William Koch Fake Wine Lawsuit Reduced
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U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken in Manhattan agreed with the defendant, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Eric Greenberg, and the federal judge has thrown out the $12 million punitive damages award to billionaire William Koch in his lawsuit alleging the sale of 24 bottles of fake Bordeaux, and according to Reuters, reduced the award to just $711,622. According to Forbes, one was a magnum, a 1.5-litre bottle of 1921 Château Petrus for which Koch paid $29,500 at the Zachys auction. Koch is an avid collector of art and wine, and especially of maritime memorabilia.

U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken said in his ruling that according to Bloomberg News, the punitive damages a jury awarded William Koch against Eric Greenberg over the sale of the 24 bottles of wine were “excessive.”


William Koch told the Economist that he has spent $4 to $5 million on fake wines. “While the flagrancy of Greenberg’s fraud merits some award of punitive damages, the harm he caused is less compelling,” said the judge. There were 36 attorneys involved in the case and it was litigated for over a period of six years.

A spokesman for Koch, Brad Goldstein, said that William Koch is pleased with the ruling. Bloomberg reported that he said in a phone interview “Our goal from the start was never about the money, it was always to shine a bright light on the fraud that has gone undetected.”

It has been reported that Koch is currently engaged in litigation with regard to his purchase at auction of wines claimed to be originally owned by Thomas Jefferson and which Koch now asserts those claims were fraudulent.

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