Fmr. Vinsetta manager ordered to pay restitution

Posted at 6:35 PM, Mar 30, 2016

Vinsetta Garage is one of Oakland County’s most popular restaurants and Jeffrey Wells worked as a top manager there.

Today, he faced a judge again after admitting he stole thousands of dollars while on the job.

For a three-year period, wells cooked the books to steal from his trusting employer.

While delaying his final sentence, Judge Nanci Grant did tell Wells he'll have to pay a hefty restitution.

Wells was arrested last December and in February the 29-year-old pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $100,00 from the popular Berkley restaurant, starting in 2013.

"We trusted him as we would trust anybody and in the end we're paying the price for that trust," said Vinsetta co-owner Curt Catallo.

Now Wells will also pay. The Ferndale man received a delayed sentence today, but must pay restitution of $133,506.80 by his final sentencing date of March 1, 2017.

Wells has been instructed not to enter Vinsetta Garage or any of the other restaurants co-owned by Curt Catallo. As part of his probation he has also agreed to other restrictions, including an alcohol ban.

"The fraud that was systematic for three years and then at the end I think it was just, it was greedy enough that even somebody as trusting as us couldn't help but notice that something wrong was happening," says Catallo. "This is not just tearing the tag off of a mattress. This is stealing over $100,00 from an independent restaurant."

Catallo says Wells was a long-time employee at the restaurant who moved up into the role as manager.

He calls the fraud and the betrayal of trust heartbreaking.