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Friday, 14 January 2011

Benedict Moruthoane sentenced to 7.5 years for fraud

On 5th January 2011 Benedict Moruthoane was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for fraud in respect to two wine investment companies: International Wine Commodities Ltd and Templar Vintners Ltd. Neither company bought any wine – IWC took some £800,000 from investors and Templar Vintners £100,000. Hertfordshire police raided and closed the offices of IWC in October 2008. They closed Templar Vintners down in January 2010 soon after it started operation.  

Just before Christmas, following a trial at Saint Albans Crown Court lasting two months, the jury found Moruthoane guilty just before Christmas. The case followed an investigation by the Economic Unit of the Hertfordshire Police.
In January 2010 Guernsey Financial Services Commission issued a public warning against Templar Vintners Ltd for falsely claiming on its website that it was authorised by the Commission. 
James Allie, a Brent councillor and the Liberal Democrat's parliamentary candidate for North Brent at the last General Election, was company secretary for Templar Vintners Ltd. Allie's name was used to give a patina of respectability to the fledgling company 

A concerned client of Templar Vintners, who had paid for two cases – 2008 Ausone  and 2008 Lafite – received an email purporting to come from Allie but it is likley that it was sent by Moruthoane. It is thought that Allie had no active involvement in Templar Vintners and no charges were brought.

Clearly it was, at the least, careless and foolish of Allie to have  unwittingly allowed his good standing and reputation to help persuade potential customers to invest in a fraudulent scheme.    


  1. Rebecca please email me on

  2. Does anyone know what happened to Andrew Griffiths in this fraud trial?

  3. See:

  4. He was 'severed from this trial' and there may be a further trial.

  5. 900,000GBP = 7.5years?? it should be 75 years.

    I am afraid that's why there are still ppl who are doing fraud bussiness.

  6. I welcome 7.5 years as quite a tough sentence.

  7. i knew Ben personnaly and he was an amazing person , but a frauster he knocked me some money as well and i feel that 7.5 years is just not enough