“Sour Grape” Wine Scammer Deported to Indonesia

Los Angeles (AP) —U.S. immigration officials say a Californian man was deported to his hometown of Indonesia after selling cheap liquor rebottled in the kitchen and billing wine collectors from millions. Said on Tuesday.

Rudy Kurniawan, 44, was deported last week on a commercial flight from Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport to Jakarta, according to a statement from the US Department of Customs and Immigration.

“He is a threat to public security as his felony conviction worsens,” the statement said.

Kurniawan came to the United States on a student visa in the 1990s. He failed to seek political asylum and was ordered to leave the country voluntarily in 2003, but officials said he remained illegal.

Kurniawan, whose family ran a beer store in Indonesia and gained wealth Convicted In 2013, he committed mail and wire fraud in federal court in New York and spent seven years in prison. He was deported after being released from prison for immigration control last November.

Prosecutors at the New York trial in Kurniawan, who are gaining public attention to the wine industry, put cheap Napa and Burgundy wines in counterfeit bottles at their homes in Arcadia, a suburb of Los Angeles, in hundreds between 2004 and 2012. He said he made 10,000 dollars.

This scheme is detailed in the March episodes of the 2016 Netflix documentary “Sour Grapes” and ABC’s “The Con.”

The Krniawan trial features testimony from billionaire yachtman, entrepreneur and wine investor William Koch, who was cursed by Kurniawan and tricked him into paying $ 2.1 million for 219 counterfeit wines. Said it was done.

Wine experts testified that 19,000 counterfeit wine bottle labels representing 27 of the world’s best wines were collected from the property of Kurnia One.

The 2012 FBI raid on the house also found hundreds of bottles, corks and stamps.

Kurniawan has built a reputation as a buyer and seller of rare wines and has won tens of millions of dollars at wine auctions. Other collectors called him “Doctor. His” Conti “who loved Burgundy wine, Domaine de la Romanée Conti.

At one auction in 2006, Kurnia One sold $ 24.7 million in wine. This is the highest ever for a single consignee.

However, plans began to be elucidated after some of the consignments he submitted to the auction turned out to be fake. In 2007, Christie’s auction house in Los Angeles pulled out a consignment of what appears to be the 1982 Château Pan Magnum after the company said the bottle was fake.

In 2008, 22 lots of Domaine Ponsotto wines worth more than $ 600,000 were withdrawn from sale in a question about their authenticity.

A bottle of Domaine Ponsotto, which Kurnia One tried to sell at auction in 2008, was handed over as manufactured in 1929, even though the winemaker did not start bottling real estate until 1934. .. Other bottles were claimed to have been bottled in a particular vineyard during 1945. 1971, even though Domaine Ponsotto said he didn’t start using the vineyard until 1982.

According to prosecutors, Kurniawan once commissioned more of the 1947 Château La Fleur Magnum to auction than it actually produced.

In total, Kurnia One may have sold as many as 12,000 counterfeit wines, many of which may still be in the collection.

Prosecutors said the money from the scams funded luxury lifestyles outside Los Angeles, including Lamborghini and other luxury cars, designer clothing, and fine food and drink. The government confiscated his property.

In his ruling, Kurniawan was ordered to pay $ 28.4 million in damages to seven victims and confiscate $ 20 million in property.