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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Napa Winery Owner Executes Investor!

Napa Winery Owner Executes Investor

Businessman chased through a vineyard and shot dead by his partner after a dispute over money turned deadly.

It sounds more like a Hollywood movie than a sunny afternoon in pristine Napa Valley – a man, shot once already, runs through a vineyard screaming for help on his cellphone while his business partner chases him in an SUV, shooting at him the whole time.
Emad Tawfilis, 48, made it to the road Monday and could see sheriff's deputies arriving. But Robert Dahl got out of his black Toyota SUV, walked up to Tawfilis, and shot him in the head, killing him.
Dahl, 47, got back in his SUV and raced up State Road 29, the main tourist strip in Napa Valley, with deputies in pursuit by car and helicopter, according to Napa County Sheriff's Office. Dahl made a sharp turn onto a smaller mountain road, crashed through the gate of a private residence and drove into the woods. By the time deputies caught up with his car, he had shot and killed himself.
The murder-suicide happened during a break in a business meeting between the two men. Dahl, whose business ventures in Napa were failing one by one, was being sued by Tawfilis over an unpaid loan, and had been accused by him of fraud. Earlier this month Dahl lost several court judgments and he faced a hearing next week on 18 counts of contempt of court.
The two men met at 11am Monday at Dahl Vineyards winery in Yountville, with their lawyers participating by conference call. At 11.30am, Dahl's attorney asked for a break. Less than 20 minutes later, Tawfilis called 911, saying he had been shot and was being chased.
Tawfilis' firm, Lexington Street Investments, had loaned $1.2 million for use by Dahl's Minnesota-based Patio Wine Co., but Tawfilis' lawsuit claimed Dahl had used the money for other businesses.
Dahl moved to Napa Valley from Minnesota, and opened a custom crush winery in Napa – it made "Mangria" for comedian Adam Carolla – a craft brewery and brewpub in Napa and Dahl Vineyards in Yountville, site of the murder.
Dahl Vineyards appeared to still be open before the events Monday. The custom crush winery, California Shiners, closed some time after Napa County cited it for code violations in 2013. The beer business, Napa Point Brewing, closed its brewpub in May 2014 and stopped brewing beer shortly thereafter.

"He seemed like a good guy"
Greg Knittel, Dahl's former partner in Napa Point Brewing, told Wine Searcher: "There were times when I first started working with him that he seemed like a good guy, seemed like a straight shooter. As time went on, that changed. He became a self-serving person, a control freak, and a tyrant to those who worked for him, including his family. His wife and kids do not deserve this. The victim, Emad, was a very nice guy. He did not deserve this."
Knittel said that Dahl was "one of the most charismatic guys I've ever met. But I came to find out he was crooked. I found out late that he had a prior history of illegal, dishonest business dealings. We're still looking for assets that he had taken and sold illegally. Anybody that he worked with, he took advantage of. Even his close friends. His back was to the wall and he was going to be exposed as a con artist."
Court papers filed by Tawfilis indicated that Dahl had a record of fraud in Minnesota, where he was in the chemical manufacturing business. Dahl denied that accusation, but he was facing potential charges in Napa County of fraud, money laundering and illegal collateral sales, according to Wine Industry Insight.

Source: http://www.wine-searcher.com/