A jury in Manhattan has convicted a California-based wine dealer for selling counterfeit wine to rich people in the U.S.

Rudy Kurniawan, a 37-year-old Indonesian citizen, was found guilty of selling fakes of rare vintages worth more than $1.3 million to collectors, auction houses and more, from 2004 to 2012. Kurniawan has also cheated billionaire William Koch.

During a one week trial before U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, Koch also served as a witness in the case. Koch confirmed that Kurniawan sold him over 200 bottles of rare wine that he thinks are fake. Koch, who is a wine collector, said that he started a legal campaign against forging in the wine industry and hired several experts to find fake wine in his collection.

"Nine years ago, I set out to shed light on the counterfeit wine market," said Koch in a statement. "I hope Rudy Kurniawan's conviction, the ongoing efforts of the federal authorities and my continued commitment to expose wine fraud will change the industry for the better and protect consumers."

Prosecutors say that Kurniawan blended young wines with older French vintages to produce wines sophisticated enough to cheat collectors.

However, Kurniawan came under the scanner at an auction in 2008 when French winemaker Laurent Ponsot was alerted of counterfeit bottles produced by Kurniawan that were actually made in Ponsot's own vineyard. Ponsot explained that the wine bottles were from 1945 and 1949, except "it is an appellation we started in 1982." Ponsot testified that he ordered Acker Merrall & Condit, the oldest wine shop in the U.S. to stop the auction of the wine collection and he flew down to New York. 

Kurniawan also took the help of laser printers and vintage rubber stamps to make fake labels and possessed devices for corking and sealing the wine.

"Rudy Kurniawan perpetrated a vintage fraud scheme, not only peddling counterfeit wine, but concocting, bottling, and labeling what he foisted on his victims," said Preet Bharara, Manhattan U.S. Attorney.

Jerome H. Mooney, Kurniawan's lead lawyer, said his client is expected to appeal the conviction over issues related to a search warrant in the case. Mooney claims that the prosecutors exaggerated the extent of Kurniawan's alleged wine forgery and also downplayed the existence of counterfeit wine in the market.

Kurniawan has also been convicted of defrauding a financial firm for seeking a $3 million loan. Kurniawan lied about his immigration status in the U.S., double-pledged works of art as collateral security and also did not disclose that he had around $7.4 million in personal debt.

The wine merchant now faces up to 40 years in prison on fraud convictions, which also includes deceiving the financial firm of $3 million loan. The sentencing date has been set for April 24, 2014.

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