About 500 bottles of counterfeit wine destroyed in Texas

The word "counterfeit" is stamped on a few of the 500 plus bottles of wine destroyed by the U.S. Marshals Asset Forfeiture Division at the Texas Disposal Systems recycling and compost facility in Austin, Texas, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. The wine is from the Rudy Kurniawan case, the man convicted of fraud in federal court in 2013 for producing and selling millions of dollars of counterfeit wine. (Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — About 500 bottles of counterfeit wine have been destroyed in Texas in a case linked to a California dealer who mixed cheap vintages and sold them for millions of dollars.

Rudy Kurniawan in 2013 was convicted of mail and wire fraud in federal court in New York. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, ordered to forfeit $20 million and must make nearly $25 million in restitution.

Investigators say Kurniawan mixed wines in his kitchen, poured the concoctions into old bottles with fake vintage labels and sold the items to collectors.

The U.S. Marshals Service has a warehouse in Texas, where the seized counterfeit wine was transported. Regulators on Thursday oversaw destruction of the bottles for recycling at a facility near Austin. The would-be wine was dumped over mulch.

More than 500 bottles of counterfeit and unsellable wine are destroyed at the Texas Disposal Systems recycling and compost facility in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. The wine is from the Rudy Kurniawan case, the man convicted of fraud in federal court in 2013 for producing and selling millions of dollars of counterfeit wine. (Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
More than 500 bottles of counterfeit and unsellable wine are destroyed at the Texas Disposal Systems recycling and compost facility in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. The wine is from the Rudy Kurniawan case, the man convicted of fraud in federal court in 2013 for producing and selling millions of dollars of counterfeit wine. (Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

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