Billionaire wins $28K fake wine fight

By on April 15, 2013

William Koch

Florida power magnate William Koch arrives at New York Federal Court Docket Docket to attend the closing arguments in his trial against California businessman Eric Greenberg, within the the big apple, April Eleven, 2013. Picture: AFP/Emmanuel Dunand

A FLORIDA billionaire said he bear in mind to drink a pitcher of wine to rejoice his win in his fraud case in opposition to a California businessman who offered him two dozen bottles of faux antique wine.

“it can be a home run!” a smiling William Koch mentioned right away after the jury in US District Court Docket Docket in ny awarded him $ 380,000 in compensatory damages for the counterfeit bottles of Bordeaux labelled as in the event that they have been produced from 1864 to 1950.

Koch paid $ 29,500 for the most expensive bottle, a 1921 magnum bottle of Chateau Petrus, at a 2005 auction. The jury returns day after today to decide if punitive damages are warranted.

Koch, a yachtsman who won the the United States’s Cup in 1992, had accused Eric Greenberg of fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, misleading Business practices and false promoting. The jury’s six adult males and two women sided with Koch on each civil cost.

Out Of Doors the courthouse, he talked about he was going to a trendy French restaurant on ny’s Larger East Facet to have a good time.

“I Am thirsty,” he stated with a smile. “I desire a glass of wine.”

A dejected Greenberg handiest shook his head when requested to remark. one of his prison experts mentioned he did not need to commentary except for the jury had finished its work.

For Koch, despite the fact that, the jury verdict was once as soon as a part of a campaign towards counterfeit wine marketers that he promised would proceed.

“To me, the whole industry is being corrupted,” he mentioned, recounting how his investigators had helped put one wine dealer in jail and compelled a judgment towards each other. “I completely cannot stand being cheated.”

“Now now now we have this faker,” he said, regarding Greenberg. “We’re moving down our hit checklist of fakers. that is most effective a start.”

Koch, Seventy Two, testified throughout the trial that he has mostly stopped searching for wines at public sale as a result of he has been cheated so time and again and not trusted the market.

Greenberg – a former billionaire who constructed two internet consulting Firms ahead of the 2000 supply way of those shares reportedly decreased his internet value by way of as rather a lot as Ninety per cent – had insisted on the witness stand that he by no means intentionally offered a bad bottle of wine.

“i wouldn’t sell a pretend wine,” he talked about as one of the vital trial’s first witnesses. “I’ve never deliberately supplied faux wine in my existence.”

Heaps And Lots had been spent with the aid of each side on criminal mavens within the case.

Koch, the founder and president of the Oxbow Personnel, based in West Palm Seashore, Florida, spent $ Three.7 million at the 2005 public sale, buying 2600 bottles of wine. He paid any individual greater than $ Seventy 5,000 day-to-day for 2 days to make his bids, even if he decided prior to the sale to no longer investigate cross-check the wines he at some point offered.

Koch, a Palm Seaside resident and the brother of industrialists and conservative political supporters David and Charles Koch, conceded on the witness stand that the wine he sold from Greenberg used to be as soon as not his first come upon with fakes.

In 1988, he stated, he paid $ 400,000 for 4 bottles of French wine he falsely believed had been owned by means of Thomas Jefferson.


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