RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

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Post #5041  Postby Don Cornwell » June 21st 2013, 6:27am

Roberto Rogness wrote:Anyone get a whiff of a Rudy connection to this?

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=85009

Robert:

There's no verified connection between Rudy and the magnum of counterfeit 1945 Romanee Conti that Charlie Trotter's sold to the Frrokaj brothers, but as Rudy has sold a number of 750 ml bottles of 1945 Romanee Conti that I believe to be counterfeit, both at auction and at private sale, it might be a possibility. However, from my discussions with Aubert de Villaine and others in the wine industry, I know that virtually all of the magnums of 1945 have been sold in Europe. So, I wouldn't rule out Mr. Rodenstock either. In addition to the magnum from Charlie Trotter's, I know of one similar counterfeit bottle that was being offered to the New York trade in the latter half of 2011.

For those interested, I just posted some new information on the Charlie Trotter's story in the separate thread on that topic. You'll find it here: http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1186626#p1186626
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Post #5042  Postby scott c » July 3rd 2013, 7:57am

Hmm...so now the government is not going to depose AdV, Roumier and Ponsot?

http://sfwine.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/ ... r-roumier/
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Post #5043  Postby D.Callahan » July 3rd 2013, 9:19am

The reason for not following through with the approved depositions could very well be due to budgetary restraints.
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Post #5044  Postby gene keenan » July 3rd 2013, 11:19am

D.Callahan wrote:The reason for not following through with the approved depositions could very well be due to budgetary restraints.


There are recent events in the press that could answer why.
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Post #5045  Postby Art K u o » July 3rd 2013, 1:31pm

gene keenan wrote:
D.Callahan wrote:The reason for not following through with the approved depositions could very well be due to budgetary restraints.


There are recent events in the press that could answer why.


and you are referring to?
the line separating being obnoxious and sarcatic is not as thick as you think... especially on the internet.
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Post #5046  Postby gene keenan » July 3rd 2013, 1:38pm

Art K u o wrote:
gene keenan wrote:
D.Callahan wrote:The reason for not following through with the approved depositions could very well be due to budgetary restraints.


There are recent events in the press that could answer why.


and you are referring to?


It could be construed as a political post so I am not stating.

I am off for the 4th. CU everyone.
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Post #5047  Postby Don Cornwell » July 3rd 2013, 7:00pm

scott c l a f f e e wrote:Hmm...so now the government is not going to depose AdV, Roumier and Ponsot?

http://sfwine.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/ ... r-roumier/

Scott:

I'm told the government's explanation was that the burgundy harvest is expected to be late this year and thus all three winemakers are expected to testify live at trial.
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Post #5048  Postby John Morris » July 4th 2013, 7:36am

I may want to be a spectator!
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Post #5049  Postby Don Cornwell » July 11th 2013, 4:21pm

Some very interesting developments at the latest Status Confernce in the Kurniawan trial. Take a look at Peter Hellman's update in the Unfiltered section on Wine Spectator: http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/48675#.Ud8am9A6OPI.email

So it seems Rudy isn't paying his legal bills either. Mr. Kurniawan's counsel, Michael Proctor, of Caldwell Leslie & Proctor, P.C. is now seeking to withdraw -- it would appear because of non-payment of fees. Mr. Proctor's firm previously substituted into the criminal case and the Koch v. Kurniawan civil case to replace Henry Weissmann of Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP. It was widely believed at that time that Mr. Kurniawan eitther could not or would not pay the billing rates charged by Mr. Weissman's firm for representation in the criminal case.

Prior to Mr. Weissman's representation of Rudy Kurniawan (from October 2009 until Marchl 2012), he had been represented by Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Mitchell, LLP. That firm represented Mr. Kurniawan in connection with the purchase of Wine Hotel, the formation of his various businesses, including the Terroir partnership with Paul Wasserman, the purchase of the mansion in Bel-Air which Rudy never moved into, and a series of construction defect and lien claim lawsuits relating to the construction on that house. It's my understanding that the Jeffer Mangels firm elected not to further represent Rudy when he was sued by Bill Koch in 2009. At that point, Mr. Weissman and Munger Tolles began representing Rudy.

Based on Peter's article about what transpired at the hearing, it doesn't sound like Mr. Kurniawan will be able to obtain appointed counsel. The question now is, will anyone else be willing to step in before trial and represent him?
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Post #5050  Postby Paul Jaouen » July 11th 2013, 5:46pm

What happened to his rich family?
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Post #5051  Postby Don Cornwell » July 11th 2013, 6:02pm

Paul Jaouen wrote:What happened to his rich family?

I think that's one of the key questions Paul. I know that the criminal asset forfeiture issues here are one of the complications.

My understanding is that most criminal defense lawyers insist on getting huge retainers up front that will cover the anticipated cost of the defense through trial. It does sort of make you wonder what happened here.

And it makes me wonder whether Mr. Proctor and his firm will be able to get out of the case or not.
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Post #5052  Postby RichardFlack » July 11th 2013, 6:25pm

What was behind Proctors comment when asked by the Judge if the issues were financial or strategic (that to reply would get hi disbarred, iirc). That suggests strategic more than financial, doesn't it?
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Post #5053  Postby Bruce Leiser_owitz » July 11th 2013, 7:58pm

RichardFlack wrote:What was behind Proctors comment when asked by the Judge if the issues were financial or strategic (that to reply would get hi disbarred, iirc). That suggests strategic more than financial, doesn't it?


Not necessarily. An attorney is bound to maintain the confidential information provided by a client, and not to act in a fashion to prejudice the client's interests. In this case, the information the attorney does not wish to disclose might be financial, or it might involve things his client has told him about the case, or factual positions the client might want him to assert but which the attorney doesn't feel he can ethically assert. Or some combination of the above. In the vast majority of situations where an attorney feels the need to withdraw as counsel, the attorney won't want to say anything publicly for fear of being sued by the client for improper disclosure. If you would like some examples of mandatory vs. permissive withdrawal, look at ABA Code DR 2-110.

I have no personal knowledge that would give me insight into what is going awry in this professional relationship. It might be financial, but that might not be 100% of the explanation.

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Post #5054  Postby Don Cornwell » July 11th 2013, 8:25pm

RichardFlack wrote:What was behind Proctors comment when asked by the Judge if the issues were financial or strategic (that to reply would get hi disbarred, iirc). That suggests strategic more than financial, doesn't it?

My guess is that it was finanical -- and here's why.

Unless you assume deliberate hyperbole by Mr. Proctor, if the differences between he and Rudy concerned strategy, he could have honestly and simply answered the question "strategic" without having created any problems for himself or his client.

On the other hand, if he answered the problem "financial," some lawyers might consider that as an admission of a client confidence that his client has financial problems, which could be viewed as revealing a client confidence and subject him to potential discipline with the State Bar. On the other hand, you could argue that the simple answer "financial" in response to the Judge's question doesn't reveal any client confidences at all -- it may simply indicate unwillingness to pay, concerns about hourly fees or any number of other things. Neverthelss, I think Bruce is probably right that most criminal lawyers in that context don't want to say anything.
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Post #5055  Postby Bruce Leiser_owitz » July 12th 2013, 6:48am

Don Cornwell wrote:
RichardFlack wrote:What was behind Proctors comment when asked by the Judge if the issues were financial or strategic (that to reply would get hi disbarred, iirc). That suggests strategic more than financial, doesn't it?

My guess is that it was finanical -- and here's why.

Unless you assume deliberate hyperbole by Mr. Proctor, if the differences between he and Rudy concerned strategy, he could have honestly and simply answered the question "strategic" without having created any problems for himself or his client.

On the other hand, if he answered the problem "financial," some lawyers might consider that as an admission of a client confidence that his client has financial problems, which could be viewed as revealing a client confidence and subject him to potential discipline with the State Bar. On the other hand, you could argue that the simple answer "financial" in response to the Judge's question doesn't reveal any client confidences at all -- it may simply indicate unwillingness to pay, concerns about hourly fees or any number of other things. Neverthelss, I think Bruce is probably right that most criminal lawyers in that context don't want to say anything.


Anything the departing attorney might say publicly about the reason for the withdrawal--whether it's strategic or financial or some combination--has the potential to make it more difficult for the client to obtain new representation. Assuming both the attorney and client have agreed to part ways, then it's in both their interests for new counsel to come on board ASAP. Thus, public statements about the withdrawal have the risk of being counterproductive (as well as potentially an ethical problem). It's another reason why I would be hesitant to read much into a counsel's reluctance to make any public comments about the withdrawal.

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Post #5056  Postby Barry P » July 12th 2013, 7:23am

RichardFlack wrote:What was behind Proctors comment when asked by the Judge if the issues were financial or strategic (that to reply would get hi disbarred, iirc). That suggests strategic more than financial, doesn't it?


Proctor wasn't asked that by the Judge, he was asked that by Unfiltered (i.e., the Wine Spectator columnist). I'm sure the Judge knows the reasons from the closed door session. According to the column, Proctor only said in open court that the circumstances hadn't changed. Leaving the inference that the Judge knew what those circumstances were (whether they be strategic or financial). Only point is, the attorney is simply not telling the columnist.
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Post #5057  Postby RichardFlack » July 12th 2013, 9:24am

My bad, I read it too quickly.
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Post #5058  Postby andy velebil » July 12th 2013, 10:38am

I'm no attorney but doesn't this statement in the article point to the fact Rudy is having some sort of financial issues with his current counsel?

Looking sternly at Kurniawan, the judge said, "One has to swear under penalty of perjury that one doesn't have the resources to maintain one's own counsel [to obtain representation by a CJ attorney]. That's a serious commitment to make." Kurniawan apparently took that warning to heart, as the CJ lawyer designated by the judge, Dawn Cardi, will not be representing him at next week's conference.


I'm not saying Rudy's broke, as he didn't retain the "CJ lawyer", but obviously there is some friction about money between him and his current counsel.
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Post #5059  Postby SteveC » July 12th 2013, 11:38am

Maybe Rudy's funding sources have disappeared. Maybe they were "family" members not family members. I don't know, just a hypothetical ....
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Post #5060  Postby RichardFlack » July 15th 2013, 10:32am

Maybe Rudy wanted to pay with a couple of cases of "DRC"? [rofl.gif]
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Post #5061  Postby Nick Ryan » July 15th 2013, 7:02pm

RichardFlack wrote:Maybe Rudy wanted to pay with a couple of cases of "DRC"? [rofl.gif]


Reminds me of the guy arrested for robbing parking meters who pled guilty to a lesser charge and tried to pay his fine in quarters... well, that story is probably apocryphal, but I still get a kick out of it.
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Post #5062  Postby Dan Collins » July 16th 2013, 7:11am

andy velebil wrote:I'm no attorney but doesn't this statement in the article point to the fact Rudy is having some sort of financial issues with his current counsel?

Looking sternly at Kurniawan, the judge said, "One has to swear under penalty of perjury that one doesn't have the resources to maintain one's own counsel [to obtain representation by a CJ attorney]. That's a serious commitment to make." Kurniawan apparently took that warning to heart, as the CJ lawyer designated by the judge, Dawn Cardi, will not be representing him at next week's conference.


I'm not saying Rudy's broke, as he didn't retain the "CJ lawyer", but obviously there is some friction about money between him and his current counsel.


Rudy's family is thought to have money, and they may be pressing their wayward son to resolve the case by threatening to cut off the money he's been (presumably) getting. Since Kurniawan has been in the slammer for more than 16 months now, a deal that involves a guilty plea and time served isn't entirely out of the question. Rudy would then face deportation. An intolerable outcome -- no doubt -- for the smartest guy in the room.
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Post #5063  Postby RichardFlack » July 16th 2013, 7:24am

Wow, it's really 16 months? How time flies.....
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Post #5064  Postby Peter Kleban » July 16th 2013, 7:27am

RichardFlack wrote:Maybe Rudy wanted to pay with a couple of cases of "DRC"? [rofl.gif]


[rofl.gif] [rofl.gif]

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Post #5065  Postby Todd F r e n c h » July 16th 2013, 10:30am

Dan Collins wrote:
Rudy's family is thought to have money, and they may be pressing their wayward son to resolve the case by threatening to cut off the money he's been (presumably) getting. Since Kurniawan has been in the slammer for more than 16 months now, a deal that involves a guilty plea and time served isn't entirely out of the question. Rudy would then face deportation. An intolerable outcome -- no doubt -- for the smartest guy in the room.

Meaning this might be an intentional strategy of some sort? To not pay the attorneys means he couldn't stand trial, which means he is deported, and therefore 'free'?
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Post #5066  Postby Dan Collins » July 16th 2013, 11:08am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Dan Collins wrote:
Rudy's family is thought to have money, and they may be pressing their wayward son to resolve the case by threatening to cut off the money he's been (presumably) getting. Since Kurniawan has been in the slammer for more than 16 months now, a deal that involves a guilty plea and time served isn't entirely out of the question. Rudy would then face deportation. An intolerable outcome -- no doubt -- for the smartest guy in the room.

Meaning this might be an intentional strategy of some sort? To not pay the attorneys means he couldn't stand trial, which means he is deported, and therefore 'free'?


Hi Todd,
It's all speculation on my part. My guess is that Rudy's family has become fed up with hopelessness of the entire situation, and wants to force him to get this over with now. After 16 months of prison, and presumably steep legal expenses, he's still at more or less at square one. If I'm right, the family believes -- correctly -- that ending this is in Rudy's best interest whether he knows it or not. That means he'd have to take a guilty plea. But I don't know whether the government -- or the judge in the case for that matter -- would be satisfied with time served as a penalty. I just don't see a trial in Rudy's future without strong financial support from his family. And when all is said and done he'll be deported -- assuming Indonesia will take him back.
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Post #5067  Postby Dan Collins » July 17th 2013, 5:34am

Afterthought: The government has a mountain of evidence. Rudy's effort to exclude much of this evidence has already failed. Delay is of absolutely no use to Kurniawan since each day of delay is another day in prison.
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Post #5068  Postby Kevin Shin » July 17th 2013, 5:47am

Dan Collins wrote:Hi Todd,
It's all speculation on my part. My guess is that Rudy's family has become fed up with hopelessness of the entire situation, and wants to force him to get this over with now. After 16 months of prison, and presumably steep legal expenses, he's still at more or less at square one. If I'm right, the family believes -- correctly -- that ending this is in Rudy's best interest whether he knows it or not. That means he'd have to take a guilty plea. But I don't know whether the government -- or the judge in the case for that matter -- would be satisfied with time served as a penalty. I just don't see a trial in Rudy's future without strong financial support from his family. And when all is said and done he'll be deported -- assuming Indonesia will take him back.


Dan,
I think it has been stated a number of times that Rudy’s background is more than likely fabricated.
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Post #5069  Postby Dan Collins » July 17th 2013, 6:11am

Kevin Shin wrote:
Dan Collins wrote:Hi Todd,
It's all speculation on my part. My guess is that Rudy's family has become fed up with hopelessness of the entire situation, and wants to force him to get this over with now. After 16 months of prison, and presumably steep legal expenses, he's still at more or less at square one. If I'm right, the family believes -- correctly -- that ending this is in Rudy's best interest whether he knows it or not. That means he'd have to take a guilty plea. But I don't know whether the government -- or the judge in the case for that matter -- would be satisfied with time served as a penalty. I just don't see a trial in Rudy's future without strong financial support from his family. And when all is said and done he'll be deported -- assuming Indonesia will take him back.


Dan,
I think it has been stated a number of times that Rudy’s background is more than likely fabricated.


Dan,
I think it has been stated a number of times that Rudy’s background is more than likely fabricated.[/quote]

Hi Kevin,
I have relied on government documents that indicate his family has money. One reason the government opposed bail for Rudy was that his family had the means to hustle him out of the country. The government also says a brother of Rudy's gave him $1.5 million over an 18-month period in 2010-11. That's not chump change.
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Post #5070  Postby Dan Collins » July 17th 2013, 8:52am

Afterthought: I don't believe Rudy any more than you do.
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Post #5071  Postby Kevin Shin » July 17th 2013, 9:14am

While back, I heard it through the grapevines that Rudy’s father was a very rich famous race car driver. Apparently Kurniawan is a relatively common name in Indonesia.
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Post #5072  Postby Robert Pollard-Smith » July 17th 2013, 2:06pm

Are we forgetting that his real name is Zhen Wang Huang, and has any of the whole Indonesia thing been corroborated?

From Mike Steinberger's column linked earlier..

He claimed to be the son of a rich ethnic Chinese businessman in Indonesia and said that “Kurniawan” was an assumed name. Investigators for Bill Koch, who is now suing Kurniawan over the sale of allegedly fake wines, have determined that Kurniawan’s real name is Zhen Wang Huang and that he’s actually from China, not Indonesia (the embroidered biography obviously calls to mind Hardy Rodenstock).
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Post #5073  Postby Peter Chiu » July 17th 2013, 2:15pm

Rudy is a Chinese and he has a Chinese name. Many Chinese in Indonesia need to adopt an Indonesian name for many reasons including commercial.

I know from reading TNs that Rudy has a brother living in Shanghai city, nick-named Mr. Chateau Margaux. His brother took care Rudy's American friend during his visit there. I doubt that story ( or the TNS ) was fabricated.
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Post #5074  Postby WvanGorp » July 18th 2013, 8:08pm

I love it: Dr. Conti and Mr. Margaux. You can't make this stuff up.
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Post #5075  Postby RichardFlack » July 19th 2013, 2:27am

WvanGorp wrote:I love it: Dr. Conti and Mr. Margaux. You can't make this stuff up.

... Dr Conti in the library with the empty bottle... [rofl.gif]

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