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Wineries at Risk? Crime and Embezzlement to be Examined at Wine Industry Financial Symposium

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Wine Industry Symposium(Napa, CALIF.) – Some of the hottest issues wine business executives and winery owners face today, including internal theft and crime at wineries, will be examined at the 24th Annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium in September by a powerhouse panel of professionals who have worked for agencies such as the Secret Service, representatives from the Napa County District Attorney’s office, as well as experts from the banking and accounting sectors of the wine business.

Strategies for keeping wine businesses safe from crime, including potentially-expensive issues such as fraud, internal theft, embezzlement, email deception, identity theft and hacking, will be covered. “While our office has recently and will continue aggressively prosecuting individuals who embezzle from their vintner employers, we would like to assist in educating the industry to help prevent such financial abuse in the future. While no system will be entirely failsafe, we believe that building better safeguards into internal inventory and accounting practices can reduce the risk and deter future offenders,” said panelist Gary Lieberstein, Napa County District Attorney, who will be joined by several investigators and analysts from private and public sectors that will educate and inform wineries and wine-related businesses, which are often vulnerable due to the close-knit and sometimes family-based nature of the industry.

Lieberstein will be joined by: Jim Petray, CPA, Partner, Burr, Pilger & Mayer; Jeff Dieleman, CPA, Partner, Moss Adams; Michael Donovan, Chief Investigator at the Napa County District Attorney’s Office and Michael Musgrave, Senior Vice President, Director Financial Intelligence Unit, Rabobank.

The 2015 Wine Industry Financial Symposium, set for Monday, September 21 and Tuesday, September 22 in Napa, is centered around the theme of “The Wine Business with New Rules.” In addition to issues such as crime, the program will also feature intense insights into domestic and global, points of view from a trio of wine industry leaders Ted Baseler, President & CEO, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates; Ian Harris, Chief Executive, Wine and Spirits Education Trust and Dr. Damien Wilson, Hamel Chair of Wine Business, Sonoma State University and dozens of other speakers who will share information and ideas that will help attendees improve their businesses.

The 2015 Wine Industry Financial Symposium event sponsors include: American Ag Credit; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Bank of the West; BMO Harris Bank; Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. (BPM) Accountants and Consultants; Gaw Van Male; H&A Financing; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; MetLife Agricultural Investments; Moss Adams, LLP Certified Public Accountants / Business Consultants; Northwest Distribution & Storage / WineCo; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Prudential Agricultural Investments; Rabobank International & Rabobank, N.A.; Umpqua Bank; Union Bank; Wells Fargo Bank; Zepponi & Company; American Vineyard Magazine; Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine; Wine Business Monthly; Wine Industry Insight; Wine Industry Network and Wines & Vines (now including Practical Winery & Vineyard). The complete program, as well as registration, is available online at www.WineSymposium.com.

Launched in 1992, the Wine Industry Financial Symposium is the premier event in regard to the financial, investment, economic and business issues of the wine industry. Registration for this popular event is now open at www.WineSymposium.com with early bird rates good only through September 4.

About the Wine Industry Symposium Group

The founders of the Wine Industry Symposium Group met in early 1992 with the hope that by forming a new industry conference, they would create an open exchange of thoughts and ideas concerning financial aspects of the California wine industry.  The Wine Industry Financial Symposium was born. A couple of years later, in 1994, the group started a similar program, the Central Coast Insights Program, to fit the needs of that region. A year later, the Vineyard Economics Seminar was created for grape growers. Because of consistent globalization and consolidation in the wine business, the Wine Industry Symposium Group continues to operate with the mission of providing a critical platform for important communication and dialogue between the multiple facets of the wine business and the lending community. For more information visit www.winesymposium.com or call (707) 666-2525. Like the Wine Symposium Group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WineSymposiumGroup and follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wine_symposium.

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