Just one week prior to trial, Emmanuel De Seroux, the last remaining defendant in Kendall-Jackson winery owner Jess Jackson's California lawsuit for fraud related to racehorse sales settled. To avoid going to trial, De Seroux reportedly paid Jackson $3.5 million. Other defendants in the case previously settled for various six-figure amounts. The case alleged that De Seroux and others defrauded Jackson by selling him racehorses at inflated prices that included undisclosed commissions and kickbacks.
Hopefully, the publicity surrounding this case will serve as a warning to those horse sales agents and trainers whose business models depend upon undisclosed commissions. However, like most horse-related cases, it will not serve as a legal precedent, simply because it settled before trial and therefore no judicial opinion was issued on the merits of the case.