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The up-and-coming founder of a Sonoma County Direct-To-Trade wine business is a convicted felon & instigator of a possibly illegal wine scheme

The founder of a new Sonoma County Direct-to-Trade business has been convicted of 25 federal felonies, has a highly sanitized LinkedIn profile, and has been involved in a highly irregular — and possibly illegal — wine production and sales operation.

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Recently honored by the North Bay Business Journal as one of “Forty Under 40 Ones to Watch,” Petaluma resident Jacob Moynihan, founder of  the Direct-To-Trade wine company Merchant 23,  was a key player in a Multi-Million-Dollar Mortgage Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme  that included leaders and members of  the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, and a San Francisco CPA-Tax preparer.

Moynihan comments


A courtesy draft of this article was sent to Mr. Moynihan and asked him for any corrections, comments or other information he felt was appropriate. The following is his response:


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The remainder of this article, along with court filings is available to Wine Executive News Premium Subscribers.

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  • Fraudulent loans more than $10 Million – FBI

  • Moynihan’s plea deal + Probation

  • Court-ordered restitution would take 1,320 years

  • Sanitized LinkedIn profile hides history – “Integrity-driven?”

  • Annotated LinkedIn profile graphic fills in blanks

  • Potentially illegal Keiser wine showed up for sale on Wine.Com,  Vivino and reviews on Cellar Tracker in 2017

  • Moynihan’s wine existed – But the existence of licenses from state and federal governments are equivocal or missing

  • Legality of Merchant23’s business model implementation up in the air – Calif ABC

  • How the Moynihan/Keiser wine production system worked

  • Angelini Trading pulled into Moynihan’s orbit

  • Scotto Cellars and Eagle Rock Investments/Vineyards step up as reliable partners

  • Keiser Wine COLAs Unobtainable via standard TTB searches

Court documents available for Wine Executive News premium subscribers

  • Moynihan Indictment
  • Moynihan conviction/judgment
  • Moynihan arraignment
  • Moynihan arrest warrant

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