Indonesian-born wine dealer loses appeal against fraud conviction
Dec 27, 2015 11:01 PM EST
Rudy Kurniawan,39, an Indonesian-born wine dealer was sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling millions of dollars of expensive and rare counterfeit wine. US appeals court on Tuesday rejected his appeal.
According to CNBC, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld the 2013 conviction and subsequent sentence of Rudy Kurniawan, who federal prosecutors called a "kingpin of counterfeit.
Kurniawan argued that his 10-year prison sentence was unreasonable due to the fact that the evidence secured from his home following his arrest in 2012 is warrantless.
However, three-judge panel called the wine dealer's arguments "meritless." The lawyer of Rudy Kurniawan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors stated that Kurniawan has been engage in a systematic scheme to defraud collectors and buyers by selling counterfeit bottles of expensive wine. This happened from 2004 to 2012.
Kurniawan's lawyer, Jerome Mooney, said in an email that he was 'disappointed' with the ruling and would discuss it with his client before taking further actions.
The prosecutors also said that out of his home in California, the man produced hundreds of counterfeit bottles through a fake wine factory. Kurniawan used empty rare bottles, printing fake labels, and spending thousands of dollars on traditional French wax.
FBI officers also reported that he used 'speciality paper that is used for its antique appearance'.
Manhattan federal jury found Kurniawan guilty of one count of wire fraud for defrauding a loan company on a $3 million loan and one count of mail fraud related to counterfeiting wine.
A federal judge said Kurniawan's victims lost close to $30 million and among the victims was the billionaire industrialist William Koch, who testified at the trial.
Rudy Kurniawan was dubbed in court papers throughout his trial back in December 2013 as 'Dr. Conti', a reference to his prolific counterfeiting of Burgundy's Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.
The Indonesian born wine dealer was ordered to repay $28.4 million to victims at the time of his sentencing back in 2014. Kurniawan's lawyers have maintained that he has no money anymore.