Hundreds of Rudy Kurniawan counterfeit wines destroyed
More than 500 counterfeits of the some of the world’s finest wines have been crushed at a Texas waste disposal site almost exactly two years after their maker, Rudy Kurniawan, was convicted of wine fraud in a US court.
A Container of smashed bottles bearing some of the wine world’s most renowned names, including Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Château Pétrus, was all that remained of more than 500 of the Rudy Kurniawan counterfeit wines destroyed by US Marshals late last week.
It is almost two years to the day since Kurniawan was convicted of making and selling copycat versions of fine and rare wines, as well as of fraudulently attempting to obtain a $3m loan.
He produced counterfeit wines at his Los Angeles for several years in an elaborate operation that involved concocting blends in his kitchen sink and printing off fake labels on his computer.
See photos below of several Kurniawan wines being destroyed.
At the demolition in Texas, bottles of counterfeit wine were lined up to be crushed by a crane.
After being pulverised, glass will go to be recycled, while the liquid contents of the bottles is set to be used as compost, US Marshals said.
Around 5,000 bottles authenticated as genuine and found in Kurniawan’s private cellar were this month being auctioned by US Marshals.
‘Every thing that’s being destroyed here today has been deemed either counterfeit, that it was part of his scheme, or that had no sale value,’ said Jason Martinez, assistant program manager for the US Marshals Asset Forfeiture Division. His comments were reported on Kvue.com in an article cited by US Marshals on its own website.
At the time of Kurniawan’s conviction, it was believed that some of his counterfeit wine remained unaccounted for.
In mid-2014, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to re-pay $28.4m to victims. His lawyers have continued to appeal against the conviction and argued that their client was penniless.