RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

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Al Osterheld
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8801 Post by Al Osterheld » August 19th, 2020, 8:15 pm

Yeah, I wouldn't buy stock on Rudy's post release business ventures.

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8802 Post by Don Cornwell » August 20th, 2020, 12:08 am

John Morris wrote:
August 19th, 2020, 4:31 pm
Josh Grossman wrote:
August 19th, 2020, 4:12 pm
Rudy is due to get out of prison soon this year. It will be interesting to see if he cashes in on his infamy. I could see him giving Dave Phinney a run for his money on selling blended wines. Name the company Infamy or "Dr. Conti". It would be some marketing to say this wine sold at auction as a... for x amount, it's not that--but you can have the same wine that tricked Bill Koch for $54.99. I'm sure they would become collector items and in a few years Acker would have them at auction...
He’ll be deported on release. There was already on old deportation order for him when he was arrested for faking wines. That will likely make it harder to cash in.
Rudy is scheduled for release on November 7. You are correct that he is supposed to be deported on release. However, it is also true that Rudy was supposed to be deported in 2003 after losing his immigration appeal. So I'm a bit concerned about that.

I could be proven wrong, but I suspect that, at least for a while, Rudy will live a low profile life.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8803 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » August 20th, 2020, 1:28 am

In tech, most black-hat hackers turn to white-hat after conviction; make a living selling their "secrets". Not too far fetched for that and a tell-all. He's tarnished goods for anything credible I would hope.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8804 Post by HoosJustinG » August 20th, 2020, 9:16 am

Wonder if anyone will take him right now with the Covid outbreak in the USA. Could be interesting if he’s forced to stay here...
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8805 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » August 20th, 2020, 9:24 am

HoosJustinG wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 9:16 am
Wonder if anyone will take him right now with the Covid outbreak in the USA. Could be interesting if he’s forced to stay here...
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8806 Post by John Morris » August 20th, 2020, 9:41 am

HoosJustinG wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 9:16 am
Wonder if anyone will take him right now with the Covid outbreak in the USA. Could be interesting if he’s forced to stay here...
I don't know, but he might be locked up in an ICE facility on release from prison, because he was essentially a fugitive for years before he was caught, on the loose with a deportation order in effect. It would be surprising if he were just set free by the Bureau of Prisons and ICE.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8807 Post by Bob Davis » August 20th, 2020, 10:21 am

Won’t those guys in one the documentaries who kept proclaiming his innocence take him in?

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8808 Post by John Danza » August 20th, 2020, 10:45 am

John Morris wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 9:41 am
I don't know, but he might be locked up in an ICE facility on release from prison, because he was essentially a fugitive for years before he was caught, on the loose with a deportation order in effect. It would be surprising if he were just set free by the Bureau of Prisons and ICE.
This is what will happen. The feds own him right now, so they don't have to worry about any "sanctuary city/state" nonsense. He'll go straight from federal prison to an ICE facility.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8809 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » August 20th, 2020, 10:51 am

Bob Davis wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 10:21 am
Won’t those guys in one the documentaries who kept proclaiming his innocence take him in?
Maybe that entices jeferylevy to an auspicious second post?

Optional pic of Rudy on his couch would be a nice bonus.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8810 Post by Victor Hong » August 20th, 2020, 1:24 pm

John Danza wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 10:45 am
John Morris wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 9:41 am
I don't know, but he might be locked up in an ICE facility on release from prison, because he was essentially a fugitive for years before he was caught, on the loose with a deportation order in effect. It would be surprising if he were just set free by the Bureau of Prisons and ICE.
This is what will happen. The feds own him right now, so they don't have to worry about any "sanctuary city/state" nonsense. He'll go straight from federal prison to an ICE facility.
Can Allen Meadows adopt him?
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8811 Post by Harald K S » August 20th, 2020, 3:16 pm

To change the topic a little. A fantastic range of classic vintages of premier Bdx and Burgs are up for auction here in Norway, including near pristine bottles of RC '57/'64, Tache '53, Latour '29 (incl mags), Lafite '29, Petrus '64, Mouton '28 mag and so on. I have no reason to believe these are not genuine bottles, but it would be interesting to hear if anyone has any comments either way. The photo below is a cut from the auction site by me. High res photos may be found at the the auction site https://www.blomqvist.no/eng/nettauksjo ... ori/UL/vin (partly in English). They all appear to be from the same cellar (see the "lot no.").

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8812 Post by Sean S y d n e y » August 20th, 2020, 3:49 pm

Harald K S wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 3:16 pm

newhere
At least one of those Romanée-Contis looks quite suspicious in that the accent aigu on the first e in Romanée on the "appellation Romanée-Conti controlée" line is different on both and a hallmark of Rudy fakes. I'm no expert, but a cursory look. Fonts for the vintage under MONOPOLE are completely different on the neck label, as well. The font used for the bottle numbers are also completely different. Also, what the up with that wax on the 1957?

Certainly wouldn't tempt me.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8813 Post by Paul Jaouen » August 21st, 2020, 9:42 am

Victor Hong wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 1:24 pm
John Danza wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 10:45 am
John Morris wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 9:41 am
I don't know, but he might be locked up in an ICE facility on release from prison, because he was essentially a fugitive for years before he was caught, on the loose with a deportation order in effect. It would be surprising if he were just set free by the Bureau of Prisons and ICE.
This is what will happen. The feds own him right now, so they don't have to worry about any "sanctuary city/state" nonsense. He'll go straight from federal prison to an ICE facility.
Can Allen Meadows adopt him?
Why?
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8814 Post by Robert M yers » August 21st, 2020, 5:06 pm

Didn’t Meadows write up tastings with him/his wines and then just remain quiet?

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8815 Post by Don Cornwell » August 22nd, 2020, 6:22 pm

Sean S y d n e y wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 3:49 pm
Harald K S wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 3:16 pm

newhere
At least one of those Romanée-Contis looks quite suspicious in that the accent aigu on the first e in Romanée on the "appellation Romanée-Conti controlée" line is different on both and a hallmark of Rudy fakes. I'm no expert, but a cursory look. Fonts for the vintage under MONOPOLE are completely different on the neck label, as well. The font used for the bottle numbers are also completely different. Also, what the up with that wax on the 1957?

Certainly wouldn't tempt me.
Harald: Welcome to the Wine Berserker's board and thank you for posting about this.

This auction is officially sanctioned by the Norwegian wine monopoly known as Vinmonopolet. The person who used be the auction director and principal authenticator for Vinmonopolet, Alexander Hojem, is now the Chairman of the auction house. Mr. Hojem was one of the team members that exposed and put an end to "The White Club" a few years ago.

I have confirmed that the wines come from a single source in Norway. Based on Sean's post, I took a look at the various DRC bottles. Some were purchased in the UK and some were US imports. The labeling and emphasis marks all appear to be correct for the vintages in question -- but yes the 1953 DRC La Tache bottles are missing the neck labels. (I would note here that the printing of the emphasis marks has changed sometimes over the years and not infrequently there were small differences between the UK and US labels in the same vintage due to different labeling requirements imposed by the country. For example, the UK government consistently required "Produce of France" to be on the labels while there were US bottles and other Euro bottles from the same vintages which did not have that text. Also, in the UK during the Lebegue-Bichot import years there were no neck labels on the UK bottles.) The DRC bottles in the auction that have foll capsules have the correct colors, text and printing color on the "Mise Du Domaine" capsules.

I had a question about the wax capsuled 1957 Romanée-Conti -- 750 ml bottles in the 1950s with wax capsules are very rare (always a special request) and I could not see the expected printing on portions of the cork visible in the photograph available on-line. I have inquired about that bottle. I looked at the other burgundies in the catalog and but I didn't see anything that caused alarm from an authenticity perspective. (However, wearing my "premox" hat, I did note a considerable number of the pre-2004 white burgundies seemed to have notably browned coloration which suggests likely oxidation.)

I also looked selectively at some of the very old Bordeaux wines in the auction (e.g. 1928 and 1929 Chateau Latour, 1928 Mouton Rothschild, etc). Again I didn't see any obvious red flags from the photos available.
Last edited by Don Cornwell on August 22nd, 2020, 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8816 Post by Sean S y d n e y » August 22nd, 2020, 6:27 pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
August 22nd, 2020, 6:22 pm
Sean S y d n e y wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 3:49 pm
Harald K S wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 3:16 pm

newhere
At least one of those Romanée-Contis looks quite suspicious in that the accent aigu on the first e in Romanée on the "appellation Romanée-Conti controlée" line is different on both and a hallmark of Rudy fakes. I'm no expert, but a cursory look. Fonts for the vintage under MONOPOLE are completely different on the neck label, as well. The font used for the bottle numbers are also completely different. Also, what the up with that wax on the 1957?

Certainly wouldn't tempt me.
Harald: Welcome to the Wine Berserker's board and thank you for posting about this.
Thanks for the update, Don.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8817 Post by Don Cornwell » August 25th, 2020, 2:59 am

Update on the 1957 Romanee Conti offered by Blomqvist and Vinmonopolet in Norway:

The auction director of Vinmonopolet in Norway provided me with additional photos of the top of the wax capsule and the portion of the text on the cork that is visible where the wax is chipped off. The embossing on the top is correct (although yes, Rudy Kurniawan and others have duplicated the DRC embossing on wax capsules) The printing on the cork that is visible, including the date numerals 195 and the very bottom of the text box that says Romanee Conti on 50's era corks, matches with authentic exemplars. So despite its rare wax capsule, the 1957 Romanee Conti has correct main labeling, neck labeling and cork labeling. It is impossible to authenticate the bottle based solely on photographs, but there is nothing on the surface which suggests anything incorrect here.

Vinmonopolet's auction director, Sara Frimanslund, advised me that there are wines from multiple collectors in the auction, but that all of the older burgundy and bordeaux (except for the 1969 DRC Richebourg), came from the same Norwegian cellar.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8818 Post by Harald K S » August 27th, 2020, 6:40 am

Don Cornwell wrote:
August 25th, 2020, 2:59 am
Update on the 1957 Romanee Conti offered by Blomqvist and Vinmonopolet in Norway:

The auction director of Vinmonopolet in Norway provided me with additional photos of the top of the wax capsule and the portion of the text on the cork that is visible where the wax is chipped off. The embossing on the top is correct (although yes, Rudy Kurniawan and others have duplicated the DRC embossing on wax capsules) The printing on the cork that is visible, including the date numerals 195 and the very bottom of the text box that says Romanee Conti on 50's era corks, matches with authentic exemplars. So despite its rare wax capsule, the 1957 Romanee Conti has correct main labeling, neck labeling and cork labeling. It is impossible to authenticate the bottle based solely on photographs, but there is nothing on the surface which suggests anything incorrect here.

Vinmonopolet's auction director, Sara Frimanslund, advised me that there are wines from multiple collectors in the auction, but that all of the older burgundy and bordeaux (except for the 1969 DRC Richebourg), came from the same Norwegian cellar.
Thanks for taking interest and sharing your findings, Don. The auction finished yesterday with apparently good results for the old bottles from the cellar in questions. All went well beyond estimates, except for the two Romanee Contis. Some results for those who may have interest (all single bottles):
Lafite '29 - USD 3,450 (2 lots)
Latour '29 MAG - USD 12,250 (2 lots)
Latour '29 - USD 5,350 (2 lots)
Mouton '28 MAG - USD 9,600 (2 lots)
Petrus '64 - USD 3,850
DRC RC '64 - USD 9,600
DRC RC '57 - USD 7,450
DRC Tache '53 - USD 6,950 (to left in the photo above)
DRC Tache '53 - USD 6,650 (to right in the photo above)

Also a few interesting older negociant bottlings, apparently in very good shape; Nicolas Chambertin '23 - USD 2,050; Louis Latour Clos de la Vigne au Saint (later to be included in the Corton appelation) '29 - USD 1,100, Calvet Meursault Charmes '28 - USD 550.

All prices include auctioneer fee (20%) and converted using an exchange rate at 9 NOK/USD (and rounded to closest 50 USD).
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8819 Post by Dennis Borczon » August 27th, 2020, 8:07 am

Victor Hong wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 1:24 pm
John Danza wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 10:45 am
John Morris wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 9:41 am
I don't know, but he might be locked up in an ICE facility on release from prison, because he was essentially a fugitive for years before he was caught, on the loose with a deportation order in effect. It would be surprising if he were just set free by the Bureau of Prisons and ICE.
This is what will happen. The feds own him right now, so they don't have to worry about any "sanctuary city/state" nonsense. He'll go straight from federal prison to an ICE facility.
Can Allen Meadows adopt him?
Now THAT is funny... [stirthepothal.gif]

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8820 Post by Don Cornwell » August 28th, 2020, 7:14 pm

There is a major wine fraud case in the UK known as SMPI Bordeaux SPV3 LLC and others v. Burton and others, which is case number CL-2019-000172 in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, about which I know very little. The lawsuit was brought against Stephen Burton and James Wellesley arising out of their operation of Bordeaux Cellars, Ltd. The lawsuit is apparently related to making high interest rate loans allegedly secured by rare wines. I have read one posted complaint by an individual in the US who provided $200,000 which was to be the the subject of two loans to be made by Bordeaux Cellars, Ltd. at high interest rates, who claims to have been defrauded. There are rumors that the wine which was allegedly in storage to secure the loans is missing. I know the names of the three lead plaintiffs -- Delaware company SMPI Bordeaux SPV3 LLC, online private bank Strategic Bank International, and Agricultural Land Corporation, but according to a headline from Law360 in February of this year (all that I can access without a subscription), 133 additional victims have been added to the civil fraud claims. The same headline said that the fraud is alleged to have caused at least $6.7 million in damages. I have not been able to find out very much. I know that the plaintiffs are represented by Kingsley Napley LLP but they did not respond to an email sent some time ago.

If anyone has a copy of the Complaint (I believe it is a called a Statement of Claim in the UK) or the recently amended Statement of Claim, please PM or email me a copy. If anyone has any information about the case or the underlying fraud, please share it if possible.

I am also informed that Scotland Yard's Serious Frauds Office filed related criminal charges against Stephen Burton and James Wellesley. According to another Law360 headline, Mr. Burton was in jail as of July 2020. (It is not completely clear, but I assume that he must have been convicted since he was arrested in 2019 and the brief headline refers to statements made to the Judge blaming others.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8821 Post by HenryB » August 28th, 2020, 10:53 pm

This would appear to be the same chap:

https://www.kentlive.news/news/kent-new ... nd-3294848

Dont know if that helps you at all Don
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Re: $2.1 MILLION IN WINE OWNED BY RUDY SEIZED BY DOJ: CHRISTIE'S HOLDING MORE IN EUROPE

#8822 Post by Don Cornwell » September 18th, 2020, 4:42 pm

Here is some belated news about seizure of wine which formerly belonged to Rudy Kurniawan. According to the Declaration of Deputy US Marshall Crystal Vasquez which was filed in the Kurniawan criminal case on May 22, 2020, one year ago, on September 11, 2019, the United States Marshal's Service seized "hundreds of bottles of wine previously held in the Bronx, New York on behalf Rudy Kurniawan." The wines in question were held by Christie's Wine Auctions at it's New York wine storage location -- Wine Cellarage in the Bronx, NY. According to the Declaration of Marshall Vasquez, the "hundreds of bottles" seized at Wine Cellarage have an "approximate appraised value ... in excess of $2.1 million." I do not have any list or description of the wines in question.

According to the Declaration of Ms. Vasquez, Christie's is continuing to hold bottles for Rudy Kurniawan in Europe. Her Declaration states: "In addition, I discovered that Christies is currently in possession of hundreds of bottles of wine owned by Rudy Kurniawan that are being stored in other locations including London, England and Geneva, Switzerland." The declaration does not identify the wines held by Christie's in Europe, nor does it place a value on them.

While I do not know whether the bottles seized in New York are authentic or not, there is reason to believe that the "hundreds of bottles" held by Christie's for Rudy in London and Geneva are not Rudy's counterfeit creations. First, I have no knowledge of any wine sales by Rudy conducted through Christie's Geneva. Similarly, I am aware of only one sale of Rudy's wines by Christie's in London -- a sale conducted in London on November 5, 2009, which was a part of the multiple sales of Rudy's wines conducted by Christie's in 2009-2010. There were 12 lots offered in that December 2009 London auction from Rudy Kurniawan (without disclosure of his name) for which we have records. Ten of the lots were sold. One of the unsold lots was subsequently sold by Christie's New York in December 2009. Thus, there is at least circumstantial evidence to suggest that bottles that are currently held by Christie's under Rudy's name in Europe are not Rudy's counterfeits.

Earlier this year I sent to the government a list of additional assets and wines under Rudy's name which have not been seized by the government to date to my knowledge. One of those assets has been discussed here previously. As readers of this thread will recall, for three-plus years following his conviction, Rudy continued to own and operate the Wine Hotel in Los Angeles. Finally, in May of 2017, the California ABC revoked Rudy's liquor license. The liquor license was then taken over by Rudy's long-time employee Dan Perelli, who continues to operate the same wine storage business and the embedded retail store (although only licensed as an "internet only" business) at the same address under the names "First the Wine" and the "Wine Hotel at First the Wine."
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Re: $2.1 MILLION IN WINE OWNED BY RUDY SEIZED BY DOJ: CHRISTIE'S HOLDING MORE IN EUROPE

#8823 Post by Victor Hong » September 18th, 2020, 6:43 pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 4:42 pm
Here is some belated news about seizure of wine which formerly belonged to Rudy Kurniawan. According to the Declaration of Deputy US Marshall Crystal Vasquez which was filed in the Kurniawan criminal case on May 22, 2020, one year ago, on September 11, 2019, the United States Marshal's Service seized "hundreds of bottles of wine previously held in the Bronx, New York on behalf Rudy Kurniawan." The wines in question were held by Christie's Wine Auctions at it's New York wine storage location -- Wine Cellarage in the Bronx, NY. According to the Declaration of Marshall Vasquez, the "hundreds of bottles" seized at Wine Cellarage have an "approximate appraised value ... in excess of $2.1 million." I do not have any list or description of the wines in question.

According to the Declaration of Ms. Vasquez, Christie's is continuing to hold bottles for Rudy Kurniawan in Europe. Her Declaration states: "In addition, I discovered that Christies is currently in possession of hundreds of bottles of wine owned by Rudy Kurniawan that are being stored in other locations including London, England and Geneva, Switzerland." The declaration does not identify the wines held by Christie's in Europe, nor does it place a value on them.

While I do not know whether the bottles seized in New York are authentic or not, there is reason to believe that the "hundreds of bottles" held by Christie's for Rudy in London and Geneva are not Rudy's counterfeit creations. First, I have no knowledge of any wine sales by Rudy conducted through Christie's Geneva. Similarly, I am aware of only one sale of Rudy's wines by Christie's in London -- a sale conducted in London on November 5, 2009, which was a part of the multiple sales of Rudy's wines conducted by Christie's in 2009-2010. There were 12 lots offered in that December 2009 London auction from Rudy Kurniawan (without disclosure of his name) for which we have records. Ten of the lots were sold. One of the unsold lots was subsequently sold by Christie's New York in December 2009. Thus, there is at least circumstantial evidence to suggest that bottles that are currently held by Christie's under Rudy's name in Europe are not Rudy's counterfeits.

Earlier this year I sent to the government a list of additional assets and wines under Rudy's name which have not been seized by the government to date to my knowledge. One of those assets has been discussed here previously. As readers of this thread will recall, for three-plus years following his conviction, Rudy continued to own and operate the Wine Hotel in Los Angeles. Finally, in May of 2017, the California ABC revoked Rudy's liquor license. The liquor license was then taken over by Rudy's long-time employee Dan Perelli, who continues to operate the same wine storage business and the embedded retail store (although only licensed as an "internet only" business) at the same address under the names "First the Wine" and the "Wine Hotel at First the Wine."
What would be the possible disposition of these wines?
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Re: $2.1 MILLION IN WINE OWNED BY RUDY SEIZED BY DOJ: CHRISTIE'S HOLDING MORE IN EUROPE

#8824 Post by Don Cornwell » September 18th, 2020, 9:20 pm

Victor Hong wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 6:43 pm
What would be the possible disposition of these wines?
I suspect that the Marshal's Service will attempt to determine if the bottles seized from Wine Cellarage are authentic and, if they are, sell them. The money from the sale of those wines would then be used as restitution recovery funds to the victims who filed claims.

But, of course, this still leaves unresolved the remaining Rudy wines in the possession of Christie's (in the UK and Geneva) which are the subject of the forfeiture order. At this point those assets belong to the US government, not to Christie's or to Rudy. I don't know if the US government has a way to force Christie's to turn over those assets or not, but I would hope so.
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Re: $2.1 MILLION IN WINE OWNED BY RUDY SEIZED BY DOJ: CHRISTIE'S HOLDING MORE IN EUROPE

#8825 Post by Victor Hong » September 19th, 2020, 4:31 am

Don Cornwell wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 9:20 pm
Victor Hong wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 6:43 pm
What would be the possible disposition of these wines?
I suspect that the Marshal's Service will attempt to determine if the bottles seized from Wine Cellarage are authentic and, if they are, sell them. The money from the sale of those wines would then be used as restitution recovery funds to the victims who filed claims.

But, of course, this still leaves unresolved the remaining Rudy wines in the possession of Christie's (in the UK and Geneva) which are the subject of the forfeiture order. At this point those assets belong to the US government, not to Christie's or to Rudy. I don't know if the US government has a way to force Christie's to turn over those assets or not, but I would hope so.
How about if John and Allen throw a Happy Homecoming wine dinner, when Rudy is released from his "cellar"? "We will serve no wine, before his time (is served)."
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Re: $2.1 MILLION IN WINE OWNED BY RUDY SEIZED BY DOJ: CHRISTIE'S HOLDING MORE IN EUROPE

#8826 Post by John Danza » September 19th, 2020, 11:23 am

Don Cornwell wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 9:20 pm
Victor Hong wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 6:43 pm
What would be the possible disposition of these wines?
I suspect that the Marshal's Service will attempt to determine if the bottles seized from Wine Cellarage are authentic and, if they are, sell them. The money from the sale of those wines would then be used as restitution recovery funds to the victims who filed claims.

But, of course, this still leaves unresolved the remaining Rudy wines in the possession of Christie's (in the UK and Geneva) which are the subject of the forfeiture order. At this point those assets belong to the US government, not to Christie's or to Rudy. I don't know if the US government has a way to force Christie's to turn over those assets or not, but I would hope so.
You know the legalities more than I Don. However, I think the US Government thinks they belong to them, but they don't because they're not on US soil, so the US government has no rights to them. I believe that they're in the possession of Christie's because of a seemingly legal storage agreement between them and the owner, RK. There's no reason for Christie's to turn them over to the US government without an order from the British and Swiss government, respectively, because that's where the bottles are. I'm sure Christie's doesn't want to be in the middle of this, but they also don't want to open themselves up to liability because an entity in another country claims ownership. That needs to be adjudicated in the countries the assets are housed in.
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Re: $2.1 MILLION IN WINE OWNED BY RUDY SEIZED BY DOJ: CHRISTIE'S HOLDING MORE IN EUROPE

#8827 Post by Don Cornwell » September 19th, 2020, 3:13 pm

John Danza wrote:
September 19th, 2020, 11:23 am
Don Cornwell wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 9:20 pm
Victor Hong wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 6:43 pm
What would be the possible disposition of these wines?
I suspect that the Marshal's Service will attempt to determine if the bottles seized from Wine Cellarage are authentic and, if they are, sell them. The money from the sale of those wines would then be used as restitution recovery funds to the victims who filed claims.

But, of course, this still leaves unresolved the remaining Rudy wines in the possession of Christie's (in the UK and Geneva) which are the subject of the forfeiture order. At this point those assets belong to the US government, not to Christie's or to Rudy. I don't know if the US government has a way to force Christie's to turn over those assets or not, but I would hope so.
You know the legalities more than I Don. However, I think the US Government thinks they belong to them, but they don't because they're not on US soil, so the US government has no rights to them. I believe that they're in the possession of Christie's because of a seemingly legal storage agreement between them and the owner, RK. There's no reason for Christie's to turn them over to the US government without an order from the British and Swiss government, respectively, because that's where the bottles are. I'm sure Christie's doesn't want to be in the middle of this, but they also don't want to open themselves up to liability because an entity in another country claims ownership. That needs to be adjudicated in the countries the assets are housed in.
As it turns out, under UK law the British government, if requested by the US government, will register the criminal judgment and Asset Forfeiture Order, and will assign a UK prosecutor to commence the asset forfeiture/enforcement proceedings. The UK government has two statutes -- the Proceeds of Crime Act of 2002 and the Serious Organized Crime and Police Act of 2005 which contain provisions to provide cross-border assistance to foreign governments with respect to recovering assets for the victims of crime. According to a UK-government-published summary of the relevant statutes written by the Head of the Central Confiscation Unit of the UK Crown Prosecution Service (Organised Crime Division), the process is relatively simple. A Letter of Request is filed with the United Kingdom Central Authority. (It can even be emailed or faxed and it may be proceeded by direct police agency to police agency contact in conjunction with the request.) Provided the letter of request contains the required documentation, the UK government then assigns a prosecutor to commence an action under Article 20 of the 2005 Act. Article 20 provides that the court must give effect to an external criminal asset seizure/forfeiture order by registering it where all the following conditions are satisfied:
  • (a) The external order was made on the conviction of the person named in the order and no appeal is outstanding in respect of that conviction.
    (b) The external order is in force and no appeal is outstanding in respect of it.
    (c) Giving effect to the external order would not be incompatible with any of the Convention rights of any person affected by it.
    (d) Where the confiscation order confiscates specified property other than money, that property is not subject to a charge under UK asset recovery legislation.
The UK court has the power to appoint a receiver. The court is required to provide the party from whom the assets are proposed to be seized an opportunity to demonstrate that the property in question is not owned by the defendant subject to the asset seizure/forfeiture order.
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Re: $2.1 MILLION IN WINE OWNED BY RUDY SEIZED BY DOJ: CHRISTIE'S HOLDING MORE IN EUROPE

#8828 Post by RichardFlack » September 19th, 2020, 5:06 pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
September 19th, 2020, 3:13 pm
John Danza wrote:
September 19th, 2020, 11:23 am
Don Cornwell wrote:
September 18th, 2020, 9:20 pm

I suspect that the Marshal's Service will attempt to determine if the bottles seized from Wine Cellarage are authentic and, if they are, sell them. The money from the sale of those wines would then be used as restitution recovery funds to the victims who filed claims.

But, of course, this still leaves unresolved the remaining Rudy wines in the possession of Christie's (in the UK and Geneva) which are the subject of the forfeiture order. At this point those assets belong to the US government, not to Christie's or to Rudy. I don't know if the US government has a way to force Christie's to turn over those assets or not, but I would hope so.
You know the legalities more than I Don. However, I think the US Government thinks they belong to them, but they don't because they're not on US soil, so the US government has no rights to them. I believe that they're in the possession of Christie's because of a seemingly legal storage agreement between them and the owner, RK. There's no reason for Christie's to turn them over to the US government without an order from the British and Swiss government, respectively, because that's where the bottles are. I'm sure Christie's doesn't want to be in the middle of this, but they also don't want to open themselves up to liability because an entity in another country claims ownership. That needs to be adjudicated in the countries the assets are housed in.
As it turns out, under UK law the British government, if requested by the US government, will register the criminal judgment and Asset Forfeiture Order, and will assign a UK prosecutor to commence the asset forfeiture/enforcement proceedings. The UK government has two statutes -- the Proceeds of Crime Act of 2002 and the Serious Organized Crime and Police Act of 2005 which contain provisions to provide cross-border assistance to foreign governments with respect to recovering assets for the victims of crime. According to a UK-government-published summary of the relevant statutes written by the Head of the Central Confiscation Unit of the UK Crown Prosecution Service (Organised Crime Division), the process is relatively simple. A Letter of Request is filed with the United Kingdom Central Authority. (It can even be emailed or faxed and it may be proceeded by direct police agency to police agency contact in conjunction with the request.) Provided the letter of request contains the required documentation, the UK government then assigns a prosecutor to commence an action under Article 20 of the 2005 Act. Article 20 provides that the court must give effect to an external criminal asset seizure/forfeiture order by registering it where all the following conditions are satisfied:
  • (a) The external order was made on the conviction of the person named in the order and no appeal is outstanding in respect of that conviction.
    (b) The external order is in force and no appeal is outstanding in respect of it.
    (c) Giving effect to the external order would not be incompatible with any of the Convention rights of any person affected by it.
    (d) Where the confiscation order confiscates specified property other than money, that property is not subject to a charge under UK asset recovery legislation.
The UK court has the power to appoint a receiver. The court is required to provide the party from whom the assets are proposed to be seized an opportunity to demonstrate that the property in question is not owned by the defendant subject to the asset seizure/forfeiture order.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8829 Post by Andy Sc » September 20th, 2020, 11:15 pm

Same is true for Switzerland. If the US government asks for it, Switzerland will open proceeding to determine if help is needed and justified (which is a no brainer).
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8830 Post by Glenn Gallup » September 25th, 2020, 10:52 am

You naughty boys are going to screw up Rudy’s retirement deal.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8831 Post by HenryB » September 27th, 2020, 11:54 pm

Don - tthis was posted on reddit recently. Would love to get an opinion ,especially of the 1900 latour :)
https://external-preview.redd.it/1l2Twh ... dbe8d112e6
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8832 Post by JoeD » October 15th, 2020, 5:04 am

-J0E D@BR0WSK1

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8833 Post by Don Cornwell » October 15th, 2020, 7:17 am

4200 BOTTLES OF HIGHLY-SOPHISTICATED COUNTERFEIT SASSICAIA SEIZED NEAR MILAN ITALY
JoeD wrote:
October 15th, 2020, 5:04 am
Cheap Sassicaia !!!
https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/15/europe/i ... index.html
Thanks for posting this. I was unaware of this. But the situation with the fake Sassacaia has very eerie similarity to the counterfeit DRC ring that operated out of Milan a few years ago. As the CNN article you posted the link to says:
Officials from the Guardia di Finanza said the sophisticated counterfeit operation bottled inferior wine from Sicily in a warehouse near Milan, with meticulously reproduced labeling and cases that came from Bulgaria. "The bottles and the packaging were perfectly identical to the originals," Dario Sopranzetti, a colonel in the financial police, told reporters. "Even the weight of the tissue paper was the same," he said.
Two men, a father and son, have been put under house arrest and 11 others placed under investigation following an operation launched last year, when a fake case of the wine fell off a truck and was found on the roadside.
This is a very similar story to the one that began on October 16, 2013 -- when police conducted coordinated raids and searches in seven different countries in connection with a ring producing very sophisticated DRC counterfeits. At that time a father and son team in Milan was arrested for counterfeiting millions of dollars worth of Domaine Romanee Conti wines. The father and son were never identified in the press to my knowledge. The French government sought their extradition, but despite the multi-country police investigation and counterfeit wine seizures that took place in multiple countries via Europol and Eurojust, Italy refused to extradite that 2013 father-son team. Alexander Iugov (a/k/a Alexander Anikin) a person of Russian national origin living and operating out of Milan, who was allegedly a "major actor" in the DRC counterfeit ring, was arrested in Meursault on May 4, 2014. Iugov was eventually convicted in January of 2017 for counterfeiting and selling the counterfeit DRC wines. But he was released from prison in May of 2017 when he was sentenced in an amount equal to time served.

There seem to be too many coincidences here.
Last edited by Don Cornwell on October 16th, 2020, 3:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8834 Post by Marlon F » October 15th, 2020, 8:19 am

I just saw this and was going to post it on a separate thread. A friend o mine opened a bottle of 2013 Sassicaia last month and discarded it; he said it tasted as bad wine... he purchased it in Italy.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8835 Post by Don Cornwell » October 15th, 2020, 9:09 am

Marlon F wrote:
October 15th, 2020, 8:19 am
I just saw this and was going to post it on a separate thread. A friend o mine opened a bottle of 2013 Sassicaia last month and discarded it; he said it tasted as bad wine... he purchased it in Italy.
There are some additional details in other publications, including an article in Decanter https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/fake ... ce-445643/ and the Drinks Business https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2020/ ... caia-ring/ There is also an article in The Guardian newspaper https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... -sassicaia

The police seized 41 cases of finished counterfeit Sassicaia - mostly from the 2010 and 2015 vintages. The Italian police estimated that around 700 cases of fake wine per month were being sold. Allegedly 11 individuals were involved in the counterfeit ring and the "father-son" duo from the Milan area are under "house arrest." The police claimed to have evidence that the ring has been operating for more than a year. There was evidence of approximately 1,000 cases worth of orders being taken from Chinese, Korean and Russian buyers at about 70% less than the cost of the authentic Sassicaia.
Last edited by Don Cornwell on October 16th, 2020, 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8836 Post by Don Cornwell » October 15th, 2020, 2:38 pm

A video was posted on youtube showing what the Italian Financial Police found in the raid on the counterfeit Sassicaia warehouse:

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8837 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » October 15th, 2020, 2:49 pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
October 15th, 2020, 2:38 pm
A video was posted on youtube showing what the Italian Financial Police found in the raid on the counterfeit Sassicaia warehouse:
Incredible.

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8838 Post by Don Cornwell » October 16th, 2020, 2:41 am

MORE ON THE SEIZURE OF THE COUNTERFEIT SASSICAIA IN MILAN

This is not the first time that the Italian government has seized a substantial quantity of counterfeit Sassicaia, but it appears to be the most sophisticated such counterfeiting effort found to date. In 2000, the Italian government seized approximately 16,000 bottles of fake Sassicaia. But the level of sophistication of the earlier counterfeits was quite different. For example, on December 11, 2008 James Suckling of the Wine Spectator, wrote an article describing tasting a counterfeit Sassicaia at a friend's house in Pisa. https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... caia-15889 As Suckling noted: "The big giveaway was the branded cork that didn’t have a vintage printed on it. And the bottle was a modern dark-green bottle with a long neck. The bottles of current vintages of Sass are not like that, and all of the recent vintages, as well as earlier ones, have the vintage printed on the cork." Suckling was able to readily identify the counterfeit by comparison with known authentic bottles -- the way that most counterfeit wines are detected.

As to the newly seized bottles, the Florence police claim that the bottles, labels, corks, capsules, wood boxes, printed tissue paper, and even the printed security banding for the wood cases appear identical to the ones used on authentic Sassicaia. The video (link shown in my prior post) shows the wood-burned boxes (complete with vintage date on the exterior of the box), fully branded corks bearing vintage dates and counterfeit security banding used to seal the wood boxes. According to an article in Forbes, the counterfeiters "used perfect copies of the labels including original holograms and distinctive features." https://www.forbes.com/sites/rebeccahug ... d032021fe7 As noted previously, Dario Sopranzetti, the spokesperson for the Florence Financial Police stated that “The bottles and the packaging were perfectly identical to the originals. Even the weight of the tissue paper was the same.”

Hopefully, Maureen Downey or Michael Egan will have a chance to perform a side by side comparison looking at the glass, paper, printing and inks to see if there are any differences that that the wine counterfeiting experts can discern.

But assuming that counterfeiters are able to produce wines with no visible differences from simple physical examination, that makes detecting counterfeits all but impossible for the trade. This should also be a four alarm fire warning to all of the producers of the highest priced wine brands, and to wine buyers who purchase high-end wine that the simple security bells and whistles that are currently being utilized like holograms, ink visible only under ultra-violet light, and printed banding can be, and now demonstrably have been, duplicated by the counterfeiters. In the case of 2015 Sassiacaia, this occurred on a wine which sells for $150 to $250 a bottle in Europe and $230 to $300 in the US. The level of attention being paid to anti-counterfeiting measures is not even close to what it needs to be to protect the brands that are the targets of the counterfeiters.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8839 Post by Victor Hong » October 16th, 2020, 4:08 am

Good way for counterfeiters to kill the joy of a hobby. Thank you.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8840 Post by HoosJustinG » October 16th, 2020, 4:43 am

I’m surprised such a sophisticated counterfeiting ring would be dedicated to making fake Sassicaia including fake OWCs and banding.

Frankly, I imagine there’s a much more lucrative market faking premium champagne with all that is sold at bars and clubs to people who have no idea what they’re drinking and only care about the label. It can’t be easy to get fake wine into the supply chain of wine shops and high end restaurants. I’d imagine club owners to be much more amenable/less suspicious to buying outside their normal supply chains than a wine shop owner or grocery store. I guess faking true Champagne is logistically harder due to secondary fermentation, but again, you could probably bottle tank method bubbles and most/all club clientele would have no idea ... and it’s not like it’s an unsolvable mystery that only top champagne houses have figured out. There’s plenty of producers making “traditional method” sparkling wine ... if these folks can figure out perfect Sassicaia OWCs, tissue paper, etc, they can figure that out too...
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8841 Post by Troy Stark » October 16th, 2020, 6:30 am

Is it possible the counterfeiters were provided their packaging materials from the same places that supply it directly to Sassicaia? In other words, the packaging was actually "original" and the only thing counterfeit is what was in the bottles? I'm sure the Italian authorities will investigate this angle, no?
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8842 Post by JBrochu » October 16th, 2020, 6:34 am

Don Cornwell wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 2:41 am
For example, on December 11, 2008 James Suckling of the Wine Spectator, wrote an article describing tasting a counterfeit Sassicaia at a friend's house in Pisa. https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... caia-15889 As Suckling noted: "The big giveaway was the branded cork that didn’t have a vintage printed on it. And the bottle was a modern dark-green bottle with a long neck. The bottles of current vintages of Sass are not like that, and all of the recent vintages, as well as earlier ones, have the vintage printed on the cork." Suckling was able to readily identify the counterfeit by comparison with known authentic bottles -- the way that most counterfeit wines are detected.
He still gave it 96 points.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8843 Post by DavidChang » October 16th, 2020, 6:40 am

are vintages always printed on the cork?

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8844 Post by Rodrigo B » October 16th, 2020, 6:43 am

Sadly I think wines like Sassicaia are the perfect target for counterfeiting. The lower price relative to burgundy means that it attracts not only more potential buyers, but also less savy/aware buyers. So counterfeiters can move much more volume to people that are not as aware of counterfeiting issues. The larger production volume/less premium aspect also means its much easier to sell questionable provenance of the wine to buyers as there's a much wider base/source that these wines can theoretically come from.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8845 Post by MikeL238 » October 16th, 2020, 6:52 am

JBrochu wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 6:34 am
Don Cornwell wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 2:41 am
For example, on December 11, 2008 James Suckling of the Wine Spectator, wrote an article describing tasting a counterfeit Sassicaia at a friend's house in Pisa. https://www.winespectator.com/articles/ ... caia-15889 As Suckling noted: "The big giveaway was the branded cork that didn’t have a vintage printed on it. And the bottle was a modern dark-green bottle with a long neck. The bottles of current vintages of Sass are not like that, and all of the recent vintages, as well as earlier ones, have the vintage printed on the cork." Suckling was able to readily identify the counterfeit by comparison with known authentic bottles -- the way that most counterfeit wines are detected.
He still gave it 96 points.
[rofl.gif] [rofl.gif] [rofl.gif]
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8846 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » October 16th, 2020, 8:44 am

Rodrigo B wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 6:43 am
Sadly I think wines like Sassicaia are the perfect target for counterfeiting. The lower price relative to burgundy means that it attracts not only more potential buyers, but also less savy/aware buyers. So counterfeiters can move much more volume to people that are not as aware of counterfeiting issues. The larger production volume/less premium aspect also means its much easier to sell questionable provenance of the wine to buyers as there's a much wider base/source that these wines can theoretically come from.
I think this is exactly right, and the Sassicaia situation should be a big red alert to all of us that we are all extremely vulnerable to counterfeits -- it's not limited to people who pay thousands for old DRCs.

I think the ideal wines for counterfeiting are in the "middle" of the high end/luxury wine category, like Sassicaia -- wines that are produced in high enough volume that it is easy to produce them in bulk without arousing suspicion, but also high enough in price that you can make millions from bulk sales. Also, the current vintage of a wine intended to be aged is a good target -- current vintages don't require any fake "aging" of the bottles, hence make it easier to mass produce, and are not likely to be opened young.

Even more than Super Tuscans, Bordeaux fits that category. First growths and super seconds are absolutely ideal for this kind of counterfeiting. The first growths have higher production than Sassicaia (15-20,000 cases for Lafite and Latour vs 10,000 for Sassicaia) and prices that are twice as high. Super seconds like Palmer, LLC, etc. have similar prices to Sassicaia. There are also many super seconds between $100 and $200 a bottle that would not draw attention.

It would be incredibly easy to insert counterfeit wines like this into the retail chain. As we all know, there are lots of auction houses and retailers who take wines basically no questions asked, just based on a glance at external condition. It would actually be pretty surprising to me if there isn't a factory somewhere in Asia turning out passable forgeries of first growths right now that are in the sales chain somewhere. We all know that there are plenty of non-passable forgeries of high-end wines being produced in Asia that are very visible, do we really think that people are too stupid to turn out passable ones?

If everyone worked together it seems like the industry could get this under control, for example by numbering bottles and having a global database registering and tracking the bottles (so you would know if there are excess or multiple bottles circulating, etc.). But as long as we all keep spending our money and taking our chances, there are no incentives to make that effort.

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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8847 Post by Don Cornwell » October 16th, 2020, 2:51 pm

Troy Stark wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 6:30 am
Is it possible the counterfeiters were provided their packaging materials from the same places that supply it directly to Sassicaia? In other words, the packaging was actually "original" and the only thing counterfeit is what was in the bottles? I'm sure the Italian authorities will investigate this angle, no?
There have been a few instances in France where labels were stolen or bottles were stolen from the particular estate's suppliers, but that doesn't appear to have have happened here. According to the Florence police, the bottles came from Turkey and the boxes, labels and other materials all came from Bulgaria.
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8848 Post by Don Cornwell » October 16th, 2020, 2:54 pm

DavidChang wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 6:40 am
are vintages always printed on the cork?
Yes for Sassicaia. So if you see a Sassicaia cork without one, you're looking at a fake.
Don Cornwell
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8849 Post by HenryB » October 17th, 2020, 1:41 am

Marcu$ Stanley wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 8:44 am
Rodrigo B wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 6:43 am
Sadly I think wines like Sassicaia are the perfect target for counterfeiting. The lower price relative to burgundy means that it attracts not only more potential buyers, but also less savy/aware buyers. So counterfeiters can move much more volume to people that are not as aware of counterfeiting issues. The larger production volume/less premium aspect also means its much easier to sell questionable provenance of the wine to buyers as there's a much wider base/source that these wines can theoretically come from.
I think this is exactly right, and the Sassicaia situation should be a big red alert to all of us that we are all extremely vulnerable to counterfeits -- it's not limited to people who pay thousands for old DRCs.

I think the ideal wines for counterfeiting are in the "middle" of the high end/luxury wine category, like Sassicaia -- wines that are produced in high enough volume that it is easy to produce them in bulk without arousing suspicion, but also high enough in price that you can make millions from bulk sales. Also, the current vintage of a wine intended to be aged is a good target -- current vintages don't require any fake "aging" of the bottles, hence make it easier to mass produce, and are not likely to be opened young.

Even more than Super Tuscans, Bordeaux fits that category. First growths and super seconds are absolutely ideal for this kind of counterfeiting. The first growths have higher production than Sassicaia (15-20,000 cases for Lafite and Latour vs 10,000 for Sassicaia) and prices that are twice as high. Super seconds like Palmer, LLC, etc. have similar prices to Sassicaia. There are also many super seconds between $100 and $200 a bottle that would not draw attention.

It would be incredibly easy to insert counterfeit wines like this into the retail chain. As we all know, there are lots of auction houses and retailers who take wines basically no questions asked, just based on a glance at external condition. It would actually be pretty surprising to me if there isn't a factory somewhere in Asia turning out passable forgeries of first growths right now that are in the sales chain somewhere. We all know that there are plenty of non-passable forgeries of high-end wines being produced in Asia that are very visible, do we really think that people are too stupid to turn out passable ones?

If everyone worked together it seems like the industry could get this under control, for example by numbering bottles and having a global database registering and tracking the bottles (so you would know if there are excess or multiple bottles circulating, etc.). But as long as we all keep spending our money and taking our chances, there are no incentives to make that effort.


Personally, it shocks me given the prevalence of fakes, that peolpe still buy wine at near-full price at auction, or out of bond. I exclusively buy wine in bond, and whilst I'm sure its not 100% permanently fool proof, the probability of fake wines simply has to be much lower, and the risk to the counterfeiters has to be higher. I appreciate why you arent going to find a lot of in-bond 1945 Mouton or Latour, etc, but for most recent vintages you should be able to find very healthy stock of definitetly legitimate wines
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Re: RUDY KURNIAWAN & GLOBAL WINE AUCTION FRAUD THREAD (MERGED)

#8850 Post by Jason T » October 17th, 2020, 2:48 am

HoosJustinG wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 4:43 am
I’m surprised such a sophisticated counterfeiting ring would be dedicated to making fake Sassicaia including fake OWCs and banding.

Frankly, I imagine there’s a much more lucrative market faking premium champagne with all that is sold at bars and clubs to people who have no idea what they’re drinking and only care about the label. It can’t be easy to get fake wine into the supply chain of wine shops and high end restaurants. I’d imagine club owners to be much more amenable/less suspicious to buying outside their normal supply chains than a wine shop owner or grocery store. I guess faking true Champagne is logistically harder due to secondary fermentation, but again, you could probably bottle tank method bubbles and most/all club clientele would have no idea ... and it’s not like it’s an unsolvable mystery that only top champagne houses have figured out. There’s plenty of producers making “traditional method” sparkling wine ... if these folks can figure out perfect Sassicaia OWCs, tissue paper, etc, they can figure that out too...
Damnit, now I’ll always doubt the authenticity of those Ace of Spades jeros I’m sipping and spraying in the club. Well done.
J@son Tr@ughber

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