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Italian Police Seize $400,000 Worth of Fake Moët Champagne

The bottles were actually filled with sparkling table wine.

Michael Filtz/Flickr

Handbags aren't the only luxury goods being counterfeited: Police in Italy have seized 9,000 bottles of fake Moët & Chandon Champagne estimated to be worth €350,000 ($382,000), reports The Guardian.

The illicit bubbly was discovered "in a shed in the countryside near Padova," a city in Northern Italy’s Veneto region. Police were tipped off to the faux Champagne when they discovered a bottle lacking a serial number during a separate investigation. An analysis revealed the bottles were filled not with proper French Champagne, but rather with inferior sparkling table wine. Police also reportedly discovered "eight people with criminal backgrounds" in the shed along with the wine, though it's unknown if any arrests have been made yet.

Big-label Champagne isn't the only wine that's subject to being counterfeited: Fraud is also rampant in the rare wine market. In 2013 wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan was found guilty of selling over a million dollars in "rare" wines that actually turned out to be blends of other wines re-bottled with fake labels; he is currently serving a ten-year prison term.

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