Billionaire Bill Koch Visits CBS SUNDAY MORNING Today
Billionaire wine collector Bill Koch says he has spent more than $4.5 million on fake wines and continues to fight those who have tricked him, he says in an interview with Martha Teichner for CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH CHARLES OSGOOD to be broadcast today, Dec. 22, 2013 (9:00 AM ET) on the CBS Television Network.
"I'm tired of the aggravation of being violated by these con artists and crooks," Koch tells Teichner.
Koch estimates he has spent $4.5 million on 421 bottles that are counterfeit and that he may have another $1 million invested in 50 to 100 bottles that may also be forgeries. "So, it's a pretty big swindle," Koch says.
Koch says he has spent upwards of $25 million in lawsuits fighting the people who sold him fake goods. In fact, he was recently a star witness at the New York City trial of Rudy Kurniawan, who was charged with creating and selling fake wines, including some to Koch. This Wednesday, Kurniawan was convicted on two counts of fraud in a Manhattan federal court for counterfeiting wines.
It wasn't Koch's first experience with wine forgery. Previously, he bought bottles allegedly owned by Thomas Jefferson that he says turned out to be phony. "I used to bring people down here and brag and say, 'You wanna see Thomas Jefferson's wine?' Well, then I found out it was fake, now what I have to do is say, "Come on down and see my fake Thomas Jefferson bottles,'" Koch tells Teichner.
Teichner visits Koch in his Palm Beach, Fla. home and also speaks with wine experts about rampant counterfeiting in the high-end wine business and what is being done to stop the trend.
CBS SUNDAY MORNING is broadcast Sundays (9:00-10:30 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.
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