Allegrini 2018

Wine and counterfeiting, international fraud against Sassicaia of Tenuta San Guido

The Italian Finance Police has arrested 2 people (11 are under investigation), found guilty of a millionaire scam against the iconic wine of Italy

The great wines of the world have long been in the sights of great enthusiasts and collectors, but also of wrongdoers and fraudsters. No exception is made for Sassicaia, a mythical wine and icon of Italy in the world, born in the San Guido Estate led by the Incisa della Rocchetta family, a jewel in a bottle born from the mind of Marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta and the oenologist Giacomo Tachis (the first vintage on the market was 1968, ed), which ended up in the middle of an international scam pulled off by the Italian Finance Police in Florence, which, in the operation called “Bad Tuscan”, arrested two people, and eleven others are under investigation, responsible, according to the investigators, for a round of fake bottles of “Doc Bolgheri Sassicaia” of different vintages between 2010 and 2015, also celebrated by Italian and international critics, which would have yielded an illegal gain of 400. 000 euros per month. In the order issued by the Preliminary Investigations Judge, reported the press agencies, it is noted that “there is also the aggravating circumstance of the stable organization, since the activities observed are carried out in a systematic manner, i.e. with a stable and not occasional character, as well as in an organized manner, with prearranged medium-term planning and with a view to further development, for the future, for the positive outcome achieved”.
The purchase of the wine used to make the product, they reconstructed the investigators of the Italian Finance Police, came from Sicily; the bottles, instead, came from Turkey and the production of labels, caps, cases and tissue paper was focused in Bulgaria. The counterfeit wine bottles falsely reproduced the original holograms and hallmarks and were sold internationally. In the course of the investigations, carried out for over a year by the soldiers of the Company of Empoli, at the end of September, 80,000 counterfeit pieces were seized in the province of Milan, including labels, bottles, caps, wooden cases that could be used to make 1,100 cases of Sassicaia 2015, for a total of 6,600 bottles, whose market value, if the product had been original, would have been close to 2 million euros. The timeliness of the intervention allowed, among other things, to intercept the delivery of an order of 41 cases of Sassicaia 2015 already packed and ready to be sold.
From what emerged, the production and sale of the parallel illicit market amounted to 700 cases of counterfeit wine per month, for a total of 4,200 bottles, with an estimated illicit revenue of around 400,000 euros. According to the investigative reconstructions, several clients including, in particular, Koreans, Chinese and Russians had already placed orders for a thousand cases while a small part would have been destined to the national territory.
Inside the warehouse used for the illegal activity, the two arrested were responsible for the bottling, the affixing of labels and tissue paper on the bottles and the subsequent assembly of the case. Simultaneously with the execution of the arrest orders, searches were also carried out against four other subjects, believed to be collaborators of the two arrested in the placing of the product on the market. A similar activity was carried out against a fifth person, who had procured the wine to be decanted into the empty bottles imported from Turkey. At the moment, eleven persons are under investigation who, for various reasons and in various ways, the investigators believe that they took part in the production and marketing of the counterfeit wine.

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