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Wine collector accused of fraud, trying to sell fake French vintages

A prominent L.A. wine collector faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted after being charged with allegedly obtaining millions of dollars in loans and attempting to sell $1.3 million in counterfeit French Burgundy.

Rudy Kurniawan, 35, was arrested Thursday without incident at his Arcadia home by FBI agents assigned to the Los Angeles office after a years-long investigation by the FBI Art Crime Team.

Federal authorities allege that in 2008, Kurniawan consigned at auction at least 84 bottles — or about $600,000 worth — of counterfeit wine he claimed were from the Domaine Ponsot winery in France. He claimed one of the bottles was a 1929 vintage, even though the estate did not begin producing the wine until 1934, authorities allege.

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