August 3, 2021

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Guy who offered tens of millions in counterfeit wine from Arcadia property is deported to Indonesia

A a single-time California man who bilked wine collectors out of thousands and thousands by marketing much less expensive booze he rebottled in his kitchen area has been deported to his indigenous Indonesia, U.S. immigration officials explained Tuesday.

Rudy Kurniawan, 44, was deported past 7 days on a industrial flight from Dallas/Fort Truly worth Global Airport to Jakarta, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.

“He is a public security risk since of his aggravated felony conviction,” the statement reported.

Kurniawan came to the United States on a university student visa in the 1990s. He unsuccessfully sought political asylum and was ordered to voluntarily depart the country in 2003 but stayed on illegally, authorities stated.

Kurniawan, whose spouse and children obtained wealth functioning a beer distributorship in Indonesia, was convicted of mail and wire fraud in 2013 in a New York federal court docket and expended 7 many years in jail. He was deported immediately after currently being unveiled from jail into immigration custody very last November.

In a community black eye for the wine marketplace, prosecutors at Kurniawan’s New York demo mentioned he designed tens of millions of pounds from 2004 to 2012 by placing fewer-expensive Napa and Burgundy wines into counterfeit bottles at his residence in the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia.

The scheme was recounted in the 2016 Netflix documentary, “Sour Grapes,” and in a March episode of ABC’s “The Con.”

Kurniawan’s trial showcased testimony from billionaire yachtsman, entrepreneur and wine trader William Koch, who said he was conned and cheated by Kurniawan into paying $2.1 million for 219 pretend bottles of wine.

A wine professional testified that 19,000 counterfeit wine bottle labels symbolizing 27 of the world’s very best wines were gathered from Kurniawan’s house.

An FBI raid on the residence in 2012 also turned up hundreds of bottles, corks and stamps.

Kurniawan built a name as a purchaser and seller of rare wines and netted tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars at wine auctions. Other collectors dubbed him “Dr. Conti” for his like of a Burgundy wine, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

In one particular auction in 2006, Kurniawan sold $24.7 million of wine, a record for a single consignee.

Nevertheless, the plan began to unravel following several consignments he submitted for auction were being uncovered to be phony. In 2007, Christie’s auction residence in Los Angeles pulled a consignment of what was meant to be magnums of 1982 Château Le Pin soon after the organization said the bottles were being bogus.

In 2008, 22 plenty of Domaine Ponsot wine valued at extra than $600,000 ended up pulled from a sale amid queries about their authenticity.

A person bottle of Domaine Ponsot that Kurniawan tried to provide at auction in 2008 was passed off as possessing been produced in 1929, even nevertheless the winemaker did not get started estate bottling right up until 1934. Other individuals ended up billed as owning been bottled at a specific vineyard concerning 1945 and 1971, even though Domaine Ponsot reported it did not get started making use of that winery until eventually 1982.

Kurniawan also once consigned to an auction far more magnums of a 1947 Château Lafleur than were being actually made, prosecutors said.

In all, Kurniawan may well have sold as a lot of as 12,000 bottles of counterfeit wine, numerous of which could nonetheless continue being in collections.

Prosecutors mentioned dollars from the fraud funded a lavish way of living in suburban Los Angeles that provided a Lamborghini and other luxurious autos, designer clothes and wonderful food stuff and beverages. The governing administration seized his property.

At his sentencing, Kurniawan was requested to pay $28.4 million in restitution to seven victims and to forfeit $20 million in house.