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California Wine Dealer Convicted For Selling Fake Wine

wine bottles
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds, Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) — A California wine collector faces sentencing in New York after he was convicted of making up to $20 million from 2004 to 2012 by selling bogus bottles of wine.

A federal judge will sentence Rudy Kurniawan Thursday after a jury in December convicted him of mail and wire fraud charges. Prosecutors say federal sentencing guidelines call for him to serve at least 11 years in prison. Defense lawyers say the 27 months he’s spent in prison are enough. Either way, Kurniawan, who was born in Indonesia, will be deported once he’s freed.

Billionaire yachtsman, entrepreneur and wine investor William Koch filed a letter with the court saying he lost more than $2 million in the fraud and had spent millions more investigating it.

He said serious fraud merits serious punishment.

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