Enterprising Man Is First to Be Jailed for Selling Fake, High-End Wine

Rudy Kurniawan did what so many of us would love to: He took a little bit of the Koch brothers' money out of their pockets, and his swindling weapon of choice was fake wine. Billed as a fancy wine retailer, Kurniawan’s "rare" and "exclusive" bottles were made of whatever he mixed together in his kitchen.

According to the BBC, Kurniawan is the first person to ever go to jail in America for selling fake wine. But before he was nabbed, he built the retail identity of a high-end wine salesman, collector and playboy selling bottles to wealthy clients like Bill Koch, real estate mogul Peter Fascitelli and California restaurateur David Doyle.

In reality, Kurniawan blended old vintages with cheap newer wines to finance his charade, and then up-marketed his swill. Not a bad hustle if you can penetrate the billionaire boys club, which he seemed to do successfully. The best part is he’d been running this scam for almost a decade, from 2004 until 2012 when he was arrested and jailed. But when times were good, Kurniawan used his stolen gains to party with his posh clientele, fly on private jets, live in a Beverly Hills mansion and buy wine — real vintage wine — for himself, of course.

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Why didn't any of us think of this earlier?

Shutterstock/Christian Delbert.