- As a fraudster is indicted for a $1.3 million hoax counterfeiting rare wines and selling the bottles, attention has fallen to the consumer-trusted wine experts who were so easily fooled.
From the Daily Mail:
As a fraudster is indicted for a $1.3 million hoax counterfeiting rare wines and selling the bottles, attention has fallen to the consumer-trusted wine experts who were so easily fooled.
The world's most respected taste buds bought, sold and wrote about Rudy Kurniawan's wine collection, many of which turned out to be re-marked fakes from Napa Valley.
Now, as the 35-year-old faces jail time of up to 100 years, many are speculating as to how he managed to get away with it.
An article in the latest New York magazine points out how many of Mr Kurniawan's apparently sought-after wines, of which he sold more than $35 million worth in 2006 alone, are alleged to be counterfeits - potentially damaging the prestigious world of wine experts and their often snobby credibility.
When the FBI arrested Mr Kurniawan on March 8, his Californian home contained explicit evidence of the scam, which alluded the circle of wine experts and enthusiasts who were his trusted confidants.
Thousands of photocopied wine labels for top vintages, including 1950 Pétrus and 1947 Lafleur, Lafite, and Romanée-Conti were found next to hundreds of old and new corks, and an automatic device for inserting them.
(Also, see: Wine hoax fools industry elite)