'Fake Chardonnay' director convicted

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  • Monday 16 August 2010

An Australian wine company has been fined more than A$350,000 (£200,000) for selling Chardonnay juice adulterated with Sultana grapes.

In one of the largest wine scams in Australia’s history, the former boss of Rivers Wine, Andrew Hashin, was convicted of selling Sultana juice to major wine companies including Hardy’s and Orlando, and claiming it was Chardonnay.

At the time, Chardonnay grapes were worth around four times more per tonne than Sultana.

Following an investigation by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, Hashim was convicted with 34 counts.

The company, which is now in liquidation, has now been fined more than $300,000 and Hashim has been ordered to pay $51,000 plus £58,00 in costs.

However Hashim is now bankrupt and cannot pay the fine.

The court said the crime had had serious effects on the Australian wine industry.

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