Wine collectors fight to save $160G collection from state-mandated destruction
Greg Wilson, Fox News:
Pennsylvania v. 2,447 Bottles of Wine is a death penalty case.
The bizarre legal battle involves a Keystone State lawyer whose vino was seized when he was charged with violating the state’s notoriously strict alcohol regulations. The criminal case is over — but now Arthur Goldman and his wife, Melissa Kurtzman, are fighting the state to prevent it from destroying their collection, valued at $160,000.
“Art and Melissa deserve the return of their wine,” said Goldman’s attorney, Peter Kratsa. “We believe the facts of the case and the law as applied to the facts of the case will vindicate the position that they have their wine returned.”
Authorities have held the collection since seizing it on Jan. 6, when they raided the couple’s Pennsylvania home and charged the 50-year-old Goldman with being an unlicensed wine dealer who violated Pennsylvania’s unique wine and spirits laws. Goldman, who lived in Pennsylvania when the alleged crimes occurred, entered into a first offender program, under which he admitted no guilt and will eventually have all charges dismissed and his record expunged. (He has insisted he and his wife bought rare wines to share with friends.)
But now the case is in Chester County Common Pleas Court, where Kratsa and a separate attorney for Kurtzman are fighting to have the valuable collection returned to the couple. If they lose, the bottles will be smashed and the wine will never meet a palate.