Kelli Peters was the heart of Plaza Vista School in Irvine, California. She was the PTA president and the volunteer director of the after school program. But then, one day, as she was filling in for a teacher, a police officer said he needed to speak with her. He took her out to the parking lot and asked for her car keys. Kelli was puzzled, but she handed them over. The officer dug through her car, and eventually pulled out a bag of pot, a pipe, some Percocet and some Vicodin. Kelli dropped to her knees. She sobbed. She pleaded with the officer. The drugs weren’t hers, she said. But if they weren’t hers, then why the hell were they in Kelli’s car?  

Then Kristin talks about two things she knows inside and out: fine wine, and the perils of having millions of dollars in spending money. In the early 2000’s, Rudy Kurniawan was just a young, geeky-looking guy bidding on California wines at high-end wine auctions. Hardly anyone paid attention to him. But then his bids got bigger. And bigger. He spent millions on wine, and then began selling it. But over time, the people who bought his wines got suspicious. The wines didn’t taste quite right. And some of the labels looked a little funny. Had they been duped?

And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.

In this episode, Kristin pulled from:
“Chateau Sucker,” by Benjamin Wallace for New York Magazine
The documentary “Sour Grapes”
“Prosecutors reveal evidence against accused wine counterfeiter,” Wine Spectator
“Counterfeit fine-wine dealer sentenced to 10 years,” Wall Street Journal
“Kurniawan to tell all in $3M settlement with billionaire Koch, as sentencing is delayed,” Decanter
“Rudy Kurniawan’s court date is set,” Wine Spectator
“Alleged counterfeit wines go on trial,” Wine Spectator

In this episode, Brandi pulled from:
“Framed: A Mystery in Six Parts” by Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times
“Former Irvine attorney convicted of planting drugs in the car of PTA volunteer disbarred” by Sean Emery, The Orange County Register
“Jury awards $5.7 million to Irvine PTA mom in drug-planting case” by Kelly Puente and Sean Emery, The Orange County Register
“Irvine mom Kelli Peters writes book about drugs being planted in her car” by Kelly Puente, The Orange County Register

 

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