Minnesota Man Accused of Stealing Thousands of Dollars by Putting Cheap Wine Labels on Expensive Bottles

Faces felony charge of theft by swindle
Wine Bottles

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Burnsville, Minnesota, business alleges it lost over $2,500.

A 42-year-old man from Lakeville, Minnesota, faces a felony charge of theft by swindle, as he is accused of swindling a business out of thousands by putting cheap wine labels on expensive bottles.

The incidents, which allegedly occurred between November 18, 2015 and January 7, 2016, cost the Burnsville business a total of $2,591.80, according to a complaint.

CBS Minnesota details one instance in which the man, Clinton Patterson Balfanz, purchased four bottles of wine for $9.99 each, however two of the bottles were valued at $79.99 and the other two cost $84.99.

Surveillance footage showed Balfanz tampering with and replacing bar codes. The police got a search warrant for his house and business, and found hundreds of bottles of wine in his home, as well as sheets of bar codes.

Balfanz faces up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine if convicted.

Check out our roundup of the 25 best wine lists in America.

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