Wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan is deported from US

Notorious wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan has been deported from the US to his home country of Indonesia after serving seven years of a 10-year jail term.

Kurniawan (44) – who has been officially an illegal alien in the UYS after being denied political asylum in 2003 – was released from the Correctional Institution Reeves in Pecos, Texas, last November.

He was convicted in 2013 of selling millions of dollars in counterfeit wine to affluent clients over nearly a decade, and lost an appeal against that conviction in 2015.  US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement that Kurniawan "is a public safety threat because of his aggravated felony conviction."

Kurniawan's exploits were featured in the 2016 Netflix documentary Sour Grapes, which describes the scam that flooded the American wine market with fake vintage wine, focusing on rare and vintage bottles of Bordeaux and Burgundy that were actually blends of other wines mixed up at his home in Arcadia, Los Angeles.

He created a finished product by sealing the bottles with corks and outfitting them with counterfeit wine labels he created.

At the height of his operation between 2002 and 2012, Kurniawan was believed to be selling more than $1m worth of fine wine a month and was responsible for an estimated $150m worth of fake wine over the decade, according to fine wine experts.

Following his conviction, Kurniawan was also ordered to pay $28.4m in restitution to seven victims on top of a $20m forfeit.

His illegal activities were discovered after Laurent Ponsot, head of the house of Domaine Ponsot, started looking into discrepancies regarding bottles of the house's Clos St Denis.

Around the same time, American billionaire Bill Koch found fake bottles in his collection and hired private detectives to investigate the matter.

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