Baldi arrested: Accused embezzler nabbed in California

Former Bel Rio Restaurant owner Jim Baldi, who has been on the run since July 2010 after police issued a warrant for his arrest on a felony embezzlement charge, has been arrested in California.

"This was a joint investigation by Albemarle County Police and the U.S. Marshals Service that led to his arrest," says Albemarle County Police Sgt. Darrell Byers, "Baldi is awaiting extradition."

Following a July 20, 2010 story in the Hook, which delved into the circumstances surrounding Bel Rio’s sudden closure and Baldi’s disappearance, the long-time local bookkeeper, bartender, and restaurateur became the subject of a number of local news stories. According to police, Baldi, who turned 49 on August 13, embezzled money from WK Foods and Proffitt Management between November 2009 and July 15, 2010.

According to Byers, Baldi was arrested on January 4 in San Francisco. He declined to release any details of Baldi's arrest, and says the extradition process is underway.

That process, says Hook legal analyst David Heilberg, could take as long as six months if Baldi refuses to waive extradition. If he does waive, Heilberg says, "they can come out and get him on the next plane."

 

This story is a part of the The Jim Baldi story special.
Read more on: Jim Baldi

84 comments

Bad boys! Bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you!

can we not stop for a moment and feel mr. baldi's pain and angst .
did his mother raise her voice at young Jim, or say no to that pair
of bass loafers he wanted so much.?
did the people he scammed for money not understand the emotional distress
jimbo was under ?

jimmy maybe we at city council can direct you to the social services you need that
will help you get on the right track.

after all we are a "city of second chances "

any any all criticism of you as we like to say at council "is not helpful "

can we have a jimmy fund , just for you ??

But the chicks he ran with were pretty hot.

oh, SNAP!

Déjà vu! I extradicted a young man from California on or around 1986. He had bought a new home out there, gotten married (cute girl) and had landed a real nice high paying job. He had really straightened his life out. Got him back to Charlottesville on a two bit felony, no jail time given, and ruined it all for him again. So sad! Oh well...... I guess the wheels of justice have to turn!

What ever happened to the blonde girl he went on the run with?

Leave it GSOE it make this story about GSOE-

Nobody will get paid and Va. will pay for bringing him back, far more than anyone will get out of the case. And Baldi will serve little jail time. So what will it all be worth in the end? Maybe that's what Gassy means. It's just a chickenshlt money case when all's said and done, and nobody owed money will see a dime..The state will spend more on jet fuel bringing him back than the entire case is worth.

A former accountant stole money, ran from the cops, left his partners high & dry and there are actually people here who are worried about the cost of bringing him to trial?

Um no- he needs to answer for his crimes and his cowardice

I think we ought to turn this over to the Dialogue on Race so that discussions on second chances can be fully aired with Believers and Achievers.

Where is Kristian Throckmorton? Did they find her, too? I hope she is safe and on her way home to her parents.

Angel Eyes, that is exactly what will happen.

It's disturbing that "Here's the good news" wants to make the thread about me. It's not my fault I have lived such an exciting life and can relate to so many stories here.

FYI: Ms. Throckmorton returned to her family a few weeks after Mr. Baldi initially disappeared.

Only GSOE can make a comment about how he turns any thread about him and then finds it "disturbing" that I would want to make the thread about him-cognitive dissonance we have found your poster boy.
Narcissus has got nothing on GSOE. Come to think about that's exactly what what Baldi and GSOE have in common.

Sorry dear, Sigmund Freud claimed healthy narcissism exists in all individuals.

Gasbag is right. That's why I spent so much time as a teenager in the bathroom with the door locked.

R.I.P.: Onan

Gasbag is right. That's why I spent so much time as a teenager in the bathroom with the door locked.

R.I.P.: Onan

Way to call it Good News. GSOE has to make it all about himself and criticize all that he feels in his own mind has wronged him. Everyone knows his best and most exciting times were spent asleep in the baliff's chair. That must have been where he dreamed up his fictional adventures.

I guess you have the Lance Armstrong / Barry Bonds version of "healthy" your Id is much larger than your super ego. Healthy narcissism does not exist in all individuals btw- you may have what Is known as destructive narcissism.
But enough about you -Baldi really is a textbook destructive narcissist. His defense will interesting to watch.

Some of you can't stay on topic, can you? YOU have to repeatedly make threads here revolve around Gasbag. We're discusing Baldi, his crimes and extradition. The good, bad and ugly of extradition is what I commwented on. Most of the time the end result is not worth the means.

Me thinks some of you are just jealous because Gasbag had an all expense paid trip to Santa Cruz, California first class. On your dime! Get over it, folks. Or else I am going to stray off topic and discuss the cute babe I hooked up with at a nightclud while there. (I had to pay for her drinks, couldn't put that on the city tab!)

At the end of the day the Commonwealth won't do any more to Baldi than they did to the guy I brought back from California.

Some of you can't stay on topic, can you? YOU have to repeatedly make threads here revolve around Gasbag. We're discusing Baldi, his crimes and extradition. The good, bad and ugly of extradition is what I commwented on. Most of the time the end result is not worth the means.

Me thinks some of you are just jealous because Gasbag had an all expense paid trip to Santa Cruz, California first class. On your dime! Get over it, folks. Or else I am going to stray off topic and discuss the cute babe I hooked up with at a nightclub while there. (I had to pay for her drinks, couldn't put that on the city tab!)

At the end of the day the Commonwealth won't do any more to Baldi than they did to the guy I brought back from California.

Gasbag, why do you constantly take comments off track and make the story about yourself time and time again? You really need to get a clue. Your story was interesting once, a long time ago, but now you just make yourself look more and more pathetic. Give it up or start your own freaking blog. That way anyone who cares to could get a daily dose of your brilliance and those of us who don't feel the need can finally be free of it.

My story? This is the first time I have ever mentioned going to Santa Cruz, California and returning a prisoner to Charlottesville. What is it you're reading between the lines? Or are you suffering from type of mental block where you're just adding all my previous comments over the years into this discussion as if it is what I have actually done? If you don't like my joining in discussions, skip over my comments. It's that simple, hon.

Your first comment in this thread and even you couldn't stay on topic. It's actually funny how a few of you Gasbag haters sit by the keyboard just waiting to pounce at any opportunity to do so. Get over yourselves.

Have you go anything to add about Baldi, his crimes or his extradiction?

Gasbag just hating that Baldi was nailing chicks that will not even look at him.

*typo -- Have you goT anything to add about Baldi, his crimes or his extradiction?

Baldi will do time- much more because he ran. Will the money get paid back?- probably not. Lack of money and avoiding prison is why Baldi ran. If he had stayed and thrown himself on the mercy of the court, Baldi would probably be out by now. I would like to know how that caught him. Probably something innocent like a traffic stop but we'll just wait and see.

nobody cares about your trip to Santa Cruz GSOB and they didn't most certainly didn't send you first class (although some law dogs are upgraded for free on flights at the airport but that's not the same a "sticking it to the taxpayer") - most prisoner transport on commercial flights are given the last row in coach and it's usually nonviolent types like Baldi. Nightclud? what's that? Is that a sound that is not quite a clunk, yet not quite a thud made a night. Is that code for a hooker on a street corner?

Jimi, I gave up chicks. I am an old man now. :)

Having a badge and gun for many decades, don't ever assume I went without. Cops have to scrap chicks off the front fenders while on duty. Like moths to a flame, bugs to the windshield. I never knew a cop who didn't have 4 or 5 girls fighting over him at any given time. They're called "badge bunnies" and "fender lizards" for a reason.

Okay, now folks, don't make me have to start deleting....keep it on topic. Thanks!

Windbag, ...please... please... please... forgive me for the typo, NIGHTCLUB. I feel pretty good that I got it right in the second duplicate post that showed up.

The Hook is having trouble with replies posting again. I try to correct typos while they sit there and are not being posted in a timely fashion. I will try to do better in the future. BLT, beer and potato chips were responsible for the NIGHTCLUB typo. Yeah, that's my tale, and I am sticking to it!

Here's a fun cool fact for the day too..... Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteers be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm, eevn with a typo. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Dave, are you aware that there are posting problems again? I talked to Hawes about a month ago and it got fixed for a while. It seems to be back now.

while i personally have no problem with seeing GSOE's posts, the rest of you do realize that by replying to him and then continuing to engage him, you're doing what's called in internet language "feeding the troll"?

if you don't like what he posts, ignore him and move on. it's really that simple.

now back to the topic at hand - more juicy details about baldi please!!!

Baldi needs to face the music for stealing the music from Belmont . He will spend a few years figuring out that he's not above the law .

GSOE needs to a clue- way to nail him fellow poster
Sorry Dave you can delete me if that's too harsh but "I didn't start the fire!"

Damn, and here I thought this conversation was about me.

/learn to internet, Hook.

It's amazing how many names post from one IP address. Like do all you people work at the same building using the same server or what?

And Baldi, I'n not the one who called you a crook. I don't even know the person who called you a crook. I probably wouldn't even like the person who acused you of being a crook. But what I do want to know, who accused you of being a CPA? :)

Look guys, I can save your business too!! I'll prey on the stupid, it kind of makes sense if you think about it. Send me your payroll, and I'll take a look.

Gasbag, I call total BS. I know where to find you and will personally come by and hand you a $10 bill if you can tell me my IP address.

"Baldi needs to face the music for stealing the music from Belmont ."

Too bad so many of the other local businesses and musicians stood to be counted with him. Maybe next time they will learn it was enver about the music, it was about the conduct.

also curious, my statement above stands.....

And I certainly don't need your $10.

You are completely full of it gasbag. You don't know a thing about who posts from what ip address. You just want to pretend that you have a single antagonist who wants to annoy you when in fact you obviously have a wide range of fellow posters who would love to see the end of your off topic self serving posts that add nothing to the discussion.

Baldi has been charged with crimes that had an impact on many local residents. He has now been captured and I'm happy to see that he will face trial in this state for those crimes. As someone who knows a few people whose businesses have been the victims of embezzlement, I've seen up close what a devastating impact it can have. Regardless of whether any money might be recovered in this particular case, punishment does act as a deterrent and if found guilty Baldy should face punishment if only to discourage others from acting in a similar fashion.

Reports are he escaped the feds one time in Chicago after being caught? We are not going to have some crook accountant who may have also escaped from custody once, not worth the gas to bring him back vs. anyone in the hood not doing well who go down for less.

also curious, I see the problem now. You know these people who were cheated out of money. You've seen the devastation it has created. And you think Baldi should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No wonder my very first reply in this thread has upset you so much! But the reality in my very first reply in this thread,, whether it upsets you or not, does not make it self serving or off topic. Suck it up, buttercup! Maybe the next thread here will be much kinder to you.

Gasbag is a MORON... He has nothing else to do all day except post to blogs such as this one. He thrives on aggravating people and getting responses to his moronic posts. Stop responding to him so he moves on.

Interested Party, can you add anything to the topic of discussion?

We're discussing Baldi, his crimes, and his extradition.

In advance, Thank You.

Ahhhh, too be fat, single, lonely and laughed at.... the sweet life.

I don't see anybody laughing at Baldi. Most of them think the death penalty is appropriate in his white collar crimes. I'm afraid they are going to be disappointed at trial. I also doubt that jail food for a few weeks is going to make him fat. Single and lonely is just temporary for him. He'll be back in the swing of things in no time. He does indeed have a lot of pretty girls hanging around with him all the time.

@C-ville's Human Rights Commission he was doing his dirt in Belmont. Those people do no have rights.

other than Bailee Hampton

Well, he got a good two and a half years of freedom before getting caught. That was way more than I thought he'd get away with. I was certain they'd catch him within the first month.

I doubt they were even looking for him. Most of the time these guys only get caught after they get pulled over for speeding or littering, and the system tells the cops the person is wanted in another state. This thing called a "joint investigation by Albemarle County Police and the U.S. Marshals Service" is just a self serving pat on the back by them.

Gasser, I don't really get what your point is in all this. Baldi was a scumbag, and while the few times I met him my hair stood on end, others fell for his spiel and were hurt for it. He also tortured a neighborhood that had retirees with nothing by SS, and jeapordized surrounding businesses.

Yes, he will serve real time in jail, and his bond will probably be at least half a million - if he gets it - because he is a known flight risk. If he is lucky he won't end up with the hardened criminals in the pen because they won't be very nice to him. Sometimes, society does win. I also want to see them go after the people who were hiding his whereabouts as accessories to crime. Might clean up more of the community as well.

Get over yourself.

Old Timer, my original point way at the top of the replies is that fact that the Commonwealth didn't do anything to the last guy I extradicted from California. His crimes were nothing more than theft and embezzlement. The only time he served was from the day he landed back in Charlottesville to the next day when his attorney requested a bond hearing. He wasn't considered a flight risk even though he had set up a new household in California. At the conclusion of his trial we all stood around scratching our heads and asking why we even disrupted his new life and brought him back from California.

I hate to see so many of you getting your hopes up over this case. If Baldi gets half of what he deserves, it will make history in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. These are white collar crimes..... not rape, robbery and murder.

he's been living in SF

If anyone pays attention to what actually happens to embezzlers, you'll know they rarely do hard time. Mostly on small scale cases (and this is one) they seldom serve more than time spent in detention, they receive a nominal sentence (usually mostly or wholly suspended), probation and a restitution order. While one would think failure to make restitution would be cause for revoking probation and sending the offender back to jail, this is actually not the case and most restitution is never made. This is not about whether that type of resolution is just; it's just the way these things play out.
And another thing: The fact that he was a fugitive won't matter much. If I recall, he left town before he was indicted and can claim he knew naught of it and just left to dodge creditors and make a fresh start free of the onus of a business failure. Gassy is on target about the authorities not actually looking for the guy. There are 2 ways people like him get caught, the first being as Gassy mentioned a random traffic stop, and the second being someone from Charlottesville traveling in SF and spotting him tending bar or whatever, then making the phone call. Once found, the legal machine has little choice in the matter; they have are obliged to go through the motions of bringing him back for trial. Anyone among you who nurtures the hope of seeing Baldi sent to rot for years in the "Sodomy Hilton" will find himself disappointed.
This is just the way things really work, right or wrong. A few years back a woman working as a bookkeeper for a well regarded local dealer in fine used Volvos and Subarus embezzled much more from them, was briefly jailed , then sentenced to probation and a restitution order. She never paid a thin dime, and this is not an outlier case, but is typical of the genre.

Angel, most of these people won't be back until Monday morning..... on the office computer and on company time. :)

Angel, very well said. But, most of these people won't be back until Monday morning..... on the office computer and on company time. :)

All those folks posting from the same ip address? At least they will be awake at work.

It's kinda hard to sleep between arriving at work, immediately going to the restroom for 20 minutes on company time, grabbing coffee before settling in, morning break, 90 minute to 2 hour lunch, another 20 minute restroom break on company time, more coffee, afternoon break, and finally packing up 15 minutes before it's time to go home! :)

The department I worked in had 9 full time employees. 4 of them lived the above schedule every day of the week. And between the breaks and bathroom runs all they did was sit around and chat. If I had ever learned how to brown nose and kiss (***), I could have been promoted and lived one of those schedules myself. Probably would have helped if my daddy was the sheriff too. Or if my daddy was a best friend of the sheriff.

Oh well, my bad, I am off topic now. No donut for me!

@Gasbag

Sounds like the schedule of my former colleague at City Hall who worked in a high up department. :/ Paid a nice salary to come in late every single day (and by late I'm talking anywhere from a half an hour to two hours), disappear from her desk for up to 45 minutes at a time to galavant around the building socializing, hour and a half to three hour lunches every day, excessive personal days off, excessive personal appointments that were used as an excuse to take the entire afternoon off, skipping out early before 5, and so many personal phone calls that there were times she was holding her cell phone in one hand and the landline phone in the other, juggling, since she was helping to run her boyfriend's personal business from work. And guess who was stuck filling in for this overpaid clown who was only at her desk about half the time she was scheduled? Moi. Management didn't care and never did a thing. Hence, why I don't work there anymore. ;)

Figured you could appreciate that story, since you seem to dislike both the City and County governments. I'll never work for a government entity again after what I personally witnessed.

ra ra ra, sounds like we were pretty much in the same boat. In the department I worked in, we had 5 employees doing all the work, and 4 goofing off all day long. The sad part about it was the 4 got credit and praise for the work the other 5 of us did.

But, we're just weeing in the wind. The majority of the taxpayers would never believe what we say. They would go so far as to say we are nothing but disgruntled former employees. But I am proud of my record. I had steadily increasing performane evaluations up the day I was fired. They just kept getting better and better until I finally messed in somebody's cheerios.

I've been around the block a few times. I know what will eventually happen to Baldi. The people here don't want to hear it either.

ra ra ra, sounds like we were pretty much in the same boat. In the department I worked in, we had 5 employees doing all the work, and 4 goofing off all day long. The sad part about it was the 4 got credit and praise for the work the other 5 of us did.

But, we're just weeing in the wind. The majority of the taxpayers would never believe what we say. They would go so far as to say we are nothing but disgruntled former employees. But I am proud of my record. I had steadily increasing performane evaluations up the day I was fired. They just kept getting better and better until I finally messed in somebody's cheerios.

I've been around the block a few times. I know what will eventually happen to Baldi. The people here don't want to hear it either..

Actually Gasbag I think a lot of taxpayers would believe it. While working there I was always accutely aware of the negative perception that the public had of my employer, and me by proxy. It added to the uncomfortableness. The mindset seems to be that government employees are overpaid slackers "feeding at the trough." And in many cases they are, so the public is right.

Anyway, back to Baldi!

Well, he will get a felony conviction on his permanent, adult life resume, which will remind him (and future employers) throughout his life the difference between right and wrong. There need to be consequences; you can't base a life on "what you can get away with".

ra ra ra, I'd like to contact you off line to discuss experiences with Jim, not on the blog. Is there a way to do that?

@ bj

I'm confused.....why would you want to discuss your experiences with Baldi with me? I don't know him personally and have no dealings with him. I just know of the story and made a comment, same as the other commentators, and then got sidetracked with Gasbag onto an off topic complaint against lazy government workers. Other than that, I can't see why anybody would want to be contacting me on the side to talk about their experiences with Baldi...

sorry, misread that you had worked with him. I've known him two years out here and am flabbergasted about the whole thing and wanted to speak with someone who knew him personally back in VA bec I can't right my impression of him with what is being written here! And by the way, the gal did not return to her family, she is here too with a different hair color.

@bj. Knew him in Cville as a customer of mine but not as someone who handled my money. When it all came out I was a bit caught off guard as well.

@bj, you say you knew him/them in SF? Did you know him as Jim Baldi and her as Kristian Throckmorton? From Virginia? Or were they living under different identities? He was doing the books and payroll for restaurants so would have had access to ssn#s and dob info so I'm guessing it would have been tempting to assume the identity of one of the employees of one of those businesses...

Hey, @BJ... I am so shocked that you ran into Jim first! I knew him in Charlottesville for many years, but have lived in SF for a while and never ran into him. If you want to talk about him, let's get together and compare notes!

Actually, @bj if you wanna email me confidentially, it's cdibartolosf@gmail.com.

bj - I'm really not sure how you would have misread what I wrote and took my quite obvious side complaint about government workers to mean that I worked with Jim Baldi. What I wrote was very clear. I don't know, you don't sound very bright. No offense. Anyway, whatever.

Hey ra ra ra -- I can't help but notice that you're a little reactive, aggressive and pushy -- and rude. Please, relax. Wow.

There is probably still residue of cocaine on those bathrooms there...allegedly!

Also, not entirely surprised he was found in San Fran..dude always was trying to be just a little too straight.

@sf19th

If you think that's aggressive and pushy you must not get out of the house very often.

It is a long standing Charlottesville tradition for much older men to open restaurants/bars, hire young and attractive female staff, and then have lots of sex with them. For most, it's the only reason they are in the business to begin with. Say what you will regarding monsieur Baldi's financial thievery, he was a very busy man with loosened belt in his short time in Charlottesville.

Angel Eyes and Gasbag are correct. Know of a local here who embezzled over $200K, found guilty, no jail time and is ordered to make restitution. Their current employer has no idea because they hired them prior to the charges and have not run a criminal check on them. No justice there IMO. Most businesses, entities and individuals just want their money back, but it was spent and having them out working to make restitution payments is better than sitting in jail. That is a reality.

Baldi can always start doing accounting again on his own, there are people out there who will not check into him.

Embezzling has serious ramifications. Friends of mine here in Cville operated a well-known small family business. Their office manager embezzled a huge amount of money and this caused a financial chain reaction that ended up with them losing their house. The embezzler didn't serve a day of jail time and she and her husband still have their home.

The victims of embezzlers are put in a horrible position of hoping they'll get some of their money back, and so they agree to go along with the idea of no jail time. Unfortunately, by the time any restitution comes along, it's often too late to save a home or business.

We'll see how embezzler Baldi is treated compared to someone who stole the same $$ amount of physical goods or money from a store, bank, or a house. There's really little difference in the crimes (theft is theft), but the sentencing isn't remotely comparable. Judging by some of the comments here, the public is willfully ignorant about the negative impacts this sort of crime has on the victims.

What Baldi did was extremely serious, not a matter for joking. His criminal behavior certainly wasn't a shock to the many Belmont residents who were subjected to his chronic lying. What makes me sick are the people out there who knew what he was up to with his creative "accounting," but didn't warn others.

I agree with Sabbath Lily and wanted to add that he brought down innocent people, too. The girl he talked into running away w/ him was from a good family and apparently half his age. Wonder what happened to her?

Since this is a developing story, I would encourage anyone who might have some specific knowledge/information about Mr. Baldi's life on the run to contact me. dave@readthehook.com or 434-295-8700, ext. 239. Thanks.

I'll say it again, only because dave mcnair got it wrong up top, and for those who think she was hurt or worse.... I'd like to add about "Christina"... She did not return to her family...she is alive and well, worked with him here, under assumed names, they are married (in that they both wear rings, operate under the same last name and introduce themselves that way, tho i doubt that it's legal, as they have assumed other identities). she probably knows all about his lies. Here He was extremely hardworking and well-liked. But as @ra ra ra continues to be an aggressive jerk ("no offense, anyway. Whatever") that's all I'm going to share.

Thank you to BJ for the information. I was just curious as to what was going on w/ the girl. Knew her a few years ago before she met Baldi, and figured it was something like you have described (assumed names, etc.) I hope she is well. Such a nice quiet girl, and like I said earlier, apparently from a good family.

Jim Baldi has ties to the Charlottesville community that date from the early 1990s. He has an ex-wife and 2 children who still reside in the area, and during his residence developed professional relationships with many business owners. If he 'preyed' on women, it was only in the way any man can prey on women -- by giving them his full and ardent attention (for a short while) and remaining silent about the various parts of his life that he had no intention of sharing.

By the way, Baldi had lived in San Francisco during his 'lost' youth -- no surprise he headed there again -- and was too busy enjoying his heterosexual pursuits to worry about what he was missing by not being gay.

Regardless of what people who do not know him say, he remains a complicated person who possesses a squishy sense of ethics. Odds are that he felt he was smarter than everyone else. Maybe if he'd gone for a bigger jackpot (like the Tour de France and the Nike endorsements), he would have gotten away with it. America loves BIG liars, not small town crooks.

Everything is funny when you have actual problems and not stupid shit like this. And, yes, it's funny. Best day of my life was when I left this stupid self-important town. With your stupid self-important ways. Squishy sense of ethics? Hahahahahahaha.

Mr Baldi, meet Bubba! Hes going to be your new roommate for a while. He loves long walks in the yard, watching others drop the soap in the shower, KY Intrigue, rap music, strip poker, and working out! He especially loves new guys from SF. Enjoy your stay!!