The owner of a vintage car business in Fountain Valley is scheduled to make his first appearance in court Thursday on charges of embezzling from customers.
John Calicchio, 63, of Costa Mesa, who was arrested Tuesday, closed his business in October 2011 and declared bankruptcy in what prosecutors allege was an attempt to avoid debts owed to the owners of the vehicles he sold on consignment.
Calicchio, while he owned and operated EuroMasters Classic Cars in Fountain Valley, sold vintage Porsches worth $25,000 to $47,000 on consignment but diverted the proceeds to his personal and business accounts, prosecutors allege.
Calicchio allegedly defrauded victims who paid for the vehicles in full. The purchasers could not obtain legal titles for the vehicles because the owners holding the titles had not been paid, prosecutors allege.
Calicchio is charged with 14 counts of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust, five counts of grand theft by false pretenses, two counts of diversion of funds and four counts of money laundering, with sentence-enhancing allegations of aggravated white-collar crime exceeding $100,000 and losses of more than $200,000. He will be asked to enter pleas when arraigned Thursday.
If convicted, Calicchio could face up to 17 years in prison, according to the Orange County district attorney's office. He is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.