Former Domecq prez pleaded guiltly

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The former president of Domecq Importers on March 12 pleaded guilty to embezzling $13 million from the liquor marketer and getting another $2 million in kickbacks from outside vendors.

Gabriel Sagaz had served as VP-marketing of Domecq from 1989 until '95 and was president until resigning in August 1996. A U.S. Department of Justice news release said Mr. Sagaz "and other top executives" at Domecq participated in the embezzlement.

The Justice Department said the embezzlement investigation stemmed from its probe of the point-of-purchase industry that earlier included charges at brewers and cigarette makers, but the Domecq case is the largest yet.

At the time Domecq imported Beefeater gin, Presidente brandy, Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila. Domecq starting in 1994 was a unit of Allied-Domecq Spirits & Wines.

Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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