-By Bernard Vaughan
April 12, 2013- A federal jury in New York on Friday awarded $12 million in punitive damages to U.S. billionaire William Koch in his dispute over the alleged misrepresentation of 24 bottles of wine he bought at auction.
Koch, 72, said he may use the proceeds to establish a fund to confront auction fraud and wine fraud.
The founder of Oxbow Group energy company, Koch had accused tech entrepreneur Eric Greenberg of knowingly selling him counterfeit bottles of wine at a 2005 Zachys auction.
"There's been a huge code of silence in this industry," Koch said after the jury decided on the damages in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. "My purpose is to shine a bright light on it."
Koch filed a federal lawsuit in 2007, accusing Greenberg, the San Francisco-based founder of several Internet companies, of fraud and misrepresentation and seeking $320,000, the amount he paid for the 24 bottles.