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US marshals sell off Kurniawan wine

Thousands of bottle of wine from the personal cellar of fraudster Rudy Kurniawan is being sold off by the US Marshals Service after being declared genuine.

Fine wine labels, including Lafite and Petrus, found at Kurniawan’s house during the FBI search

Although Kurniawan was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2014 (a ruling he is appealing), nearly 5,000 bottles confiscated from his Los Angeles home when he was first arrested in 2012 have been judged to be genuine and will now be sold online to compensate those he defrauded – as was reported would be the case in December last year.

The wine sale follows that of ‘rip-off Rudy’s’ super cars earlier this month, where a black Lamborghini Murcielago, thought to be worth US$300,000, sold for just US$195,000 and a 2011 Mercedes Benz G-Class SUV went for US$85,000.

As reported by Meininger‘s, the US Marshals Service Asset Forfeiture Division worked with Stephanie Reeves and Michael Egan to authenticate 5,128 bottles of fine wine; 4,711 were found to be the real thing and the rest imitations.

The real wines will be sold via auction website starting on Tuesday 24 November, lots available include various vintages of Louis Roederer’s Cristal, six bottles of 1962 Margaux (US$1,275), double magnums of Léoville Las Cases, a magnum of 2002 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti (US$13,500), a case of 1976 La Mission Haut-Brion (US$850) and a bottle of 1959 Salon (US$870).

Arrested in 2012 after an FBI investigation into his (then) alleged counterfeiting, Kurniawan’s trial was closely followed by the wine world and featured witness cameos from collector Bill Koch and Burgundian producer Laurent Ponsot among others.

Found guilty on multiple accounts of fraud n 2013, Kurniawan was finally sentenced to 10 years in jail in the summer of 2014. He has appealed the sentence but it was rebuffed by a US attorney this July.

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