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Wine collectors sue restaurant owner

June 16, 2013 at 12:18 PM

NEW YORK, June 16 (UPI) -- New York wine collectors have filed a federal lawsuit against a former Chicago restaurant owner who allegedly sold them a fake bottle of wine.

Brothers Bekim Frrokaj and Illir Frrokaj are suing Charlie Trotter and his restaurant for $70,000 plus punitive damages for multiple counts of fraud, the Wine Spectator reported.

The Frrokaj brothers said they paid more than $46,000 for the bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1945 after flying to Chicago from New York to purchase the bottle.

When the brothers attempted to have the wine authenticated by expert Maureen Downey, she said it was a fake.

"I've got issues with the bottle's glass, with the label, with the capsule and with the cork," Downey told Wine Spectator. "I am 100 percent confident that the wine is counterfeit."

The brothers' lawyer, Vince DiTomasso, said the clients asked Trotter for a refund, but it was never granted.

Trotter has denied the allegations.

"We have never had a complaint in 25 years," he told the Wine Spectator. "I think my reputation stands for itself."

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