Kurniawan knock-off wines destroyed

KurniawanAround 500 bottles of wine concocted by convicted counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan have been destroyed in Texas.

Last week, the US Marshals Service shipped the bottles to a recycling facility near Austin, with the contents dumped over mulch, according to the Associated Press. The process was overseen by the regulatory authorities.

The destruction of the fake bottles comes shortly after Kurniawan's collection of genuine vintage wines - validated by experts and numbering more than 4,700 bottles - was put up for auction.

Kurniawan was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2014, after being convicted at the end of 2013 of passing off cheap wines as rare vintage bottles selling for thousands of dollars a time.

He blended lower-priced wines so that they would mimic the taste and character of expensive vintages, and poured his creations into empty genuine bottles that he procured from various sources. He then created a finished product by sealing the bottles with corks and outfitting them with counterfeit wine labels he created.

Sales of the knock-off wines are estimated to have been in the millions of dollars, so Kurniawan was also ordered to forfeit $20m to victims of his fraud. In October US Marshals auctioned three vehicles - a 2008 Lamborghini MurciƩlago, 2008 Range Rover and 2011Mercedes Benz G-Class SUV - to raise money for the restitution.

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