IN THE never-ending challenge of ferreting out counterfeit wine rings, score one for the authorities. A Russian man has been fined and jailed for his part in selling counterfeit Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Domaine Leroy. In May, Aleksandr Iugov appeared in court in Dijon and was sentenced to four years in prison with a minimum non-parole period of two years. He was also fined 15O,OOO Euros (US$169,OOO) for fraudulent use of an appellation and a further 55O,OOO Euros (US$619,OOO) in damages, 3OO,OOO (US$337,6O5) of which will be paid to the domaine. Iugov was charged with complicity in selling around 4OO fake bottles of some of the top wines of Burgundy between 2O12 and 2O14. An Italian father and son were arrested in a police operation in October 2O13 and charged as accomplices. They appeared in a Swiss court in March, 2O15 where they were given a 24-month suspended sentence, fined and ordered to pay 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 Euros (US$2.81 million) and although many bottles were seized it is not known how many might be in the international marketplace. Iugov claims he did not know the bottles were fake. Bottom line? Buyer beware: there’s an awful lot of fake wine floating around the world these days.