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Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Twelve-by-Seventy-Five Ltd: in compulsory liquidation – White Knights circle

Following a petition in the High Court London by three creditors it was ordered that the company – Twelve-by-Seventy-Five Ltd – be wound up. The order was made on 30th January 2019. The petition was lodged on 14th December 2018 by Stuart John Reid, Gregor James Reid and Shona Louise Reid. 

Sultan Mahmood Rashid, the sole remaining director, did not contest the petition nor was he present in court of the hearing. 

The liquidator is: The Official Receiver Or London, 2nd Floor, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 2HT 

Like vultures White Knights are circling looking to hit victims a second time. Step forward Empire Investment Capital Ltd. This company was founded in 2014 and its sole director is 59 year-old Raymond William Empson  

Today I received this email (below) from an investor misled by promises from Twelve-by-Seventy-Five Ltd asking for advice. They have been contacted by Empire Investment Capital Ltd. 

'Like many others you are aware of I was mis-sold Excellence De Belliard wine by Twelve by Seventy Five and their directors, De Nardis and Rashid with the promises of high returns. As with all their other customers they eventually refused to even speak to me over the past year and I now know the company has been liquidated.



Within the last month I have been contacted by a company called Empire Investment Capital and in particular by their director Raymond William Empson who has offered to sell my wine as a 'Capital Exchange' to Shangri La Hotels, Hong Kong.  The sale price they have quoted would be 16.5% premium on my purchase price to TBSF.  In order to be in their 'Capital Exchange Programme' they have requested a returnable deposit of 3750 GBP and also insist that for the exchange to be made then I must pay them the VAT on the original purchase price of my wine which is currently held in bond with LCB.  This I have refused to do as I know that VAT is not payable until the wine is released from bond.



Somehow this company has obtained a list of TBSF former customers and I believe is trying an elaborate scheme to defraud these customers of cash with promises of a lucrative sale of their wine to Shangri La Hotels who I find it difficult to believe would deal in this way knowing that the current market for Excellence De Belliard wine is virtually non-existent.  I believe also that HM Customs and Excise would not look favourably on Mr Empson's demand that VAT be paid to him in advance of any sale.'
My advice:
I have strongly urged the investor to have nothing to do with Empire Investment Capital Ltd. All too often similar deals suggesting that there is a buyer in China or somewhere else in Asia Pacific have 'fallen through' once the wine or the advance fee has been paid. I can see no reason why Shangri La Hotels would want to buy the virtually worthless Excellence De Belliard wines, especially not at a 16.5% premium. 
I can only assume that this deal suggests that Raymond William Empson has an over-excited imagination......
I have also urged this investor to contact the Official Receiver about this approach.   
 





Saturday, 2 March 2019

Wine investment scams: Court success for Essex Police



 Christopher Brummitt
sought by Essex Police for 
skipping bail prior to sentencing


An update on Mayfair Worldwide Trading, Commodex Global and Winchester Associates involved in wine investment and graphene scams

Success for Essex Police:  

 

Adam EDWARDS – Guilty – awaiting sentence (appearing in court for sentence in April 2019)


Barry WARNER – Guilty – awaiting sentence as above


Tarik DRISSI – Guilty – awaiting sentence as above 

This was following their Not Guilty pleas and jury trial at Southwark Crown where all three were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud victims of Mayfair Worldwide Trading, Commodex Global and Winchester associates.

James BROOKS – guilty plea at pre-trial hearing to criminal finance offences. Will be sentenced alongside others in April

 

Christopher BRUMMITT – guilty plea at pre-trial hearing to criminal finance offences, was given bail by court but has absconded. Essex Police are actively seeking him. He admitted the offences on November 7th 2018. 

Christopher Brummit, 36, of Ugley, Bishop's Stortford, was due to be sentenced on Thursday 14th February, for two counts of transferring and acquiring criminal property.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "The case relates to a fine wine scam between 2013 and 2015 where he acquired £157,000 of criminally gained funds and transferred over £72,500 of them.
"Brummit is 5ft 7ins, he has a tattoo of a zodiac star on his neck and Celtic and tribal tattoos on his arms. 

"He has a triangular symbol tattooed on his chest and a scar. He has links to Bishop’s Stortford." 

Anyone with information can call Braintree CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

Details from Essex Police and the




 



 

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Twelve By Seventy Five Limited – exchange DRC for an unsaleable investment




Twelve By Seventy Five Ltd, now run by sole director Sultan Rashid, pride themselves on their expertise:  

 'We ensure your portfolio is expertly and reliably managed for the best results and keep in touch with you through portfolio valuations and market forecasts.'

'We provide unique and personal advice on how to make a good financial return within this market.'  

 'We ensure your portfolio is expertly 
and reliably managed for the best results'

For whom, please?

'Perfect wine portfolio?'

Sell us your DRC and we will give 
you a dead duck wine investment 


A good financial return? For whom I have to wonder ...... having been contacted by BV, whose father was persuaded to exchange his portfolio of DRC wines for variants of “Excellence de Belliard” wines, which have proved be a dead duck investment – what a surprise!


 From the Twelve By Seventy Five website 
DRC 2002 cited but curiously no mention of Excellence de Belliard 


Sultan Rashid's Linkedin profile
'My companies goal is to create a straight forward, transparent, personally tailored to the client Wine Investment Brokerage. After working my way up to Senior broker at a previous company I saw a gap in the market. This gap in the market is a wine investment company that solely has the clients best interests as number one priority. This is the future of wine investment.

My passion is inventing new, more innovative ways for people that are new or familiar to the industry to get the best understanding and profits from there investments, with a broker they can trust and rely on to have there (sic) best interest as paramount.


Open letter to Mr Sultan Rashid, Director, Twelve By Seventy Five Limited from BV:


Without Prejudice, save as to costs

I set out below my family’s experience of investing through Twelve By Seventy Five Limited (TBSF). All statements of fact can be evidenced.  


Background

In early 2014 my (now late) father held significant holdings of DRC and other well-known investment grade wines.


At this time, he was contacted by Mr Riccardo De’Nardis, a co-director, along with yourself, of newly formed wine brokerage, Twelve By Seventy Five Limited (TBSF). 


Mr De’Nardis had been involved in the sale of the DRC portfolio to my father (in his previous role at Capital Vintners) and used this former contact to introduce my father to TBSF.


During the next three years my father was advised by, and traded through, TBSF. This led to his existing portfolio being systematically sold to TBSF and reinvested (primarily) in variants of “Excellence de Belliard” wines, purchased from TBSF, at an invoiced value amounting to some £390,000.


These wines have proved to be basically unsaleable:

  • No other broker I have offered them to has been remotely interested in making any offer for them.
  • One broker informed me they were “about as illiquid as it is possible to be” in terms of investment.
  • TBSF has had two failed attempts to sell small tranches of the portfolio, once before my father’s death and once subsequent to it.  

  • TBSF have not been able to recommend any other credible disposal route.

This is despite my father being led to believe that the investments were to be short term in nature; to quote a member of your staff, “flipped” for a quick profit.  In light of these facts I can only conclude that TBSF either offered catastrophically bad (negligent) advice to my father, or deliberately set out to defraud him.  


Recovery To date

Subsequent to my father’s death in February 2017 I reconciled all the transactions he had made with TBSF to both bank statements and to the wines present in his warehouse accounts.


This exercise identified a number of “administrative anomalies”, which led (over time) to the recovery of £32,000 from TBSF. 


Subsequent to this, TBSF agreed to help sell the portfolio off.  However, this did not go well and in Summer 2017 I finally lost patience with TBSF’s increasingly implausible excuses for failing to sell a small tranche of the Belliard portfolio. I therefore formally confronted Mr De’Nardis with my conclusion that the value of the wines had been significantly misrepresented to my father by TBSF (either fraudulently or negligently).


After prolonged exchanges, during which Mr De’Nardis left TBSF suddenly and handed over to you, we eventually reached a “settlement agreement” during Summer 2017, involving the return of the wines to TBSF for a payment of £275,000 spread over two years.  However, you ultimately refused to sign it, claiming to have problems with your business and personal banking arrangements.


Subsequent to this we have managed to agree two additional payments, against threats of a court process being initiated, amounting to £28,000.  This leaves our outstanding claim at £330,000.


Current Situation

TBSF’s accounts to January 2017 show that the two directors at that time, Mr De’Nardis and yourself, were able to take £657,000 in directors’ loans from the business.  The business does not have significant capital, nor any borrowings, so this implies some profitable and highly cash generative trading has taken place.  No direct link to your dealings with my father can be proved from the information available, but I set out below an example of one en-primeur deal TBSF did with him, for which the wines landed in his warehouse account in March this year:


10 cases of L'EXCELLENCE DE BELLIARD PAUILLAC 2015 12X75CL (en primeur) :

Stated in-bond value           £ 10,000

Invoiced value                    £ 21,000

Uplift                                 £ 11,000


The sales invoice does not disclose any such uplift, but I assume that this is your “margin” on what is basically a risk-free transaction for your business.


Subsequent to Mr De’Nardis’ departure, you are now the sole director.  You no longer mention banking issues but continue to claim to be unable to offer any kind of immediate settlement (despite the money potentially available from the repayment of the directors’ loans).  You recently indicated willingness to sign a new settlement agreement but then refused to respond when sent a draft for signature.  In the meantime, it appears that TBSF is changing focus, to work on new ventures, namely “The Wine Drinker” and “Two Thirsty Bulldogs”, and your responses to my emails are often long delayed and incomplete.


This has now been going on for well over a year and needs to be resolved, one way or another.  I have therefore given up on privately discussing this matter with you.  This letter is the first step in a series of escalations I plan to make to bring this issue to a conclusion.  However, I remain open to constructive proposals in relation to how this might be achieved


Yours sincerely

(name withheld to protect my father’s identity)

June 2018

••• 


My view:
What appalling account of an elderly man being misled – either because Twelve by Seventy Five run then by Sultan Rashid and Riccardo De’Nardis had no idea about wine investment despite their claims of expertise or they set out to relieve BV's father of his DRC wines, that are certainly of investment potential, and replace them with variants of “Excellence de Belliard”, which nobody wants to buy. So either gross incompetence or very sharp practice at best.

investdrinks is aware that another client of Twelve By Seventy Five has made a complaint to Action Fraud. I understand that this client, an elderly woman – is this a coincidence or do Twelve-By-Seventy-Five Ltd target the elderly – is down by around £100K on wine that is owed to her. Just two clients are owed £430,000 by Rashid's Twelve-By-Seventy-Five Ltd.

Sultan Rashid has two new ventures* (The Wine Drinker and Two Thirsty Bulldogs), to which I will certainly be giving a very wide berth: 




 His ex-partner Riccardo De’Nardis set up a new company – Dens Global Ltd – on 12th July 2017. I will also be avoiding this company. 

'deformation of character'
* Sultan Rashid objects to the mention of his two new ventures and has threatened me with legal action if news of Rashid's new ventures are no removed from this post:

'You are right with me taking over the company and many changes have taken place since me doing so. The fact you mention my two new companies is deformation of character and I ask for you to remove this ASAP, otherwise I will have no choice to get my lawyers involved and sue you for this. Like i mentioned I have no issue with you mentioned TBSV, due to this situation being directly affiliated with this company. 

If this The wine drinker and Two thirsty bulldogs are not removed from your blog within 24 hours I will have no other option than to take action.' 

Extract of email sent by Sultan Rashid on 26.6.2018 @11.35
I have asked Rashid how mention of two companies that he has formed through UK Companies House and cited on his company's website and emails is 'deformation (defamation) of character'. I await Rashid's reply with interest.    
 
Update: 13th March 2019
Now in compulsory liquidation following petition in the High Court, London 
Further details to be added.