At his sentencing Friday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Peters' lawyer said his client stole nothing and simply became "overwhelmed" by the volume of mail that he was expected to deliver during his seven months as a mail carrier."He basically says that it was a very large district that he had to serve and he was just overwhelmed," defense attorney Ruben Garcia told U.S. District Judge James Cohn. "Instead of just taking it back and admitting that he just wasn't up to it, he took it home."Peters didn't open even one envelope and none of the intended recipients reported any losses, officials said.U.S. Postal Service employees reported that they found "several garbage bags full of U.S. mail" at Peters' Miami residence. Other workers later delivered the delayed mail, which was addressed to ZIP codes 33060, 33064, 33013 and 33014, court records show.Garcia told the judge that Peters – whose prior criminal record consisted of two misdemeanor convictions for possession of marijuana and two arrests for driving with a suspended license – had already been punished significantly by being fired from a good job."I've realized how wrong I was for delaying the mail," Peters told the judge. "I am extremely ashamed and remorseful."
Peters was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment. The judge said he felt that, considering everything, it was a reasonable punishment.
He said Kurniawan’s victims were wealthy and aware that counterfeit wines were a frequent occurrence in the marketplace.“Nobody died. Nobody lost their savings. Nobody lost their job,” he said. The lawyer said the 2 1/2 years Kurniawan has served in prison was enough penalty, since he had lost everything and been branded a cheat.Okula called the defense lawyer’s comments “quite shocking,” especially when he suggested that Kurniawan should get lenient treatment because he ripped off rich people rather than the poor.“Fraud is fraud,” he said.Kurniawan was a connoisseur of counterfeiting who mastered label making, cork stamping, bottle waxing and recorking to create fake bottles of wine. Federal prosecutors said Kurniawan turned his California home into a wine factory. Restaurants sent him empty wine bottles, then he mixed together cheap wine and rebottled it as vintage wine.He also borrowed money against his collection of fake wines and owes a New York bank several million dollars.Wine consultant Maureen Downey spent hours documenting the deception to help her sniff out future fakes, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported in December 2013.“Some of the stuff up there, even the producers say they would not be able to spot it,” Downey said.For example, Kurniawan phonied up two bottles of 1934 Romanee-Conti and sold them for $24,000. A fake double-magnum of 1947 Chateau Petrus was auctioned for $30,000. “He made blends,” Downey said. “He was like a mad scientist.”
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller was charged with misdemeanor battery and taken to the Fulton County jail around 2:30 Sunday morning.Fuller, 55, is a judge in the Middle District of Alabama and presided over the 2006 bribery trial of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. According to a jail official, the judge has a 9 a.m. Monday court appearance and was expected to remain in jail overnight.Police responded to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at 181 Peachtree Street at 10:47 p.m. According to Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones, officers spoke to Fuller’s wife, “who stated she was assaulted by her husband.” Fuller’s wife, who was not named by police, was treated by paramedics but refused treatment at a hospital.Fuller was nominated to the bench in 2002 by President George W. Bush and has been a controversial figure in Alabama politics, largely for his role in the Siegelman trial. Siegelman’s family members and supporters claim the former governor’s prosecution was politically motivated and that Fuller should have recused himself for conflicts of interest.