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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Finbow Wines Ltd

An enquiry received today
‘I've been approached (cold call) regarding short term investment opportunities with a company called Finbow Wines Limited and wondered if you know anything about them and whether they are a legitimate company offering legitimate opportunities.

They were talking about low value, high volume Italian wines to be supplied to China / Hong Kong. Usually not open to private investors but demand is high and contracts to supply in place. Minimum investment is half a container which equates to £14k, and promising returns between 14-23%. In essence any profit made is split 50/50 with transport, insurance and admin coming out of their cut. To make it even more 'appealing' they even offer a buy back guarantee after 12 months.’
My response:
Finbow Wines Ltd was incorporated on 10.6.1999. The latest accounts are made up to 30.6.2008 as a dormant company. Finbow would appear to have been dormant since its incorporation in 1999. Companies House currently list Finbow Wines Ltd as a non-trading company. Vivian Paul Rees is the sole director (appointed 11.11.2009).

Finbow Wines Ltd's registered office is at St. Clements House, 27-28 Clements Lane, London EC4N 7AE. These are serviced offices.

Finbow Wines Ltd's website (www.fin-bow.com) is registered in the name of Simon Dempsey of London SE12. Dempsey was a director of Finbow from 5.4.09 to 11.11.09. The website was registered on 20.5.09. It deals in generalities and does not name any director.

From the Finbow site:
'We are a team of internationally experienced wine buyers, sellers and consultants who have worked in the industry for over 20 years. We have created FINBOW to share our passion for the finer things in life.

Together we offer a unique blend of experience and expertise. Some of us have been around wine for all of our lives and have personal, hands-on knowledge of the wine making process. Others have developed expert judgement by helping individuals and institutions build world-class collections that can provide pleasure for years to come.'

The following quote from the wine knowledge section of the site suggests that Finbow Wines Ltd may be the only company in the world outside the Bordeaux négociants to be able to buy en primeur direct from top Bordeaux estates:

'Buying en primeur
Due to our long-standing relationships with prestige vineyards, we can give you exclusive opportunities to purchase their wines before they reach the market, when you can expect to pay significantly more.
http://www.fin-bow.com/wine-knowledge/

Previous enquiries about Finbow Wines Ltd suggest that the Italian wine may be called Frassine, which apparently the company 'can buy for £1.95 and it sells in China for around £3 a bottle. The minimum purchase is 3500 units'.

My advice
Companies House records show that Finbow Wines Ltd has only recently become an active company, so has no track record. 'Low value, high volume Italian wines'  are unlikely to have much value if it remains unsold after a year. It is not clear from the website what experience the current director of Finbow Wines Ltd has in buying and selling wines into China. This seems to me a decidedly speculative deal with considerable risk attached.

All in all this is not a deal I would want to invest in.

142 comments:

  1. I have also been cold called by this company. I gather, that anyone can obtain names and addresses of investors on the LSE.

    I have been offered £5,000 worth of Fassine Wine, to produce at least 17.5% profit within 8 months. If the wine is not sold within 12 months, a full return of the investment is promised.

    Like Mr Bud, I found the same info as he, at Companies House. When I e-mailed this to FINBOW, Mr Courtney McGowan-Jones, phoned me to say that they have recently formed a U K company, but have been trading in Hong Kong for 8 years. On asking about the H K accounts, he said that these were not available.

    As far as I know, this type of business must be registered with the FSA, but according to their website, it is not.

    17.5% in 8 months is 26.25% p.a. Remember : What seems to good to be true, usually is.

    Finbow may well run the business they say, but there is nothing to back this up, at present. Perhaps next year, when they file their annual accounts.

    George



    As they say : I am out.

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  2. I have been cold called twice in the week by people from Finbow. The first one was very insistent and it took great self control on my part to get rid of him without swearing! I get the feeling that there is a lot more profit in whatever they are selling for them rather than the 'investor'.

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  3. Thanks for your comments. I agree it can be hard to be civil to cold callers, who tend to get short shrift from me.

    If you feel a UK company is dubious you can always email a complaint to the Companies Investigation Branch at enquiries@cib.gsi.gov.uk

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  4. A comment received yesterday will not be posted, although I have noted its contents.

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  5. A comment that I received today from macboro, which I have amended slightly while keeping, I hope, the sense of the original.

    'Like the above I have been approached (cold (call) as per usual) by Finbow with the above too attractive offer, I also checked Companies House and asked for accounts and requested they send the wine to my own warehouse for me to do with as I wish they were evasive then went quiet. Tonight they said Mr Courtney McGowan-Jones with background trading floor sounds has promised to supply me with their Hong Kong accounts I wait with interest. I will then forward to the FSA reporting site for comment.'

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  6. just a short update .. no Hong Kong accounts and no more calls from Finbow either, also they reside at 1 Park Place E14 according to the Daily Telegraph not as the wesite ... perhaps they don't want personal callers ?

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  7. I have just tried to call this company Finbow Wines a number of times today on their number 0203 207 9037.
    An automated answering message stated 'Please Press one to send a text to let someone know you are trying to contact them'. I pressed 1 but have not recieved a reply.
    Also sent an email to info@fin-bow.com and have not recieved a reply.
    Has anybody bought any wine from them?
    Has anybody had difficulty contacting them?

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  8. hello, I'm in the same situation. I was quite worried (a bit of a understatement really). I have bought wine too. I got through to the Director on thursday (what a relief!!)and he explained that they are moving offices from Park Place and that his staff are on garden leave for 7-10 days until things are sorted. He will find new offices this week. I think everything is ok but I wait and see later this week when he will call me. Hope that helps, but I know how you feel.

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  9. Why are they moving?

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  10. Hi, I`m in the same boat. Clive Harris was my broker but I had a call saying he had left the company. My new broker is Daniel Keep apparently. I was also told two weeks ago that the company are moving to new offices. I find it hard to believe any company can remain uncontactable whilst also trying to trade. Website down, no answer on the phone. I was assured everything was fine but as usual time will tell.

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  11. Surely one would arrange for new offices before leaving their current? I hope everything will be ok for you.

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  12. I have also bought wine from them and received the same information about moving offices. I spoke to Stephen Slade this morning and said I was concerned!! He said he will contact me again today when he gets into the office. We will wait and see. Yes, worried is an understatement.

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  13. dbodger@gmail.com24 March 2010 09:37

    I too have tried desperately to make contact with Finbow as I was expecting a return in mid-March. I have also bought wine for the South African Market (world Cup period). I am very worried, unable to make any contact with Finbow,their is no answer from their official line. Are you able to help?

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  14. I got through to Paul Rees (Director) of Finbow on Company's main no. 0203 207 9037. He initially told me Finbow is moving office. However, Paul admitted he could not get hold of any one either and he is concerned as well.

    Paul is based in South Wales and did not know his staff and seems to be left with the mess as all calls are diverted to his mobile.

    Paul advised me if anyone from Finbow calls, do NOT make any investment. Get their contact details and inform him immediately on 0203 207 9037.

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  15. Dear all, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. They have definately skipped. I went up to their offices this morning. They no longer occupy Clements House. I spoke to a gentleman called Nick Franklin who is the operations manager of the business exchange where Finbow rented offices. He said the matter is now in the hands of the police. He gave me the number of Clare Bracher who is the compliance manager. Her phone number is 02070169250. I have tried to call but her voicemail is full. I suggest you keep trying to call this number. I also suggest you call your bank. I already have done so and unfortunately because I gave the money willingly they cannot help me! I have called the trading standards on 08454040506 and lodged a complaint. They also suggest calling the police and the insolvency service 0845 602 9848 but I cannot get through. It appears from all accounts that we have lost our money.

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  16. Following a phone call with Paul Rees this morning I have posted a brief update today. I intend to post a fuller update as soon as possible. I can confirm that there is a police investigation.

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  17. sos1116@live.co.uk24 March 2010 14:08

    This matter should be raised to the Serious Fraud Office? If this fraud is in excess of £1m and if this impacts FSA, which Finbow has quoted to us they are checked by FSA and Finbow was introduced to us through the Bank (when we first had a call). Which will impact reputation of financial institution. Also this operation seems to extend to Hong Kong. This qualifies SFO to be involved.

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  18. I suggest going to the local police, make a statement, refer it to the fraud office at scotland yard who are dealing with the case (FAO: dc Bailey) .The investigation will take most of this year from what they told me.

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  19. SOS: As this case is under police investigation I imagine they will refer it to the SFO if necessary. Finbow Fine Wines is certainly not on the FSA register. I suspect that the Hong Kong address is a mailbox. I'm curious when you say that the Bank introduced you to Finbow.

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  20. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the update on Finbow. I am in to the tune of nearly £20k and am amazed that this could turn out to be a scam. Could it be a rogue element operating in the company do you think. I have contacted the police, they are coming to see me tomorrow.

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  21. Anon. It is quite possible that you are right about a rogue element in this company. Paul Rees tells me he was unaware of this element.

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  22. I invested £30K in October.The 6 month period mentioned was coming up and I tried phoning with similar results on 16th&17th March. Just tried again on returning from short holiday and found the blog when I browsed for Finbow Wines. Have just contacted my local police as advised.

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  23. you have all been taken to the cleaners. I have had first hand experience dealing with these guys and the things we are told are simply not possible i.e. guaranteeing our investments. Does anyone have contact details for Daniel Keep? (If that is his real name)

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  24. I would certainly hope if the police are dealing with this matter, they would certainly have access to the employees records.

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  25. No doubt the police will do absolutely nothing and the same employees will set up somewhere else under a different name and continue where they laid off !!

    There needs to be a full investigation in to everyone who worked for Finbow Wines as anyone who sold wine there should face prosecution in a court of law !!!

    Does anyone know who the bosses are behind these scammers ??

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  26. Anon. I think in the past the police have been reluctant to investigate. However, I understand that there is a substantial investigation underway and I'm more hopeful that more forceful action is now being taken.

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  27. Who are the guys behind the scenes at Finbow ?

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  28. Anon. There have been a number of suggestions that Daniel Snelling, who was arrested in connection with Nouveau World Wines Ltd, may have been involved. As police investigations are underway and there may be court cases, I'm not going to speculate further and may well not publish posts that do.

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  29. are we expecting any response or letter from the current director of Finbow to explain?, do our records even exist at the company on their harddrive? was there ever any shipments ordered to HK?
    ....I suppose all we can do is be patient and wait

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  30. Anon. I'm hoping to hear from Paul Rees with an update on the situation. He has also told me that he is still taking calls on the Finbow landline. As soon as I have further news I will post what I can on this blog.

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  32. This is an amended version of the above comment:

    'Why does Paul Rees keep saying he is taking calls on the Finbow landline? Callers are still being told to press 1 and they will get back to you which they never do. I am intrigued as to how you have been able to make contact when hardly anyone else has?'

    I have spoken to Paul several times on his mobile and also exchanged emails. I will shortly be posting a short update on Finbow.

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  33. I hope this update will include the people involved with Finbow Wines, so as they can be avoided if in new employment. The last thing I would imagine investors would want is these people contacting them again attempting to sell them something else with 'high yields' or 'excellent returns'.

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  34. My update will I'm afraid be brief and fairly general as there is a police investigation. The last thing I would wish to do, and I assume you would agree, is to prejudice either the investigation or any legal process that might arise from the investigation.

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  35. sos1116@gmail.com2 April 2010 13:38

    Jim, to answer your question. Craig Harris from Finbow referenced an introduction from my bank to get hold of my details and hence it is their legitimate business. Steven Slade did not convince me, except he was pushy and passionate. Craig was Steve's boss and I was introduced to him only because I challenged on the legitimacy of their business.

    Now that police is investigating, does this mean it is not worth reporting or do you encourage every one to report? As far as I know Paul have all the client list so the Police would know the victims?

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  36. Many thanks SOS

    Even if Paul Rees has the full client list I would urge all investors to contact the police.

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  37. Hi is there any further news on the proceedings?

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  38. No further news I'm afraid. if and when I have some that I can post I will do so.

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  39. Dear All,

    I have filed a formal complaint to the bureau of fraud investigation in Ireland. I am in 20k and am feeling like a mug. I was dealing with Courtney McGowan Jones and William Evans.

    I will watch the situation closely on this blog.

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  40. Even though I have no proof, but I wouldn't mind betting (rather that than investing in a company like Finbow Wines!!), that the people involved in this company are either already involved in, or about to set up another 'fantastic company with great investment opportunities'. Whether it be land or another new 'up and coming' sector - carbon trading.

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  41. 'I have filed a formal complaint to the bureau of fraud investigation in Ireland.'

    It is important that if you think you have a basis for a complaint that you do contact the police. Initally this should be your local police but you should make sure that they are aware of the Metropolitan Police's Operation Iceman.

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  42. Dylan,
    If you go to local police and make a statement (which I have done) let them know DC Bailey of the London Met police fraud squad is the officer taking the lead on this investigation.Looks like there are so many people who have already done this so be prepared for a long wait

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  43. After supplying my statement and handing over my Finbow documentation the police have told me nothing will happen until around October time when the CPS will be deciding exactly who is going to be charged and with what. I am also in for £20k.

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  44. I suspect nothing will happen - as with most things of this nature it will become a long and lengthy investigation, the CPS will probably decide that it is not finacially viable to pursue and no one will be arrested and it will be added with rest of the 'case concluded' files. Unfortunately from my own experience this is becoming a recurring thing with these sort of companies, as they are not regulated by the FSA (why they are not, I am still at a loss to understand why). We keep hearing that there are procedures in place to stop these 'boiler rooms' from trading, but they get closed down and the same people pop up somewhere else and start trading under another name. They should be stopped, arrested and all their assets frozen so they can never trade again. Furthermore all the assets gained from them, given to the investors as compensation.

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  45. The same person who sold me wine at Finbow are now trying to persuade me to invest in land.

    They have sent me a brochure on Cavendish Moore.

    Does anyone know anything about this company ??

    After what happened at Finbow I am being ultra cautious....

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  46. If they are the same people I would suggest that you forward their names onto the police dealing with the investigation into Finbow Wines. As I have previously said, these same people will set up somewhere else and try and sell more unregulated rubbish. If any company is not regulated by the FSA then I would say DO NOT invest or get involved.

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  47. Thank you anon. All sound advice. It remains unfortunately that there is aparently no central sit where people can log complaints to the police.

    I agree wine investment should be regulated but at present, apart from wine funds which are a collective investment, it is not.

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  48. Jim,

    Are you Tony Hetherington in disguise ?

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  49. Do you really have to remain anonymous to post the above comment. I'm certainly not Tony is disguise, although it would be good to have some of his qualities.

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  50. Have spoken to Paul Rees this morning who confirmed that the whole affair is in the hands of a Police Investigating team. Do not expect any action until October but he made two comments. There was some money in the Company's bank account but his other comment was puzzling - IF I could find the 'bloody wine' I could perhaps salvage the situation!!

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  52. Claremont Forbes land & Property Ltd was founded on 29th January 2010. Its paid up share capital is £1.

    Extracts from the company's website suggests that Claremont Forbes has done really remarkably well to become 'a leading London based company' in barely just more than three months since being set up:

    'About Claremont Forbes (www.claremontforbes.co.uk)
    ‘A leading London based company dedicated to offering exclusive UK land investment opportunities for private clients. ‘

    ‘Due to a huge wealth of knowledge and extensive contacts with land owners throughout the UK, the company is perfectly geared to exploit current market conditions and offer investors a fantastic opportunity to profit on the recovery of the recession.

    By working closely with our acquaintances, Claremont Forbes strive upon ‘cherry-picking’ prime located land sites with planning permission, ensuring we deliver a product which offers tremendous high-growth potential, at the same time as safeguarding one's current exposure within this volatile market.

    Here at Claremont Forbes you will find a highly experienced team, on a multitude of levels, predominantly within the UK land and property market. The key to achieving our goal is that we operate devotedly with our clients, offering our expert knowledge to cater for investments that perfectly compliment existing portfolios, at the same time as positioning ourselves to yield strong returns in a relatively low-risk environment on the recovery of the recent economic downturn.’

    Investment proposal
    ‘As the recession had taken its toll, this was a time Claremont Forbes became very active in the market place for acquisition.’

    ‘The forecasted timeframes with our projects are from 18 months +. Likewise, the returns are closely examined by our analysts and vary depending on each site in question. At Claremont Forbes, we strive upon offering very realistic time frames, at the same time as potential returns are based on the success of comparable sites using recent valuations. In order for the business to continue to deliver a strong product, it is imperative we only acquire investment sites with minimised risk, with clear scope of profit potential.’

    LATEST SOC 29/01/2010 29/01/10 STATEMENT OF CAPITAL;GBP 1

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  54. A slightly amended message received today from sos1116@live.co.uk for which many thanks.

    Jim, I have spent 5 hours with the police today providing full evidence

    1) Operation Iceman is not just about Finbow but it is a larger operation across the nation.
    2) Finbow suspects have been arrested (but can not guarantee all of them) and on bail until October
    3) SCD 6 led by DC Bailey are investigating and collecting evidence for their current bail return date (which can be extended if not evidence are collected)
    4) October is the date for intended bail return date and prosection as this operation is a huge case involving investigation in to financial matters
    5) Following the bail return date, victims are likely to receive their return of funds or/and compensation and the SCD 6 will determine the appropriate prosecution under appropriate Act in the best interest of the victims However, there is absolutely no way that Met can make any sort of promise relating to return of funds. If there is money recovered, this can be returned but equally there may be no money recovered.
    6) It is likely we will be kept in the dark until October but any further evidence or updates should be directed to DC Sarah Kemble or DC Andrew Bailey at SCD 6 at the Metropolitan Police via local police station. Also can be contacted via switchboard 0300 123 1212

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  55. John. Although I have much sympathy for what you say in your post, I'm not prepared to post it and trust you will understand why.

    I suggest that you also register a complaint through Action Fraud.

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  56. I would like to think that the police will look into the Directors, managers, staffs accounts and anything of any value that was financed via Finbow wines, sold and the resulting monies given to the investors. Company cars etc.

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  57. If the suspects are tried and found guilty, then money can be recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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  58. Unless the CPS take the view that it would not be finacially viable to take to court. That has happened recently

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  59. Dear All,

    I have been contacted by Daniel Keep after my previous message. He assures me that he had no part in the strategic manipulation by Finbow and that he was merely an employee.

    I posted a message on this on the 4th of May but it did not register with the blog.

    Daniel says is helping the police with the finbow case and is aiding the investigation.

    I would therefore not condone going round to Claremont Forbes for information.

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  60. Does anybody Know of the involvement of Billy Davies in Claremont forbes as he was one of the main guys behind Finbow?

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  61. I have read the above comments with interest having just put the phone down to my son Daniel who has in turn just been told that he is going to be stabbed by the son of an investor that lost money in Finbow. I think that it would be appropriate to get a few things straight. Daniel was an employee of Finbow, not a director or manager of the comapny. He was so confident in the product that he offered it to me as an investment and had I not had my spare cash tied up in other things I, like the other investors would have made that investment. If that investment had gone wrong however I'd have taken it on the chin as my own decison, I would not have gone around threatening to stab people and tarnishing their reputation based upon my own anger at having lost money. One gentleman has said on this blog that when things appear too good to be true they usually are. I would agree. I would also say that investment attitudes are generally driven by two emotions, fear and greed. If you are investing for 20%+p.a. returns in a 0.5% base rate environment you can not claim to be fearful so I'll assume that greed drove you. Daniel is no angel but equally he is not a two bit thief either. He was well brought up in a family that doesn't need the money that stealing and defrauding people brings. Is he beyond critisism, no of course not, he is 19 years old, and in my view a bit naive in aftersight but then wisdom after the event is hardly an attribute. Is he a crook that stole your money, no he is not he is a hardworking youg man who has also lost heavily in the Finbow debarcle. I have only marked this message as anonymous because I don't want a whole load of irrate e-mails when I am working. I do read this site regulalrly so any comments will be read. In cosing I would strongly recommend one investment to you all. Do not go to my sons place of work or threaten him again.

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  62. Anon. Thank you for your message. If you son has been threatened, then I would condemn that without reservation. If a complaint needs to be made then it should be made through the police. That is why we have a police force rather than people taking the law into their own hands.

    It is, however, beholden on the people selling an investment to satisfy themselves that what they are selling is legitimate. They should be aware that the FSA do not permit any authorised person or company to sell investments through cold calls.

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  63. Jim
    Without wishing to sound like a devoted father devoid of the capacity to judge his own son. I think it is fair to say that if your boss gives you a list of names and says "call these people" you are likely to believe that they have opted in and are therefore not being "cold called". Additionally if I told one of my staff that our company did not require FSA authorisation they would believe me. Daniel believed that he had satisfied himself that the investment was legitimate, that is entirely the point. Let me say now. If he turns out to have been acting in a criminal and / or dishonest manner with intent I'd be the first to say that he should be prosecuted for that.
    Regards

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  64. Anon. Firstly it is rare for the sales team to be prosecuted, normally it tends to be the directors.

    While it is possible that you might initially believe that the names had opted in a few phone calls in I would have thought should have alerted your son to the true situation.

    I wasn't suggesting that Finbow needed FSA authorisation, although it is possible, depending upon how it was structured, to have been a collective investment.

    Is he cold calling from Claremont Forbes?

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  65. Jim
    We all live in the real world don't we?
    A few phone calls in should have alerted a 46 year old experienced individual into what was what but a 19 year old fresh out of a bank?.
    I do not know if he is cold calling now, that is a matter for him, his colleagues and his employer to decide what definition they apply to "cold calling". All I do know is that as an employee, the basis of the obligation is that you obey instructions unless you have reasonable grounds to believe that those instructions are illegal and / or are likely to be so. What I don't get is that a bunch of grown men and women are looking to blame anyone they can for the disastrous outcome of an investment driven by greed alone.
    Investments are a diverse thing. I make them all day for a living and I accept that if I am looking for a single digit return it'll probably come right and if I am looking for a high double digit return it'll probably, on balance, go wrong. That is the way of the world I'm afraid. Maybe I have said enough on this subject but threatening to stab my Son will only escalate an already difficult situation beyond the nightmares of those invlolved. He has had another threatening text today and has been to the Police as a result. Your readers and contributors have to recognise the difference between employee and employer.
    Regards

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  66. Anon. I'm glad to hear that your son has reported these threats to the police.

    However, one has to wonder what your apparently naive and inexperienced son is doing sell wine and land investments.

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  67. Jim
    Making a living is the answer to that question which as far as I know is legal and the right thing to do. At the end of the day I understand and Daniel shares the frustration of the investors that lost money. What is clear or at least seems to be is that the investment playing field was not, on balance, level. There will be those that argue that they would not have invetsed if they thought that they would lose. I accept that but as I have said already high double digit returns carry exceptional scope for loss. I sincerely hope that everyone that has lost money including Daniel, gets there money back and that all involved have learned from the experience. I personally would not invest with anyone I didn't know however good the pitch was so I feel that anyone that did or does again is mad frankly but that won't change where we are.
    Regards

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  69. I'm reminded of Lady Bracknell's famous remark in the Importance of Being Earnest:

    LADY BRACKNELL To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

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  72. I think that the most important thing is for people to get their facts very straight before posting comments on any blog site. Whilst this is all a very emotive situation it remains important to keep perspective.
    My research suggests that when New World Wines was trading Daniel was in fact at school and unless I was walking around with my eyes closed he was certainly never a director of that company. He was also not "the boss" of Finbow, he was an employee. When Finbow went wrong he joined Claremont Forbes and I am a little unsure why the automatic view is that therefore Claremont Forbes must also be playing up in some way. That said, clearly anyone mindful to invest in anything should do their research first.
    As I have stated on previous postings, Daniel may be my son but that doesn't stop me judging him in an objective way. Unless and until he is prosecuted for anything, making accusations against his character is potentially libelous and I would refrain from it. The Police investigating have Daniel's full contact details and have not at any point accused him of anything.

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  74. Anon. Many thanks for your comments. Unfortunately I cannot publish them, although what you say may be correct. I have no wish to hinder or compromise the police investigation into Nouveau World Wines and Finbow.

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  75. Another day another comment.
    I have done some research on Claremont Forbes but given that they are not being accused of anything in relation to the contents of this blog, I think that it represents dangerous ground to make judgements and disseminate them to an understandably angry audience. If you are asking would I invest with them the answer is no and I wouldn't have invested with Finbow either had Daniel not worked there. Why - simple I don't give money to people over the phone that I don't know in the hope of a 20% plus return in a base rate environment of 0.5%. Why - because it'll probabley go wrong blah blah blah.
    I hope that Dan leaves Claremont Forbes and goes to work for a large, well established and reputable company where he has proper training and management and where there are Compliance Officers watching every move the company makes. If we read the financial press however we will see that even that doesn't guarantee the outcome of an investment!!!
    I am not even sure what to say next but I have done a directors and Companies House search and Daniel Keep was not a director of Finbow or Nouveau World and no current director of Claremont Forbes is either.
    In closing and this is my closing comment as this sorry mess has had too much of my time already. Those that lost in Finbow will believe what they like but they should take a long hard look at themselves and ask why the hell they paid over money to a company they knew nothing about on the basis of a phone call from a young salesperson. It really does baffle me.
    Regards
    Daniel Keeps Father

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  76. Thanks Anon. From Companies House the current director of Finbow is Vivian Paul Rees and the previous director was a Simon Dempsey.

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  77. I'm also baffled by people's willingness to write substantial cheques to cold calling companies.

    If you are cold called about an investment – hang up!

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  78. Yes quite, that has to be the lesson.
    Keep snr

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  80. Anon. I'm still getting onto their site.

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  83. I agree I couldn't find it on Google but the link on this blog was still working last night.

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  87. Sorry, I'm lost. Why is Daniels name back in the frame. Coutney McGown Jones and Daniel are two different people. The investor is saying that he parted with 60K following a phone call form CMJ not Daniel Keep.

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  88. Pardon the expression but shouldn't people be more concerned with the 'organ grinder' rather than the 'monkey'? This is why the people behind these scams get away scott free!! All the attention is drawn from the directors/managers and then put onto the juniors/sales-people!!! I bet nobody on here can remember the names of the directors. Don't get me wrong I'm not condoning what the sales people have done, but surely there are 'bigger fish' in the pond to catch?

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  90. Anon. Thanks for your message. I'm afraid I don't know of a blog that concentrates on land banking. Perhaps someone else does?

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  91. Hi anonymous - maybe I can help. There is a very good website called 'The Motley Fool'. when you go in head towards 'Investors Roundtable' then onto 'A fool and his money...'. Its a very good website and always lots of interesting posts regarding various 'scammers' and 'cheats'. I would say that most of the investors on there are already aware of Claremont Forbes, although it wouldn't do any harm to mention your misfortune. All the investors seem to give their time and certainly will give good advice regarding your plight.

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  92. Thanks anon. Motley Fool is a very useful bulletin board.

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  93. Contact Tony Hetherington at The Mail On Sunday. He's very good at sorting this kind of thing out...and he's "the peoples champion".

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  94. I think that it would fall on deaf ears now, especially as there is a date for the trial. (around October I believe). Unless there is something I don't know about??

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  96. I hope those in subordinate positions who are now protesting their innocence in this matter will volunteer evidence for the Prosecution to ensure that the guilty people will be exposed and convicted.

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  97. Edited version of an earlier comment:

    Daniel Keep of Claremont Forbes Land & Property at 3 Lloyds Avenue, EC3N3DS has been contacting me. They are proposing I invest in land.
    Be very wary of investing in land with Claremont Forbes.

    All the best

    D
    4 May 2010 16.41

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  98. edited version of an earlier comment:

    I agree with Jim - How is it that Mr. Keep esq. is involved in yet another highly speculative non FSA regulated 'investment opportunity'?

    Lightening doesn't strike the same place twice.. I fear that there is precious little sympathy for Daniel amongst those that invested money through him especially as he appears to be carrying on where he left off (and apparently taking a list of potential clients with him).

    21 May 2010 15:39

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  99. Re-edited comment by Anon:

    I agree, people should do their research. Have you really done your research on Claremont Forbes though? I think not from your comments. If I had a son and he had moved from Finbow to this group I would want to know who is pulling the strings in case of another mix up.

    I would also be more than angry with these characters who hire young impressionable sales guys to to their work.

    Please check thoroughly. and honestly.

    24 May 2010 17:56

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  100. Edited version of an earlier comment by Anon:

    Anonymous said...
    Jim Budd. Do you know of any blogs which serve the same purpose as yours but on the subject of land brokers.
    15 June 2010 16:55

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  101. Anon. Thanks for your latest message. However, before posting it I need proof that the salesman worked in Germany. Thanks.

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  102. Anyone heard of Select Bordeaux Ltd ? I just received a cold call and wonder if this is another incarnation of Finbow !! Cannot believe how brazen these people are.

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  103. Anon. Yes I have come across this company. I wouldn't buy investment grade wine from them, although no reason to believe that they are related to Finbow.

    What were they offering you please?

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  104. I did not get that far as I told him I was burned by Finbow and was not interested. Had the similar trading floor background noise and an offer for French wine with returns in 3 to 4 weeks !! I told him I was not interested and hung up. I googled them and also saw a job posting end of June advertising for sales people in this company, which made me think it is another Finbow type ie setup another flashy web site hire, sales people, cold call, send brochures and con the folks you catch !!

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  105. Hardly a flashy website!! These companies aren't to be trusted, especially if they do not even have a contact name on them!! Just a number!! Very professional!!

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  106. notice that finbow / nouveau is in proceedings for liquidation by the insolvency authorities

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  107. So when is the court case happening? Is it still happening? I'm sure there are still plenty out there that want their pound of flesh!!

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  108. Anon. I'm afraid you are getting ahead of events. No-one has yet been charged. Those who were arrested in Spring 2010 were bailed to appear in court again in October. I understand that the investigation and the collection of evidence will take some time as it involves getting evidence from abroad, in particular Australia in the case of Nouveau World Wines.

    If the police do bring charges the trial, like any fraud trial, will inevitably take time to prepare as these types of trial last for a minimum of several weeks.

    Although I can understand your frustration I fear you will just have to be patient. It is much better that time is taken to amass the evidence rather than rush ahead with an ill prepared prosecution with the possibility that a trial would collapse.

    The Bordeaux Wine Trading Company/International Wine Commodities/Templar Vintners trial is due to start in October. There is also another trial due to start in September involving alcohol investments – I hope to post details of this soon.

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  109. Your way would be the correct way. Just to clarify, the date in October - does that include those involved with Finbow Wines?

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  110. As far as I know those arrested in connection with Finbow are not involved in any drink investment trials this October.

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  111. So what happens to those scammers? Am I to believe, they will get away scott free? Not even to be named and shamed?

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  112. Anon

    As I explained yesterday the police have to investigate and see if they have enough evidence to charge anyone. Unfortunately it can take time collecting evidence from outside the UK.

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  113. I was also caught up in the FINBOW scam. Could you please advise how best to report it to the authorities?
    I actually went to their so called office in the City of London, thought by looking them in the eye i could spot a con. How wrong could you get?
    peterhyp68@hotmail.com

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  114. Peter. You should report it to your local police station making it clear to them that the Met are investigating this company.

    If you have any problems reporting this, please come back to me. Best to email me.

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  115. Hi Jim,
    I'm just so glad I emailed you originally about this company and took no further part on this. Still remember that salesman name Clive Harris phoning me everyday and my last sentence before I put the phone down was,"If you can guarantee that type return why calling me and others. Why don't you invest it yourself?"

    I took Jim's advice,"If it's too good to be true then it's DEFINITELY is"
    Bob

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  118. Obviously some interest has been re-ignited going by the removals!! Should be drawing to a close. Although I can guarantee most of them will walk away without even a warning!!

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  119. Seen an article in today's Metro... seems similar. I wonder if these companies or people are related?

    I too was cold called by Finbow in January, oddly around the time I was speaking to financial advisors and Banks to get my first mortgage..

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  120. Anon. Which companies mentioned in the Metro article please?

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  121. So has anything further happened with regards to Finbow Wines and it's directors? Or is this to be another sham?

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  122. Anon. Please see: http://investdrinks-blog.blogspot.com/2010/11/nouveau-world-wines-and-finbow-wines.html

    Bail has been extended until end of March 2011.

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  123. I KEEP SENDING YOU COMMENTS BUT CAN YOY REPLY ?

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  124. Dee. I fI knew which were your comments I could reply.

    Jim

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  125. Dee. Have nown looked back at your comments, which are very useful, but difficult to publish before I have checked them out.

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  126. well thanks alot you used my email address and i asked you not to .!!

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  127. Edited comment from Dee:

    Thanks but believe me I thought I was safe using a ENGLISH ESTATE AGENT PREMIER ESTATES GB LTD who had offices in England kent and later york rd london ALSO BULGARIA.

    Ididnt relise that the developers where English until I recieved my prilminary contract from DANIEL THOMAS SNELLING.working with MATHEW DENIS HART OF PREMIER ESTATES GB.LTD AND WORDWIDEINVESTMENTS LTD AND WORLDWIDE INVESTMENTS SP.LTD. It just seems the same person this DANIEL SNELLING as I looked up other companies he was a director of recently in NOVEMBER 2010 and low and behold he was a director of NOUVEAU WORLDWINES Bloomsbury london WC1B3SS AND PAST DIRECTORSHIP OF MERCHANT AND MERCHANT LTD 32 BARKWAY DRIVE ORPINGTON KENT BR68PQ off 192.com for which I paid for this is the same age group this person as google have advertised as being arrested and on bail .I need to know if this is the same Daniel Snelling it appears so.Also if IT IS THE SAME PERSON if he skips bail he may be in Bulgaria anyway unless the police have taken his passport away as on bail .? MAYBE I SHOULD CONTACT THE MET .? Although you say trial now in March 2011 .Therefore Im looking for both Daniel Snelling now and MATHEW DENIS HART who is not at his address respect records via from 192.com ENGLISH ADDRESSES AT PRESENT my lawyer in ENGLAND tried and sugggested I get a Bulgarian lawyer so I have contacted one yesterday who is a friends lawyer and an Enlgish estate agent .

    ps has any one worked out that maybe DANIEL SNELLING USED DANIEL KEEPS NAME FOR COLD CALLING SEEING HE WAS DIRECTOR OF NOUVEAU WORLDWIDE WINES .

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  128. Dee My apologies. I have deleted your published comment and reposted an edited version.

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  129. Jim can you let me have the email address of D C Andrew Baily I saw it somewhere on your blog as being budmac@btinternet.com ? I tried to send an email and its failed .? IS IT SUPPOSE TO BE JUST budmac@int.com
    thanks dee

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  130. Dee. My email address is correct.I've been away in the Loire and very busy, so I have a pile of emails to deal with. I don't think I have DC Bailly's address but I can pass a message onto the team at the Met if you would like.

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  131. Ididnt know my comment would appear on Google re Daniel Thomas Snelling RE NOVUE WINES ltd however heard from my lawyer in Bulgaria not presently in Bulgaria at this time one wonders why! All I know is that you can find his address on 192.com thats if you want to pay like i did . Have you any news about this trail in March re FINBOW CANTWELL AND NOUVEU WORLDWINES WINES POSS INVOLVMENT SEEING THAT A DANIEL SNELLING BAIL WAS EXTENDED with others in volved ? Also have you heard what the Met or scotland yard are doing about it led by D.C ANDREW BAILY considering you have had so many people scammed and have written to you via this web siteor have they given up on any idia that the police are getting anywhere with thier site called Iceman . regards

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  132. Dee. It is always difficult to predict what will be picked up by Google. As far as I know there have as yet been no charges made in this case, although a number of invididuals are on police bail. Investigations of this type can take a long time just as any trial would be likely to last at least six weeks probably longer. It is surely important that the police get time put together a strong case.

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  133. Well we've reached the end of March. Any news on the trial? All seems to have gone a bit quiet.

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  134. I think that bail has been extended until October and that the police investigation continues.

    No one has yet been charged so for the moment there is no question of any trial.

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  135. wow, this is a long time for a police investigation into a possible wine fraud isnt it? is this a record? must cost at least 50k+ on police fees alone.

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  136. Andy. Fraud is time consuming to investigate and to assemble the evidence that will result in a conviction. The SFO cases into whisky and Champagne investments scams took much longer.

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  137. yes well true a very long time especially re nouveau world wines daniel thomas snelling onbail now until october this year .
    However this person also involved with property abraod such as having been a Developer ib Bulgaria Bbourgas unfortunatly both Him and his partner have run off from the project HIS PARTNER BEING Mathew Denis Hart leaving alot people investors down the pan such as myself others .Unfunnily enough WHOOPS HART A DIRECTOR OF ENCARTA WINES hmm .

    Anyone know thes charachter's address's please inform me because so far my lawyer has been unble to trace + Scotland yard unable to hand out to us now poor investor's DATA PROTECTION ACT .d>c

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  138. any updates on this case?

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  139. jim what strong case to give police time re finbow wines ltd they are insolvent and just cannot get info on Daneil Thoms Snellings home address .What happened to the freedom of info act !! My case regards property with this person allot people looking for him in England and Bulgaria re off plan complex including his partner Mathew Denis Hart who also was a Director of Encarta wines another dubious company according to one your blogs last year if not more .Daneil thomas Snelling would like to know if hes in jail or still on bail as SCOTLAND YARD say cant give me this info Obviously crime pays then .I have wrtitten to the insolvency public information unit its called but they havnt had the decency to reply even re Finbow wines ltd and all I want is his address surley this is possible under the freedom of info wouldnt you think !!!.Even on 192 .com Snellings address in kent out of date .

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  140. Daniel Snelling and some of his associates have been charged with conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. Full article here:

    www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/9651497.five_charged_over_wine_scam

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  141. Did any of you have dealings with a Clive Harris?

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  142. I used to work for Clive. Nice guy. Not a good business to be in!

    Reply if you want to know more.

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