Winery Part-owned By Devin Nunes Sued Over Cocaine and Prostitutes Yacht Party

A winery whose investors include Republican Devin Nunes faced a lawsuit over a charity yacht party that allegedly involved cocaine and sex workers.

Alpha Omega Winery, owned by Robin Baggett, was the subject of a 2016 lawsuit from employee Alene Anase, who claims she was asked to work aboard a cruise on San Francisco Bay in 2015 that had been auctioned off for charity.

During the yacht party, the lawsuit claims the 25 male auction winners, whom the lawsuit described as top investors in the winery, took what appeared to be cocaine and drew straws for sex workers, The Fresno Bee reported.

“Plaintiff realized that the men had brought prostitutes, hard liquor, and what appeared to be cocaine onto the Yacht. Plaintiff was extremely disturbed by the presence of the prostitutes, especially because it appeared that some of the girls were too young to consent to sexual activity,” the lawsuit claimed.

RTX4YSSI House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 24, 2018. Nunes is an investor in the Alpha Omega Winery. Reuters

Anase also said in the lawsuit that some of the men on the cruise commented that she should “provide services of a sexual nature” and that she was advised by a senior colleague to “lie low” and avoid the men.

At the end of the cruise, Anase claims the men lined up the sex workers “on the deck of the yacht, reviewed out loud and in detail the sexual services performed and paid them in front of Plaintiff.”

The company settled with Anase in 2016 for an undisclosed amount of money at the Napa County Superior Court.

In a statement reported by Wine Business in November 2016, Alpha Omega director of communications Kelly Carter said: "In August 2015, the yacht was used as part of an auction package purchased by a group of individuals who are not affiliated with Alpha Omega in any way. No one in the group had any personal or business connection to the winery or its owners, and no Alpha Omega staff knew anyone in the group. We refined our policies for the charitable donation of the yacht immediately upon learning of the incident and before a lawsuit was filed.”

In an email to the Bee from Carter, the winery maintained its investors were not involved in the management of the business. "Rep. Devin Nunes is one of a few friends (Baggett) invited to invest in the winery in 2005. None of the investors has ever been involved with the management of the company. Robin is the sole managing partner and ultimate decision maker at Alpha Omega," the email said.

"Robin has made a point to never mix politics with the business of Alpha Omega. Our business model is simple: grow great grapes, make great wine, hire great people and provide our customers with a great experience.”

Nunes did not respond to a request for comment.

According to the The Los Angeles TimesNunes is seemingly fond of investing in the wine industry, with stakes in Alpha Omega Winery and Phase 2 Cellars worth $100,000 combined.

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