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Socialite Nabbed In Dom Perignon Sting Operation

November 15, 1985

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A socialite who bought what he thought were 10 cases of stolen Dom Perignon champagne from an undercover detective in a sting operation has been charged with dealing in stolen property, authorities say.

Clare Massey, 65, of Miami Beach, was arrested Wednesday, shortly after lunching with the Opera Guild, said police Sgt. Tom Hunker. Massey was released on $3,500 bond.

Ronald Dameron, 39, of Miami Beach, was charged as an accessory, he said.

Police began investigating in October after an informant told them Massey, a prominent philanthropist, was trying to buy stolen goods at a hotel in Miami Beach, Hunker said.

Hunker, who arranged a meeting with Massey and introduced himself as a diamond thief, offered to sell Massey $6,000 worth of Dom Perignon for $2,000 on Wednesday. When Massey agreed to the deal, investigators had to scramble to find enough champagne to fill the order, he said.

″It’s very hard, believe me, to get 10 cases of Dom Perignon in South Florida,″ he said. He finally got what he needed with the help of the Florida Department of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.

Massey, who is a member of the Surf Club, the Men’s Opera Guild, the Committee of 100, the Palm Bay Club and the Viscayans, could not be reached for comment.

″Mr. Massey refuses to speak to anyone,″ said a man who answered the telephone at Massey’s home and refused to identify himself.

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