LCBO employee denies seducing stripper with stolen funds

Francois Agostini seen in Rexdale Monday, October 7, 2013. (Stan Behal/QMI AGENCY)

Francois Agostini seen in Rexdale Monday, October 7, 2013. (Stan Behal/QMI AGENCY)

Sam Pazzano, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:57 AM ET

TORONTO -- A former long-time LCBO employee who plundered up to $2.7 million in cash and booze lavished criminal proceeds on a Romanian stripper in a bid to seduce her, his sentencing hearing was told Tuesday.

Crown attorney Grace Hession David said Francois Agostini, 59, deserves a "significant penitentiary sentence" for his greed-fuelled crime.

"He wasn't completely Robin Hood -- that couldn't be further from the truth," Hession David said.

The prosecutor told Justice Beverly Brown that Agostini gave $200,000 to stripper Ramona Elena Giurgiucanu, including wire transfers to her family in Romania, a car and $30,000 to "help with everyday living expenses."

"He had hoped things would develop to a higher level," said Hession David.

Agostini denied having an affair with the stripper saying he was simply helping "someone in financial straits."

He also helped another hard-luck stripper, paying $2,000 for her dog's operation and $1,000 in lunches, court documents indicated.

Agostini pleaded guilty last year to fraud over $5,000, admitting he cheated the LCBO from Nov. 12, 1998 to Dec. 29, 2011. Hession David added the loss ranged from $2.1 million to $2.7 million, but the prosecution fixed his payback total at $2.1 million.

The Crown said Agostini exploited his position of trust as the LCBO's only full-time employee of the company's diplomatic sales program in Toronto, which co-ordinated the sale of heavily discounted tax-free and duty-free liquor to foreign diplomats and consular officials.

Brown will sentence him on March 25.


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