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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd


Message from a concerned client with Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd of Milton Keynes:  


'I was wondering if you have any information on Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd?

I invested £2300 with this company back in November, for a case of en primeur wine, which was due to be delivered to the London City Bond in Spring 2012. I had a phone call from my bank 2 weeks ago asking about the transaction, as the companies account was under investigation by the bank.

I have tried to contact World Wide Wines last Friday and also yesterday with no answer. And today I have spoken to the Offices where they were based (Business Environment, 500 Avebury Boulevard) and they have ceased trading at the office block as of yesterday evening. So it is looking very much like they have done a runner with mine and other peoples money and not delivered the product.

I have spoken to the London City Bond, and they have said they have stock there but not a lot. And obviously don't have any information on the wine I have purchased.

I was just wondering if you could assist with any information and if I stand any chance of getting my money back. Or if there is any chance these people will get caught?'



I suggest that one possibility that concerned clients of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd should consider is to explore the fraud recovery service offered by Grant Thornton – see here.  In relation to possible wine investment fraud enquiries, you can also telephone James Kehoe at Grant Thornton on 020-7865 2165. The other avenue is to make a complaint to the Companies Investigation branch of the Insolvenecy Service – see here. 


 

86 comments:

  1. this exact same scenario has also happened to me, where do we go next to find our wine,money or directors of company?

    ReplyDelete
  2. This company contacted me offering a deal that seemed to good to be true. Now after reading this I am happy I decided not to trust their persuasive sales tactics. They mentioned that they had connections in the industry where try could buy the wine cheaply from other unhappy clients that wanted out and sell onto me for a fraction of the market price. Also offered a guarantee of 15% in the 1st 6 months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i have invested with this company through a broker named Patrick Peters. Omly last month I sent them £1950 for 2010 Cos d'Estournel and have two cases of the 2009 vintage which was about to be sold. I contacted the company by phone and spoke to them but P Peters was not available. This morning I was told by CLB that there was no company under that name on their books. Not looking good!

      Delete
  3. According to compainies house, two of the directors have been on and off like a light switch. Adrian Koe has been appointed and terminated some 3 times, whist Geraint Jones has chocked up a whopping score of 5 (plus one on/off as co. secretary). Why?

    Newcomer Mellissa Munsch was appointed in Feb of this year, presumably to take the fall for messrs Koe & Jones. I wonder if she knows?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just over a year ago - on 15th April 2011 - Milton Keynes Council's Trading Standards Department issued a press release warning consumers about Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd. See the list on:-

    http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/trading-standards/displayarticle.asp?ID=58215

    However, the script of the press release entitled "Worldwide Wine Investments Scam" is no longer available from Milton Keynes Council's website. So I have retrieved it via Google "cached". Here it is:-
    "Trading Standards - World Wide Wine Investments:
    On 14th April [2011] Police were notified of an incident whereby an elderly gentleman entered his bank and attempted to transfer £13000 to a company calling itself World Wide Wine Investments. It is understood that he had previously transferred £24000 to the same company. The gentleman spoke on the telephone with a representative of World Wide Wine Investments whilst in the bank and was subjected to verbal abuse by the representative. Staff at the bank also spoke on the phone and were also subjected to abuse.
    It appears that this company are cold calling residents regarding investment opportunities. Investigations are underway into this company and at present no further information is available.
    Milton Keynes Trading Standards Department have received two enquiries from members of the public enquiring if the company is legitimate so it is clear they are calling people in this area.
    Residents should be warned not to agree to pay money to anyone who cold calls, whether it be on the phone or at the door.
    Any incidents of cold calling can be reported to the Trading Standards Department on 08454 04 05 06.
    Many thanks for your assistance."

    So, despite this, it seems that the con-artists at Wordwide Wine Investments Ltd have been allowed to continue undaunted with their outrageous pillage during the subsequent 12 months, thumbing their noses to the Police, Trading Standards, the FSA and the Dept of BIS. How many more elderly, unsophisticated victims have they fleeced in that time? It is no wonder that the number of cold-calling investment scams (re fine wine, land-banking, carbon credits, coloured diamonds) has mushroomed in the last decade. Working as a "broker" for one of these scam gangs is now a definite career choice for thousands in the South East. It has also created hundreds of 20 & 30-something cocaine snorting, Ferrari owning illicit millionaires in North Kent, South Hertfordshire and Essex.

    Surely it is about time that Parliament set out a bill to begin discussing legislative measures in order to put a stop to these evil fraudsters.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Directors are all nominee orr patsy directors, the real owners have remained hidden from view, they are all purchased from the companies made simple group who will have the original company purchase and who paid to creat the company, that should be the start of the investigation

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  6. Have been attempting to contact this company for some time now on behalf of a relative who has invested £26k over last 10 months. Trading standards say they cannot help and as of today's date company is still registered with Companies House although a change of director has been lodged in last few days. Whilst I accept my relative is unlikely to see their money again - what options are there to try to stop this happening to others or to get legal sanctions against the directors?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anon. Thanks for this. Please see details of two possible courses of action that I have just added to the post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am another victim, £10,900 in my case.
      I have just taken Jim's advice and contacted
      both Grant Thornton and the Companies Investigation branch of the Insolvenecy Service.

      Jim very many thanks for that advice it is much appreciated, as I would not have known where to start.

      Delete
  8. No joy with the number for grant Thornton. Is it correct?. Does anyone know what has happened to them? It seems they have just diss appeared with every ones money. Is there anything we can do?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Recently Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 have had several calls about this company which they have passed to the Police Fraud Squad.

    ReplyDelete
  10. bee123: My apologies the link wasn't working and the phone number was wrong. Now corrected: phone is 020 7865 2165

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello, what I'm about to say I've been warned off doing by my family. However I feel awful about this whole situation, and I want to try to help as much as I can. Firstly I would like to apologise to everyone who had been ripped off. I worked for worldwide wine investments for a few months. I'm an honest and nieve young person. However my sucispions began to grow of the company, and things didn't add up to me. This was my first job within any financial sector, and I didn't know much about what I was doing. However as I started to wise up to this. Things and behaviours in the office became very weird. And on the 30th april the staff wasn't paid, so we didn't go into work, and wasn't going to untill we were paid. And the next thing the office is closed and we are told via the phone, not to come in untill further notice! They have breeched so many laws. Both from am employement aspect and fraudulant aspect. And then bang the companies disapeared and most of the clients have been fleeced! Still to this day I have no idea what is going on. Also on companies house it says geriant jones resigned in feb, which is untrue he worked there untill this month when the office was closed. As for the other lady who was appartently a director I never met or heard of this lady aswell as the other male director. I only know of one director being geriant jones. And as for the owner of the business, he has completely vanished! I'm sorry for all you have lost due to this 'business scam'. I genuinely thought they were a honest, legit company. And how wrong I was! I wish I knew where u could go for help. My advice would be to try citezin advice, and then from there contact a solicitor. I'm very sorry for what you have all lost, and I'm ashamed of myself for falling into the trap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi,you are brave to come out to try and help,do you know any names and addresses which may help as an investor(mug) who has lost much money

      Delete
    2. so who are you - we've all lost our money it seems . I've reported this to the fraud dept of thames valley police

      Delete
    3. Do you have any mobile phone numbers, or photographs of anyone who worked there, i.e. Vincent Chase, Geriant Jones or Kyle Mcleod? Or did any of them mention where they lived when you worked with them? Do you have any documentation which might help find these people? If you do have anything, you could pass it on anonymously and this maybe very useful in catching these people.

      Delete
    4. Fahrad Boodhoo aka Vincent Chase/Kyle McLeod
      Patrick Mbanefo aka Patrick Peters
      Ryan Fraser
      Dean Mark Price
      Darren Donnolly

      Delete
    5. Are these names of people who worked there?

      Delete
  12. Anon. Please see suggestion in post of contacting Grant Thornton.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Heard today that Milton Keynes Trading Standards have accessed the offices and removed paperwork but it is likely to take some time to investigate fully.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was cold-called last August and sent a brochure. Alarm bells rung when rhe caller was giving me they had posh offices near Buckingham Palace but the pre-paid envelelope I had was for a place on Milton Keynes.They kept ringing me despite me telling them I was not interested both over the phone and by e-mail and even got a call about a month ago with the promise of high returns which I quickly terminated.

    My advice to people is never invest with someone who cold-calls you how ever good the deal seems. I know this is no consolation to those alredy stung.

    ReplyDelete
  15. For any one who has been unfortunate and caught by this scam (or any other wine scam) I would be interested to speak to you as I may be able to recover some or all of your money. Tom Silverwood-Cope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tom,if there is a group action to go after them i would be pleased to support it,thank you

      Delete
    2. I was fleeced as well ! This scam could run into alot of money ( well into 6 figures + )

      Delete
  16. Tom Silverwood Cope is with a firm of solicitors in Milton Keynes. Although I'm happy to post his comment I have no knowledge of his work.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Please note amended message from Tom Silverwood Cope:

    “For any one who has been unfortunate and caught by this scam (or any other wine scam) I would be interested to speak to you as I may be able to recover some or all of your money.

    *Please note that I can only help in circumstances where a credit card was used in any transaction with Worldwide Wine.* Tom Silverwood-Cope.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom ,
      I used a credit card ( Barclaycard ) to buy the wine ( in theory ! ) @ £7200.00

      When I called them they said I was covered for 90 days from date of purchase ? Therefore no liability from them , they say.

      Delete
    2. Tom ,

      Are you able to give any further advice regarding this ? I've not heard back from you.

      Delete
  18. Steve Gilchrist29 June 2012 22:42

    Under Section 75 Consumer Credit Act 1974, if you used a credit card to pay Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd (WWIL) between £100 and £30,000 in any single transaction, the credit card company is just as liable as WWIL for failing to supply the wine, or for any misrepresentation made by WWIL that induced you into making the payment. Even if the price for the wine was e.g. £3,000 and you only used your credit card to pay a deposit of £100 and then paid the balance of £2,900 by cheque to WWIL, the credit card company is liable to repay the WHOLE £3,000, i.e. the deposit PLUS the balance.
    So why go to the extra expense of hiring a solicitor to make a “Section 75” claim against your credit card company?
    Remember – all you need to prove is that WWIL did not supply the wine as promised, or that they made specific pre-contractual statements to you which induced you to enter into a contract to buy the wine, but those statements turned out to be false. The legal term for the latter is “misrepresentation”.
    Even were the credit card company to reject your claim (as they are likely to as a first hurdle tactic) you can then take the next step and make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) about the credit card company. This is free of charge and quite easy to do. Should the FOS rule in your favour, they have the power to order the credit card company to pay you the full amount you have lost, plus lost interest and expenses.
    One note of caution - make sure that WWIL did not simply use your credit card details to pay into an intermediary money transfer account such as Paypal or Nochex. If they did, the credit card company may escape liability.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. worth a try - these people should be named and shamed and then jailed !

      Delete
    2. According to me cc company ( Barclaycard ) they say time limit is 90 days from date of transaction - hence they claim they are not liable ?

      Delete
    3. This is advice from Barclaycard incorrect. See Steve Gilchrist's comment above.

      Delete
    4. Barclaycard said they were not liable after 90 days following purchase ( despite fact wine was never supplied of course )
      I'll try them again.

      Delete
    5. Anon. Contact Paul Smith of the Malt Whisky Buyers Helpline at solicitors Pearson & Pearson in Kendall. He has had long experience dealing with fraud claims against credit card companies.

      Delete
  19. Steve. Many thanks for this very useful clarification.

    Unfortunately I suspect that World Wide Wine Investments Ltd may not have had credit card facilities.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I too was unfortunate enough to be taken in by World wide wines to the tune of £9100, and it was only because I have been contacted by Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd who offered to sell my wines, that I tried to contact World Wide, only to find that their number is disconnected. I then came across this blog post.
    Capital Bordeaux want me to invest £2950 so that I am on their books then they can get best price for me. £14440 is their quote.
    After reading all of this post I'm thinking that this is all highly unlikely, and just another scam.
    Does anyone else have any info on Capital Bordeaux?
    I notice that on Companies House that they have only been registered since 24th April this year, so that doesn't bode well.
    One other thing that struck me, but I may be wrong, the rather persuasive guy that calls me, a Brian Church, sounded very much like the guy from World Wide Wines, Vincent Chase. So that may be how they come to get my number.
    I am now going to have to try to see if I can recover any of my money, going to be difficult as these B.....s don't take credit cards.
    Which is the best route to take first?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anon. My advice would be to turn down this kind offer flat. As you tell it, this sounds all to like a classic White Knight gambit. I suggest you explore the Grant Thornton possibility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that advice. Have been in touch with James Kehoe, a very nice helpful man.
      They have already put some names and amounts lost across to the insolvency service, and as they now have some more to go they are going to contact them again to see how far they have got with their investigations.
      Thanks again for your help.

      Delete
    2. I have also been onto London City Bond and as expected they have no account in the name of World Wide Wines and no account with my name on either.

      Delete
  22. "By choosing Capital Bordeaux Investments you are choosing one of the world's most experienced specialist investment companies and we are proud to have led the way in revolutionising the modern fine wine investment market. We were the first to offer monthly investment accounts, the first to offer fully tailored and managed investment cellars and the first fine wine investment house to provide services to the Financial Services Sectors"

    All since April 2012 - boy these guys are good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have the brochure as well then! Have you traded successfully with them, or are you working with them?

      Delete
    2. I was being sarcastic. I hoped, rather obviously.

      Delete
    3. It was certainly obvious to me!

      Delete
  23. Indeed truly remarkable!!

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  24. 2nd anon: The 1st anon is pointing out that Capital Bordeaux Investments website claims long experience. Indeed they claim to have been incorporated in 1995. In fact their incorporation as a UK company was on 24th April 2012. I would certainly not consider buying from them. Nor from the similar sounding Capital Bordeaux Vintners also incorporated as a UK company in April 2012 and also based at 68 Lombard Street, which is a serviced office.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The above poster, who was contacted by “Brian Church”, should report the incident to the Company Investigation Dept of the Insolvency Service, Dept Business Innovation & Skills.
    The sole director of Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd is just a 22-year old dummy, using the name Scott Andrews.
    At the foot of each page of their website Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd state their phone number as 0207 868 2842. But they cannot even get something as simple as that right, because on their “contactus” webpage, they give the number as 0207 686 2842.
    http://www.capitalbordeaux.co.uk/ContactUs.htm
    Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd’s registered address and supposed trading address is just a serviced office area belonging to the office space company Regus plc: 68 Lombard Street, London, EC3V 9LJ. This is a very popular mail forwarding address for fraudsters running wine investment scams and land-banking investment scams. After all, a City of London address looks a lot better on headed notepaper than an address for a [boiler]room above a cockroach infested pizza take-away in Bromley!
    Please beware that Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd are also targeting victims of the massive Bordeaux UK Ltd fraud, which was headed up by Andrew Dunne’s Lieutenant-in-Chief, Ian Vanderhook of Bromley.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hello all,

    I was also scammed by World Wide Wine Investments. I only found this out after I tried to sell wine purchased from them and found them uncontactable.

    I am considering a private prosecution of WWWI through the legal firm Edmonds Marshall McMahon (http://www.emmlegal.com/).

    A joint private prosecution would bring costs down so I would like to know if others would be interested in joining me in this.

    Also, it is possible to apply for costs back out of central funds at the conclusion of the prosecution case so this would not be additional money wasted.

    If interested in finding out about this route please contact either myself (ians2100@gmail.com) or contact Tamlyn Edmonds (tamlynedmonds@emmlegal.com) at the firm of Edmonds Marshall McMahon directly.

    Sincerely
    Ian S

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ian ,

      I'd be keen to join your group but will these people ( WWWI ) have any money to pay us ?

      Delete
    2. The person from WWWI who sold me the wines was someone named Courtney Jones ( Mob : 07809 746 452 ). . The other guy @ WWWI was Patrick Peters.

      I've reported the fraud to Thames Valley Fraud Department also the wines and spirits trade assoc : ( fraudalert@wsta.co.uk )
      We need to try and shame these culprits

      Delete
    3. I spoke with Courtney Jones and although he sold the wine to me , he left the company about a year ago he says. HHe was given the task of selling to mugs like us but he was probably not aware of the scam ( I think he's about 19-20 yrs old and probably very gullible - just like us! )
      He said he's keen to assist with the investigation as he is ashamed of the actions of his Employer and how this has turned out for the people he sold the wine to ? He's probably not got anything to hide and if we are to build a case against Geraint Jones etc , he may be helpful ?

      Delete
    4. any more joy yet Ian ?
      We should go after these people and they should be prosecuted - I'm sure they still have assets that can be sold ( unless they've transferred them to their wife's names ?

      Delete
    5. I worked for these for 2 months, I've never done sales in my life and thought I would try it, I met with Courtney on my interview he told me he owned the company and it was all legitimate but obviously not I got out of there ASAP.

      Delete
    6. Anon. Please contact me on budmac@btinternet.com

      Delete
    7. I unfortunatley worked at world wide wine investments for a short space of time before being let go from the company. The employees from what I gather were totally unaware and thought they was working for a corperate company. I had a fairly good relationship with Courtney Jones who was just a salesperson within the company. I believe he was 20 years old. I'm glad I wasn't part of the company for any longer than 4 months and I'm sorry for how it turnt out for everybody.

      Delete
  27. Look familiar? www.wwcollections.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Certainly another company I would not consider buying from.

    ReplyDelete
  29. To Anonymous:

    Trading Standards are investigating the case at the moment. If they don't follow through there are a number of people including myself who are prepared to bring a private prosecution. If you have questions Tamlyn Edmonds of EMM (tamlynedmonds@emmlegal.com) may be able to supply you with further information.

    Regards
    Ian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ian , just got back from holiday.
      Let me know if you're making any progress please ?

      Delete
  30. Ian and anonymous customers of WWI please contact me on budmac@btinternet.com Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hello i went there for a job interview last year in september and met them. I met two people, the director and a person called Kyle Mc Leod (trading floor manager), if of any help...Hope they will give you back your money :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon. Thanks. Could you contact me on budmac@btinternet.com please. Thanks

      Delete
    2. Hi

      Have you by any chance got Kyle Mcleod mobile number. He is apparently 'my broker', so if i can try and get in contact with him then I could try and get my money back.

      Delete
  32. My husband died last November and I found amongst his papers that he had bought wine from Capital Bordeaux Invetments amounting to over 4000 pounds. I was contacted by someone from there this week, stating that if I sent 1500 pounds they could ''release' his funds, plus interest, amounting to approx 8500 pounds. He is ringing me tomorrow for my answer. Is this a scam, it sounds like it but how do I get my husband's investments back otherwise?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Although tempting I would not send them any more money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I wrote elsewhere on this blog I was recently contacted by Capital Bordeaux Investments (John Banks)and was advised that if I bought a case of wine at (only) £1000
      they would be able to get the four cases of wine which I bought through Worldwide Wines Investment (Milton Keyens). All very tempting but seems imprabable.

      Delete
    2. Same scenario happened to me,just wondering how they managed to get our names and phone nos.and wine we thought we had bought...

      Delete
  34. They are back as a different name Prime trading5.com
    Michael Banks (he called himself) 0800 0560917

    ReplyDelete
  35. I have been contacted by phone by Capital Bordeau Investments Ltd by a man who sounded familiar to try and recover my wine from France which I bought en-premeur . It seems from a previous blogger that this person had worked for WWWI, the firm I paid for the wine.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi.All gone quiet on the World Wide Wines front.Has anyone heard of progress in the company being wound up or fraud being investigated? It still leaves a rotten feeling every time I get cold called yet again by so called reputable investment cos.

    ReplyDelete
  37. There is a proposal to strike off Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd. It may be under investigation by the police – such investigations often take time. The defendants in the Nouveau/Fimbow trial were arrested in March 2010. The ir trial didn't start until May 2013.

    'Cold called by so called reputable investment cos' – reputable companies do not cold call.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim,Many thanks for your reply and knowledge.Much appreciated.regards Andrew

      Delete
    2. Is there a link between WWI and Capital Bordeaux Inv. Ltd? The latter were claiming that they had all the details of wine purchased through WWI and that they could get it back for clients. As someone has pointed out two different but very similar telephone numbers are given but neither seems to work. Has CBILtd also done a runner?

      Delete
    3. Capital Bordeaux Vintners Ltd are over due with their annual return that should have been filed on 22nd May 2013.

      Delete
    4. Phone calls go through to a mailbox.

      Delete
  38. I would be interested to hear when people invested, because I suspect the bank did not act quickly enough when they suspected fraud. I was caught in March 20 2012.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hello, if you or a family member been affected by this company, and you're willing to speak to the press, please call 01582 637 400 and ask to speak to the News Editor - BBC 3CR (Today - 23/10/13)

    ReplyDelete
  40. from a police email to me I send the following quote "On 23rd October 2013, three people were arrested by officers investigating Worldwide Wine Investments (Operation Dinghy).

    The arrested persons were a 22-year-old man, a 23-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man all from Essex who were held at two addresses on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.

    They have all been released on bail pending further enquiries.

    The investigation is ongoing and we will continue to provide significant updates."
    Such a pity that it all took so long.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anon. You have to be patient with 'fraud' investigations. It does take a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hello, there is any information about investigation and people of the company, yet?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Just had a call from a company called Manor Trade, they claim to have got my details from the London Bond and claim that the wine I purchased from WWI is held there (and gave brief details that matched my purchase) and want to know if I want to sell it for a small upfront fee.
    If genuine could be very good news, but unsure if a scam. Any ideas or anybody heard of Manor Trade (quick scan on internet shows several companies with that type of name and I need to look further)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anon. Highly unlikely to be genuine. Advance fee scam is more probable. MANOR TRADE LIMITED was founded in 2012 but looks to have been bought off the shelf in late March/early April 2014. You can be sure that LCB would not have given your details out more likely that the company has sourced your details through someone associated with WWI. Cold call is also a red light warning.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Anon. I would file a complaint through Action Fraud about Manor Trade Ltd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinkingof calling the police contact I had re WWI but Action Fraud would be good as well. Many thanks for good advice.

      Delete
    2. Anon. Yes do phone your police contact – suggest first priority and then complaint through Action Fraud would be good. Jim

      Delete
  46. Anon. Yes do phone your police contact – suggest first priority and then complaint through Action Fraud would be good. Jim

    ReplyDelete