NEW YORK — The accused wine thief who allegedly stole more than $1.2 million of expensive vintages from a top Goldman Sachs executive may be nearing a plea-bargain deal with federal prosecutors.
The attorney for criminal suspect Nicolas De-Meyer 40, has been pursuing talks with federal prosecutors about “a possible disposition” of the case, a Thursday court filing shows.
De-Meyer allegedly stole prestigious bottle between 2014 to 2016 from David Solomon — the fine wine collector and Goldman Sachs veteran who’s in line to succeed Lloyd Blankfein as the investment bank’s chief executive officer.
The stolen vintages allegedly included seven bottles of Burgundy from the French estate of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, “widely considered among the best, most expensive, and rarest wines in the world,” the indictment charged. Prosecutors said Solomon bought the shipment for $133,650 — more than $19,000 per bottle.
De-Meyer was supposed to transport that shipment and other purchases to the wine cellar in Solomon’s East Hampton, N.Y. weekend and vacation home. Instead, the suspect allegedly re-sold the wine to a North Carolina-based dealer he found on the Internet.
The suspect had been scheduled to appear in Manhattan U.S. District Court on Friday. However, his attorney Sabrina Shroff, submitted a Thursday letter to Judge Paul Gardephe seeking a postponement that would “allow the parties to reach a possible disposition of the case.”
The wording used by the defense lawyer generally refers to a resolution of criminal charges without a trial. However, there is no guarantee that prosecutors and the defense will finalize a plea bargain.
De-Meyer remains free on bail after posting a $1 million personal recognizance bond that was secured by $200,000 by his mother’s home, a court filing shows. He has complied with release conditions that restricted his travel to the New York City area and the area of Ohio where he has relatives, Shroff’s letter said.
Both sides in the case are due in court August 20 for a status update.
Meanwhile, Solomon, named Mr. Gourmet 2010 by the Society of Bacchus America, seems poised for Goldman Sachs’ top job. During an April interview with CNBC, Blankfein referred to him as “a kind of a CEO-in-waiting, if you will.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kevin McCoy on Twitter: @kmccoynyc