Wall Street

Goldman's co-president, and wine connoisseur, bilked of $1.2 million in rare vintage

Key Points
  • Prosecutors say the former assistant, Nicolas De-Meyer, used a fake name to sell stolen wine from his boss's collection in New York to a North Carolina wine dealer.
  • Among the stolen wine was seven bottles of a rare Burgundy that sells for an average of nearly $20,000 a bottle.
Goldman Sachs exec swindled out of $1.2 million worth of wine

David Solomon, Goldman Sachs' president and co-chief operating officer, has a thing for fine wine. And now his former personal assistant has been accused of stealing hundreds of bottles worth $1.2 million from his private collection.

Nicolas De-Meyer, 40, was identified in an indictment unsealed Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, who say he used a fake name, "Mark Miller," to sell hundreds of bottles of the stolen wine to a North Carolina wine dealer he had found on the internet from 2014 to 2016.

The indictment didn't name Solomon, but Goldman confirmed his identity after press inquiries. De-Meyer was an employee of Solomon's household, not the bank. "The theft was discovered in the fall of 2016 and reported to law enforcement at that time," a Goldman spokesman said in an email. "They have been pursuing the matter."

That would correspond with the sale of Solomon's 5,400-square-foot apartment around the same time. The four-bedroom unit with a Central Park view and a 1,000-bottle wine storage area sold in November 2016 for $21.5 million.

According to the indictment, De-Meyer worked for an "individual who collects rare and expensive wine" from 2008 to November 2016, and his duties included receiving shipments of wine at his boss's Manhattan apartment and transporting wine from there to a property in East Hampton, New York.

Among the stolen items were seven bottles from the French estate Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, or DRC, which prosecutors say is considered among the best, most expensive and rarest in the world. The average price of a bottle of the pinot noir from Burgundy is $17,134, according to Wine-searcher.com. The victim had bought the bottles for $133,650, prosecutors said.

De-Meyer stole the Romanee-Conti wine in October 2016 from his boss's Manhattan apartment, the indictment said.

De-Meyer was arrested in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor's office in New York. He is to be presented in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday and ultimately to be arraigned in New York.