Wine Name:

Friday, 23 May 2014

Manor Trade Ltd: another company to avoid

Comments from Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd post (investdrinks)

I received a comment yesterday from someone who had been contacted by Manor Trade claiming that they could sell wine anonymous had bought from Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd:

'Anonymous: 22 May 2014 13:12

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)'

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.'

Manor Trade Ltd was formed on 20th June 2012 but was a dormant company until early March 2014 when the registered office was changed to 55 Old Broad Street, London EC2M 1RX (serviced offices - accommodation address). The two directors are 59-year-old David Elliott and 56-year-old Robert Andrew Clarke. Both were appointed on 3rd March 2014.'

The police force investigating Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd has been informed. Anyone contacted by Manor Trade is advised to file a complaint through action fraud.  

Update on Manor Trade Ltd 16.6.2014
I have been contacted by a man [says his name is Harry] from Manor Trade offering to sell some carbon credits that I was scammed into buying a couple of years ago by Dakota.
They want £1200 up front to sell these credits on 1/8/14 – the patter is very much similar to when I was originally scammed by Dakota [land banking and carbon credits]
I have given this person no info. about my credits yet somehow he seems to have been able to check them with ‘the register’ and come up with a value.
What should i do about this? – apart from a polite refusal.
Definitely an offer to be refused politely or otherwise. Then suggest you file a complaint through Action Fraud. May well be advance fee fraud. You pay them £1200 upfront and they never sell your carbon credits. 

Further update (19.11.2014:

FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) issues warning:

Company return has been overdue since 18.7.2014.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

European Fine Wines Ltd: 'all lines are currently busy ...'

The Bromley premises of European Fine Wines Ltd:
11 Bromley Common, Bromley BR2 9LS (Google maps – street view)

Accounts overdue since 30.11.2012 – This website is currently offline 
Was still on-line earlier today

The signs suggest that European Fine Wines Ltd (also called EFWines) has ceased trading and is likely to go into liquidation. The company was set up on 15th August 2005 and has been one of the longest running dubious wine investment companies.

I received an email this morning telling me that all the staff had been 'sacked'. The Bromley phone number has been unable to any calls throughout today as 'all of our lines are busy'. The company accounts have been overdue since 30th November 2013 and the company website (, which was live earlier today, is now off-line and suspended. It is reported that the debts of European Fine Wines Ltd are between £500K and £1 million. It remains to be seen whether any of this is wine ordered by its clients. I suspect that there will be a number of clients who will now discover that they have paid over the odds for their investment wines.

On 16th April 2014 European Fine Wines Ltd changed its registered office from 68 Lombard Street in the City of London to 131 Edgware Road, London, W2 2AP – the address of chartered accountants Bright Grahame Murray.

About us – from website before it went down
'the aim was to run a company'

About EFWines (from their website)
'EFWines is a leading wine merchant who pride themselves on offering a diverse portfolio of Europe's finest wines for enthusiastic wine collectors. Established in 2005, we are specialists in building portfolios and known for bringing our thousands of customers returns that they can toast to, read what collectors are saying.

The aim was* to run a company that not only offered collectable wine but also offered a complete personal service. Building relationships with customers is key to our business model, and after advising customers on how to build a portfolio of the most collectable wines, our account managers maintain regular contact with our clients, providing a current assessment of the fine wine market, together with a review of their holdings.

We are a team of people who care passionately about fine wine. Over the past seven years we have hired key members of staff who have previously worked in property** and finance sectors, before bringing their expertise and knowledge into the fine wine market, turning their interest and passion for fine wines into their profession.

Part of the team’s objective at EFWines is to always strengthen and expand our base of technical knowledge and to keep developing our palates. All members of staff are encouraged to develop their own wine knowledge, and most hold WSET qualifications.

In 2010, the company decided to take advantage of the huge demand for quality wines in the Asian market.  We now have offices in both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland; with staff fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and, of course, English, we truly are able to speak the language when it comes to selling our (and your) stock of both consumption and premium grade wines into what is now the world's most important market.

We use the specialist fine wine storage facilities of Vinotheque, operated by the respected bonded warehouse operator London City Bond, (LCB) for the storage of your wine; your collection is stored under your name and under bond, which means there is no duty or VAT to pay. You are also able to access, view and manage your account online through LCB’s website. Using their independent inspection services, we are able to provide a condition report, including photographs, of the wines before you purchase.

View which wines we currently have in stock and note that our list is updated regularly. If there are any wines that you have in mind and are not on our list, let us know as we are able to source wines that are not currently in stock. 

The combination of our expertise and our strong relations with suppliers places us at the forefront of our trade, ensuring we can offer attractive prices to those looking for healthy returns on their fine wine portfolio.

Let us share our enthusiasm and knowledge with you, start building your knowledge today by calling 020 3236 0100.'

* Interesting use of past tense – was
** Presumably land banking – directors Scott Assemakis and David Evans struck off in 2013 for their part in these scams.

Will the associated companies live on?
32-year-old Jonathan Ross Barr is now the sole director of European Fine Wines Ltd. Back in July 2013 European Fine Wines Ltd had two of its directors – Scott Assemakis and David Evans – banned from serving as UK directors over their part in two land banking scams. See here.   

Barr is a director of eight other companies: Wine Works Ltd (registered office 131 Edgware Road. Company used to be called EFWines Ltd), Sawa Wines Ltd – in the process of voluntary dissolution (previously called European Fine Wines (2012) Ltd – name change: 20.9.12), EFW Employee Services LLP, Future House (registered office 11-13 Bromley Common), Commercial House Ltd (also registered office 11-13 Bromley Common), Efw Bordeaux Ltd (founded 17.2.2014 – 131 Edgware Road), Ef Wines Ltd (founded 24.2.14 – registered office 131 Edgware Road), and Jrb Associates (founded 25.2.14 – registered office 131 Edgware Road). Barr used to be a director of Efw Employee Services LLP (from 1st December 2013 to 30.4.2013. Company is now registered at 131 Edgware Road. Niklaus Cashman, formerly a director of The Bordeaux Wine Trading Company was briefly a director from 1.12.2012 — 30.4.2013).

Also at 131 Edgware Road is Efw Burgundy Ltd (founded 17.2.2014, sole director: 52-year-old Mrs Nichole Sanchia Forward) and Efw Rhone Ltd (founded 17.2.2014, sole director: 52-year-old Mrs Nichole Sanchia Forward).  

Update 7.6.2014: Registered office changed to 142-148 Main Road, Sidcup, Kent DA14 6NZ  on 5th June 2014. This is the address of Abbott Fielding Ltd, whose partner Nedim Ailyan has handled an number of insolvencies of wine investments companies including Bordeaux UK Ltd.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Two 'white knight' companies closed in public interest

Good news that the Insolvency Service has closed down two white knight companies: Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd (founded 24th April 2012 with 24-year-old Scott Andrews as sole director) and Capital Bordeaux Investment Corporate Ltd (founded 2nd October 2012 with 24-year-old Aaron James Ali as sole director)  

Details of the case from the Insolvency Service:
'Capital Bordeaux Investments Limited and Capital Bordeaux Investment Corporate Limited, two London-based companies that claimed they could help victims of previous wine investment scams, were wound up in the High Court following an investigation by the Insolvency Service on 14 May 2014. 

Capital Bordeaux Investments Limited targeted victims of previous wine investment companies and falsely represented that it could assist them in recovering their losses. Instead, the company solicited further investment from these victims on the basis of false and misleading information. Investors were told that the company would be able to recover and sell their previous wine investments - even if these were made through a company which had gone into liquidation - but the investor was required to buy more wine through Capital Bordeaux Investments Limited.

Capital Bordeaux Investment Corporate Limited facilitated the operation of this business by allowing its bank account to be used to receive the investment monies. Its bank account shows receipts of £243,980.

The investigation found no evidence to show that any wine was bought by either Capital Bordeaux Investments Limited or Capital Bordeaux Investment Corporate Limited; or to show that either company made any attempts to, or had any ability to, recover previous losses suffered by investors.

Commenting on the case, Colin Cronin, an Investigation Supervisor with the Insolvency Service, said, 
“These companies cynically targeted people who had already lost money in other wine investment scams and exploited their desire to try and recover some of their original investment. The companies were incapable of recovering such losses. Significantly, none of the funds received from investors were used to buy wine and were instead used for the benefit of those in control of the companies.

I would urge victims of wine investment scams to exercise great caution if approached by companies which purport to be able to assist in recovering their past losses.” 

Please heed the warning from Colin Cronin! It is all too common for victims of one scam to be contacted by another scam outfit posing as a White Knight able to help out. In reality the object is to inflict further financial pain and damage on an investor, who has already been scammed.

See also earlier post on these two companies. 

Capital Bodeaux Wine Investments Ltd website falsely claimed that 'By choosing Capital Bordeaux Investments you are choosing one of the world's most experienced specialist investment companies'.

A cheap and nasty website

Message from Grant Thornton:
Should you want advice on your options please contact Samantha Street, a manager at Grant Thornton, at or on 0207 728 2651.'

NB: investdrinks is prepared to post similar notices from other insolvency practitioners.