Fine wine investment scam
A recent investigation by the Insolvency Service has seen two directors of a company selling fine wines disqualified for a total of 20 years. Crimson Fine Wines Limited cold-called customers and offered them the opportunity to take part in fine wine investment scheme offering high returns over periods varying from 12 months to five years.
However, the investment scheme was no more than a scam as the company did not purchase or allocate wines to those who had paid for their investments. The company went into liquidation and there was insufficient wine held in the bonded warehouse to satisfy customers’ claims. The overall debts in the company after liquidation exceeded £1m.
The two company directors, one based in Canada and one in the UK were disqualified after the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted the disqualification undertakings. The disqualification means that the directors cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company for 11 and 9 years respectively.
Commenting on this case Karen Jackson, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, part of the Insolvency Service, said:
‘One of the main purposes of the Company Directors Disqualification Act is to ensure proper standards of conduct of company directors are maintained and to raise those standards where appropriate. These disqualifications should serve as a reminder that the Insolvency Service will investigate unacceptable conduct by company directors. The Insolvency Service will take action against directors who do not take their obligations seriously and abuse their position.’