Below are the most
frequently asked questions about John Calicchio & EuroMasters Classic Cars
Euromasters close its doors? It looked like a thriving business?
was a thriving business doubling its sales every year since its inception in
2008. To sustain that rapid growth required
a lot of working capital which wasn't readily available considering
that current economic recession.
Q: The Newspapers said that John
Pocketed Customer's Money from EuroMasters. Is this true?
A: No. A forensic
accounting effort was launched by the district attorney who concluded that the
funds were never used personally by
John, but instead were
used along with John's funds to operate his businesses, i.e. payroll, rent,
utilities, taxes, etc. As a matter of
fact, John invested over
$2m in cash and ultimately lost his life's savings of over $4m, all while never
taking a paycheck or a draw.
Why did John plead guilty to charges if he didn't commit them?
As the owner of EuroMasters, John took full responsibility for the businesses
actions. He didn't have much choice but to plead guilty
since if convicted, he was facing
a possible 17-year prison
term. He would have to either plead not-guilty and have to pay an
attorney a minimum of
$50,000 (which he did not have) to defend himself, or plead guilty
(plea-bargain) with the promise of home
confinement for 16-months and no jail time.
With that said, through discovery, if the
district attorney found that John had actually
money personally as was reported, I'm sure John would have served that mandatory jail
District Attorney and the Newspapers reported that John
declared bankruptcy in order to keep from paying restitution?
The District Attorney was unaware that John was instructed by his bankruptcy
attorney to list all creditors including those who
temporarily lost their
deposits and consignments. In actuality, John immediately sent heartfelt letters
to those who lost their money
along with promissory
notes to many asking them to be patient until he got back on his feet so that he
could repay them personally.
What was John ultimately charged with and how much in terms of dollars?
A: John was
charged with embezzlement by fiduciary responsibility (deposits/consignments owed to customers that were unable to be
returned on time) and money laundering (money
purposely moved between (4) of John's bank accounts as was needed to sustain
(3) businesses). The total amount due to
customers was $142,543 which
was to be immediately paid from the sale of the
business. The final amount of $177,913 was charged by the district attorney
added attorney's fees.
Why was John charged with Embezzlement and Money Laundering?
because EuroMasters was unable to return paid deposits and consignment sales
because of the suspicion that monies
were moved from one bank account to another in order to hide their existence;
which John was a party
order to prove these charges, the court would have had to show that John
intended to defraud
these people, when in fact, John
had never even met most of them. While John was out trying to raise capital, the office manager
bookkeeper were handling the day-to-day business
activities to the best of their ability. John was ultimately held responsible
because he was the sole owner
Q: Did John go to
A: No, John did
not go to trial or even a pre-trial for that matter. This was because he could
not afford the cost to do so. His lawyer
subsequently advised him
to enter into a plea-bargain agreement with the district attorney in lieu of a
costly trial. John agreed to
this in exchange for
16-months of home/work confinement (which began 11/1/13) and not serving a jail sentence.
Q: Has John ever
been arrested before? And it also occurs to me that this should have been a
A: No, John has
never been arrested or even questioned; he's lived in Orange County for 51
years operating businesses since 1967.
As for your second
comment; Yes, this definitely should have been a civil matter where this
have all been resolved.
The dollar amount involved
was approximately $150 thousand, not $150 million. I've known John since the
late 70's and have found
him to be an innovator,
deep thinker and
wealthy wage-earner. He is the most honest, loyal, hard-working guy I've ever
Q: Why didn't
John just pay back the customers?
Letter to Customers...
A: The company
was running on fumes by then and all the while John was working diligently on
obtaining desperately needed working
capital with banks and
potential partners. John had 7 people/companies' interested in purchasing
EuroMasters for between $2.5m
and $3m dollars; several
with signed agreements and many with letters of intent. All offers were
rescinded after speculation of a
coupled with false rumors of going out of business, which started spreading rampantly.
I heard the company had some problems regarding theft?
A: Yes. The
biggest loss and probably why EuroMasters finally went out of business was because
they lost their $200,000 flooring
line for purchasing cars.
This required John to immediately come up with that money, which depleted John's
cash reserves. The
general manager at the time had defrauded the flooring company by personally
obtaining cash from titles. EuroMasters had to
immediately deplete its remaining cash reserves in order to pay the balance
Did John open an Electric Car Store?
A: Yes; South
Coast Electric Cars
www.scelectriccars.com. John was working on separating the Electric Cars from
the Classic Cars when
a collaborative effort
with Winston Chung, the famous battery manufacturer, was in the works. Mr. Chung
and John had an arrived
at agreement which was
subsequently cancelled when Mr. Chung could no longer obtain funds from China. This
led to the immediate
closing of the Electric Car
company which was relying on that funding.