December 18, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Wine expert Michael Egan eyed the six bottles of purported 1966 Montrachet sitting at the front of the courtroom. "They wouldn't look out of place in the urology department at Mt. Sinai," Egan said as he noted the cloudy liquid's sickly ocher cast. And they probably wouldn't taste much better than a specimen, according to Egan and other aficionados who testified this week in the fraud trial of Rudy Kurniawan, a onetime boy wonder of the wine world who once enjoyed an enthusiastic following in Los Angeles for his sophisticated palate and eye-popping collection of exquisite reds and whites.
December 4, 2013 |
German police have arrested two people suspected of illegally generating Bitcoins worth nearly $1 million. Bitcoins are an unregulated, virtual currency that is stored in password-protected electronic "wallets" and used to make purchases on the Internet and at some brick-and-mortar businesses. The currency also is traded in online exchanges, where its value fluctuates widely. Prosecutors in the German town of Kempten said they are investigating whether people used software to create digital Bitcoins worth 700,000 euros, about $950,000, Bloomberg News reported.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 2013 |
Two Laguna Beach men have been arrested on suspicion of selling counterfeit artwork, Laguna Beach police said Thursday. Vincent Lopreto, 48, and Ronald Bell, 49, are accused of selling fake artwork that they claimed was by Damien Hirst, an English-born artist who has exhibited throughout the world, online and through auction houses. Both men are accused of first-degree identity theft and operating a scheme to defraud. They are being held at the Orange County jail awaiting extradition to New York, where the investigation began.
May 6, 2013 |
Pfizer Inc. will begin selling its popular erectile dysfunction pill Viagra to patients on its website, in an unusual move to combat counterfeit drugs. It's a novel strategy because drug-makers rarely sell medicines directly to patients, but analysts say rivals will be watching the experiment closely. Men will still need a prescription to get the little blue pills delivered to their home, but they won't have to deal with a pharmacist in the store. Online pharmacies have proliferated in recent years, hawking fake versions of Viagra and other brand-name drugs at ultra-low prices and with no prescription needed.
April 24, 2013 |
A device that reveals counterfeit drugs in the hands of Food & Drug Administration agents is set to become the newest weapon in the worldwide effort to eradicate malaria, and may soon be used to detect useless look-alikes of drugs that combat cancer, heart disease and viral infections. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on Wednesday unveiled an initiative aimed at putting simple handheld versions of the FDA device into the hands of public health field workers in Ghana to help root out counterfeit malaria drugs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2013 |
Federal authorities have seized 1,500 counterfeit Hermes handbags from China at the Port of Los Angeles, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday. Genuine Hermes leather bags retail for thousands of dollars apiece. The two shipments, discovered Feb. 12 and Feb. 26, would be worth as much as $14 million if sold at full price, the customs agency said. Importing counterfeit purses and wallets has been on the rise, with a 142% increase in the value of goods seized in 2012 compared with the previous year, the agency said in a statement.