A former Charlottesville restaurant owner that skipped town went before a judge Monday. Between Charlottesville and Albemarle, 49-year-old James Baldi is facing four embezzlement charges.
He had been missing since July of 2010. California police arrested him in January and Baldi was extradited to Virginia last week.
Baldi had his first appearance on the Charlottesville charge on Monday. He is accused of embezzling money from Kaffe Bistro, LLC., also known as Cafe Cubano, on the Downtown Mall. The owner of Cafe Cubano had no comment on the pending investigation.
In court, the judge asked him if he understood why he was arrested, if he understood the charge and if he understood what a felony meant. To all three questions Baldi replied, "yes sir."
Baldi is also facing three Albemarle County embezzlement charges. Police say Baldi did the tax books for three different county businesses - WK Foods, Profit Management and Duraclean. The Duraclean charge was added when Baldi was brought back to Virginia.
Baldi has hired defense attorney Scott Goodman who said it was too early in the case to comment.
Baldi remains behind bars with a hearing set in Albemarle court for Wednesday, February 13. His case returns to Charlottesville Circuit Court on February 19.