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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Kurniawan sentence delayed again

29th May, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

The sentencing of convicted wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan has been postponed for a second time.

As reported by Wine Spectator, the sentence, which was due to be handed out today, has been postponed until July.

The WS cites one of the reasons for the hold up being the desire for further details on the extent to which Kurniawan duped and ripped off his victims.

Today’s hearing will now be devoted to questions for both the probation department and the prosecutors relating to the sentencing and restitution issues.

Still to be addressed is the prosecution’s request that Kurniawan’s estate, including two homes, three cars and a large amount of jewellery, be forfeited.

The prosecution has called for a term of 14 years along with a sum of $20.7 million based on what it estimates Kurniawan made from selling fake wine.

Federal District Judge Richard Berman is keen to question how the government arrived at its $20.7 million estimate.

Indonesian-born Kurniawan was found guilty on several counts of fraud by a New York Jury in December.

Between 2004 to 2012, the collector is believed to have manufactured 12,000 bottles of counterfeit wine, which he sold at auction.

Over the course of the trial the court heard how Kurniawan’s home in California was a “factory” for fake wine production, heard testimony from billionaire Bill Koch and Burgundian winemakers Laurent Ponsot and Aubert de Villaine. The 37-year-old faces up to 40 years in jail.

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