Authorities to auction off wine confiscated during bust

KTRK logo
Friday, December 11, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's a sight that will bring wine aficionados to tears. Hundreds of bottles of unopened wine were trashed as part of a U.S. Marshals investigation.

But don't grab your tissues yet. The wine stash is known in the wine world as "Rip Off Rudy." It's fake.

The suspect, Rudy Kurniawan, was the most successful fake wine distributor in the world. He produced millions of dollars worth of counterfeit wine and sold it for as much as $20,000 a bottle. Now this stash of more than 5oo bottles is trash.

"He would buy an expensive bottle, take that bottle and essentially cut it with cheaper bottles to make new versions of that bottle. Then he would create fake labels, fake wine caps and then rebottle the fake wine and then try to sell it as real wine," said Jason Martinez with the U.S. Marshals Office.

Some of the confiscated wine was actually real. U.S. marshals are auctioning it off online, with the proceeds going to the victims of this wine scam. For more information about that auction, visit

Related Topics