Maryland Winery, Popular Wedding Venue, Closes Abruptly

NORTH EAST, Md. (AP) — A Cecil County winery run by a former Google executive awaiting sentencing on federal conspiracy charges has abruptly closed, leaving several couples planning weddings at the site in the lurch.

The Winery at Elk Manor distributed an email Tuesday saying it would be unable to continue operations because of circumstances beyond its control.

On Wednesday, Branch Banking and Trust Co. filed for a judgment against the winery and owners Simon and Gretchen Tusha, according to online court records.

Simon Tusha faces sentencing in January after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service.

Prosecutors said that while negotiating contracts for Google with data center companies in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, Tusha took bribes or kickbacks, failing to report more than $2.7 million on his tax returns.

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