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Criminal Justice

Fake Wines Get FBI’s Attention, Draw Lawsuits

Posted Dec 21, 2007 11:51 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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The FBI in Chicago is hot on the trail of those producing and allegedly selling counterfeit wine, some of which has sold to collectors for more than $100,000 per bottle.

The Chicago Tribune reports the wine is being sold primarily at auctions. Investigators have expanded their probe nationally, focusing in part on a 1921 Bordeaux from France's Chateau Petrus vineyard that can attract a $75,000 price.

During the last 18 months, well-known wine collectors have been suing dealers and auction houses, complaining that they are peddling fakes, the Tribune notes.

One of the suits involves allegations that wine that sold for $100,000 per bottle—supposedly rescued from Thomas Jefferson's stocks in 1780s Paris—was fake.

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