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Koch wins back damages from wine dealer

Billionaire wine collector Bill Koch has won his appeal against fellow collector Eric Greenberg, who Koch claims was dealing in fake wine.

Bill Koch and his lawyer before the start of the original trial in 2013. Photo credit: Jefferson Siegel
Bill Koch and his lawyer before the start of the original trial in 2013. Photo credit: Jefferson Siegel

The billionaire took Greenberg to court in spring 2013 over claims Greenberg had “knowingly” consigned 24 fake bottles of wine to auction, including 1811 Lafite and 19th century Latour.

Koch won the case and was awarded US$12 million in damages but the decision was overturned on appeal in April last year.

Koch appealed the appeal and a New York court this week upheld the original verdict and rejected Greenberg’s case that there was no evidence he had deceived Koch.

The court said there was evidence that Greenberg had “misrepresented” châteaux and vintages and knew that these wines would end up in the hands of others.

The court said: “Given the evidence that the defendant intended to sell counterfeit wine, at auctions aimed at the public, no manifest injustice exists in the imposition of a punitive damages award.”

Koch has also recently received damages from Indonesian fraudster Rudy Kurniawan and a payout from auction house Acker Merrall & Condit.

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