Fine wine collectors are rarefied, rich, individuals, and obsessed to acquire famous things at any price, without knowing much about the subject.
This is how a young, gifted, and unknown Indonesian could enter the world of wine collectors and auctioneers.
He was a free-spender with a fine palate, and evil mind planning to divert untold amounts o millions into his pockets.
He concocted in his luxury home, wines and filled bottled that previously contained famous wines, or “refreshed” them with fake labels to fool auctioneers and collectors.
It is unbelievable that auctioneers could not detect fake bottles of old Burgundies and Bordeaux.
Peter Hellman has written about Dr. Conti (his nickname) amongst high –powered nouveau riche, who have little or no knowledge about wine, and which is fascinating, based on thorough research and excellent style.
The prose flows beautifully, and following the history of assent and descent of Dr. Conti who is now spending time in an American jail and after serving his sentence he will in all probability deported to Indonesia.
In Vino Duplicitas should be read carefully by every wine lover, wine and art collector, to learn valuable lessons on how criminal minds proceed in their plans.
Caveat emptor (Buyer beware) should be uppermost in the minds of collectors who buy “old” and famous vintage wines, site unseen.
Buying expensive wine involves at least some knowledge about the producer, quality, taste and credibility of the offer. The same is true for art.
Dr. Conti will go down in history as one of the great scammers of the ultra-rich.