CBS ’60 Minutes’ Episode Guide (Oct. 22): Bill Koch on Being Sold Fake Wine

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CBS ’60 Minutes’ Episode Guide (Oct. 22): Bill Koch on Being Sold Fake Wine

“60 Minutes” (10/22/17) – Con artists who foist fake wine on vulnerable collectors willing to pay huge sums for it have been a little nervous since Bill Koch got swindled. The billionaire member of the famous Koch family says he spent $35 million dollars to find those responsible for the four bottles of wine supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson that cost him $400,000.

Koch tells a tale of vintage vengeance on the next edition of “60 Minutes,” tonight, Oct. 22 (7:30-8:30 PM, ET/7:00-8:00 PM, PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Koch found out the Jefferson bottles were fake when he had his private investigator check their provenance to prepare them for an exhibit. He then checked his entire collection and found he had purchased 400 other fakes over his collecting career.

He says the fakes proliferate because individuals along their chain of possession have a vested interest in not authenticating them. “There is a code of silence in this business,” Koch tells Alfonsi. “Because obviously, the faker doesn’t want anybody to know that he’s making fake wine. The auction house doesn’t want to know that, and then, the collector himself generally doesn’t want to know it. Or if he finds out, he wants to find a secret way to dump it and get his money back,” says Koch.

“And that’s why, you see, I was very unique in being the one who said ‘I’m going to stand up for it. I’m going to shine a bright light on these fakers.’”

He put his investigator to work. First he traced the Jefferson bottles to a man in Germany who had claimed to discover them. He later won a judgment against him for $1 million, which he may never see.

Then he traced most of the other fakes to a Los Angeles conman who filled the bottles and affixed expensive labels to them. That man was convicted of fraud.

He sued the auction house that sold one of the Jefferson bottles but was rebuffed because of the statute of limitations. But thanks to his efforts, it’s now easier to sue auction houses.

Koch was on a mission, he says, and the cost was no matter. “I spent over $35 million doing all that. I was a dog…on a bone,” he laughs. “I wasn’t going to give up.”

Alfonsi interviews Koch at his 45,000 square-foot mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., where, in addition to his vast wine collection, he keeps art worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“60 Minutes,” the most successful television broadcast in history, began its 50th season in September 2017. Offering hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news, the broadcast begun in 1968 is still a hit in 2017, making Nielsen’s Top 10 nearly every week.

Over the 2015-2016 season, “60 Minutes” continued its dominance as the number-one news program, drawing an average of 12.3 million viewers per week – almost twice the audience of its nearest network news magazine competitor and three million viewers ahead of the most-watched daily network evening news broadcast. The average audience for a “60 Minutes” broadcast still dwarfs the biggest audiences drawn by cable news programs.

Anderson Cooper, Steve Kroft, Lara Logan, Scott Pelley, Charlie Rose, Lesley Stahl and Bill Whitaker all serve as correspondents and contributing correspondents.

The above press release was issued by CBS News.

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