Car dealer pleads guilty to embezzlement

A Costa Mesa man pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling $200,000 through a rare-car business he owned in Fountain Valley and received 16 months in jail, the Orange County district attorney's office announced.

John Calicchio, 63, used his company, EuroMasters Classic Cars, to sell vintage Porsches on consignment but pocketed the money, according to a news release from the office.

From June 2010 to October 2011, Calicchio sold the vintage vehicles for $25,000 to $47,000 but deposited the money into his personal or business accounts instead of paying the cars' owners, according to the release.

By doing so, he defrauded the buyers, who never received the legal title to the cars, the release stated.

Prosecutors said Calicchio closed his business and tried to avoid paying the cars' buyers or sellers by declaring bankruptcy in October 2011.

He pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust, two counts of diversion of funds, and four counts of money laundering with a sentencing enhancement for property loss of more than $200,000, according to the district attorney's office.

In addition to the jail time, Calicchio received two years of mandatory supervision and must pay $177,000 in restitution.

— Jeremiah Dobruck

Twitter: @jeremiahdobruck

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