A “Sour Grapes” Update!
I shared the story of a terrific documentary that told the story of a con man who bilked wine collectors out of millions in fake wine…his name was Rudy Kurniawan and now there is an update!
This news just in, reported by AP and others:
“A one-time California man who bilked wine collectors out of millions by selling cheaper booze he rebottled in his kitchen has been deported to his native Indonesia, U.S. immigration officials said Tuesday.
Rudy Kurniawan, 44, was deported last week on a commercial flight from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Jakarta, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.
“He is a public safety threat because of his aggravated felony conviction,” the statement said.“
Here’s the back story as reported today:
“Kurniawan came to the United States on a student visa in the 1990s. He unsuccessfully sought political asylum and was ordered to voluntarily leave the country in 2003 but stayed on illegally, authorities said.
Kurniawan, whose family gained wealth operating a beer distributorship in Indonesia, was convicted of mail and wire fraud in 2013 in a New York federal court and spent seven years in prison. He was deported after being released from prison into immigration custody last November.“
The story goes on to report:
“In a public black eye for the wine industry, prosecutors at Kurniawan’s New York trial said he made millions of dollars from 2004 to 2012 by putting less-expensive Napa and Burgundy wines into counterfeit bottles at his home in the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia.”
Kurniawan may have sold as many as 12,000 bottles of counterfeit wine, many of which may still remain in collections.
At his sentencing, Kurniawan was ordered to pay $28.4 million in restitution to seven victims and to forfeit $20 million in property.
The scheme was recounted in the 2016 Netflix documentary, “Sour Grapes,” a terrific film that dives deep into the story and is a must see!
Here is a look at the film and the trailer as well – riveting stuff:
Now, back to the real stuff:
This documentary showcases the excess in collecting wine, but it’s worth collecting at any price! You see, wine has incredible health benefits, and you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to find great bottles…here are some of my favorite reasons to drink wine:
Let me know what you think of this story!
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