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Wine Spectator: Customers Ripped Off by Wine Store Now Being Sued

February 16, 2018

What would you do if a wine merchant took your money but never delivered the bottles? You’d ask for your money back. Now what if that store went bankrupt and the lawyer charged with paying off the store’s creditors sued you for your refund?

That’s the situation facing dozens of former customers of Premier Cru, the infamous Berkeley, Calif., shop that went belly-up in 2016, 11 months before its proprietor, John Fox, was sentenced to six and a half years behind bars for fraud.

Since December, the trustee tasked with Premier Cru’s bankruptcy has filed at least 60 lawsuits against former customers. These “adversarial complaints” are aimed at nullifying transactions that occurred anywhere from a day to more than a decade before Premier Cru filed for chapter 7.

The covey of defendants include home furnishings magnate and prominent collector Park Smith and Alibaba cofounder and Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai. They received partial deliveries of wine or partial refunds, which court-appointed trustee Michael Kasolas alleges gave them an unfair edge in bankruptcy proceedings over thousands of other former Premier Cru customers who received neither wines nor refunds. Wine Spectator has the full story.

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