Los Angeles wine collector arrested
Jaws dropped around the wine world several years ago over a Los Angeles Times profile of an Indonesian wine collector named Rudy Kurniawan, who bragged about spending millions of dollars a year at wine auctions, including purchases as high as $75,000 for a case of 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc. Thursday, as reported on our LA Now blog, he was arrested by federal officials on suspicion of selling $1.3 million in counterfeit wine.
Kurniawan, the U.S. attorney’s office in New York alleged, claimed he was selling rare vintage French wine at various auctions. The sales occurred between 2007 and 2012.
"He engaged in multiple fraudulent schemes relating to his wine business, including attempting to sell counterfeit wine that, if genuine, would have been worth over $1.3 million," the U.S. attorney said in a statement.
Photo: Rudy Kurniawan at wine tasting. Credit Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times