First Posted: 12/18/2013
(AP) A California wine collector has been convicted of fraud at a trial in New York.
Rudy Kurniawan (kuhr-NEE’-ah-wahn) was expressionless as the verdict was rendered Wednesday.
Prosecutors say Kurniawan put on a “magic show” to fool aficionados into thinking he had access to the world’s rarest bottles of wine. They say he made millions of dollars from 2004 to 2012 by manufacturing fake vintage wine in his Arcadia, Calif., kitchen.
The Indonesian-born defendant was arrested last year. He was accused of selling more than $1.3 million worth of counterfeit bottles to other wealthy collectors.
Prosecutors say money from the fraud funded a lavish lifestyle in suburban Los Angeles that included luxury cars, designer clothing and fine food and drinks
Defense attorney Jerome Mooney portrayed his client as a scapegoat.