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Feds Auction Off Top Wines -- From Top Counterfeiter

  • Auction of counterfeiter’s cellar has oenophiles seeing red
  • Fruity with a touch of fakiness: U.S. to destroy 550 bottles
Rudy Kurniawan was stripped of his art collection and his Lamborghini. That left the sticky question of what to do with his wine.

Rudy Kurniawan was stripped of his art collection and his Lamborghini. That left the sticky question of what to do with his wine.

Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
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For sale: 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild. Starting bid: $6,375. Previous owner: convicted wine counterfeiter.

U.S. federal marshals are facing one of the toughest sales jobs they’ve ever had. Better known for auctioning off stolen cars and drug dealers’ yachts, they’re now bringing down the gavel on more than 4,700 bottles of wine from the private cache of Rudy Kurniawan, convicted of fraud in late 2013 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He gained widespread fame for snookering luminaries of the wine world into spending millions of dollars on fake bottles of Chateau Petrus and Domaine de la Romanee-Conti.