The fraud, which dates back to 2014 and 2015, involved more than 600 hectoliters, or more than 80,000 bottles.

A Bordeaux merchant was sentenced at the end of October on appeal, to one year in prison for "deception" and "fraudulent use of protected designation of origin", according to a judgment of the Bordeaux Court of Appeal.

Vincent Lataste, winemaker and merchant in Cadillac (Gironde), will also have to pay a fine of 30,000 euros, including 20,000 suspended sentences while his trading company, Awesome (formerly Séquoia), has been fined 100,000. euros of which 50,000 suspended.

"Significant differences" between declared stocks and volumes actually held

The fraud concerns wine which was stored at Cadillac under appellations or vintages which could not be justified, with in particular "significant differences" between the stocks declared and the volumes actually held in bulk by Vincent Lataste's company.

At first instance, he was sentenced by the Bordeaux Criminal Court to six months in prison for “falsification”, “deception” and “fraudulent use (…) of an appellation of origin” relating to approximately 900 hectoliters of wine.

In its judgment, the appeals court acquitted him of the charge of forgery and of a small part of the charges of deception, but increased his prison sentence and the fine of his company, and upheld the damages- interest to be paid to the five civil parties (Confédération paysanne de la Gironde, Interprofessional Council for Bordeaux Wine, Federation of Great Bordeaux Wines, Federation of Bordeaux and Libourne Traders, INAO), amounts ranging from 1,000 to 8,000 euros .

Already convicted in a "moon wine" fraud case

Vincent Lataste had already been sentenced in 2016 to an 18-month suspended prison sentence for having served as an intermediary in a vast fraud involving "moon wine", an illegal mixture of wines usually transported at night.

"If he did not act in a state of recidivism", note the judges of appeal in their judgment, "he nevertheless reiterated the same fraudulent behavior within the framework of his trading activity;

the multiplicity of the acts of which he was guilty and his absence of amendment make it essential to pronounce a prison sentence, any other sanction appearing manifestly inadequate ”.

The court also ordered that his sentence be adjusted.


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