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 WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- In a reversal of the natural order of things, rare wines, acquired with embezzled funds, have turned into the grapes of wrath for a California banker.
 A collection of 3,500 bottles of rare wines had to be returned to a California thrift by a former executive of the thrift's subsidiary as part of a $360,000 restitution order to which he consented and recently completed paying in full.
 Without admitting or denying guilt, Rickie K. Miyake, former vice president and controller of Uni-Cal Financial Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Union Federal Savings Bank, Brea, Calif., signed an agreement with the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) consenting to the restitution and banishment from the banking industry.
 OTS charged that Miyake used his position to systematically embezzle approximately $360,000, most of which he used to purchase the rare wines. According to OTS, Miyake used Uni-Cal checks to make direct payments to merchants for personal purchases, used his corporate credit card for unauthorized personal purchases and had Uni-Cal pay for the purchases, and also had Uni-Cal pay for purchases on his personal credit card.
 Miyake paid $102,691 in initial restitution, signed over title to the wine to Union Federal, and after the wine was sold at auction, paid the balance of the restitution owed, plus related expenses -- an additional $75,000.
 The wine collection included 1,000 different wines produced on 596 properties in six countries. They were from 14 vintages spanning 28 years, and ranged in price from $10 to $325 per bottle. Some of the wines were so rare they had not appeared at retail or auction sales for many years.
 The collection brought $213,000 at auction, and after deduction of expenses, provided $185,000 restitution to the thrift. The auction was held at an auction house in San Francisco, with a TV simulcast in Los Angeles, in September 1992. The collection was sold in parcels to more than two dozen different buyers, with the largest single purchase bringing $10,000 from one collector.
 All of the wine in the collection was sold except for 23 bottles that will be auctioned on Jan. 23. These are expected to bring in an additional $2,000 in restitution.
 -0- 1/22/93
 /CONTACT: Thomas P. Mason of the Office of Thrift Supervision, 202-906-6688/

CO: Office of Thrift Supervision; Uni-Cal Financial Corporation;
 Union Federal Savings Bank ST: California IN: FIN SU:

DC -- DC032 -- 8109 01/22/93 17:28 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 22, 1993
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