas De-Meyer, 40 years old, with interstate transportation of stolen property. He was arrested Tuesday night in Los Angeles and expected to appear Wednesday in federal court there.

A lawyer for Mr. De-Meyer couldn't be reached.

Court papers identify Mr. De-Meyer as the personal assistant "to an individual who collects rare and expensive wine," whom prosecutors call "the victim."

From 2014 through October 2016, Mr. De-Meyer stole hundreds of bottles of wine, the indictment says. Using the alias Mark Miller, Mr. De-Meyer sold the wine to a North Carolina wine dealer he found on the internet, prosecutors said.

The wine in question includes bottles from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, an estate in Burgundy, France, court documents show. These wines are "among the best, most expensive and rarest wines in the world," according to prosecutors.

In October 2016, Mr. De-Meyer stole seven bottles of the wine, which Mr. Solomon had purchased for $133,650, prosecutors said. The wine dealer picked up the bottles from Mr. De-Meyer's Manhattan apartment, then transported some of the bottles to New Jersey and shipped some to California.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti's wines are considered the pinnacle of the wine world, said Ian Dorin, Heritage Auctions's director of fine wine in New York. The best vintages can last for a hundred years, he said. "It's a wine you can buy and then can sell six months later and make money on," he added. "It's the wine that wine lovers want to own."

Mr. Solomon is one of Goldman's most powerful executives, an investment banker turned top deputy to chief executive Lloyd Blankfein. A noted wine collector and restaurant investor, he helped stake two lower Manhattan hotspots run by a chef he met in Aspen.

--Liz Hoffman contributed to this article.

Write to Corinne Ramey at Corinne.Ramey@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 18, 2018 02:47 ET (07:47 GMT)