An sadly expensive cautionary tale!
Select Bordeaux Ltd was set up 28th October 2009. Since 28th January 2012 the sole director has been 29-year-old Salman Rahman. The investor (UJ) tells how they were contacted by Select Bordeaux offering to sell wine they had bought from Vinance plc, now in liquidation. They agreed to sell some of their wine (£40,000) through Select Bordeaux Ltd. Unfortunately it appears that Salman Rahman's Select Bordeaux Ltd has taken UJ's wine and failed to fulfil their part of the bargain by not passing on the money from the agreed sale.
The accounts (since 31.12.2013) and the annual return (25.11.13) for Select Bordeaux Ltd are both overdue. Their registered office and trading address – 6th Floor, International House, 223 Regent Street, London W1B 2QD is a well known accommodation and virtual office address.
Anyone else having problems with Select Bordeaux Ltd should file a complaint through Action Fraud.
This looks to be a classic white knight tale. If contacted by a company offering to help out following another company disappearing or going into liquidation, do not fall for their speil no matter how convincing it may be. White knights should be treated as bad news. They have probably got your details through buying or acquiring a sucker list.
We originally had our wine invested with a company called Vinance, and as you are aware, they went into liquidation. We had already paid in advance for en primeur wines (were they ever bought by Vinance?), which didn't appear and lost a lot of money but at least the majority of the wine was returned and subsequently stored with Albany Vintners.
We were cold called by Select Bordeaux where of course we initially were not interested. They persisted and we did speak at length to them of our anxieties and for every problem we raised they seemed to have an answer. We asked for the pitfalls should the wine not be sold, how it would be returned etc and of course they had a plausible response.
They initially gave us a valuation for all of our wine and it did seem very reasonable. We decided on hindsight to only sell half of it and this was duly arranged. We signed the agreement and paid Arc to deliver it to Vinotheque.
The arrangement was for the purchaser to send through the payment to them, this would be cleared, and funds deposited into our bank account.
After waiting a while we received an email to clarify that the purchaser was unable to send through the payment and the deal had fallen through. They suggested trying again by sending this out onto the market or we could have our wine back. This we decided to do and as instructed, confirmed in writing and sent our letter first class, to their office stating that our wine should stay in Vinotheque's warehouse but put into the Albany Vintners account.
Now the fun begins.
Started ringing after a few days and only got as far as the lady that answers the phone who always said that the lines were busy and would arrange to get someone to call me back. Didn't ever happen.
We constantly rang - daily - by this time. The lady probably had our number on her screen so always knew who it was and what to say. She eventually said that someone had been looking for our letter and it hadn't arrived and to wait until after Christmas whereupon they would start back in the office on the 6th January.
Again, we rang and again we couldn't speak to anyone. I emailed our contact Johnathan Lee (he had previously emailed to say that he would be away from the office and to speak to David Saunders). We had never spoken to this character and again, we still haven't.
I rang Select again and asked outright if the Company was still trading and she said the Director was in - all the staff were off with colds - he was extremely busy and would get back to me. Ha ha!
I have tried to ring the number given to me by Johnathan Lee and this was answered by a different lady who confirmed that the Company had gone. I tried the number listed on the website that we always ring and that now was a dead line.
I then began to feel particularly uneasy about things and contacted Vinotheque*. They were very helpful but wouldn't be able to give me any information as the Select Bordeaux account was still 'live'. They suggested I email them with our details and they would pass this onto their Director David Hogg.
I rang again at the beginning of this week and spoke with him. After a lengthy conversation, they confirmed that the wine that was delivered into their warehouse on the 4th November 2013 had in fact gone straight out and was sold on the 7th November 2013, resulting in a total loss of £40,000 of our wine. He did confirm that the company is under investigation and to contact the Police.
This we did who directed us to Action Fraud and I completed an online form.
So, this is how we have been left. Feeling particularly gullible and extremely stupid.
*NB: Vinotheque is the private reserve section of London City Bond, one of the UK's largest bonded warehouse and regulated by HMRC. Apart from providing storage it has no other connection with Select Bordeaux Ltd.