Wine Fraudster Fakes 5M Euros of Italian Wine

Tuscany’s famed Brunello di Montalcino wines are the latest victims in a recent rash of wine forgeries around the world. According to Businessweek, the forger—a former wine consultant—was caught recently by Italy’s financial police after selling a massive amount of regular wine posing as Montalcino onto the wholesale market: the equivalent of 220,600 bottles to be exact. The liquid itself was equal to about 1 million euros worth of wine, but if the forger had sold it at Montalcino rates, it might have fetched 5 million euros.

Not only did the perpetrator fake the wines, but he stole seals and documents to “authenticate” his forgeries and then hacked into Tuscany’s agricultural department records to “document” his wines’ existence, but not before hacking into two producers’ accounts and trying to transfer himself 350,000 euros.

Investigators have ensured that none of the fake wine has been bottled or sold on the retail market. So rest assured, all the Brunello you’re drinking is the real deal. [Businessweek] [Photo: Flickr/Megan Cole]