Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Ghanaian President Mahama concedes defeat to opposition leader Afuko-Addo

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's TV Career Continues

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

President Park Impeached, Ghana's High Stakes Election (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Aleppo Offensive, Renzi Resigns, Trump's Cards (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

South Korea: An inside look at the K-pop wave

Read more

#THE 51%

Diving back in: Offering support for French mothers returning to work

Read more

REPORTERS

Chaotic post-hurricane relief efforts in Haiti

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Cash crunch casualties: India's wedding industry suffers from currency changes

Read more

FOCUS

Ivory Coast faces uphill battle against counterfeit medicine

Read more

Americas

US wine dealer convicted over kitchen-bottled fakes

© Photo: AFP

Text by Sophie PILGRIM

Latest update : 2013-12-19

An Indonesian wine dealer based in Los Angeles who made millions selling "rare" counterfeit French wines to wealthy collectors was convicted of fraud in a New York court on Wednesday.

Rudy Kurniawan, 37, who became one of the world's most renowned rare wine dealers by peddling fake French vintages bottled in his kitchen to wealthy collectors, was convicted of mail and wire fraud for selling more than $1.3 million worth of counterfeit goods.

Kurniawan remained stoic but tense during the ruling, which was rendered by a Manhattan jury after less than two hours of deliberation.

“We were expecting a quick verdict,” Kurniawan's lead attorney, Jerome Mooney, told FRANCE 24.

Kurniawan was arrested in March 2012 at his home in Los Angeles, where FBI agents discovered masses of corks, stamps, bottles and a supply of inexpensive wine.

Prosecutor Joseph Facciponti described Kurniawan as “a prolific wine counterfeiter who in his home in California assembled everything he needed”.

He said Kurniawan spent money made from “his magic show” on luxury cars and designer clothes.

Kurniawan had been living in the US for over a decade at the time of his arrest. He left Indonesia because his Chinese family, which gained wealth distributing beer in Jakarta, allegedly suffered from “religious and ethnic” discrimination, according to Mooney, who described Kurniawan as a “hoarder” who only wanted to impress those in the exclusive circles that sought out his fine palate.

Mooney said his client was "disappointed" by the jury's decision and would appeal the verdict.

US District Judge Richard Berman has set sentencing for April 24.

Date created : 2013-12-18

  • EU-CHINA

    Angered by EU solar duties, China probes wine imports

    Read more

  • CHINA

    Europe's vintage wines grapple with Chinese fakes

    Read more

  • CHINA

    French wines fall victim to Chinese counterfeiting

    Read more

COMMENT(S)