The former Charlottesville restaurant owner who embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from businesses took the stand at his own sentencing hearing Thursday evening.
James Baldi told the judge he was wrong and embarrassed for what he did, promising to pay back the money. Commonwealth's attorney Dave Chapman told everyone Baldi is a con.
Baldi, 50, is guilty of four embezzlement charges in Albemarle and one in Charlottesville. He was sentenced to a total of 33 years but will serve 43 months.
Baldi, who owned the Bel Rio restaurant, also handled the financial books for a number of businesses, including Café Cubano, from which he took more than $19,000. Baldi also took almost $180,000 from the Wood Grill Buffet and $1,600 from Duraclean.
"There are elements of what he was saying that don't make logical sense and give the appearance of being a con suggested as a means by which to minimize the length of his sentence,” Chapman said.
Baldi was on the run for more than two years before being picked up in California in January. He entered into a guilty plea in July.
It also came out in court Thursday that Baldi is the target of a federal investigation, related to the embezzlement charges.