The former managing partner of companies that oversaw The Bridge Fine Wines and Beer in New Milford and Town Line Wine in Stratford has admitted he took about $322,500 without first obtaining permission from his minority shareholders.

Peter Turner, 57, of Burlington, who headed Two Buck Ring LLC, which owned the New Milford store, pleaded guilty Friday, Nov. 1, to wire fraud during proceedings before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport.

The federal sentencing guidelines call for Turner to receive a sentence ranging from 21 to 27 months in prison.

However, the plea bargain allows for his lawyer, Hubert Santos, to seek a one-day prison sentence and probation.

He will be sentenced Jan. 24 by U.S. District Judge Michael Shea in Hartford.

Santos and his client contend a large portion of the money has been repaid.

"What I did was improper," Turner said.

He said if he had told his minority shareholders he was borrowing the money they would have "more than likely voted" to permit it.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Morabito said Turner wrote checks to himself and spent some of the money remodeling his home.

-- Michael Mayko