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Monday 20 October 2014

Kurniawan prosecutors call for 14 years

13th May, 2014 by Rupert Millar

Lawyers prosecuting convicted wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan have panned his defence’s plea for leniency and called for a jail term of up to 14 years.

Rudy copyTowards the beginning of the month the Indonesian national’s defence team hoped to find a sympathetic ear among the jury by portraying Kurniawan as a man desperate to please and who made the fake wine to impress friends and keep up with the fast set of “elite” wine collectors he found himself among.

Yesterday (Monday 12 May), the prosecution derided those claims saying Kurniawan was driven by a “lust” for money and attention which saw him splash out on art, fast cars, an enormous mansion in Beverly Hills and flights on private jets.

“Kurniawan’s sentencing memorandum is chock full of wholly unconvincing and blame-shifting excuses,” they claimed.
They also rubbished an apparent apology that Kurniawan wrote calling it insincere and that he was rather more “sorry that he was caught”.

They added further that, as Kurniawan kept bad records of his various transactions, the true amount of fake wine sold may top US$30 million rather than the $20.7m currently quoted.

They called for a prison term of 11 to 14 years as well as the division of Kurniawan’s remaining assets between those he defrauded despite his defence team’s assertion that he is too poor to pay.

Kurniawan will be sentenced on 29 May in New York, he was convicted of multiple accounts of fine wine fraud in December last year.

2 Responses to “Kurniawan prosecutors call for 14 years”

  1. Paula Tritt says:

    I see no difference between Kurniawan and other scam artist. He is scum and I don’t feel any leniency should be granted. Thirty million dollars isn’t a one-time deal, or something he got caught up in. It takes a manipulative and cunning person with disregard of consequences to sell fake wine to people that trusted him. Hopefully he will re-pay his some of his debt. And of he truly is too poor to pay well then I hope Karma has his number.

  2. David Boyer says:

    I agree with Ms. Tritt. I’m surprised to see, however, that the prosecution buckled to a reduced sentence of 11 to 14 years, when initially it could have been as long as 40. Kurniawan has almost singlehandedly changed the world of fine wine by devastating confidence in what used to be a stable market. He deserves a very long time behind bars in my opinion and like a toxic oil spill, his handiwork will not even be cleaned up in 11 to 14 years. To Judge Berman: the longer sentence, the better!

    David Boyer
    blog.classof1855.com

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