Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rudy Kurniawan's $1.3m wine hoax: How one man sold cheap Napa plonk as the world's finest vintage... and fooled the industry elite

Fake labels: When the FBI arrested Mr Kurniawan, his Californian home contained explicit evidence of the scam, including thousands of photocopied wine labels

As a fraudster is indicted for a $1.3million 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. Read More