Wine Diarist

More Details About Kurniawan’s Alleged Counterfeiting Operation

Federal prosecutors submitted a letter today to Judge Denise L. Cote of the U.S. District Court for the southern district of New York asking that Kurniawan be denied bail because they consider him a flight risk. The letter includes more details concerning Kurniawan’s alleged counterfeiting activities.  It states the following:

“Yesterday, the FBI searched Kurniawan’s home pursuant to a judicial search warrant and found an elaborate counterfeiting operation. The agents found and seized, among other things, the following:

• Thousands of printed wine labels to many of the most expensive wines in the world, such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Chateau Petrus. A photograph of some of the labels that were seized is attached as Exhibit A.

• Hundreds of corks, foil wrappers used to cover corks, and wax used to seal corks.  A photograph of some of the foil wrappers and labels is attached as Exhibit B.

• Scores of rubber stamps for vintages (years in which a wine was made), the names of wineries, and other identifying features found on wine bottles. A photograph of some of the rubber stamps is attached as Exhibit C.

• Glue, stencils, special scissors that cut paper in the particular pattern of certain wine labels.

• A mechanical device used to insert corks into wine bottles.

• Scores of bottles in the preparatory stages of being converted into counterfeit bottles, such as bottles without labels, bottles with inconsistent labeling (for example, bottles with counterfeit labels attached but some of the authentic labels still on the bottle because they had not yet been removed by Kurniawan).

• Bottles of moderately priced California wine with writing on the bottles indicating that the California wines would be used to pass as expensive Bordeaux wines.

• Bottles soaking in the kitchen sink to aid in the removal of the wine labels.

The evidence of Kurniawan’s counterfeiting activities, based on the results of the search of his home alone, is overwhelming.”

You can read the entire letter here.

Update: And here is Exhibit AExhibit B, and Exhibit C.