Rudy Kurniawan

Rudy Kurniawan
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Rudy Kurniawan, born in Indonesia in 1976, is a prominant fine wine collector and convicted perpetrator of wine fraud.

In March 2012, Kurniawan was arrested and indicted for allegedly selling fradulent wine at auction, notably fine Bordeaux and Burgundy wines.

On of December 9th 2013, Kurniawan, also known as Dr Conti in reference to Burgundy's renowned Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, was on trial having been officially charged with one count of mail fraud, which involves creating, selling and trying to sell counterfeit wines, and also one count of wire fraud, for allegedly lying about his circumstances to New York-based Fine Art Capital in order to secure a $3m loan.

He was found guilty by a jury on Wednesday 18th December 2013.

Kurniawan was sentenced to 10 years in prison for making and selling fake fine wines & fraudulently applying for a $3m loan on Thursday 7th August 2014.

- Trial replay: Day one in court
- Trial replay: Day two in court
- Trial replay: Day three in court
- Trial replay: Day four in court
- Trial replay: Day five in court
- Trial replay: Day six in court
- Trial replay: Day seven in court

Kurniawan labels

Rudy Kurniawan's private cellar could help to repay victims

17th December 2014

A year since Rudy Kurniawan was convicted for mass wine fraud in the US, experts are preparing to enter his private cellar to see if wines can be sold to compensate victims owed nearly $30m.

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Has Rudy Kurniawan damaged trust in the fine wine market?

9th September 2014

See both sides of the debate as to whether the recent case and subsequent jailing of wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan has damaged trust in the fine wine market, as featured as the 'burning question'...

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Rudy Kurniawan trial day four

Kurniawan to 'tell all' in $3m settlement with billionaire Koch, as sentencing is delayed

25th July 2014

Convicted wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan has agreed to pay $3m and 'tell everything he knows' to settle a lawsuit with billionaire collector Bill Koch, after his sentencing was again delayed.

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Where are Rudy Kurniawan's missing fake wines?

14th May 2014

The most striking part of state prosecutors' sentencing report on Rudy Kurniawan was not their call for the convicted wine fraudster to get 14 years in prison, but their assertion that millions of...

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Rudy Kurniawan

Rudy Kurniawan should get 14 years in prison, say state prosecutors

12th May 2014

Convicted wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan deserves up to 14 years behind bars for making and selling more than $20m-worth of fake fine wines so that he could 'live like a king', prosecutors have argued.

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Rudy Kurniawan has served his sentence, argue lawyers

2nd May 2014

A penniless and isolated Rudy Kurniawan has already faced 27 months in custody and should not face further time behind bars, lawyers for the convicted wine fraudster have argued.

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Rudy Kurniawan sentencing delayed

23rd April 2014

Convicted wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan must wait until the end of May to be sentenced, after authorities requested more time to handle the case.

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Maureen Downey

US collector sues Antique Wine Co over alleged fakes

22nd April 2014

A fine wine collector has filed a lawsuit against Antique Wine Co (AWC) in the US city of Atlanta, alleging that two bottles of Chateau d'Yquem, 12 bottles of Lafite Rothschild and one six-litre...

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Maureen Downey

The Decanter interview: Maureen Downey

17th April 2014

Relying only on instinct, self-taught skills and the most rudimentary tools of authentication, she could be fine wine’s answer to Sherlock Holmes. And, following a high-profile conviction, she is...

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Rudy Kurniawan film goes into production

28th January 2014

A documentary film charting the rise and fall of convicted wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan is in production and set to be complete by the end of 2014, according to producers.

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Jefford on Monday: The Oldest Wine Story of All

9th January 2014

Why was the trial of wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan so compelling? It was, after all, hard to squeeze tears for the millionaires, braggarts and 'big boys' who were his erstwhile chums and eventual...

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Bill Koch

A glimpse into the world of fake wine hunter William Koch

26th December 2013

Billionaire William Koch is no stranger to shoot-outs with alleged wine counterfeiters, and his appearance for the prosecution at Rudy Kurniawan's trial offered a rare glimpse into the wine...

More from: The Editors' blog

Rudy Kurniawan trial day four

Kurniawan associates 'fled' on his arrest say defence lawyers

20th December 2013

Defence lawyers for the convicted wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan have told decanter.com of their plan to lodge an appeal, their difficulties in finding non-hostile witnesses and that they would...

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Rudy Kurniawan trial day four

Rudy Kurniawan trial: The verdict

19th December 2013

Read a transcript of the moment Rudy Kurniawan was found guilty of mail fraud and wire fraud on the seventh day of the trial in New York.

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Rudy Kurniawan trial day four

Comment: 'To anyone who watched the trial, the outcome was a foregone conclusion'

19th December 2013

It took just a week of testimony and barely more than an hour of deliberation for a jury to convict 37-year-old wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan, but the ramifications of this case may not be...

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Rudy Kurniawan

Guilty: Rudy Kurniawan convicted in New York court

18th December 2013

Rudy Kurniawan has been convicted of a 'smoke and mirrors' operation to make and sell counterfeit fine wine, in one of the most high-profile wine fraud trials on record.

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KurniawanTrialDay7

Kurniawan trial: Defence fights back as jurors told to discuss verdict

18th December 2013

Rudy Kurniawan's defence team used their only witness to paint him as more a victim than a fraudster, but state prosecutors insisted that he was merely a greedy individual who concocted a 'witch's...

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Rudy Kurniawan trial day four

Kurniawan trial: Fine wine expert labels Rudy wines fakes

17th December 2013

An expert in authenticating fine wines, Michael Egan, has told jurors that nearly all the wines that he has examined from defendant Rudy Kurniawan's home are fake.

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Rudy Kurniawan trial day four

Kurniawan trial: Rudy wanted source of auction wines kept secret, witness says

16th December 2013

One prosecution witness in the trial of Rudy Kurniawan has told of how the alleged wine fraudster tried to consign wines to auction anonymously through him, in a fifth day of the trial that also...

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Rudy Kurniawan trial day four

Kurniawan trial: 'This wine cannot exist', winemaker Ponsot tells court

13th December 2013

Laurent Ponsot and Domaine de la Romanee-Conti's Aubert de Villaine have told jurors in the trial of alleged wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan of their shock at seeing wines supposedly from their own...

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Kurniawan trial: Rudy's house 'a wine factory' - prosecution

12th December 2013

An FBI officer who was part of the raid on Rudy Kurniawan's house has told a court of how agents found the alleged wine fraudster's house littered with labels of famous wine chateaux, bottles and...

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Kurniawan trial: Alleged fraudster owed millions of dollars

11th December 2013

Rudy Kurniawan had spiralling debts totalling millions of dollars around the same time that he attempted to sell counterfeit fine wine at auction, a court has heard in the second day of the...

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Rudy Kurniawan

Kurniawan trial: 'This is a case about greed,' prosecution says

10th December 2013

State prosecutors have portrayed alleged fine wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan as a greedy individual who funded his taste for fast cars by baiting collectors into buying 'phony knock-offs', but...

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Rudy Kurniawan

Kurniawan trial: Defence witness judges majority of trial exhibits fakes

6th December 2013

A proposed expert witness for Rudy Kurniawan has told the judge for the alleged wine fraudster's upcoming trial that he believes most of the suspect wines put forward by the prosecution to be fakes.

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Rudy Kurniawan

Kurniawan lawyers keen to avoid trial delay

11th November 2013

Lawyers representing alleged wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan are due in court to argue for him to be examined by psychiatrists.

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La Tache 1962

Christie's withdraws suspect DRC from New York auction

30th May 2013

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti's co-owner, Aubert de Villaine, has praised Christie's for withdrawing a magnum of La Tâche 1962 from auction at the eleventh hour, due to concerns it is a fake.

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Fake wine

Counterfeit wines: scandal of the century

10th May 2013

It’s been a year since Rudy Kurniawan was arrested for allegedly faking rare Burgundy and Bordeaux bottles and selling them at auction for millions of pounds. Mike Steinberger delves deeper into...

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Laurent Ponsot to testify against Kurniawan

8th May 2013

Laurent Ponsot will join compatriots Aubert de Villaine of DRC and Christophe Roumier in testifying against Rudy Kurniawan.

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FBI defends Kurniawan house search

14th November 2012

The US Justice Department has accused Rudy Kurniawan of attempting to suppress evidence and has filed a motion defending its search of the alleged wine fraudster's home.

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Bill Koch

Kurniawan arrest tip of the iceberg, say Koch and Frye

27th March 2012

The arrest by the FBI of Rudy Kurniawan is not enough to deter the tide of fake wine, alleged victims of counterfeiting say.

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Now Spectrum threatens to sue Kurniawan

15th March 2012

Spectrum Wine Auctions has threatened alleged wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan with further legal action over claims that he tried to sell fake bottles at the company’s February auction in London.

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Laurent Ponsot

Ponsot worked 'closely with FBI' for Kurniawan arrest

14th March 2012

The arrest of Rudy Kurniawan on multiple charges of fraud is the result of years of evidence-gathering on the part of the Burgundy owner whose name is identified with one of the most notorious...

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Rudy Kurniawan arrested in Los Angeles

9th March 2012

Rudy Kurniawan, the millionaire wine collector, has been arrested on fraud charges.

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Spectrum and Vanquish: Kurniawan wines are not in sale

7th February 2012

Auctioneers Spectrum and wine merchant Vanquish have taken the unprecedented step of categorically denying that the consigner in tomorrow's London sale is Rudy Kurniawan.

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Koch files suit against Indonesian collector

15th September 2009

Billionaire William Koch of the energy company Oxbow Corporation filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court last Thursday against Rudy Kurniawan, an Indonesia-born wine collector, accusing him...

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