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Waterloo man sentenced to 27 months in prison for embezzling $229K from Finger Lakes winery

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  • Staff Report 

Michael Stein, a former office manager and bookkeeper at BellAngelo Wineries in Dundee, has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for wire fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York reported that Stein, 43, embezzled over $200,000 from the company, starting only four months after his employment began in July 2018 and continuing until March 2022.


Stein employed several methods to pilfer the funds from the Finger Lakes winery. Court documents indicate that he stole $131,437 through various payroll schemes involving interstate wire communications from January 2019 to March 2022. Additionally, Stein fraudulently received $77,736 via unauthorized petty cash payments from November 2018 to December 2021, and in 2021 alone, he made unauthorized withdrawals totaling $19,400 from BellAngelo Wineries’ bank accounts.

The total amount stolen by Stein amounted to $228,573. Alongside his prison sentence, Stein has been ordered to pay restitution in the full amount that he stole from the winery, which operates The Tasting Room & Missick Cellars Art Gallery in Dundee and the Geneva Tasting Room in Geneva.