Russian wine fraudster jailed in France

A Russian man has been fined and jailed for his part in selling counterfeit Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Domaine Leroy.

Aleksandr Iugov appeared in court in Dijon yesterday (15 May) and was sentenced to four years in prison with a minimum non-parole period of two years. He was also fined €150,000 for fraudulent use of an appellation and a further €550,000 in damages, €300,000 of which will be paid to the domaine.

Iugov was charged with complicity in selling around 400 fake bottles of some of the top wines of Burgundy between 2012 and 2014.

Two accomplices, an Italian father and son, were arrested in a police operation in October 2013. They appeared in a Swiss court in March 2015 where they were given a 24-month suspended sentence, a €5,000 fine and ordered to pay a further €440,000 in damages.

Seven people altogether were arrested in the Europol operation, which spanned five European countries. The value of the Burgundy faked by the counterfeiters was put at €2.5 million and although many bottles were seized it is not known how many might have found their way onto the international marketplace.

Iugov said he did not know the bottles were fake and denied any connection between himself and the Italian pair.

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