wine-searcher

Wine Name:
Vintage:

Friday, 19 February 2010

The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company

Enquiry:
'I have been contacted by this Company (The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company) and sent a somewhat impressive brochure. Wine is not an area I have invested in, so could you kindly give me advice on this Company.'

*
My response:
The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company was incorporated on 3rd December 2009 and its registered office is 788-790 Finchley Road, London NW11 7TI.

Its trading address from its website: www.tpbwc.com is

111 Buckingham Palace Road,
Victoria, London, SW1W 0SR. Telephone: 08000 114 219
Email: : info@TPBWC.com

The website was registered on 24th June 2009

(On 2nd December 2009 Premier Bordeaux Wines Ltd, believed also to offer wine investments, was incorporated with a registered office also at 788-790 Finchley Road, London NW11 7TI. Its website is 'undergoing total redevelopment'.

Clients are directing to their trading address: Premier Bordeaux Wines, 145-157 St John’s Street London EC1V 4PY
Tel: 0800 0114 219
Fax: 0845 226 4624
Email: info@premierbordeauxwines.com)

The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company's brochure suggests that the company has been around for rather than public records show:

Some extracts from the The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company brochure:
'The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company are passionate about the fine wine market and we are delighted with the tax free returns that we have achieved and continue to achieve on behalf of our clients. Our global network of contacts and strategic partners allow us to source the rarest and most sought after wines on behalf of our clients and puts us in the perfect position to sell their wine at any time.’

‘The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company is keen to secure large amounts of en primeur wines so that we have access to as many of the world’s greatest wines to sell at a future date. Securing wines at this stage provides us with the best opportunity to fulfil future orders.

Of equal importance, purchasing en primeur in significant quantities affords us significant purchasing power in the market meaning we can purchase wines at the best possible price.’

Their 'Income Investment Model that Yields 8.9%+ per annum':
  • ‘Up to 500 clients enter agreements with us on current and future en primeur campaigns by purchasing wine futures (each client is the legal owner of the wine he/she has purchased)
  • By buying en primeur wines in substantial quantities, TPBWC can obtain the most competitive price. Price differentials can vary by up to 10%.
  • TPBWC pays participating clients 8.9% of the total purchase price* (standards charges) in order to repurchase the wine at the same total purchase price in three years time (similar to a Repo transaction in the money markets).
  • After three years, TPBWC buys the wine back at the original purchase price.
  • The wine is independently valued.
  • If the wine’s value has increased from the total purchase price then TPBWC pays the client/seller a further 60% of any upward price movement from the (purchase price plus standard charges). TPBWC retains 40% share of capital growth.
  • If the wine’s value has remained the same as or decreased from the purchase price, then no further payment is made. The client has already received an 8.9% return on his/her investment.
  • TPBWC either holds or sells this wine to a third party.
  • The process is repeated for subsequent en primeur campaigns.
(Elsewhere in brochure TPBWC gives an example of how the scheme works and undertakes to pay clients 8.9% of their purchase price 'within 30 days of receipt of payment' and a further 8.9% 'within 1 year and 30 days of the purchase date'. Then a further 8.9% a year later and three years after the original purchase date TPBWC buys back the wine at the original purchase price and within 30 days of buy-back a further cheque – 60% of the increase in value.)

From public records The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company has no track record. Although each client is the legal owner of wine purchased, there are elements of their Income Investment Model that might be construed by the FSA as a collective investment and therefore require FSA authorisation, which they do not currently have. If this was an FSA approved scheme it is unlikely that TPBWC would be permitted to make the 8.9% guaranteed claim.

In the FAQ section of the brochure is the question: 'What if TPBWC goes bust?'
Answer: 'The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company is run on solid business principles and is not indebted to banks or third parties. Overheads are kept to a minimum and our focus is always long term. However, even if the worst case scenario materialised and TPBWC did 'go bust' clients funds are secure. All wines are allocated by the case to individual clients at the time of purchase and would be easily distinguished by the official receiver.'

Unfortunately as TPBWC was only founded at the beginning of December 2009 the company has naturally not yet been required to file any accounts. Furthermore experience shows that it can often be far from straightforward identifying an individual's wine when they are kept in a company's umbrella account if the company has gone bankrupt.

For en primeur purchases this becomes a nightmare because it is impossible to identify a client's wine when it is part of a barrel of still maturing wine. In a number of cases when en primeur companies have gone bust, their clients have lost all or most of their money.

My advice
I would not consider buying wine, especially en primeur, from The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company nor signing up to their Income Investment Model.

55 comments:

  1. Interesting. I was sent a brochure last year but never invested. I've just had a phone call from Mr Smart (?!) and was informed that last year's wine, marketed at £1590 is now worth over £6000. this year they have the best ever vintage and wish to sell from over £3200.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anon. Could you clarify which wines the company is offering. Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This company is a scam. I invested a modest sum in February 2010 and now found out:
    1. they never bought wine in my name
    2. there is no deposit of funds upon which I can claim reimbursement
    3. all their assets and liabilities are devolved to a new company [3 weeks old] named Sophelna Ltd, in Bedford; CEO is one Emmett Lehaghan
    4. in due course, a convertible debenture will be issued to the value of the original investment
    5. these debentures will be cashable in Panama.

    I have made a formal notice to the Action-Fraud Office of the Metropolitan Police, London. In addition to the name of Stephen Miles of CBV is now added the name of Emmett Lehaghan. But I've given up any idea of seeing my money again. I just want to see someone in jail or with two broken legs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wanted to add a note to this that they have a host of virtul offices. I have been told that they are nolonger baised at 111 Buckingham Palace Rd. I have called the offices and they have confirmed that they have not been there since september october time. I have since learned that they are being investigated by the trading standards. DO NOT INVEST WITH THEM!!

      Delete
  4. I have also invested with them over 5 yrs,and have been contacted by Sophelna Ltd,a Mr A Mendy, 2 Mill st Bedford, asking for certified Passport copies, utility bills etc, and a list of what I am supposed to have bought. Initial contact was Andrew Miles at Alpha Invest Worldwide, and subsequently Stephen Williams at TPBWC. Interestingly an article was published by the Sunday Times money section,with a picture of Stephen Williams, which unfortunately reassured me! Subsequently Mr S Constantinos e mail saying TPBWC was in trouble, then Sophelna. Anymore news or action gratefully received

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would be very wary of sending any details such as Certified copy of Passport and Utility Bill. Due to the nature these people (most probably Spyros Constantinos and Tim Dunton up to their old tricks), they may very well use it for Identity Theft, opening a Bank account in a Tax haven, loans, mortgages etc.

    Perhaps even discrediting you.

    Basically, they have you over a barrel. I'm down £40K+ ...losing some wine I used in part payment - collected by Alpha Invest Worldwide (I have a copy of the POD form from where it was stored. The collector signed it - probably fake sig. and name and unfortunately no recorded vehicle reg.).

    Google 'Identity Theft Certified Copy of Passport Utility Bill'

    ReplyDelete
  6. How are these people still able to do this? I,ve alerted Action Fraud,and Crimestoppers,but nobody seems to get back to me? Anon

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am in the same situation as many others - invested a reasonable sum (lulled into false security by another wine investment company that were honest). The biggest problem is knowing who to write to so as to complain and/or initiate whatever is possible to retrieve our money. Is it worth jointly funding a legal case? Or do we hope trading standards do the work for us. And how to we find out what trading standards are doing?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Would a joint legal action be feasible? How can one tell if they are being investigated. What has happened to S Constantinos in the past?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I doubt anything happened to Constantinos in the past and if anything did, then he would have learned to get round it the next time.

    Also, it looks like the admin@sophelnalimited.co.uk email address has been taken down. According to Nominet.co.uk he sophelnalimited.co.uk domain is still registered (until 8 Nov 2013), but the record of information was updated on Jan 4th.

    The responses from that email address seemed to be automated. A few weeks ago a test email, containing no information as requested for the Debentures, was sent yet the reply thanked the sender for the info and stated the Debentures would be issued in a few weeks.

    I very much doubt anyone actually worked at the office set up for Sophelna (2 Mill Street, Bedford), and expect Royal Mail redirection was set up. The Police/Fraud Squad should have the means and reasonable justification to obtain the redirection address from the post office.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also was took in by one of their salesman over 3.5 years ago. Should have been paid out last August. Stephen Williams was my contact. He kept fobbing me off to wait a bit longer. Eventually I contacted The Mail on Sunday & they are going to do an article on them. Who does one contact i.e. Police, Fraud Squad etc.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Anon. You should make a complaint through Action Fraud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have just made a complaint through Action Fraud line. But noticed when i put TPBWC and Sophelna postcodes in the find the address boxes both companies were missing from the drop down boxes. So i presume they have all gone by now.

      Delete
  12. All clients will receive all of their monies within a 6 month period. The company has had financial issues that are being resolved. This is not a scam and no fraud has taken place. I have never not responded to client emails with updates etc. This matter is already being dealt with by lawyers. I apologise to all clients that have been affected by this situation but once again I would like to reiterate that it my intention and belief that all clients will be paid the money that they are owed with interest within a 6 month period.

    S. Constantinos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spyros Constantinos. This would appear to be an clear admission that you have acted as a shadow director while banned as served as a UK company director from 2008 to 2017.

      Delete
  13. Dear Mr Budd

    Thank you for posting my comments.

    S. Constantinos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comments. We would be delighted if they were substantiated. It would also be appreciated if we knew what has happened and what is Sophelna's connection.
      J H G Lywood

      Delete
    2. I hope for once there is some honesty here, however I will not be holding my breath!

      Delete
  14. Mr Constantinos i find it incredible that you can come on here tell us that.
    1 You have told me on many times my money will be returned to me with profit within 6 months but nothing ever comes of it. I personally have been waiting over 2 years to get my money back and Mr S Williams has told me a different story every time i have contacted him through TPBWC and i have the letters and emails to prove it.
    2 Can you please tell us why when i try to contact Sophelna by email the email comes back as the address does not exsist and why i have had no reply to the three letters i have posted to them.
    3 If as you say it is going to take yet another 6 months for investors to get their money back why are you asking for personel details from investors and what are you doing with them in the mean time.



    ReplyDelete
  15. All questions can be answered by emailing info@tpbwc.com

    Kind Regards

    S.Constantinos

    ReplyDelete
  16. Are you still replying through info@tpbwc ? news to me. You have never answered where the wine you have purchased on our behalf resides? Also noted on March 4th blog,I was sold wine by Stephen Williams. Is this the same chap who owns The Antique Wine Company,see article S Times Nov 20th 2011. Would Jim Budd recommend this company??

    ReplyDelete
  17. To the best of my knowledge this is a different Stephen Williams. I would be very surprised if the Stephen Williams, who runs the Antique Wine Company, had any connection whatever with these companies.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks. My two contacts with TPBWC were Andrew Miles,and Stephen Williams. It was only an E mail from info@tpbwc.com in October 2012,re convertible debentures,that the name S Constantinos [sole trader] was used.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm glad I found this blog! I too am owed money by Premier Bordeaux Wine Co. I was starting to feel it might just be me. To be honest the sum owed to me is small in comparison to others I have read about. Stephen Williams has been my contact at the info@tpbwc.com mail address. He does always respond to my e-mails, but as others have experienced... it is always a delaying tactic. This significant legal problem could be the proposal to strike them off at companies house:

    http://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/ltd/the-premier-bordeaux-wine-company

    I am not clear on the implications of this for either TPBWC and my investment.

    Any of your comments are welcome on that. RW.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sadly, I'm also glad I found this blog. My 90 year old grandfather finds himself in the same position after investing a modest sum 3.5 years ago. A Steve Williams has been in contact and states the same message 'money should be received in 6 months due to legal issues'.


    http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/money/experts/article-2301560/TONY-HETHERINGTON-My-5-000-deal-wine-sour.html

    I found this article at the weekend and I'm assuming it's the from someone who has posted on here.

    Has anyone had any response from Action Fraud with regards to this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I reported them to Action Fraud on 4th March after reading this blog. After completing the forms I am not sure if they reply to individual cases. I get the opinion if they get enough complaints they pass it on to the relevent departments. Though i may be wrong.
      So i just hope that as many people as possible contact them.
      I know that there is no chance of getting anything back from them as they have had me going round in circles for years (see my post 5/3/13) But it would be good to watch them sweat for once. NW

      Delete
  21. We reported via telephone to Action Fraud last week. Probably the same as yourself, they sent out acknowledgement letter confirming it has been logged and have reference number to track. Yes, hopefully now the fact that pressure is being put on them action will be forthcoming. Will keep this thread updated if any progress has been made. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am so pleased to have found this site. I invested, what for me , was a substatial amount, some £36,000. I count myself lucky to have got back some £8,000. My initial contact was a Paul Dixon then Stephen Williams.
    I too sent off the requested details, utility bills, passport copies etc. after I got the Email telling me TPBWC was in trouble and Sophelna would be sorting out the denbentures which would be paid in 6 - 12 months. The contact was a A Mendy.
    On the 30th of January Stephen Williams contacted me saying an update would be posted by the 14th. Nothing was forthcoming. Then on the 4th Feburary somone called Roger Emailed saying the investment would be returned in 5 - 10 days time.

    I will contact the Action Fraud department with all the information I have. Emails etc as soon as I have it all together.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have just seen something on a TV programe. It said that it we write to Companies House saying we are actively pursuing Sophelna and TPBWC they can be stoped from being struck off the register. Is this worth a try? It would at least slow things down and make things more difficult to close off all avenues of contact.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have been in contact with Companies House, and a Sue Jones has advised me to contact intellience.live@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk who are active in investigating companies for misselling and scams etc The more people involved with TPBWC,who contact them the better JK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Has anyone heard of vintners of london? Is there a connection with TPWC?

      Delete
    2. I was contacted by a Terry Martin of Vintners of London, tel 02074166075 or 07513800707. This was around Mar'12. I hope they are not connected!

      Delete
  25. I too was caught out in one of these scams, not by The Premium Bordeaux Wine Company but by one that I think must have been its predecessor, Classic Bordeaux Vintners. I have had the same run-around resulting in the same dealings with Mr A mendy at Solphelna. My contact at CBV was Stephen Miles, as mentioned by Otto Strelitz on this blog. Otto, I will accompany you to break this man's legs. I logged this with Action Fraud but I doubt if I'll hear anything.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Otto Strelitz16 June 2013 16:39

    A new company has been formed:
    Classic Bordeaux Vintners Ltd
    2ND FLOOR
    85 FRAMPTON STREET
    LONDON
    NW8 8NQ

    No directors listed, no SIC stated, no account posted yet of course. No email or phone.

    I'll write to them by Recorded Delivery and see what happens.

    I do have this UK mobile number, which may go to Stephen Miles: 77402 56148
    I rang it and the owner cut me off without answering. Stephen Miles knows my number so perhaps he recognised it.

    Sophelna Ltd is totally dead. No response from anyone, including not from TPBWC either.

    I think a fraud complaint to CPS is the only way. No money will be returned but someone may get gaoled. I'd be happy with breaking legs.

    ReplyDelete
  27. My initial contact with Alpha Invest Worldwide was Andrew Miles ,who then passed me over to Stephen Williams at TPBWC, and they seemed to answer each others E mails, and I suspect may be one person? Could they actually be Spyros Constantinos !?. I have had a note from Companies House,saying they are putting dissolution of TPBWC on hold,pending further enquiries. Can we find out id Action Fraud are doing anything? JK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon. It is common practice for brokers/traders and other involved ion these dubious companies to use false names. Action Fraud apparently is intending to be more communicative about what it is doing with complaints. Putting a dissolution on hold may be good news.

      Delete
  28. I just wondered if anyone here has also received a questionnaire from Tower Hamlets Trading Standards regarding TPBWC, Classic Bordeaux Vinters and Vintage Wine Investors. They are currently investigating potentially criminal offences which they may have committed. I presume they got my details after I contacted Action Fraud awhile ago.
    If anyone here has not reported them yet to Action Fraud I suggest they get in contact with Tower Hamlets Trading Standards so hopefully we can see them in a court of law.
    The email contact I got on the questionnaire is alan.richards@towerhamlets.gov.uk .I also have a phone number.
    Thanks NW

    ReplyDelete
  29. GOOD NEWS I Think.We have had a letter from Alan Richards, Trading Standards Officer at Tower Hamlets,who got our names [self+wife] from Action Fraud. The Borough are making enquiries regarding the sale of Wine Investments by TPBWC,of 111 Buckingham Palace Rd,and Classic Bordeaux Vintners and Vintage Wine Investors,both at 17 Ensign House,Admirals Way E14 9XQ. They are investigating potential criminal offences committed by these companies,and invite details of investments and complaints regarding them. Contact alan.richards@towerhamlets.gov.uk and he will send out a questionnaire asking about investments,invoices,correspondence etc. He has asked me to forward this info,in case he hasn't contacted you himself. Obviously no guarantees,but at least some potential action against TPBWC, and maybe some recovery of our money John Kerr

    ReplyDelete
  30. I've been a lurker on this blogsite for a while as I've also lost out to this company - and the previous Alpha Invest. Same contacts of Andrew Miles and Stephen Williams.
    I've sent an email to Alan as you've detailed above John and more than happy to assist in seeing some action against these individuals. Like others on here - I've given up ever seeing any money back but at least I can try and help giving these gentlemen what they deserve.

    Andy Parsons

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andy Parsons10 July 2013 22:59

      Received an immediate reply Alan Richards with said questionnaire attached. Will be sending details back as soon as.
      Sounds like that the action they are taking is serious indeed. Good news.

      Andy

      Delete
    2. I will send email this morning....fingers crossed

      Delete
  31. I also was approached by Tower Hamlets TS and have submitted a full dossier. Emails, letters, bond warehouse receipt [fake of course]; for CBV and also Sophelna Ltd. Both companies have gone off the radar and Emmett Lenaghan is not replying to messages by email, LinkedIn or Facebook. All phonelines are now discontinued.
    I've been told that Spyros Constantinos has fled the country and "Stephen Miles" has been arrested. Estimated total value of the scam is £30-40 million across four companies; that must include double-counting, I think.
    Worryingly, I had a phone call [number withheld] from someone named Alan advising me not to go further with this. Reported to Met Police as a threat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This Guy has not fled the country believe me he travels between Essex and Kent and still upto his old tricks

      Delete
  32. Hi I contacted Acton Fraud some months ago and was then contacted by Essex Police and am still waiting to talk to them. I will now make contact with Alan Richards at Tower Hamlets trading standards. It would seem to be that things are happening.

    ReplyDelete
  33. There you go. This is the problem with having such blogs. Anyone can write a load of rubbish!! I have not fled the country - and I certainly don't owe 30-40m!!! . It remains my fullest intent and belief that the clients that have been affected by this unfortunate situation will receive all of their money back at least when this situation is resolved. Spyros Constantinos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spyros. How does your role with this company fit with you being a disqualified UK director until 2017?

      Delete
    2. Spyros, can you please pay StreetPR the money you owe us for hiring promotional girls for your new venture Gold Life Global? You owe £1129.45 including interesting (principle £1,068.24). Cat

      Delete
  34. Hi Jim. As you are aware there is an investigation taking place. I have been advised that I should not go into any details of anything at the moment. I just wanted your readers to know that I haven't disappeared and it remains my intention and belief that those that have been affected by what has happened will receive their money back. Spyros.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks Sypros. Yes I understand that there is an investigation underway, which I trust will be thorough and that charges will be brought if warranted. I hope your confidence that investors will get their money back is well founded. I note that this was your message back in March – so far it would appear that the problems remain.

    ReplyDelete
  36. So Spyros, I've been waiting since mid-last year. You promised payment within 6-12 months. At this rate I very much doubt anything you say or promise is true - considering that you acted as several different people, Mr Stephen Williams, Mr Stephen Miles, Mr A Mendy, Mr Mr Emmett Gerard Joseph Lenaghan (sorry I thought he was a genuine director of some Furniture shops!) and probably many more...

    Can I have my £40k+ and my mother have her £20K+ please.

    If you are now being honest, do you have an estimate as to when you can sell all your assets and retrieve those funds syphoned off to Alpha Invest Worldwide in Spain to pay back us investors?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Edited version: Otto Strelitz has left a new comment on your post "The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company":

    'The replacement company named Classic Bordeaux Vintners Ltd has just filed its account for 2012-13.
    Incorporated 28.08.2012.
    Company Registered No 08191985.
    I suppose this is another scam, like Sophelna Ltd, to avoid paying their creditors.'

    Given the history Otto you may well be correct in your assessment of Spyros Constantinos. I would certainly steer very well clear of any enterprise that involved Spyros Constantinos.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi I just heard/saw a piece on the news about lawyers being sent to Spain to get help from Spanish lawyers to seize proceeds of crime. So if our money has been diverted to Alpha Invest Worldwide as some believe. I hope this may mean that Tower Hamlets T S might be able to send someone on our behalf to get back what was stolen/embezzled by Premier Bordeaux & its controlling owners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I have evidence that Alpha Invest Worldwide are involved. I sold some wine in part payment for the 2009 Premier Cru Chateaux Mouton Rothschild offer that failed to materialise and have a POD printout from the Octavian Vaults Bonded Warehouse where it was held. The POD shows the wine I sold went to Alpha Invest Worldwide. There's a signature which I'm sure is fake. My Mother also sold some in part payment and has a POD showing another signature and this time a registration number of the van that collected. That wine too went to Alpha Invest.

      Delete
    2. ...forgot to mention, Alan from Tower Hamlets have this evidence.

      Delete
  39. I see Spyros has opened a new Facebook page - the one stating he worked at Goldlife Global. He closed his original one where he was also friends with Tim Dunton, a partner in crime mentioned in another report on Jims site. Tim's Facebook shows he's still friends with Rebecca Constantinos.
    If you click on Spyros' daughter's page and then her photos, you'll see two picture near the end with Spyros. (don't worry, no wrong doing here, the pages are public)
    So, the picture in the pool or at the fair, trustworthy bloke do you think???
    It's the same guy as on his original Facebook page he took down as investigations started heating up sometime after June 2012 - I have a web archive of his profile page from back then and it's definitely the same guy and probably the same pool as in his profile picture. Probably in Marbella where Alpha Invest Worldwide are based. Interesting how this lists all of the names we're now hearing of again... http://www.zoominfo.com/s/#!search/profile/company?companyId=351731140&targetid=profile

    Their kids must be proud...

    ReplyDelete