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Fraud trial of wine

dealer gets underway

A prosecutor opened the New York fraud trial of a California wine dealer by calling him greedy but a defense lawyer says his client is the victim of a corrupt industry.

The differing views were offered to jurors in federal court in Manhattan during opening statements Monday at the trial of Rudy Kurniawan.

The Indonesian-born immigrant of Chinese descent was arrested last year and accused of trying to sell more than $1.3 million worth of counterfeit bottles to other wealthy collectors.

Prosecutor Jason Hernandez said Kurniawan manufactured fake wine labels at his Arcadia, Calif., kitchen. Defense attorney Jerome Mooney portrayed his client as a scapegoat. Kurniawan has pleaded not guilty.

The millionaire businessman has been held without bail.

Skier Bode Miller, ex

agree on custody

Skier Bode Miller and a former flame agreed Mondayto share time with their infant son for the next four months, calming a court fight over him as Miller heads toward the Winter Olympics.

The temporary arrangement isn't the final word in a custody clash that has become a public drama for the skier and a cause of concern among women's rights activists. But the pact is in place at least until a March 31 court date, and lawyers for both sides said they hoped the dispute could be resolved.

In the meantime, "we're psyched about the cooperative plan," Miller said outside a family court in Manhattan, where he'd traveled after a strong second-place finish in the men's World Cup giant slalom Sunday in Beaver Creek, Colo.

The agreement will let Miller take the boy to the Olympics in February in Sochi, Russia, his lawyers said.

The 9-month-old boy's mother, former Marine and firefighter Sara McKenna, also said she was happy about the arrangement. "I think we're on the right road," she said after court.

Miller, 36, and McKenna, 28, had a brief relationship last year in Southern California, where they lived and the alpine skiing gold medalist still does. He's now married to professional volleyball player Morgan Beck.

He filed California court papers claiming paternity of the boy in November 2012, while McKenna was pregnant. The next month, she moved to New York to go to Columbia University to finish her bachelor's degree. She gave birth in February to the boy -- she calls him Sam, while his father calls him Nate -- and filed for custody in New York.

Manhattan Family Court Referee Fiordaliza Rodriguez sent the case back to California in May, calling McKenna's move "irresponsible" and "reprehensible" and suggesting it was motivated by the generally longer extent of child support payments in New York than in California.

A California court late this summer awarded temporary custody of the boy to Miller.

Women's advocates said McKenna had been penalized by the New York judge's decision, which they said would wrongly let fathers-to-be dictate where pregnant women could live.

A New York appellate court overturned the ruling, leading to a Nov. 25 court date that put the boy in McKenna's care for the last two weeks.

Historical letters,

manuscripts for sale

A large collection of historical letters and first-edition manuscripts will be offered in an online auction.

Profiles in History's Dec. 19 sale features more than 200 lots.

They include love letters from Gen. Douglas MacArthur to his wife. There's also a letter in which Abraham Lincoln discusses his political strategy four years before becoming president.

Each is estimated to bring $30,000 to $50,000.

Other highlights include a manuscript signed by Founding Father Thomas Paine and letters by England's King George III. Each has a pre-sale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.

William Shakespeare's First Folio edition of "The Tempest" and "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" could fetch $15,000 to $25,000.

The seller is an anonymous American collector. Other items from the collection sold this year and last.

Compiled from wire reports

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