Suspected of stealing $250,000 from Brutocao Cellars

A Cloverdale wine executive is the latest on the North Coast to be arrested on suspicion of stealing a significant amount of money from his employer.

Chris Mulcahy, 50, was formerly the chief financial officer of Brutocao Cellars in Hopland and currently co-owns Sapphire Hill Winery in Healdsburg with his wife.

Mulcahy was arrested Saturday on suspicion of forging checks and was booked into Mendocino County Jail, where he remained Wednesday night on $500,000 bail, according to a jail official.

Mulcahy is suspected of embezzling about $250,000 from Brutocao, said Steve Brutocao, who co-owns the winery with other family members.

Brutocao said he fired Mulcahy in January 2012 after he discovered irregularities in the books.

"We're working with the authorities to bring justice," Brutocao said Wednesday. "He was a trusted employee for a number of years."

Mendocino County sheriff's detectives conducted a months-long investigation of Mulcahy prior to seeking a warrant for his arrest, Lt. Greg Van Patten said.

The Mendocino County District Attorney's Office assisted with the investigation.

Brutocao said Mulcahy worked for his winery for about six years. Prior to that, he spent 14 years with Coca-Cola, according to the Sapphire Hills website.

Mulcahy also owns Family Wine Services, a consulting business.

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