Kurniawan’s wines will be sold to repay victims
Wines from convicted wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan’s private cellar are to be sold to repay the victims of his scams, who are owed in the region of US$30m.
As reported by Decanter.com, Maureen Downey, owner of wine authentication business Chai Consulting, has been asked to vet Kurniawan’s personal cellar in January for saleable non-fake wines.
Though unable to reveal any details of the wines, Downey described the collection as “amazing”.
Next March, Downey plans to launch subscription website WineFraud.com, which will offer advice on how to identify fake wines.
US officials hope Kurniawan’s wines can be sold to contribute towards the millions of dollars owed to his fraud victims who bought fake wines from the collector made in the kitchen of the LA home he shared with his mother.
The Indonesian-born collector was convicted a year ago on multiple counts of fraud and is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence. He has also been ordered to repay US$28.4m to his victims.
Kurniawan allegedly used quality wines as the base of his fakes to make them appear more authentic, luring collectors with the real thing at wine dinners before selling them knock-offs.
Up to 12,000 bottles of fake wine are believed to have been concocted by Kurniawan in 2006 alone, many of which were sold for vast sums at auction.
His victims included Andrew Hobson, chief financial officer of Univision Communications Inc, who paid around $3.1 million to Kurniawan for wine.
Another collector, David Doyle, co-founder of Quest Software Inc., reportedly spent $15.1m on Kurniawan’s fakes. Kurniawan is the first person to go to jail for selling fake wine in the US.