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The FBI has entered the esoteric world of rare wine collecting, arresting a Los Angeles collector who was influential enough to hike up international prices of wine, and accusing him of fraud.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Rudy Kurniawan was arrested on Thursday at his home following a years-long investigation by the FBI. He is now being charged with selling $1.3 million in counterfeit French Burgundy. His case has gone to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
When the Times profiled him in 2006, he had accumulated more than 50,000 bottles of the most valuable Bordeaux and Burgundy wines of the last century. Now, as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said to the Times, if the allegations stick, his “days of wine and wealth are over.”