Calif. man set for hearing in wine warehouse fire

AP News
Posted: Nov 16, 2009 9:07 AM

A San Francisco Bay area wine keeper about to stand trial for a fire that destroyed a warehouse filled with 6 million bottles of wine has scheduled a change-of-plea hearing.

The October 2005 fire caused an estimated $250 million in losses at a warehouse in Vallejo, where bottles were stored for nearly 140 Napa Valley wineries and collectors.

Mark Anderson's trial is set to start Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento, but court documents show he's scheduled a plea hearing for Monday afternoon.

The 61-year-old Anderson pleaded not guilty in 2007 to 19 federal charges, including arson, mail fraud and tax evasion.

Prosecutors have said Anderson started the blaze to cover up a scheme in which he sold his clients' wine without their permission.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle.