As if Bill Koch didn't have enough going on this year, with battles against both wind (energy) and wine (fraud), along comes the PriceChopper. In addition to taking on Cape Wind by giving big bucks to the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the billionaire recently spent time on the witness stand testifying against fraudulent wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan. Apparently, Kurniawan mixed together and relabeled a bunch of cheap swill (a lil' bit of Wild Irish Rose and a taste of Night Train topped off with some Thunderbird and/or Two Buck Chuck?) in his own kitchen, manufacturing faux vintage vino to sell to deep-pocketed buyers from 2004 through 2012. During the trial, Koch testified that he spent $2.1 million on 219 bottles
of Boone's Farm. According to The Palm Beach Post, Kurniawan's imitations (at least he put some fancy looking labels on) weren't the only knockoffs to end up in his cellar(s): "Koch says he's spent $4.5 million on 421 bottles of wine that turned out to be fakes." Although Kurniawan has been convicted (and is facing up to 40 years in prison!), Koch has spent $25 million - so far - on eight wine-related lawsuits he's filed. "I want to shine a bright light on this whole fraud to show how bad it is," he said.
Wind and wine aside, it was one year ago that Koch shelled out a whopping $19.5 million for Bunny Mellon's former Oyster Harbors estate. No longer in need of his Seapuit River Road summer spread, Koch heaved the "Yachtsman's Paradise on Nantucket Sound" onto the market in July for $15 million. Alas, no mortal can match the power of the PriceChopper and last week, it swung over to Osterville and removed $2.5 million. The rather lovely waterfront compound is now asking for $12,500,000.
· Listing: 177 Seapuit River Road, Osterville [Robert Paul Properties]
· Fighting Cape Wind $1 million at a time [Cape Cod Today]
· Wine collector who defrauded Palm Beacher Bill Koch convicted in N.Y. [The Palm Beach Post]
· Sandwich Demolition; Bunny Mellon's $19.5M Sale; & More! [Curbed Cape Cod]
· Bill Koch Lists His Osterville Compound For $15 Million [Curbed Cape Cod]