Koch wins suit against Greenberg

A jury in Manhattan sided with Bill Koch in his lawsuit over 24 counterfeit wines. The collector extraordinaire and energy magnate had sued Eric Greenberg, a wine collector who at one point had a cellar of 70,000 bottles, for selling him the counterfeit bottles. The jury awarded Koch $379,000 in damages to cover the fraudulent bottles and will reconvene this morning to see consider punitive damages.

Bloomberg has the full story including some of Koch’s comments after the trial:

“I absolutely can’t stand to be cheated. Now we got one faker so we’re marching down our hit list of fakers. This is just a start.”

“Millions if not tens or hundreds of millions of counterfeit wines are sold every year. The counterfeiters don’t want anyone to know, for $100 they make it and mark it up to $15,000, I myself paid $100,000 for a counterfeit wine. To me the whole industry is corrupt.”

“What Greenberg did was treat me and Zachys the way you treat mushrooms–kept in the dark and fed manure.”

I’m thirsty, I want a glass of wine,” Koch said before repairing to restaurant Daniel. “And if it’s not a good bottle, I’m going to sue them.

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10 Responses to “Koch wins suit against Greenberg”


  1. I tweeted about this and Raj Vayda, head sommelier at restaurant Daniel tweeted back, “thank god it was a good bottle!” ha!


  2. Twelve million in punitive damages awarded Tyler.


  3. Whoa, that might even cover his legal fees!


  4. Most if not all of them. The issue is can he collect the judgment? Greenberg has a pot with cat litter odor these days.


  5. Oof, Jack.

    He says he may use the proceeds to establish a fund to fight wine fraud.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-rt-usa-courtwinel2n0cz1p1-20130412,0,6444318.story

    I wonder how that would work? I’d love to hear more on what this fund would do and how it would operate.

    Frankly, if he were going to throw millions at solving wine industry problems, it would be great if he got behind retailer shipping reform. But stopping counterfeiting certainly seems to be the issue he’s most interested in, even if shipping reform would improve the lot of many more wine enthusiasts.


  6. Me thinks a stiff sentence and forfeiture of all assets against Rudy will do more to cause hesitation to the creeps in the wine fraud market that anything ol Kochy is capable of doing.


  7. Sue all the auction houses for there I dont care attitude and only pulling when someone breaths down their neck like a berserker forum guy eh


  8. “…it would be great if he got behind retailer shipping reform.”

    Amen to that!


  9. True, Jack, this alone but also if the DoJ prevailed in the Kurniawan case would certainly have a chilling effect.

    Btw, here’s a picture from outside the courtroom that supposedly is the chief juror interacting with Koch:

    https://twitter.com/MicheleActivate/status/322890151657369600/photo/1


  10. So touching Tyler. A common man picked as jury foreman who feels a connection with the Billionaire who bought his verdict. Only in America.


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