wine-searcher

Wine Name:
Vintage:

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Nouveau World Wines/Finbow Wines: breaking news – Daniel Snelling jailed 7.5 years, Rebecca McDonald: 3 years

Daniel Snelling gets 7.5 years jail

His Honour Judge Grieve QC sentenced Daniel Snelling to 7.5 years imprisonment on conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. He also banned Snelling from acting as a director for 15 years and issued a five year serious crime prevention order against him. Taking the four counts individually Snelling was sentenced to a total of 17 years. However, as they will run concurrently he will only serve 7.5 years, which was the most serious sentence and given on conspiracy to defraud in relation to Finbow Wines Ltd.

This crime prevention order will come into force on Snelling's release from prison and essentially mean that his life will be under surveillance: having to disclose emails, his financial affairs, buying internet domains, etc. to the police. This should make it difficult for Daniel Snelling to reoffend at least for the first five years after his release from prison. It is likely to have more affect than his ban as a director as shadow directors are commonly used and there is nothing to stop a banned director running a partnership as this does not contravene the ban as Stephen Cleeve demonstrated by flogging worthless plots of agricultural land through European Land Sales.    

Rebecca McDonald was sentenced to three years for conspiracy to defraud in relation to Finbow. Snelling and McDonald can be released on licence once they have served half their sentences.

In his remarks His Honour Judge Grieve QC rejected Dorian Lovell-Pank's plea on behalf of Snelling that the clients of Nouveau and Finbow were sophisticated investors. Grieve said that many of them were 'elderly and vulnerable'. He did accept that Nouveau World Wines Ltd was originally a legitimate company but soon became fraudulent. Given Daniel Snelling's track record, including working for Wine Orb in Australia as well as for Andrew Dunne at Countrywide, I find this an unlikely proposition, although it may well have become increasingly fraudulent as time went on. 

Judge Grieve said that Snelling had used the proceeds to fund an extravagant life-style – expensive rented flats in Docklands, prestige cars including an Aston Martin, frequent travel and even more frequent wads of cash. He also said that Daniel Snelling was largely responsible for the predicament that Dina Snelling and Rebecca McDonald now find themselves in.   

In sentencing Rebecca McDonald Judge Grieve cited her role as book keeper at Finbow, which included providing a false audit trail. He accepted that she probably wasn't knowingly involved from the start of Finbow – "an out and out fraud" – and that her involvement may have only have lasted a couple of months. He accepted that she was previously of "impeccable character" and that apart from her salary she did not benefit materially from the fraud. He also accepted that the chance of her reoffending was "very remote". 

There was considerable surprise and shock amongst Rebecca McDonald's 20 or more supporters when her sentence was announced. I had thought that she might get a suspended sentence but it may be that the minimum sentence that can be given for conspiracy to defraud makes this impossible.

It is difficult to see that McDonald's sentence is proportional in the light of the 7.5 years given to Daniel Snelling, however, McDonald's sentence does send out a message that if you suspect you are involved in a fraud get out quickly and report your suspicions through Action Fraud, for example.

In the light of McDonald's three years on one count of conspiracy to defraud,  it looks likely that Dina Snelling could be facing five years or more when she is sentenced on 11th October on two counts of conspiracy.

I have to wonder why Daniel Snelling thought it was a good idea to plead not guilty and go through all the long trial, when an early guilty plea would have meant a reduced sentence.                 

      

 

106 comments:

  1. He should have got the maximum of 10 years.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh dear how on earth can an innocent person get 3 years for a crime she has no idea was being committed. Poor Beckie your friend know the truth and one day it will be found that you was not in volved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As well we are now aware, many, many innocent people have been hanged; I am now so pleased we no longer hang people.

      Delete
  3. He should of got more than 10 years for defrauding those people and getting his poor counsin Rebecca into a world she knew nothing about.

    ReplyDelete
  4. How on earth can he get just 7.5 years when he was found guilty on all 4 counts. It was his company he did all the dodgy dealings, enjoyed all the ill gotten gains and has shown no remorse. How can Rebecca get almost half that sentence when she (unjustly) was found guilty on one count and didn't benefit in any way. I know it was a serious crime but I have lost all faith in the British justice system

    ReplyDelete
  5. Innocent? please she was in it upto her neck! Her final ruthless deception was dragging her family and victims through the courts to mask her true identity - which is a guilty fraudster.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What an ignorant comment! Have you read the facts of the case or Jim's account above.

      Delete
    2. I read the decision of the Jury which seems to be the most relevant in this case.

      Delete
    3. Do you actually know Rebecca McDonald? Just wonder where you got your facts from.

      Delete
    4. I do not socialise with criminals.

      The FACTS OF THE CASE AND MATTERS OF LAW were readily available to the Jury and in open court and are now in the press. Let´s look at the reality - SHE HAS BEEN CONVICTED BY A JURY OF A CRIME AND NOW MUST PAY HER DEBT BACK TO SOCIETY BY DOING HER TIME.

      Delete
    5. Convicted by a jury yes, two of which had to be pulled up for falling asleep on separate occasions, says it all for me I'm afraid

      Delete
    6. Are you sure, that your not one of the jury yourself who fell asleep !!!! Or are you one of the GREEDY investors that was taken in !!!!!! By Daniel Snelling.? I've known Rebecca all my life, I know she is not capable of any criminal activities . And I don't associate with ignorant people

      Delete
  6. Well well well, 7 years and 6 months, couldn't of happened to a nicer bloke, I hope you rot in there and get everything that's coming to you Snelling! (SCUM)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Daniel Snelling and Kelly Humphries both worked for Andy RUSSIAN BRIDES Dunne at countrywide when is someone going to call that man to order over the countless millions lost

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I know Dunne is in Northern Cyprus.

      Delete
  8. All beckys friends and family know the truth, not one of the people there supporting becky was 'dragged in' it was all voluntary because we all know the real becky and we know the truth, we'll stand by her till the end.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hope Daniel rots in prison for what he has done. To deceive your own family. The greed, deception and how he has treated people is disgusting. What a sick human being he is. Low life scum is a nice word! Too nice for him!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am one of Becky's friends infact she is counted as family and I am very proud of her and she didn't drag us through anything, we went with her willingly and will be with her every step of the way from here on in, the judge himself said other than her salary she didn't benefit from the crime! We know her better than anyone and clearly whoever posted that comment knows nothing and is on a wind up!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your advice in bold is very wise Jim. There doesn't appear to be a lot of common sense applied today in Rebecca's case.

    Daniel got what he deserves. Maybe it will make others think twice about their corrupt activities..

    ReplyDelete
  12. As I sit here and reflect on the events of the last 2 days in particular, I wonder who is to blame. Today a lifelong family friend was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for a crime she did not commit. To the individual that commented earlier that she is a guilty fraudster. How wrong you are! Fraudsters perpetrate crimes for money/financial gain – where was Rebecca’s gain? A monthly salary that was less than her salary at KPMG?? There was no evidence of any other financial gain – no extravagant lifestyle, no cosmetic surgery etc. As for being ruthless, anyone that knows Rebecca knows what a ridiculous statement this is. She is and has always been, a caring and loyal mother, daughter, sister and friend to many.
    One might blame the jury for getting it wrong, or her Legal team for not doing more or the judge for being so harsh in his sentencing (and at odds with his summing up). But no, I know exactly who is to blame for her incarceration. Daniel and Dina Snelling. They could have stopped this situation from arising by pleading guilty and telling the truth from the outset, the CPS even offered Daniel the opportunity to do so. Instead they lied through their teeth and dragged their vulnerable innocent cousin down with them. Shame on them. I hope the judge is as harsh on Dina as he was on Rebecca and I hope that Daniel spends the next 7.5 years reflecting on the harm and upset he has caused to his victims, including his own family member, Rebecca McDonald.
    Shame on you Daniel and Dina.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jim do you have any victim impact statements?

    Maybe if you published them and demonstrate to the various supporters making comments on here that countless lives that have been destroyed then maybe they will crawl back into their caves. These people are evil FULLSTOP!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon. I'm afraid I don't have any victim impact statements. However, any investor who put in a significant part of their life savings is likely to have suffered a lifetime financial mugging, especially if they are already retired and not in a position to rebuild their savings. The impact will mean a considerably less comfortable life in retirement than they had expected.

      Delete
  14. Supporters of Becky because she is innocent and that makes her a victim of the crime, no one takes away the henious crime that Daniel and Dina committed taking away money from innocent people, it should be remembered there are others awaiting trial for the same offences.

    Why should Becky have to pay when she didn't knowingly steal any money nor did she ever sell anything to anyone and gave in her notice when she became concerned, as far as she was aware the investors wines were stored where Daniel said it was and all his trips overseas were as convincing to Becky as they were to investors, she had no way of knowing it was a lie and was never involved in buying wines or selling them, she was just given instructions by Daniel.
    I most definitely wont be crawling under a rock and nor will any of the many many people that love Becky, she is one of the most liked people I know!

    The judge said a sentence was "utterly inescapable" which makes me wonder if he would have passed a suspended sentence if it had of been an option on the table.

    Juries decisions aren't always right it wasn't beyond reasonable doubt the evidence was wafer thin!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I hope that one of your family members is never set up in this way as you will then not be so forthright with your vile comments concerning rebecca McDonald she is innocent the only crime she committed was believing in her cousin there is only two people to blame and that is the scum of daniel and dina snelling who are the only ones who have lived the lavish lifestyle not rebecca McDonald she has been used and abused by these two vile people

    ReplyDelete
  16. Re: Beccy - something about 'providing false audit trail' ?? no smoke without fire I'm afraid - the jury must have had enough info to convict her in the first place...............
    BTW - I am not connected to anyone involved in any way - completely unbiased interested reader

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Interested Reader
      No smoke without fire – is that a much used legal term when deciding someone’s fate?!
      A false audit trail was indeed provided, but not by Rebecca McDonald. The jury chose to believe Daniel/Dina’s version of events, that Rebecca was involved is how she has ended up in her current predicament. Rebecca’s version – that the trail was provided by her cousins (the benefactors of this crime) and without her knowledge was disregarded. Rebecca did indeed handle/file these fictitious documents, but she did so in good faith – believing them to be real. Not only have the Snellings duped their investors out of £4m+ , it would appear they have duped the dozing jury too.
      The only crime that Rebecca committed was in trusting her cousins and not running to the authorities with her concerns, when she resigned and left. A decision I’m sure she will regret daily for the rest of her life.

      Delete
    2. Would that false audit trail provided by the Snellings without Miss Macdonalds knowledge also include her handwritten breakdowns and post it notes that include such innocent terms as "clean up fee" and her handwriting on invoices for "wine" showing the true destination of the funds? All admitted to in open court as I understand it...hmmm can't understand why she got convicted...what an injustice...

      Delete
    3. Personally I find jurors dozing off extremely offensive, albeit only 2 of them that I know of, but that's not the point, everyone seems quite happy to brush over that, what if the consequences of the jurors actions could have encouraged an appeal against convictions based on that behaviour.

      If that's what they convicted her on, some scribbles on a post note and invoices she was asked to raise, god help the rest of us.

      I have said previously the full story isn't known yet as others are awaiting trial. I believe this is posted on the blog somewhere and also what the charges are.

      All of those who were there yesterday have either known her all of her life or most of it and are steadfast in their belief of her innocence, that is something that will never break. I believe we all know her better than a jury who has been given half the story of criminals in it up to their neck, who should have pleaded guilty, in fact had Daniel pleaded guilty the police may have dropped the charges against Rebecca.

      I agree with Tina Hoys comment below, Becky is distraught that people think she is even capable of such a wicked crime, but she knows we all believe her and she does not need to prove herself to us.

      An invoice for wine doesn't mean she knew the wine didn't exist, it was supposed to have been stored in vaults around the world and that's why Daniel was travelling overseas to suppliers, or that's what she thought.

      If as you seem to want to convince everyone she is guilty and the jury were right, one would wonder why she chose to leave the company having told them of her concerns.

      As you understand it, not sure what that is supposed to mean it either was or it wasn't, you yourself have casted doubt on your own comment. There is no middle ground when finding someone guilty, they couldn't agree and seem to be at logger heads over the second charge even when the judge said he would accept a majority verdict they still did not agree, some of the jury believed in her innocence relating to the second charge and clearly were not prepared to negotiate on that, even when they were hurried along and no doubt had families they wanted to go home to, for that I thank them, they stopped an even more unjust sentence being passed. the prosecution said they had no interest in a retrial and left it on file.

      After her conviction the company she worked for whom had supported her throughout the whole trial, kept her job open and wanted her back should she have got a suspended sentence, even writing to the judge stating this fact, along side her impeccable character references. Speaks louder than any post it note or clean up fee which could mean anything and is open to interpretation, most definitely its not conclusive evidence.

      Delete
    4. It is clearly highly regrettable and wrong for any members of the jury to doze off during proceedings. However, I have to say that the room temperature in Court 8 was very erratic – switching from too cold to too hot. Certainly the air conditioning system appeared not to function properly.

      Delete
    5. Yes that would not help, I can imagine a lot of the business talk went on some what as well.

      It was a very complex trial and I do wonder whether they should use everyday people who may or may not understand all the intricate details of such large fraud cases, there was once talk about using only those who were extremely experienced in these cases as opposed to a jury, whether that will happen Im not sure

      Delete
    6. Anon. I would be reluctant to move away from the principle of jury trials for fraud cases. I have followed several drinks investment fraud cases over the past ten or more years and my feeling has been that the jury has generally has got it right.

      Furthermore the crux of the cases here was not very complex – high pressure sales, nothing like enough wine was bought – in the case of Finbow virtually no wine along with an utterly worthless buy back 'guarantee'.

      Delete
  17. Dear oh dear, how blinkered you poor deluded souls are! If the jury got it right as far as you are all concerned in relation to the Snellings then they must have been just as attentive in their duties with regards to Miss MacDonald. Or did they fall asleep for all of the evidence concerning her and decide to convict her for nothing...you can't have your cake and eat it I'm afraid...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jim,

    I posted a comment last night to this thread, as a "supplier" who over a few months got to know the Snellings "quite" well.

    Is there a reason why my comment wasn't published?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please see below. Apologies your comment wasn't posted. I thought I had done so. As you can appreciate there were a considerable number of messages to moderate last night.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous supplier. Thanks for your comment which I thought I had posted last night. I have tried to post it this morning but without success but have managed to retrieve it here. It would be helpful if you would email me the name of your company please?

    Comment:

    'As a supplier to Finbow Wines who lost many many thousands of pounds to the corrupt staff there, I've seen a different side of all parties.

    Yes, Daniel and Dina (and others yet to be tried) took advantage of investors and stole vast amounts of monies.
    They paid massive commission rates to brokers whom should've questioned profits and where the money was going.

    Rebecca, I believe was naive to many of the activities of Finbow, but common sense and a simple grasp of accountancy knowledge for which she was employed to manage the books should've warned her to jump ship or at least question the businesses management team and their decisions.
    As far a modest salary goes, Rebecca did use the business funds and cards to fill her BMW with fuel, pay for hers and all staffs lunches each day and enjoy nights out at restaurants etc.

    Her punishment was very severe based on the other family members involvement, but ease do not insult the intelligence of people involved with these individuals that she had no knowledge or involvement, nor benefited from the vast amount of "cash" floating about.
    Withdrawing roughly 25k at a time in cash, on a regular basis reflects this.

    Lets hope that the other members involved in this corrupt family business, are sentenced as appropriately.'

    ReplyDelete
  20. The cash drawn was given to others and was under the orders of others, she did question it and was told by Daniel "to just do it" and she did leave the company when she became concerned, filling her car with fuel is hardly a benefit most companies offer this an expense, it doesn't mean she knew she was benefitting from proceeds of a crime, either way the point is to all those hundreds that know her, she did not knowingly benefit from the crime or live a lavish lifestyle and from memory they asked to borrow her credit card for a small amount and run up a 10k bill!! There is more to this story that I can not add, but it will out in the end!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. " I was only following orders " was equally unsuccessful as a defence at the Nurenberg trials if I recall correctly!

      Delete
    2. Do you think that comparing Rebecca to Nazi war criminals who murdered millions was an intelligent thing to do? If so you are clearly not capable of rational argument. I do not understand the vitriol aimed at Rebecca from some quarters, but their spite would suggest they are far more involved than they wish to admit.
      All of the people who are honored to call Rebecca a friend know the truth, you can spout your venom and use perverted comparisons but you will never convince the people who know her that she is guilty.
      I am sure there are plenty of people who were found guilty by inept jurors, justice is a game of chance when a jury is involved.
      In my opinion the jury made a bad choice with regards to Rebecca, perhaps the case was far to complicated for them, perhaps some of them simply weren't competent enough to be on a jury?

      This case has emotions running high, and people have opinions as is their right, and they are free to express those opinions on this forum safe in the knowledge that their identity is securely hidden.

      I know 100% that Rebecca is innocent and no amount of opinion from people of suspect motives will ever sway me.







      Delete
  21. How many other people have been arrested in relation to fin bow but yet to face trial or be charged?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anon. Please see post on 9th September which gives details of the forthcoming trial.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Rebecca MacDonald is indeed guilty on two things: 1) like the investors she trusted the Snellings and 2) she trusted that the justice system would see she was innocent, as why would anybody commit a crime that would give you no gain, all Rebecca received was her agreed salary. She certainly didn't have a lavish lifestyle, as the judge himself correctly highlighted. She has been let down on both counts and the Snellings have continued on their path of destroying yet more lives.

    Rebecca is devastated by the loss of monies that the investors have suffered, and because she is seen in their eyes to have played a part. We as her family are devastated by the destruction this has caused in her and her 13yr old sons life, along with the disruption of the family left behind to pick up the pieces.

    Daniel Snelling in our eyes got off lightly with a 7.5 yr sentence. His choice not to plead guilty shows he believed he would 'get away with it' but was willing to take his girlfriend (with whom he has a baby) his sister and his cousin along with him. This is clearly the actions of a man with no morals whatsoever.

    As with the investors, we feel completely let down by Daniel Snelling and we hope that the investors feel they have received some justice.

    As for Rebecca, she is still waiting for hers!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Delighted to see Daniel get his just desserts. Hope Dina gets the same. Small compensation for the lost millioins.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hopefully Rebbecca can now pay back some of the money she helped steal or maybe her family can contribute to the losses of all the investors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's an interesting concept, why should she pay back what they stole, there is no evidence anywhere that suggests that she knowingly helped them to take that money, the only thing I can see was the accounts which were done by her, having been given the instructions by others. It was Dina/Daniel that were found with a USB stick/laptop where they had been making up dodgy documents, documents no doubt they planned to give to Becky to update and file. Rebecca's family and friends will be saving their money to make sure when she comes home she has some money to get her back on her feet and her young son, having unjustly lost everything! There is always Daniel and Dina's family perhaps they have plenty of money or do you not consider that Daniel should pay it back?? I guess you are on a wind up hence the single reference to Becky and don't actually care if anyone gets any money back

      Delete
    2. I know of 9 investors who´s lives have been turned into a living hell! One particular family have lost their home and their child is sick so please do not get me started on this as I feel very strongly against the finbow criminals who have been found guilty. I am currently helping them build a civil case so I can assure you there is more to come for this Gangster family and that includes Rebecca. Watch this space! As a storm is building!

      Delete
    3. its funny you say she should pay back what she stole, its funny how Daniel had holidays, homes and expensive gives plus cash loads extra and dina had plastic surgery, yet becky was at home supporting her child, even the judge said she had no financial gain, no holidays, nothing extravagant savings, just her wages. your just too ignorant too believe what you want too, I don't see daniels family commenting on this, ticking up for him, why? because they know, and he knows he is guilty, just like dina, yet becky clearly has many friends and family who care and stick up for her till the very end, take your comments elsewhere cos you clearly don't know what your talking about.

      Delete
  26. A lot of people in the Daily Mail are asking did they prey on the vulnerable or the greedy, when they were told they could double or triple their investment. Not condoning it in any way shape or form but don't really understand how a lot of the victims got themselves into this kind of scam, I never talk to sales people, hang up its very simple, if it sounds too good to be true it always is, where is the common sense of the victims? Or were they just blinded by the amount of money to be made? It is a very cruel crime and if people had mental health problems etc then that makes it so much worse but I just don't get it, who would risk all their retirement money on an investment, investments don't always pay off so calculated risk when investing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although I'm not surprised that the elderly and vulnerable fall for these scams, I am frequently amazed that people who ought to know better are prepared to put substantial sums of money into investment schemes they know little about following a cold call.

      If you get a cold call – put the phone down!

      Delete
    2. One should also give some fraudsters credit – they are unfortunately good at what they do!

      Delete
  27. This thread and support for Rebecca really does underline what is wrong with English society. First we had poor Rebecca is innocent , then we had she was manipulated , then we had the Jury was guilty , then we had the Judge was guilty and now finally WE HAVE IT - THe VICTIM´S ARE GUILTY!!! FOR GOD´S SAKE GET A GRIP PEOPLE! YOUR RELATIVE WHO YOU THINK IS SWEET AND INNOCENT IS A HARDENED GANGSTER CRIMINAL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People like Daniel and Dinas' parents are what's wrong with English society. You would hope they are ashamed of all their children, but sadly I suspect they are probably proud of their criminal achievements.
      Daniel and Dina like their parents before them have demonstrated a complete lack of morals and human decency

      Delete
    2. I think it is you who needs to get a grip, if you have ever met Rebecca you would realise that your comment is very funny and cant be taken seriously, gangster, deary me what planet are you on?

      By the way we don't think she is sweet and innocent we KNOW she is :-)

      Delete
    3. She Controlled the bank accounts , controlled the money but didn´t have a clue what was going on. Hang-on I HAVE JUST SEEING A FLYING PIG GO PAST MY WINDOW. She´s in prison for a reason! She´s guilty of ripping people off and destroying their lives.

      Delete
    4. Anon. From what I remember and noted of Rebecca McDonald's evidence she did not have full control or knowledge of all the financial affairs at Finbow. Gave evidence that she could not know how much wine was being bought. Said that by the end of 2009 – beginning of 2010 was overwhelmed by the need to keep chasing people like Paul Kelly for invoices. Gave evidence that she queried some payments requested but told by Daniel to pay. She resigned on 29th January 2010 and worked her month's notice.

      She should have walked out at the end of 2009 - early 2010 when she became worried by the amount of cash flowing out of the company.

      Delete
    5. Thank you for documenting this Jim.
      The Crown should still be pursuing other people to account for their actions in this fraud. When the next trial starts hopefully they will also be dragged in and held to account!

      Delete
    6. Thank you for that update Jim.
      I don't think ANYBODY that had met Rebecca could call her 'A HARDENED CRIMINAL.. The person that said she controlled bank accounts and controlled the money has no idea what they are talking about. They obviously hadn't sat through the trial, or personally know Rebecca.
      Rebecca is simply paying the price for trusting her cousin. I have known both family's for over 40 years, have been well aware of the Snelling family. We thought Daniel had broken the mould when he went to work in the wine industry in Australia, we all thought he had been very successful, as did Rebecca when he offered her a job, even though it was less money, it meant she could spend more time with her son as she didn't have to work the long hours she did at KPMG,(she was not an accountant), who by the way had kept her job open for her. Unfortunately it now turns out the company he was involved with out there was a scam and the rest is now history.
      The company that she was working for until this weeks events had kept her job open for her, should she have received a suspended sentence, that shows how much she was respected, unless they were stupid too.
      As other people on here have said, we are not stupid people. I have my own business and would have her working for me anytime.
      I too have paid for employees lunches, from time to time. In the past employees have filled their cars up with fuel. I don't see that as being a criminal offence. She did not know the wine wasn't there.
      There is no way she would rip off anybody, let alone pensioners, she has spent her life giving to others. I am not blinkered, that's fact.
      Yes the jury has found her guilty on one count(& they are always right of course mmm). She has to serve the sentence given. But I can't understand all the venom and derogatory comments from people that have never met Rebecca McDonald

      Delete
    7. Anon – further arrests and charges in relation to Nouveau and Finbow. I would have thought that this is now unlikely. If there were any other potential charges, they would have been reviewed by the CPS. Also remember that Police resources are limited and they have to be selective about who to pursue.

      Delete
    8. Anon – re Rebecca McDonald as 'hardened criminal'.

      Unless I have been completedly fooled, this is not certainly my impression of McDonald. I have never spoken to her and knew nothing about her before the trial, so my impression of her character has been formed solely by observation and what I heard in court.

      I found her evidence convincing and unlike Daniel and Dina Snelling she showed remorse for the investors in the fraud. It is also clear that she received no material benefit from the Finbow fraud. One comic moment in the trial came when a barrister, from Simon Dempsey's team before he dismissed them, suggested that £30,000 a year was an 'excessive salary'! Excuse me coming from a barrister!

      As I have already posted she ought to have got out as soon as she was aware that something was wrong.

      Ideally, following the conviction, I thought she deserved a suspended sentence. I cannot believe that anything is served by locking Rebecca McDonald up. I'd be amazed if she reoffended. If she was on a suspended sentence she would be paying tax. Instead we are paying to keep her in prison.

      In contrast I view Daniel Snelling as a serial fraudster who showed no remorse for his actions. He learnt his trade at companies like Wine Orb in Australia and then Countrywide in the UK under the tutelage of Andrew Dunne, now apparently in Northern Cyprus. The first director of Nouveau World Wines was Scott Assemakis, now banned for his role in two land banking scams. Even at the time of his arrest Snelling was involved in further dubious investment schemes – getting ready to fire Merchant to Merchant, Doubtless the eco-investment scheme in Australia was also a scam as was a Bulgarian property development. I could go on.

      I'm convinced that Nouveau World Wines was a scam from the start and consider Daniel Snelling got off relatively lightly with seven and half years.

      Delete
    9. 'Even at the time of his arrest Snelling was involved in further dubious investment schemes – getting ready to fire Merchant to Merchant,'

      This should have read: 'Even at the time of his arrest Snelling was involved in further dubious investment schemes – getting ready to fire up Merchant to Merchant, whose founder director was Michael Snelling, Daniel's younger brother.

      Delete
    10. Now let us just consider this for one moment, Daniel is related to Dina who is in a relationship with Simon....and none of the accused are allowed contact? This is what the law says....but Simons barristers, before they are, dismissed, rubbish only Rebecca, how, now does this appear?
      Add to this that the jury are aware of this before the judge, you people make of this what you will but these are cold hard facts!
      I would not like to suggest that they were in contact but you must draw your own conclusions?

      Delete
    11. Co-defendants are free to have contact at anytime during a trial unless otherwise instructed by the judge. They are free to discuss whatever they see fit. The only time restrictions apply is when any given defendant has taken the stand to give testimony. Until the conclusion of this that defendant is not permitted to discuss the evidence given and is not permitted any discussion with his or her respective counsel. Co-defendants are however still free to have contact on a personal level during this time should they wish to. Just felt that clarification of the law was required in view of the incorrect information above.

      Delete
    12. Anon. Thank you as you say contact between the accused is, of course, permitted except when giving evidence. This rule applies to anyone giving evidence that they have to avoid contact with other people involved or following the case.

      Delete
    13. Thank you both for the clarity in response to my poorly worded question. A better way of presenting this scenario would have been to ask if these three defendants were permitted to discuss the details of this case between them?

      Also, how did the jury determine that Simon had dismissed his Barristers before court was aware?

      Delete
    14. Clearly they were permitted to discuss the case amongst themselves. As far as I could see there was little contact between Rebecca McDonald and the other the defendants. In any case all four were out of bail so had the judge wished to stop them discussing the case bail would have to have been revoked – academic anyway!

      Sorry I don't understand the basis of your second question.

      Delete
  28. I agree Jim I heard the brochures and all other items were very convincing, did you hear the telephone call that was played in court and the judge referred to, I assume it was between Daniel Snelling and an Investor.

    I certainly wasn't condoning it in any way, just curious as to people investing money they have worked all their life to save, it would just be too bigger gamble for me

    Thank you for your unbiased writing throughout the trial

    ReplyDelete
  29. Did Daniel Snelling get a compensation order?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't think Daniel has anything to give he does not own any assets, if he has cash put away they wont find it unfortunately

      Delete
    2. The timetable for confiscation orders was agreed on Monday afternoon (9th Sept). What can be recovered is another matter.

      Delete
  30. Perversely you can’t appeal a conviction, if there isn’t enough evidence against you, says a lot about the justice system. As others mentioned, it either was not bought up at the trial or got over looked, when they borrowed Rebecca's credit card for a small amount of money, they ran up a £10,000 bill, which to my knowledge they never paid back to her, which means they stole from their own family as well as others. We are all hard working decent honest people, who would not support someone who preys on people and steals their hard earned cash, we are not idiots, but we have good knowledge of the evidence having seen all the facts of the case first hand and know all of the individuals involved, especially Rebecca who is considered by all her friends and family a giver not a taker, would like to see all her charity work put on here, raising thousands of pounds who are very sick with cancer, maybe a member of your family will benefit from her work and you will not be so quick to condemn her

    ReplyDelete
  31. Would think what has not been spent on drinking, gambling or tarts he has wasted it. (I don't include is girlfriend in this) But he has to account what he as done with the money. If Daniel Snelling is not prepared, can´t or won´t he will receive a default sentence. I am not sure on the length of this but it could be 3 to 5 years in addition to the 7 and Half.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be good news if he had a longer sentence given, will keep investors safe for a bit longer.

      Delete
  32. Starting a civil case needs deep pockets and is fruitless if they have nothing to give. It is wrong to have been scammed and cruel I totally agree but why on earth risk your families security, if you cant afford to lose investments you shouldn't invest, I was bought up with the theory you only ever invest money if you can afford to lose it, based on legit investments of course, but they are a calculated risk

    A sick child is a very very sad thing to happen I know all about that, but that isn't Rebecca's fault? losing her beloved mother last year in the space of 6 weeks during all this that has been thrown her way and her father seriously ill now in a home as she can no longer care for him, she knows all about loss, not to mention her son who in the space of one year has lost his nan, granddad and now his mum!! She has lost everything and is as much a victim in this sorry mess the Snellings created, as are the investors who lost their money.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I do not understand why Simon Dempsey's lawyers said Rebecca's £30k salary was an excessive one, didn't Simon Dempsey receive 85k of cash from the Company, prior to his knowledge it was criminal funds, his pay off was £25k plus one years salary of 60k for Simon, bit excessive don't you think Simon?

    Don't expect his conscience will be giving any of that cash back to victims, after all he knows at this point it was stolen money and proceeds from a heinous crime, the law states having been found not guilty he gets to keep the 85k, if it was me I wouldn't want the dirty money raised by the Snelling's criminal activities.
    Of course he may now have Dina to support, I assume with her depression issues she is unable to work. We also know she likes expensive things, to confirm, it was said in open court she is now going to live with him and is having her mental health assessed ready for her sentencing on 11th October.
    I do hope Simon is happy and proud that his barrister helped towards convincing a jury to put an innocent women in prison, don't say you didn't know he was going to speak ill of Rebecca, it would insult our intelligence, barristers discuss all proceedings with clients, they work for you, under your instruction, not the other way around!

    Simon himself said he was innocent from the beginning and was sure the trial would exonerate him, which it did, so why the need to attack Rebecca and her salary, he himself said to friends he thought she was innocent of the crime, he could have just focused on his own innocence.

    Simon Dempsey even turned up at court to see the sentencing, sitting with Michael Snelling, Daniel & Dina Snelling's brother, how cosy! Michael Snelling was also arrested in connection with the fraud and the case against him was later dropped without charges, as was the case against his father Micky Snelling.

    On Tuesday morning Simon was having a good old laugh and a joke with the police officers, before the sentence hearing began, these police officers were the ones that had arrested and charged him in the first place, having found a laptop with dodgy documents on it in his car and the 85k of cash given to him as pay off, albeit he has been found innocent of any wrongdoing. The same jury then went on to convict Rebecca for something we know she did not do, turning up and advertising his freedom only adds insult to injury, or was he there to support someone?

    Simon was a director of Finbow, maybe if he had been more involved with this Company he could have seen what was going on, they paid a very large salary for someone who had so little to do with the company, especially as he raised a 25k loan, which is a lot of money and risk.

    Maybe the new trial will shed some light on this case

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds really like Rebecca got a raw deal. Unfortunately it sounds like Rebecca´s legal representative was sleeping as he could have objective to many things? Did she have legal counsel?

      Delete
    2. She did and was told to be civil as all the barristers were getting along and animosity towards the others wouldn't help her case, in hindsight being civil and telling the truth did not help her either, she trusted the justice system would prevail and you couldn't be found guilty if you are innocent

      Delete
  34. Director's responsibilities:

    Back on 19th July I asked this question about the Finbow buy back guarantee. It remains unanswered.

    'How could Finbow guarantee to buy back the cheap Italian white wine they were supposed to be sending to China (only two consignments actually ever sent)at the end of a year if Finbow hadn't managed to sell the wine by then? It is very likely that professional buyers would be looking for the next vintage, so even if Finbow had shipped all the wine its investors had ordered its resale value would probably be small at best.'

    It was clear from the judge's summing up that this worthless buy back guarantee influenced some of Finbow's clients to invest in the wine to China etc. scheme, foolishly believing that they could not lose. As sole director Simon Dempsey signed the guarantee and, as a UK company director, it is part of his responsibility to satisfy himself that he can properly sign documents, especially one that was being used as a lynchpin of Finbow's business.

    By his own admission Simon Dempsey had no experience of the wine trade. It would be very interesting to know what steps he took before signing the buy back guarantee to satisfy himself that Finbow Wines Ltd would be able to buy back investors' wine after a year if it remained unsold.

    Did he rely on what Daniel Snelling told him or did he carry out any research into what the likely value of cheap Italian wine that had been shipped out to Asia-Pacific a year ago would be? Miminal reserach would have told Dempsey that its value would diminish not appreciate, so how could Finbow promise to buy back the wine at the price investors had paid a year before?





    ReplyDelete
  35. Interesting points that have been raised regarding Simon’s actions. I wonder if we will ever get the answers.

    I also wonder whether now he knows the monies he was paid are from ill-gotten gains whether he would want/intends to repay them. Also whether housing one of the main ring leaders of this crime plays on his conscience too?

    Surely as a guilty party he would want to disassociate himself with the perpetrators and the money?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Anon. I assume that 'a guilty party' is a typo and should read a not guilty party as Simon Dempsey was found by the jury to be innocent.

    I don't think your comment about 'housing' on of the ringleaders is entirely fair. After all it is not that surprising that the trial rekindled the relationship between Simon Dempsey and Dina Snelling.

    Repayment, on the other hand, is a fair question.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Apologies for the typo, I did indeed mean 'not guilty'.

    Let's see if Simon responds to the question.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's obvious to me by all of these comments that everyone here needs to understand the serious impact this case has had on so, so many, hundreds of people, children, parents,siblings,aunts,uncles,cousins and friends. This is broken and will never be fixed !!!!!!

      Delete
  38. Would tax be due on the £85k cash. I'm wondering if the police took the cash will they be giving it back to him, if its proceeds of a crime?

    ReplyDelete
  39. It very much sounds like there was only one employee paying taxes!!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Coming back to Compensation Orders. Has Daniel Snelling passed any of the loot to other parties which have not been charged? If so are they prepared to come forward with the loot to get Daniel out of Jail by clearing the compensation Order after he has served his jail sentence? And I am not talking about Simon Dempsey.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I notice that after just one week the Rebecca fan club seems to have disbanded ? No online petitions , no demonstrations , no rant at the local MP - instead complete and utter silence which speaks volumes!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that is wishful thinking on your part, its not a fan club an innocent women is in prison and small minded people like you dont care who is hanged as long as someone is

      Delete
    2. Thank you for asking. But rest assured that there is plenty of activity under way that will ultimately prove Rebecca's innocence. By the way, are you one of these 'Internet Trolls' that we read about in the papers?

      Delete
  42. Well you quite obviously don't know any of us - so how on earth would you know what we have been up to??????????????? Can't YOU find something more productive to do with your life than post uninformed comments on here..

    ReplyDelete
  43. I number of persons were not charged over this case and it will be interesting to see if Daniel Snelling will be able to stratify a High Court Judge in his Statement of Affairs of what he has done with the cash? If cash has been deverted to other persons other than messa Daniel Snelling. How will Daniel be able to account for the cash? It would be interesting to see if Micky Snelling helps his boy.

    ReplyDelete
  44. That Rebecca received some 50 letters and 40 emails in her first week at Holloway says it all. And this is just the start!!

    I wonder how many emails/letters of support Daniel received.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi Jim

    Did you know Dina Snelling was in Court today for sentencing she got 3 years 11 months FOR 3 SEPARATE COUNTS OF CHARGES considering the financial gain and cosmetic surgery and lets not forget all the luxury holidays both her and her other family members had to Dubai and Australia makes this utterly appalling when my poor sister-in-Law Rebecca McDonald who had no financial gain and only got her salary ended up with a sentence of 3 years. I think this is an absolute disgrace as she deserved to get alot more than this for the crime she and her brother knowingly committed !!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Dina was convicted of two counts not three. The same two counts that Rebecca was charged with. Rebecca was just fortunate enough to get a hung jury on count one and should be thanking her lucky stars she's not facing trial on it again when other trials take place next year. Get a grip

    ReplyDelete
  47. Shame you wasn't in court yesterday Jim, to report on Dina Snelling's sentencing. Here is a brief report from The Mail

    The crooked businesswoman who dressed impeccably in tailored suits throughout her trial was unrecognisable yesterday from her smiling and tanned profile picture on Twitter.


    In a series of revealing posts last year, she wrote of her 'shoe addiction' and love of wine and 'cocktails in town', saying: 'Retail therapy will always make me smile'.

    But yesterday Snelling appeared in the dock make-up free, wearing a baggy grey dress, black leggings and flat black pumps.

    The defendant, who has been diagnosed with a depressive disorder and anxiety, wept as she was jailed.

    Sentencing Dina Snelling to a total of three years and 11 months in prison, Judge Michael Grieve said: 'These were highly sophisticated frauds over a very substantial period of time, a total of two-and-half years.
    'Nouveau investors for the most part lost the whole of their investment, none certainly had any return.
    'The victims were individuals and in many instances elderly retired persons looking for a better return on their modest savings.

    'They were not for the most part seasoned investors and the conspiracy relied on slick sales techniques.

    'There were a large number of victims, no figure has been put on it but over the time frame of both frauds it clearly ran into hundreds.'

    Judge Grieve added: 'You personally benefited through the payment of your rent in Australia, your removal costs when you went to live in Australia, and some £10,000 to fund your cosmetic surgery.'
    They also reported
    The strain of the case had led to her parents separating and being left penniless and homeless as a result of having to support their children, he added."
    Shame about the parents although it isn't the first time they have separated.
    Well she will be enjoying the pleasure of HMP Holloway now .I wonder how she will cope with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was sorry that I could not be in court but unfortunately it is impossible to be in two places at the same time. I always spend three weeks, a month or more in the Loire Valley in September and October following the vintage. I'm here now and this is a top priority.

      Delete
  48. I am sick of reading about how Becky is such an innocent lovely person. She has managed to hoodwink you all. She does have a spiteful side to her, ask her about the cruel things she has said and done to her aunts, especially around the time of her mother's death. Ask her about the paperwork that has her handwriting on it, saying who are receiving funds from the business, she knew that was going on. Ask her about the papers that she had written on saying Becky's bonus'. Ask to see her credit card statement for her holiday in South Africa over Christmas, which was before she left there, which everybody knew she had paid for from her bonus, the card was probably paid off in full from her bonus! Ask her if she had permission to put petrol in her car and buy lunches for staff, because she didn't; she was an employee. That is then classed as theft. Any other employee doing that might face dismissal! Ask her if she had a regular personal trainer paid for by the business, did she go on regular nights out that she knew were paid for from the business. Finally, ask her if she didn't know what was going on, why did she do a spreadsheet to show the comings and going of money through the company and not show it to the police until she heard the others had been arrested and was frightened for herself. As the judge said, even if she wasn't involved in the fraud part of the
    business, she knew what was going on and only owned up when she thought it would help her to get off! She should have spoken earlier, it is still a crime to knowingly take part in fraud! That's what she did, like it or not, there's no mistaking that. Even the jury saw that!

    11 October 2013 21:15

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At last, someone who knows what they are talking about...very well said, totally agree with all of the above

      Delete
    2. I think someone has too much time on their hands

      Delete
  49. Anon: Thank God for your comments!! Sadly her final deception was that she has misrepresented the true facts to her family. She is a complete and utter rotten fraudster! just like the gets of the family.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Welll said fair comment

    ReplyDelete
  51. The above comments trying to discredit Becky and to use the death of her mother to do so, must only come from family members/partners of Daniel and Dina and therefore should be treated with the same disdain as their crimes.

    ReplyDelete
  52. The number of comments on this thread have now reached 101. I think this is a good time to call a halt. I will only post any further comments if they contain significant new information. Many thanks to all who have commented.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I have heard Rebbeca has now been released after a meagre ten months, how is that possibly justice for all those poor people she conned out of their life savings?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Her sentence was reduced in early November 2013 to 2 years and six months.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Jim, do you know if there are plans for the investors to be compensated in any way. Are Rebecca and her cousins going to be forced to sell their assets.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Mr Gilchrist. Many thanks for your update on Snelling's recent court appearance. Rather than post this as a comment I will do a separate post.

    ReplyDelete