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California man sentenced for wine theft of the famous restaurant

SAN FRANCISCO – A California man has pleaded guilty to a charge stemming in part from the theft of more than 100 bottles of wine to the value of more than $500,000 from a famous Napa Valley restaurant, officials said Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors said a judge accepted Davis Kiryakoz guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to transport stolen goods. As part of a plea agreement, the prosecutor said Kiryakoz, 44, acknowledged conspiring to steal bottles of wine from the world-famous French Laundry restaurant in December 2014.

The theft happened a day after Chef Thomas Keller’s famous restaurant closed for a six-month kitchen remodel.

The Yountville, California, hotel is rated with three stars in the Michelin guide and twice has been named the world’s best by Restaurant Magazine.

The stolen wine from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, a single bottle of which can cost up to $10,000. At the time of the theft, an online wine list did the bottles sell for $3,250 to $7,950 at the restaurant.

Bottles of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the most sought-after American wines, also were stolen. The restaurant wine list shows one vintage sells for $6,000.

Kiryakoz and a co-conspirator arranged to ship the wine to a buyer in North Carolina, where part of it was later discovered.

Prosecutors say Kiryakoz also decided to steal wine from a steakhouse and a wine-dealer. He is scheduled to be sentenced in March.

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