It's Jail Time for High-End Wine Heister

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By Courtney Cochran

Last year when I attended a gala release party for Verité Wines - a mega-high-end Sonoma property that's part of the Kendall-Jackson empire - I never imagined that the winery's directors would allow its wines to sell online at prices far below their stated retail price.  That's probably because the folks behind this critically acclaimed producer of elegant Bordeaux-style reds would never do such a thing - to do so would risk eroding the prestige of the brand and would almost certainly make it difficult to command full price for the wines elsewhere.

But, as it turns out, someone else would do such a thing - and did.  Illegally. 
Crime and Punishment
According to a report issued by the San Francisco Chronicle, that someone has just been handed a year's worth of jail time as punishment for stealing from KJ and posting the heisted Verité wines online for his own profit.  According to court documents, the culprit is 29-year-old Jordan P. Crass of Santa Rosa, a former customer service representative at Jackson's Windsor distribution center who used his knowledge of the company's inventory management systems to "cover up" thefts of at least $100,000 in wine (one estimate puts it closer to $200,000).  Apparently, the thefts went unnoticed until a marketing executive for Jackson Family Estates found the wines for sale on the Internet - and the scheme unraveled from there.

How's that for a sordid wine country tale?

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