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Culture

Russian jailed for selling 400+ fake bottles of Romanée-Conti

media The cellar at Romanée-Conti Public domainRenzo Grosso

A Russian conman has been jailed for two years for selling more than 400 fake bottles of one of the world's most prestigious wines, the Burgundy grand cru Romanée-Conti.

A court in the Burgundian capital Dijon sentenced the Aleksandr Iugov to two years in prison with two years suspended on Monday for planning the fine wine scam.

It also fined him 150,000 euros and ordered him to pay 300,000 euros in damages with interest to the world-famous estate.

His two Italian accomplices, who did not appear in court, were not punished, having already been given two-year suspended sentences plus fines and payment of damages in Switzerland.

The fraud came to light in 2012 when several buyers contacted the winemaker over doubts as to the authenticity of bottles they had bought.

At least 400 fake bottles were produced, although the figure could be twice as high.

Romanée-Conti only produces 5-6,000 bottles a year.

They sell at 1,672 euros each at the estate, prices rising to 8,000 euros at wine merchants.

A bottle sold for 29,377 euros in Hong Kong in 2013.

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