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Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Two trials to come in the autumn – previous successes for the SFO

As there are two wine investment trials due to start in October following police investigations, I thought it was timely to list previous prosecutions for conspiracy to defraud brought in these instances by the Serious Fraud Office – see press releases section. Details of some of these trials are on my site.

Cavendish Wine Merchants/Hamilton Spirit Management
This was the first prosecution brought by the SFO in respect to drinks investment fraud and involved 'investments' in barrels of malt whisky. The case involved Lewis Daulby, who pleaded guilty before the start of the trial, Lee Rosser and Julian Blee. Rosser and Blee were found guilty.


House of Delacroix 
This was an associated trial (early 2001) to Cavendish/Hamilton as this was a company dealing in Champagne for the Millennium set up by Blee and Rosser with Craig Dean. Blee and Rosser pleaded guilty before the start of the trial. Craig Dean was found guilty.


Marshall Wineries 
Marshall was another malt whisky investment company, which also offered Champagne for the Millennium. The trial was held in the first part of 2004. The appropriately named Stephen Jupe was found guilty.


Vintage Wines of St Albans
The company offered wines and spirits as investments to Americans, targeting doctors in particular. Four of the five defendants were found guilty in August 2008 – one was acquitted. Two of the four couldn't be named at the time. Shameen Suleman was found guilty, while Stephanie Callebaut pleaded guilty before the trial started. Haroon Khatab also also found guilty but his name had to be concealed until he was later pleaded guilty to an Asian meals fraud. This food fraud also involved a couple of victims of the Vintage Wines fraud.  


Asian food fraud:


  1. Dear Jim
    Typo error on the word come, you also forget to mention who is going on trial and what are the charges and who is involved

  2. Anon. Thanks for noticing typo – now edited.

    I deliberately didn't give details of the forthcoming trials on this post.

  3. You reported quite heavily on a company based in Holland and the Cayman Islands, I noticed that all the mentions had been removed in an update. Does this mean that the company won their case in Holland? and therefore the company is innocent of all allegations?

  4. The legal position in Holland was unclear, so I have removed the section pending clarification and possible revision.

  5. anonymous sounds like he actually worked for the guys in Holland, possibly an owner or is heavily connected as to why would he bother bring up those details

  6. Jim do you actually know what the judgement said? is it in the public domain? Sounds to me like the second anonymous is connected as well. I am quite sure there are a lot of people who would like to know the results of the case in Holland.

  7. Anon. I have been waiting for a English translation of the court's judgment. I will admit not to having chased this up mainly because there are plenty of current wine investment companies that are best avoided. I would rather concentrate on these, since Ocean-Seed's Rotterdam activities are now in the past.