|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Friday, October 21, 2016
|US judge jails star wine forger for 10 years|
Maureen Downey (L), a wine consultant who was a government witness for the sentencing, speaks with defence lawyers Jerome H. Mooney (C) and Vincent S. Verdiramo (R) outside US Federal Court after the lawyers client Indonesian-born wine dealter Rudy Kurniawan was sentenced to 10 years in prison August 7, 2014 in New York. Kurniawan was found guilty last year of of fraud by blending fake vintage wine in his kitchen and selling countless bottles to wealthy clients. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA.
By: Mariano Andrade
NEW YORK (AFP).- Disgraced wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday after he was found guilty of manufacturing fake vintages and selling them for nearly $30 million.
The Indonesian-born 37-year-old, once considered one of the top five wine collectors in the world, was convicted in December of blending hundreds of bottles in his kitchen and selling them as rare vintages.
"This was a very serious economic fraud, a manipulation of US and international markets," said Judge Richard Berman.
Donning glasses and blue prison garb, Kurniawan was motionless as he heard his fate.
"I'm very sorry for what I have done," he muttered in an almost inaudible voice.
The judge identified seven victims to whom Kurniawan must pay a total of $28.4 million for losses incurred due to the sale of counterfeit wines.
It has been an astonishingly fall from grace for a man who came to the United States 20 years ago on a student visa and climbed to the pinnacle of the exclusive world of vintage wine.
He built his success on an exceptional palate, capable of identifying and memorizing the world's finest wines beloved by the richest people on the planet.
But he was found guilty on December 18 of defrauding buyers and collectors from 2004 through 2012 by selling counterfeit bottles of purportedly rare and expensive wine.
Needed to be accepted
Prosecutors branded him an arch liar motivated by greed, a man who made millions of dollars selling more than 1,000 bogus vintages blended in the California home he shared with his Chinese mother.
It was in this home, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, that thousands of labels for the finest Burgundy and Bordeaux wines were found.
There were full bottles waiting to be labeled, with investigators also coming across intricate formulae on how to concoct vintage-tasting wine by blending a mixture of far cheaper wines.
Over the course of the proceedings against him, prosecutors also said Kurniawan's penchant for fast cars, designer watches and contemporary art collections was built on an elaborate and years-long lie.
They reiterated that stance Thursday.
"Your honor, fraud is fraud. And the defendant carried it out for years. He did it for money," prosecutor Stanley Okula told the judge.
The defense, however, contended that Kurniawan's actions stemmed from an extreme lack of confidence.
"He did what he did because he was very insecure," argued attorney Jerome Mooney. "He needed to be accepted, recognized."
The allegations against Kurniawan arose over an April 2008 auction in New York where he had offered 97 purported bottles of Domaine Ponsot for sale for between $440,500 and $602,000.
But French expert Laurent Ponsot, of the acclaimed Domaine Ponsot winery, became suspicious and flew to New York to ensure that auction house Acker Merrall & Condit withdrew the lot.
After allegedly trying to sell more dubious wine at auction in London via an intermediary in 2012, Kurniawan was arrested in March of that year.
After less than two hours of deliberations in December, a New York jury had also convicted him of fraudulently obtaining a $3 million loan.
The two convictions carried a maximum sentence of 20 years each.
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
August 9, 2014
New Aspen Art Museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public
Piano Nobile unveil a newly re-discovered work by Walter Sickert Celebrations, Dieppe, 1914
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art launches 82nd & Fifth app in 12 languages
Once-in-a-lifetime Piero di Cosimo retrospective premieres at National Gallery of Art in 2015
Robots created by Harvard and MIT researchers can fold themselves, walk away
Mauro Pallotta, creator of Super Pope, opens first solo UK exhibition at Le Dame Art Gallery
Nienke Bakker appointed Curator of Van Gogh Paintings at the Van Gogh Museum
Last chance to see Ryoji Ikeda's spectra at Victoria Tower Gardens in London
Freeze Frame: An exhibition of new works by Ewerdt Hilgemann opens at Magnan Metz
Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern masterpieces for sale at Bonhams in London
Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents open-air sculptures by artist Marc Quinn
Project-based exhibition of Matthew Ronay's meditative daily drawings on view at Andrea Rosen Gallery
Launch of international competition to design a new multipurpose arena for Bristol
Celebrate 70 years of Smokey the Bear at the Chrysler Museum of Art
US judge jails star wine forger for 10 years
Chuck Ginnever's Rashomon goes on the road, again
French singer Yvette Giraud, big in Japan, dies aged 97
The Belo Collection of Texas art comes to Heritage Auctions
Outstanding British and ancient coins highlight Heritage Auctions' Long Beach events
New Museum and Rhizome to co-present 'First Look' a series of projects showcasing art on the net
Shaun in the City Art Trail comes to London and Bristol in 2015
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- New light shines on Sandro Botticelli masterpieces at Florence's Uffizi Gallery
2.- Cincinnati Art Museum's Van Gogh exhibition brings guests Into the Undergrowth
3.- Degas retrospective debuts in the U.S. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
4.- Special exhibition features large-scale photography by Richard Mosse & Edward Burtynsky
5.- Nobel panel gives up knockin' on Dylan's door
6.- An unprecedented, international-loan exhibition of works by Claude Monet is at the Kimbell Art Museum this fall
7.- Exhibition at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek explores Rousseau's landscapes
8.- Yoko Ono unveils her first permanent US art installation
9.- ArtReview's annual Power 100 names Hans Ulrich Obrist as the artworld's most powerful figure
10.- British artist David Hockney makes a splash at Frankfurt fair with 2,000-euro book
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.