wine-searcher

Wine Name:
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I wouldn't buy wine from these companies

For a variety of reasons I would not consider buying investment wine from the following companies. This would apply in particular to ordering wines en primeur.  I would not buy for a variety of reasons: the lack of an established track record, adverts for telesales staff able to cope with a high pressure environment, claims that wine investment is free of capital gains tax, the use of cold calls especially when persistent, charging an upfront commission, selling well above the price these wines can be bought from other companies, lack of hard information about the company – its officers, history etc on websites and brochures, past history of the directors, exaggerated and unlikely claims made by recently formed companies etc.. The reasons for not wishing to buy from one of these companies will obviously vary from company to company.

A number of these companies have links to companies offering 'land banking' opportunities as well as 'investments' in carbon credits, bio-fuel, diamonds, graphene, gold, natural rubber, rare metals, twin headed snakes etc. 


Watch out also for the newly fashionable asset exchange companies, eg Mayfair Worldwide Trading Limited (established 14th August 2013 – one sole director with no previous directorship experience, serviced address in Mayfair)  – thanks but no thanks!

From the FCA Financial Crime Conference (1st July 2013)
'The FCA receives over 4,500 reports a year relating to fraud, with the average consumer detriment reported to the FCA in excess of £1 million a month. Proactively tackling such scams as boiler rooms together with consumers becoming more savvy about new kinds of fraud has, however, led to a significant reduction in those who have contacted the FCA who have actually invested in such scams from 768 in 2011 to 97 so far this year. Current investment fraud concerns for the team include: pension liberation fraud; inheritance fraud; rare earth metals; diamonds; carbon credits and fraud relating to overseas land and property.'

Please note that this list is regularly updated, while the directory on www.investdrinks.org was last updated on 17th October 2008. Although the information was correct at that date, it does not reflect any changes subsequent to that date and there are no plans to update 'the directory' on investdrinks.org. 

1855 (1855.com): considerable delays in supplying en primeur with some clients still waiting for 2002, 2003s and 2005s. Over 398 cases of Bordeaux en primeur outstanding (estimated value: 239,130€) and shocking tales of serial promises broken. 
1855 Fine Wine Investments Ltd: formed 3.11.2011 yet claims 'Generating consistent and long-term investment returns for its clients'.
Alexander Barclay Wines Ltd: follow on company to Beaumont Vintners – Samuel Philips is sole director of both companies. Alexander Barclay Wines Ltd website uses much of text from Beaumont's site. 27.2.2012: voluntary strike off application.  
Update (4.7.14): Proposal for voluntary strike-off 13.5.14 – first gazette, voluntary strike off suspended 18.6.14.
Alpha Invest - unclear whether this is in anyway related to Alpha Capital Investments Ltd, a landbanking company, which is in provisional liquidation following a petition to close the company in the public interest. Petition to be heard in High Court on 29th June 2011. 'Andrew Miles is head of our wine department ‘Classic Bordeaux Wines’. Classic Bordeaux Wines website cannot be found (26.6.2011). 
Arlington Wine Portfolios Ltd. Company established on 26.1.2010. Didn't trade in year to 30.11.11. Failed to file annual return on time leading to a complusory strike-off proposal on 5.3.2013, which was withdrawn on 12.3.2013 when return was filed. Director and address links with The London Vines Ltd. Has website but currently a holding page: http://arlingtonwineportfolios.com/
Artemis Bellet Ltd: Company incorporated in April 2010 dissolved 26th July 2011 no return or accounts filed. 
AS Fine Wine  – trading name of As Incorporated Ltd. Although company set up 27.7.2011, claims to be established with a good track record. Website gives no indication of who runs company and contact address is a virtual office on London's Regent Street. 
Aspire Commodities Ltd: Founded 3.9.2013. £1 share capital. Sole director 40-year-old Barry Christian Tomlinson also director of Ativa Capital Ltd. Both at 145-157 St John Street – registered and trading address, which is a well known accommodation address as well as that of a company formation agent. 
Offers: fine wines, diamonds, self-storage and commercial property.
Quotes from website: 'Aspire Commodities is a specialist independent brokerage for Private Investors, Companies, Trusts and SIPPs and SASS's. Offering a comprehensive alternative investment service utilising extensive industry contacts, pre-approved buyers are able to take advantage of our unique opportunities.
Aspire Commodities employs a team of experts with a combined industry experience in excess of 50 years.'
Assets Vin Rouge (See Wine Traders International + Bradshaw & Karr)
3.6.14: Date of Incorporation: 07/07/2006; Status: Dissolved 23/07/2013.
Ativa Capital Ltd: Founded 24.5.2013 £1 share capital. Sole director is  40-year-old Barry Christian Tomlinson also director of Aspire Commodities Ltd.
145-157 St John Street – registered and trading address, which is a well-known accommodation address as well as that of a company formation agent.
Offering: diamonds, wine, and carbon finance  
Quotes from website: 'We are the UK’s largest natural Investment Advisors, making us the number one choice for any investor or potential investor.' – utter nonsense!
'Another very popular investment is Fine Wines, our expert brokers can find you the finest wines for the best rates, there has been a huge increase in fine wine investments since 2008.' – yes but there has been a bear market for the past two years.
'In fine wine, experience is essential. We believe that insightful advice can only be informed by first-hand knowledge. The three founding members, including one Master of Wine, have over 60 years of collective industry experience.' 
'Our team of experts have a solid reputation within the diamond industry with over 60 years combined experience in Diamonds. At Ativa we have professional teams which combine an in-depth knowledge of mining, processing, grading, dealing and setting.'
'Ativa Capital are carbon trading experts based in The City of London. We give investors the insight to make lucrative trades on the carbon market and we help businesses offset their emissions cost-effectively.'
'The carbon market is going stratospheric. We’ll help you invest with confidence.'

But see warning issued by Financial Conduct Authority (13.9.2013):
'A carbon credit is a certificate or permit which represents the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) and they can be traded for money.

However, many investors have told us they are not able to sell or trade the carbon credits they have bought. None of these investors reported making a profit.

This supports our view that there is not a viable secondary market for ordinary investors to sell or trade carbon credits, despite claims and promises made by many firms, advisers and brokers promoting and selling them as an investment.

We have also received reports that an increasing number of firms are using dubious, high-pressure sales tactics to sell carbon credits to investors.'
(See also Aspire Commodities Ltd
Australian Portfolio Wines Ltd – There are relatively few Australian wines that can be considered for investment. Best to have a good knowledge of the wines and markets before investing. 
Beaumont Vintners Ltd: founded 18.6.2010. First accounts due 18.3.2012. Serviced offices/accommodation address. From website: 'Beaumont Vintners has the network of contacts throughout the UK and Europe to arrange the re- sale of your wines at a moments notice. Ordinarily, we advise our clients when to take profits or when we believe optimal yields have been achieved.'
Company description: 'With many years of experience in the fine wine market, Beaumont Vintners offers fine wine portfolios and management to customers throughout UK. Founded in 2010, the business is based in West End (London).'(http://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile%28beaumont-vintners%29_333024.htm)
Compare website with Castlegate Wines. No track record. No accounts filed – first accounts due next year.
1.2.2012: Company uncontactable with a number of customers awaiting wines to be delivered to the bonded warehouse. Follow on company called Alexander Barclay Wines Ltd formed in August 2011. 27.2.2012: voluntary strike off application. 25.6.13: Proposal to strike off – no accounts or returns filed.
5.4.2012: Went into liquidation owing £1.5 million with apparently the only assets £30,000-£40,000 of en primeurs believed to be 2009s. Joint liquidation between Grant Thornton and Abbot Fielding. 
Blakeney Bridge Wines Ltd: founded 10.6.2011 initially as London Wine Traders Ltd, changed name 6.10.2011. No accounts filed. Serviced/virtual offices. Company's wine prices are substantially higher than can be found elsewhere. 
25.6.13: Accounts and returns filed.
Blue Chip Fine Wine Company: not registered with Companies House – apparently part of  Axetrader Ltd Co No 05761132. Slow in arranging a transfer of wine to a customer's account. Run by Dhugal Robertson. Dissolved 15.11.2011
Boltons Investments Ltd: founded by Vincenzo Tagliavia in 2006. Has gone into liquidation – early September 2013. Financial figures on Duedil suggest why the company become insolvent. 
Bordeaux Claret Consultancy Ltd set up on 2.9.2013. 25-year-old Chris Vines is sole director. Registered office in Croydon, serviced offices in East London.
Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd: cold calls, company founded in September 2008, serviced offices in London and Hong Kong. Sole director is Kenneth Gundlach (DOB: 15.12.1983).
From website: 'For the last 25 years, we have been utilising our deep knowledge to structure and tailor strategic portfolios of fine wines within the Bordeaux region, helping both first time investors and long standing wine connoisseurs build their collections.'
Company's tax advice is not in line with current position as set out by HMRC:
'Tax Free
Tax Free Haven For Your Money
You do not usually have to pay income or capital-gains tax (CGT) on any profits. Wine is exempt from CGT because it is regarded by the Inland Revenue as a "wasting asset" with a predicted lifespan of less than 50 years. If you keep the wine in bond, you also avoid paying VAT and Duty.
The wine will form part of your estate for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes. The definition of wine given by the Capital Tax Office is that of a 'wasting asset/chattel'. The Revenue practice has been to value wine at acquisition cost, not current value.'
HMRC position: some wines have a predicted lifespan of more than 50 years. For purposes of inheritance tax wine is not regarded as a wasting asset and it will be valued at current value. 
Coverage in Mirror of Bordeaux Fine Wines LtdSee also comments on an investdrinks post. 
Gundlach is a keen race horse owner and Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd sponsored the 2012 ROA (Racehorse Owners Association) Horseracing Awards on 6th December 2012.

22nd June 2013: company's website is now up for sale*. Gundlach has now set up Bordeaux Merchants Ltd – incorporated on 29.5.2013. Registered office and trading address is given as 52 High Street Pinner Middlesex HA5 5PW.  Is Bordeaux Merchants Ltd about to take over from Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd?
Gundlach is also a director of Invest in Storage Ltd, Capital Wealth Venture Ltd, Dmlg Ltd (provides leads), Driving Made Simple Ltd and Hunter & Reynolds Ltd:

From the net: 



Hunter & Reynolds is an independent investment brokerage, which specialises in fully managed, high yielding, asset backed investments.



If you are interested in investing through a SIPP call our sales team now on 0203 328 9330


Important Regulatory Statement

Hunter & Reynolds investments does not offer financial advice.


Hunter & Reynolds investments are not regulated by the Financial Services Authority

Hunter & Reynolds investments do not provide any advice on SIPPs direct. We will introduce all interested clients to an authorised FSA firm for this purpose.'
24th June 2013: * Website is now back up and running. However, site is still listed here as available: http://whois.net/whois/bfwines.co.uk
15th September 2013:Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd's registered office and trading address is now the Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon CR9 2ER. These are serviced offices run by Regus. 

2nd January 2014: Following a petition to the High Court from the Insolvency Service, Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd was put into provisional liquidation in the public interest on 19th December 2013. The petition will be heard on 26th February 2014. 

Ken Gundlach is closing several of his companies: Bordeaux Merchants, Hunter & Reynolds and Invest in Storage are down for voluntary strike-off with the first gazettes published on 5.11.2013. Dmlg has changed its name to Sales Recruit Ltd  – its website is currently 'undergoing urgent maintenance'.
Bordeaux Merchants Ltd: see Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd
Bordeaux NZ: one man band (James Colley) based in Auckland, New Zealand with the only contact a cellphone. The website claims a team of consultants. Colley, however, admitted to the New Zealand Herald that this claim is a fantasy. Colley's only previous experience of the fine wine market was a seven month stint with UK based Capital Vintners Ltd – another company from whom I would not buy wine. NZ Herald article here. See here for answers James Colley gave to the New Zealand Herald from Bordeaux NZ's website.  
By his own admission Colley/Bordeaux NZ has yet to sell a single bottle of wine. Despite this admission his website promotes Bordeaux NZ as a wine investment company that has experience and a history of selling fine wine. 
From the Bordeaux NZ website:
'Bordeaux NZ is a fine wine investment brokerage firm based in New Zealand. We provide a simple and cost effective solution to trading investment grade fine wine as a commodity on the open market.

Before now, to invest in Fine Wine, New Zealanders had to spend thousands of dollars just to be able to invest.  This included: setting up their own private cellars, arranging transportation from London, paying import duty tax and excessive margins charged by suppliers. Bordeaux NZ was set up to give you a much safer and easier way to take advantage of the lucrative international Fine Wine trade.

With Bordeaux NZ, you can have access to the world’s rarest and most sort after investment grade wines, you no longer need to spend the large sums of money to import and store the wines and when it comes to trading the wines on, you can benefit from our access to investors, collectors and auction houses throughout the world, which allows us the ability to achieve global market prices instantly for you.' Flying pig territory!!
Perhaps the Commerce Commission New Zealand should take a look at Colley's Bordeaux NZ site. 'Businesses need to make sure all representations they make online are accurate and do not mislead consumers.'


Bordeaux UK Ltd: cold calls, evidence of selling well above the price these wines can be bought from other companies. Proposal to strike of for non-compliance – accounts and return overdue. Director Ian Van Der Hook has opted to put company into voluntary liquidation. Associated company Vin Bordelais Ltd.
Bordeaux Wine Company Ltd. Established in 2002. Run by two shadow directors (Achom and Grant) who are barred form being company directors in UK from 22.7.2002 to 22.7.2013. Cold calls. Added service charge makes wines uncompetitive.
Bordeaux Wine Consultancy Ltd: Founded 26.1.11. Company website is vague about who runs company and their experience. Share capital: £1. Registered office originally in Bromley but registered office and trading address now in Soho Square is a serviced office and meeting rooms. Website claims profits from wine investments invariably free of capital gains and no mention of inheritance tax. Sole director: 32-year-old Paul Ricketts
18.11.2013: A mention of inheritance tax has now been added and CGT amended.  Website claims 'years of expertise'.
Bordeaux Wine Consultants Ltd: Founded 29.10.2013. Dissolved 23.4.2013. No accounts filed. Directors included 34-year-old Dean Doughty and 38 year-old Matthew Hart (both Encarta Fine Wines Ltd)     
Bordeaux Wine Trading Company Ltd (now dissolved) - court case at St Albans. Some directors jailed.
Boss Vintners (based in South Africa)
Bradshaw & Karr (Wine Traders International and Bradshaw & Karr)
Canary Wharf Vintners Ltd. Founded 15.5.2006. From 13.4.2007-6.9.2010 company called Strategic Land Acquisitions Ltd. Currently one sole director: 54 year old Enver Deen (appointed 19.4.2007). Deen was a director of now dissolved Equitable Land Ltd, previously called Land Investment International Limited and Land Development International Limited. Deen may also be:
Enver Jainu - Deen, Kemal Enver Jainu-Deen and Enver Kemal Jainu-Deen – all three aged 54. The photo on the Canary Wharf Vintners site in the 'About us' section is not a photo of the company's staff but is a stock photo from Shutterstock: http://www.shutterstock.com search on board of directors. 
'Another of the companies, Bull & Bear (forex), based in London, has as one of its directors Enver Kemal Jainu-Deen, who had a High Court injunction brought against him in 1990 by the SIB.'
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/watchdogs-crack-down-on-spot-forex-dealers-1316908.html 
14.2.14: accounts overdue since 30.9.13
Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd: This company and Capital Bordeaux Vintners share the same address – serviced offices at 68 Lombard Street, London EC3V 9LJ. (68 Lombard Street is a popular address for wine investment companies – also used by European Fine Wines Ltd.) Formed 24.4.2012.
Claims wine investment is tax free. Sole director: 24-year-old Scott Andrews
Cheap and nasty website. 
Update: 5th August 2013: annual return is overdue since 22nd May 2013. 
14.11.2013: annual return still overdue.
28.11.2013: Company appears to have disappeared. Among the wines it sold was 2011 Lafite-Rothschild, whether Scott Andrew and his company bought any is another matter.  
14.2.14: accounts overdue since 24.1.14
19.5.2014: Closed in public interest 14th May 2014 following investigation and petition by Insolvency Service to High Court.       
Capital Bordeaux Vintners Ltd – see Capital Bordeaux Investments  Ltd
Sole director is 26-year-old Dean Page. Proposal to strike off.
Update: Company dissolved 26.11.2013 – no returns or accounts filed.
Capital Bordeaux Investment Corporate Limited: founded 2nd October 2012 with 24-year-old Aaron James Ali as sole director. 19.5.2014: Closed in public interest 14th May 2014 following investigation and petition by Insolvency Service to High Court.      
Capital Fine Wine Ltd: founded in August 2010 Website claims: 'When it comes to selling your wine or realising your funds, let Capital Fine Wine do all the hard work so you can enjoy your hard earned profits without any headaches.
We have built a large network of international buyers, collectors and bidders to ensure the sale of your wine will be processed as quickly and effeciently as possible.'  Also: 'market leading portfolio management group'
Registered office in Orpington (same address as Capital Landholdings (UK) Ltd. Contact address is serviced office in Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HN. No track record.
Update 9.8.2013: company was dissolved 26.2.2012. Company had three directors.
Capital Fine Wines Ltd: Founded 3.7.2012. Sole director is 36-year-old Douglas Dalglish. Registered office: Dunwoody House, Willow Grove, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5BU. Duedil list this as the trading address. However, the company's website gives contact details at 37th Floor Canary Wharf – Regus serviced offices. No mention of director on company website and Liv-ex performance graph dates from August 2010. Claim: 'Our extensive list of contacts and the close relationships we have forged with our wholesalers and advisors help us to provide and unrivalled service to our clients. Company's first annual return is now overdue – 31.7.2013.
Capital Vintners Ltd: Founded 1.7.05, dormant company until 31.7.08; unlikely claims on website.Serviced offices/accommodation address.
Castlegate Wines Ltd: This Bromley based company, briefly called Castlegate Ventures Ltd before returning to its former name (31.1.11), founded on 21st October 2010. Uninformative website and lack of any track record, claims a network of trade contacts: 'Castlegate Wines has a well established worldwide network of traders, châteaux and negotiants, merchants and traders.' 'Incredibly, all gains are FREE FROM CAPITAL GAINS TAX...!!!" Certainly incredible as this is incorrect. City of London address listed on website is virtual/service office.
11.10.2012: website appears to have disappeared. No accounts filed – first accounts overdue and should have been filed on 21.7.2012. 
Proposal to strike off. First Gazette published 4.6.2013. Earlier complusory strike off suspended in 2012. 

Company dissolved 17th September 2013. 
Cave Privée: Now part of the 1855 group.
CBV Publishing – apparently related to Classic Bordeaux Vintners
City Wine Traders: founded 21.4.10; serviced/virtual offices. Free of capital gains.
'Our combined experience over many years has provided our clients with consistent capital growth.'
Classic Bordeaux Wines Ltd. Dissolved 28.8.2012
Classic Bordeaux Vintners: Linked to Publishing Group Ltd. cold calls, no known track record for en primeur. Claims wine investment free of capital gains tax: 'Profits from wine investment are completely exempt from capital gains tax, providing that they are of a non-commercial nature.'  Promises of a '15% return guaranteed'. Registered in the USA: 3411 Silverside Road, Suite 104, Rodney Building, Wilmington, DE, 19810, County of New Castle, USA. Reg date: 16.11.2009 under name The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company LLC. This is the address of their formation agent – Turner Little 'specialists in Delaware Company Formation'. Appear to be linked to Vintage Wine Investors. Both companies should be avoided.
Claret Enterprise Ltd (proposal to strike off) – dissolved 17.12.10 – no accounts filed.  

Crimson Fine Wines Ltd: Founded 21.2.2011. upfront commission – 'a static service charge of 15%' + several other incorrect claims: Capita Gains Tax – 'UK tax law considers wine a 'wasting asset' and therefore not subject to Capital Gains Tax' – this only applies to wines considered to have a life expectancy of les than 50 years and also depends upon when the wine was bought. Wine is subject to inheritance tax at current valuation. Information given on Consumer Protection is wrong. Crismon Fine Wines terms and conditions state 'In accordance with The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulation 2000' that the purchaser has the right to cancel up to 'the close of business on the seventh working day after your funds have been received into our bank account'. This is incorrect. Under the law the purchaser has the right of cancellation up to seven working days after taking delivery of the goods. (See Regulation 11 of the act.) Crimson Fine Wines Ltd give themselves up 60 days to purchase the wine after receipt of payment. It may be that as Crimson Fine Wines' terms and conditions do not comply with the law that a purchaser would have the right to cancel up to three months and seven working days following receipt of the wine – (receipt may be by a third party eg a bonded warehouse). Brochure does not reflect recent downturn in prices. (22.6.2012)
22.6.13: Annual return overdue since 21.3.2013. 
3.6.14: Annual return now filed. Registered office moved to SEARS BUSINESS CENTRE, 3-9 STATION STREET, SITTINGBOURNE, KENT ME10 3DU
Cult Wines Ltd:  upfront commissions ('CULT WINES LTD levies a charge of 15%, which covers administration, shipping, bond transfers, sale of the Product, analysis and market updates on all portfolio management purchases.'). Free of capital gains. (15.3.10) Oliver Gearing, CEO of company making absurd and bizarre suggestions that I had been stalking his girlfriend – I was totally unaware of her existence:  'spoken to the police today I have informed them of your persistant antics and I'm hoping they will get to the bottom of it. Doubtless an entire coincidence that I had been asking a series of questions about Cult Wines Ltd also doubtless a coincidence that a smear website appeared in March 2010 making many false allegations including that I have been 'Following and monitoring these family members either directly or indirectly.'
Update (August 2014): Olivier Gearing is no longer a director of Cult Wines Ltd. However, Cult Wines Ltd continues to make unlikely and optimistic projections on wine investments. The company's latest accounts (31.8.13) show net worth - 434.6K; current liabilities: 796K.
See also posts on blog about deal between collapsing Premier Cru Fine Wine Investments Ltd and Cult Wines Ltd. Clients of Premier Cru, who agree to go with Cult Wines Ltd, being charged a 5% management fee and their shortfall of earlier and better Bordeaux vintages being made up with 2013 Bordeaux en primeur. You could make it up!   
Dunbar Fine Wines: well documented problems of delivery and long involvement of local Trading Standards.
Eighteen55 Clarets Ltd accounts overdue from 30.4.2011. 2.8.2011 Companies House moves to strike off company. Strike off cancelled (3.8.2011). 40 year-old Altaur Rahman resigns as director (29.8.2011), Stephen Paul Bradshaw appointed director 29.8.2011). July 12 update: Altaur Rahman has returned as a director, while Stephen Bradshaw has resigned. Change made on 18th June 2012. 
2013: Accounts overdue from 31.3.2013. Annual return overdue since 21.7.2013.
14.2.14: proposal to strike off – first gazette 3.12.13
Elite Fine Wines Ltd: Kindly white knight contacting clients of failed company – The London Vines Ltd – offering assistance. Company with share capital of £1 was founded on 27th June 2012. Sole director is 33-year-old Steven Bishop. Bishop is also a director of My Wine Broker Ltd (proposal to strike off) and Your Auction Ltd (dormant company).
Unlikely claim: 'Elite Fine Wines Ltd is a leading fine wine merchants specialising in the finest and rarest vintage wines. Our team are extremely passionate about the market and products that we are involved in.'
Nonsense claim: Capital Gains Tax
'The fact that an investment in the wine market remains free from Capital Gains Tax is yet another attraction, this is due to its classification of ‘a wasting asset or chattel’ i.e. we would expect the wine to be consumed within fifty years.'
Elite Wine Portfolio (closed in the public interest: 28.1.2010)
Elliott House Collections Ltd: (Company number: 08352626) Set up on 9th January 2013. Has contacted wine investors offering to sell their wine in exchange for art. Address: Dowgate Hill House, 14-16 Dowgate Hill, London ECR4 2SU is a serviced office. Sole director: 26-year-old Harry James Downer (appointed 29th April 2013). Downer is also a director (property) of Aura Resources Ltd formed 31st March 2014 and has been a director of Adamus  Compendium Ltd and briefly with the now dissolved Home Dynamics Ltd. prior to Downer 30-year-old Nicolas James Elliott was the sole director (appointed: 9.1.2013, resigned 29.4.13). Elliott has been a director of Carbon Energy Resources Ltd since 26.3.2012. The company has not filed any accounts, the last annual return was made up to 14.6.2012 – so accounts overdue since 14.3.2013 and return since 12.7.2013. Surely time Carbon Energy Resources Ltd was closed for non-compliance – yet another carbon credits scam!
Job ad for Carbon Energy Resources Ltd: 
'Organization Name: Carbon Energy Resources Ltd
SUMMARY

Our primary aim is to service our clients within this Carbon Credit financial market by maximising their potential of making good purchases with profit. We cannot stress this enough… we generate large profits for our clients day in day out. That’s our job after all. Carbon Energy Resources Ltd is a great organisation to part of for both clients and staff alike. 
The right candidate must present a fluent well-spoken command of the English language and have excellent time keeping.



Elliott House Collections Ltd carries a useful declaimer on the information on their website: 'It is based on information from sources believed to be reliable, but the issuer of this document has not taken any steps to verify the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any information.' I would take Elliott House Collections Ltd at their word and not rely on any information they supply.  
(Embassy Fine Wines Ltd. Dissolved 4.9.2012) 
Embassy Wine UK Ltd: Founded 28.6.2011. 17 Ensign House, Admirals Way, London E14 – accommodation address. Sole director is Jonothan Piper 
Update: 15.8.2013:accounts overdue since 30.6.2013, annual return overdue since 26.7.2013. 
14.11.13: Voluntary strike off suspended (2.10.2013)  
Encarta Fine Wines Ltd: First Gazette issued on 10.1.2012 on grounds of non-compliance – failure to file annual return on time. Move to dissolve company suspended on 21.1.2012 when annual return was filed. Two directors 38-year-old Matthew Hart and 34-year-old Dean Doughty.
Update: 9.8.2013 – annual return now again overdue 6.8.2013.
14.11.13: annual return and accounts now filed. 
Current registered office: 3rd Floor, 2007 Regent Street, London W1B 3HE  – mailbox address:
'Welcome to our Regent Street mail address services section.
We provide the opportunity for companies, businesses and individuals to use this prestigious London W1 location for mail forwarding and as a registered office address.'
Trading address: St Georges House, 2 Bromley Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 5JE
5.7.14: Ceased trading? Company website is now unavailable.
En Primeur Vintages Ltd (proposal to strike off: 17.8.2010, no accounts filed) Struck off 30.11.2010
Ethical Elegance Ltd: Company founded 25.10.2006. Dormant accounts to 31.10.2011. Registered office changed 5.3.2013 to 145-157 St John Street, London – a well known accommodation address, mail forwarding and virtual office. 30-year-old Craig Philip O'Driscoll appointed director 5.3.2013. Ethical Elegance Ltd's website claims to have been trading for over seven years, despite accounts being dormant until end of October 2011. Claims expertise in diamonds and exchanging assets – wine, diamonds, art, gold and silver. 'With over 100 years combined experience in the industry' is an unlikely claim from website. 'Here at Ethical Elegance we use a fully regulated FSA company to handle all of client’s money for a smooth efficient transaction.' No mention of the FSA regulated company. Furthermore the FSA no longer exists. Companies are now regulation by the FCA (Finanical Conduct Authority). 
14.11.2013: This briefly active company went into voluntary liquidation on 29.10.2013.  
European Fine Wines Ltd: cold calls, evidence of selling well above the price these wines can be bought from other companies. Registered address: 68 Lombard Street, London EC3. Trading address: Future House, 11-13 Bromley Common, Bromley BR2 9LS. Also EFWines Ltd. founded 24.8.12. Same registered and trading addresses.  
14.7.2013: Two European Fine Wines Ltd directors have been banned from being directors for 11 years each.  They are: David Evans (DOB: 28.5.1953) banned from 10.7.2013 to 9.7.2024 and Scott Assemakis (DOB: 15.1.1980) banned from 8.7.2013 to 7.7.2024. They both resigned as directors of European Fine Wines on 28th June 2013. On the same day Assemakis and Evans also resigned as directors from Sawa Wines Ltd (registered and trading address: 68 Lombard Street) formed 6.6.2012 – original name – European Fine Wines (2012) Ltd. Annual return is now overdue: 4.7.2013.    

European Fine Wines Ltd has been mooted as a possible candidate for membership of the WIA (Wine Investment Association).  

Details see Tony Hetherington Mail on Sunday (14.7.2013)
‘Ten-year ban for land cheat director


The Government-run Insolvency Service has scored half a dozen new victories in its fight to ban dodgy directors from the boardroom.


Terence Christopher Farr, 31, from Romford, Essex, has been disqualified from acting as a company director for ten years for operating illegal land investment schemes.


I talked to Farr in 2010 and warned investors to steer clear. He was marketing investments without a licence from the Financial Services Authority and advertised his business, Claremont Forbes Land & Property Limited, as a leading company even though it was only six months old. It went into liquidation a year later after raking in £944,000 from the public without keeping proper records. Insolvency Service investigator Mark Bruce describes the size of the unexplained deals as ‘highly suspicious.’


Separately, a gang who ran a series of corrupt land investment companies based in Bromley, Kent, has also been disqualified from running any limited company.
Scott Assemakis, David Evans and Gavin Gravesande are banned for 11 years, and James Murphy and Dominic Whatley for ten years. They were behind a string of companies, including The Property Partnership and Burnhill Land Investments. The ban has forced Assemakis and Evans to quit as directors of investment business European Fine Wines Limited.'
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-2362571/TONY-HETHERINGTON-I-bought-rising-pension-frozen.html
Update 22.5.2014: Accounts overdue since 30.11.2013. Registered office moved to 131 Edgware Road, London W2 2AP on 16.4.2014. Rumoured to be closing down.
FCF Associates Ltd trading as FCF Investments. Founded 10.10.2011. Two directors: 38-year-old Matthew Simon Guy and 34-year-old Steven David Carruthers. Ludicrously optimistic projections on over-priced wines. 15% service charge!
Finbow Fine Wines Ltd (in liquidation): The Metropolitan Police investigation. Arrests made – on police bail
17.5.2013: Trial of four accused started at Southwark Crown Court. The trial covers both Nouveau World Wines Ltd and Finbow. The accused are Daniel Snelling, Dina Snelling, Rebecca McDonald and Simon Dempsey. They face various counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. The trial is expected to last some 10 weeks.  
Update: Daniel Snelling, Dina Snelling and Rebecca McDonald found guilty and jailed. Simon Dempsey found not guilty. 
Fine Wine Solutions Ltd: founded in March 2005 as Coldtech (UK) Ltd on 1.11.10, last accounts dormant (to 31.3.10). Richard Leahy a former director, now Peter Ta (appoint 6.1.11. Website and brochure bears marked similarities to Beaumont Vintners, Castlegate Wines Ltd, Mortimer House Ltd and The Premier Wine Company. Leigh Cramer of the Premier Wine Company alleges that these other companies have used their materials and are in breach of copyright. Website registered by Richard Leahy on 28th October 2010. Cold calls. 
Company dissolved: 17.7.12. Have received several messages from investors saying they haven't received wines they ordered.
The website and phones of Fine Wine Solutions based at Level 18, 40 Bank Street (HQ3), Canary Wharf, E14 5NR – serviced offices – appear to be still in operation even though the company is dissolved. The company's brochure can be downloaded with the company number (05382056) shown.
According to the website:
'Our entire team is extremely experienced and has an exemplary depth of knowledge and performance within the fine wine market - many having formed relationships with clients going back many years. Once purchased our fine wines are either shipped or stored in the clients named account at a renowned bonded warehouse/cellar in perfect homeostatic conditions and insured to the current market value. Rest assured, Fine Wine Solutions will deliver an unequivocal personal service and will provide the conditions for the client to build up a credible portfolio of fine wines.' Long on 'experience' but decidedly short on detail and certainly one I would avoid  
Fine Wine Vintners Ltd (annual return overdue since 2.7.2010). Website says they are no longer trading (9.10.10), went into administration 30th September 2010. See This is money article here.    
First Capital Financial Ltd – trade as First Capital Fine Wine Investments – Company set up 10.10.2011. Using Lix-ex logo without permission. Tax advice wrong especially on Capital Gains and Inheritance Tax. Nonsense claim inside knowledge of what Robert Parker's scores on particular wines will be in the future. 
Name changed to FCF Associates Ltd 30th April 2013.
Global Fine Wine Ltd (annual return overdue since 1.9.2010). Dissolved 22.3.2011
Global Wine Investments Ltd: set up 12.4.2011. Directors: Michael Wilson and James Hamilton. Wine list used on Global's site is actually that of Albany Vintners Ltd (a reputable company set up in June 2003) and used without Albany's knowledge and permission. 17.8.2012 – Company has disappeared without supplying customers' wine. Wilson is also linked with Omera Limited (now dissolved) and with Omera Ltd.
H&R Vintners Limited Founded 7.12.09. Proposal to strike off. No accounts filed and return overdue since 4.1.11. Struck off and dissolved 26.7.2011
Hawthorne & Hawthorne Fine Wines Ltd, serviced offices.
Founding and current sole director is 33-year-old Leon Hawthorne, whose other directorship was Hawthorne & Hawthorne, which was dissolved 14.12.2010 and based at 228A High Street, Bromley Kent BR1 1PQ 
5.9.2013: Proposal to strike off. Accounts overdue since 30.9.2012 and return since 21.9.2012.
3.6.14: Compulsory strike offs suspended but voluntary strike off gazette 22.4.2014.
Henderson & Forbes Ltd. Founded 23.10 2013. 21-year-old Joseph Jordan sole director. £1 share capital. Address: 29th Floor Canary Wharf, London – well known accommodation office address. 
Quotes from website: 'We bring a fresh approach to a historic market and via our great knowledge, invaluable network and impressive buying power we can safely say you will be impressed with the professional service we have to offer.'
'Our passion for diamonds spans more than 70 years (!! - Jim), drawing on a heritage going back over generations. As a result, we have the expertise required to help you design the perfect piece of diamond jewellery, as well as the contacts and experience to ensure we can realise your personal vision.'


Doubtless diamond geezers but I certainly wouldn't buy from them.
Heritage Vintners Ltd: formed 30.11.2011, cold calls, likely accommodation address at 41 Lothbury. £1 share capital. I received two messages last year about Heritage Vintners Ltd (March and June). In both cases I said I would not buy from this company. Annual return is overdue since 28.12.2012 and accounts since 30.8.2013. 
Update: 17.4.2014 – proposal to strike off for non-compliance.
Howard & Web Ltd: founded 21st March 2014 with one director 41-year-old Nigel Ricketts. Registered office is 27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AX – a virtual office and mail forwarding facility. 
Howard & Webb Ltd: founded 18.12.2013 – originally called W.B.J. Ltd, name changed on 4.3.2014. Registered office at 67 Condell Road, London SW8 4HS. Trading address on their website is 45 Pont Street, London SW1X 0BD – a serviced office in Knightsbridge. Two directors: 25-year-old Jeffrey Owusu (appointed: 27.2.2014 and 32-year-old Kwesi Akwa (appointed: 19.3.2014).
Their website claims:

'About Us
Howard and Webb is a Independent Alternative Investment marketer. Howard & Webb offer alternative investments with a focus on income generation and clear exit strategies. Founded on the principles of providing customers with a consistent, transparent and disciplined approach to service, Howard & Webb strives to deliver superior service resulting in enduring client relationships.


With expertise gained from over 20 years of experience in developing unbiased, sound and perceptive solutions, our core focus is the pursuit of wealth preservation and long-term growth. We believe that the majority of people seek a balance of income and capital appreciation, which is best, achieved by actively managing broadly diversified portfolios across all asset classes.'

'20 years experience' 'wealth preservation' – remarkable achievements for a company that only got going in early March 2014 with its change of name! 

  
Imperial Wines of London Ltd Founded 21.5.08
International Wine Commodities Ltd (accounts and return overdue, proposal to strike off): directors found guilty of fraud - December 2010. 
Johnston & Carter Ltd: 'specialists in coloured diamonds'. Reports of cold calling cleints of The London Vines Ltd offering to buy their wines. Post with more etails here
Kingsley Judd: Claims to be one of the 'leading Bordeaux wine traders specialising in investment grade French wines'. No indication where the company is registered – certainly not listed at UK Companies House. Addresses given in Hong Kong, France and UK – all serviced or virtual offices. Infers links with leading UK auction houses. 
Le Bordeaux Wines Ltd. Founded 9.10.12. 25-year-old Jonathan Charles Braybrook sole director. Registered office and trading address 88 Wood Street, London EC2V 7RS – serviced office. Annual return overdue since 6.11.13.
14.2.2014 A 25-year-old man in London has been arrested by Staffordshire Police, so far, on suspicion of fraud by false representation and conspiracy to defraud. around £1 million belived to have been invested in wine through the company.
Anyone who has fallen victim to Le Bordeaux Wines Limited, or has had any contact with the company, is urged to contact DC Chris Pope at Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 258 of 9 December 2013, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Braybrook is also the sole director of Le Bordeaux Wine Shed Limited founded on 5.10.12, also at 88 Wood Street. He is also a director of Jb Trading & Co Ltd with its registered office and trading address at 11 Burns Road, London, SW11 5AD. Both of these companies are in the process of being dissolved.
London Wine Brokers Ltd Founded 17.9.08. Dissolved 4.5.10 No return or accounts filed 
London Wine Futures Ltd Founded 17.3.2010. Return overdue 14.4.11. Dissolved 8.11.11.  

London Wine Futures Trading Ltd, Founded 1.9.10. 2 Bath Place, Rivington Street, Old Street, London EC2A 3DR – serviced office. Dissolved: 24.4.2012   London Wine Shop Ltd: Founded 4.8.09. evidence of selling well above the price these wines can be bought from other companies.
LWEX Ltd: founded 20.12.2012. Cold calls. City of London serviced office but contact number in East London. Current director is 24-year-old Frederick Hughes. No accounts filed – so no track record. 25-year-old Chris Vines was initial director, now director of Bordeaux Claret Consultancy Ltd set up on 2.9.2013. 
5.7.14: Annual return overdue since 29.3.2014. Proposal to strike off.  
Mayfair Worldwide Trading Ltd (first posted 22.11.2013): founded 14.8.2013, sole director 32 year old Adam Edwards (no previous directorship experience), serviced office address in Mayfair. Claims to be 'Trusted Worldwide' – remarkable achievement in just three months. Looks to offer asset exchange for coloured diamonds as well as graphene. Cold calls.
Why coloured diamonds might not be a good investment.
Problems with graphene investments  
Also offering to exchange wine for graphene: 
One potential client phoned out of the blue and offered £6800 worth of graphene for wine being listed for sale on wine-searcher for £3900.The wine had been bought from European Fine Wines. I would hang onto my wine – this deal doesn't add up. Asset exchange or an asset strip?    
Moncharm Ltd. Although incorporated in 2007, looks like company only became active in April 2010. Name of company and directors changed. Website (www.moncharm.co.uk registered 14.4.2010). Cold calls. Unlikely claims on website: 'Moncharm is a leading wine brokerage'. Serviced/virtual offices in London and Hong Kong. 
28.7.2013: Current director is 26-year-old Atalay Mustafa, who is also a director of Liquid Assets Management Ltd
Montpellier Coates: p: +44 (0)1702 382326  f: 01702 293169 http://www.montecoates.comWebsite doesn't load (14.2.2011)  
Morgan Aston Ford (struck off and dissolved 15.6.2010 (now Vinance plc: annual return overdue) 8.9.2010)
Update: Vinance PLC in liquidation 
Morgan Taylor Ltd: Cold calls to clients of The London Vines Ltd offering over-priced wine deals. Founded 21.1.2014. See blog post here.
Mortimer House Ltd: 'Mortimer House is part of a group of extremely successful companies' Last company accounts were dormant (made up to 31.5.09). Director: Richard Leahy. A Google search shows Mortimer House, 40 Chatsworth Parade, Petts Wood, Orpington, Kent, BR5 1DE to be a very popular address. 
Murdoch & Chase is not a UK limited company. Does have a glossy but uninformative website  (full of vacuous puffery but no meat) – no mention of who is involved in the organisation etc.. Website was registered on 29th May 2013. Funnily enough Murdoch & Chase Asset Management is also based at Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HN. They claim to be experts in 'stagnant asset release'! Under investigation by City of London Trading Standards. Have been contacting clients of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd. 
Noble Vintners: doesn't live up to its name – call calls and over-charges on wines plus over-optimistic valuations. More details to be added.
Nouveau World Wines Ltd: registered 16.9.2004 as Infinite Rockall Services Ltd with name change on 9.6.2006. First named director was 33-year-old Scott Assemakis, who resigned on 31.8.2006. Daniel Snelling was appointed on 20.5.2006. Assemakis was a director of European Fine Wines Ltd until 28.6.2013. He is disqualified from being a UK company director from 8.7.2013 to 7.7.2024.     
20.10.10: company In liquidation and under police investigation. A number of arrests made, those arrested on bail.  
16.4.2012: five charged with conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. Similar charges for five in Finbow Fine Wines.  
17.5.2012: Trial of four accused started at Southwark Crown Court. The trial covers both Nouveau World Wines Ltd and Finbow. The accused are Daniel Snelling, Dina Snelling, Rebecca McDonald and Simon Dempsey. They face various counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. The trial is expected to last some 10 weeks. 
Update: 22.7.2013 – Daniel Snelling, Dina Snelling and Rebecca McDonald found guilty.  Simon Dempsey not guilty. Daniel Snelling a serial fraudsters involved in other dubious investments – biofuels and diamonds – after his arrest. 
Optimum Fine Wines Ltd, founded 9th July 2012. Sole director 21-year-old Harry Mosley (appointed 1.9.12). Its registered office is New Bond House, 124 New Bond Street, London W1S 1DX but it actually trades from Croydon. Cold calls and aggressive sales tactics reported. No mention of director on website, no registered or trading address shown. Claims to have 150 full time staff and 'several years combined experience in fine wine' – wonderfully vague. 
27.2.14: Optimum Fine Wines Ltd will sell you five cases of wine for £10,000 that can be bought elsewhere for only £6155. Details to follow. Profitable business for Harry Mosley but thins investors wallets!  
19.4.2014: Harry Mosley resigned as director on 15th February 2014. He has been replaced by 18-year-old Liam Garrett (financial controller)!! 
Harry Mosley may have found the secret of eternal youth: a 32-year-old Harry Mosely was appointed director of Prestige Fine Art Collections Ltd on 22nd April 2013. The company was dissolved on 11.2.2014. 32-year-old Harry Mosely's birthday is in December as is 22-year-old Harry Mosely. Could they be the same person, I wonder? 
19.5.2014: Company website has been unavailable for some weeks. Accounts overdue since 9.4.2014.    
The Premier Bordeaux Wine Company LLC - registered in Delaware file number 4753967 – appears to trade as Classic Bordeaux Vintners (see above). Linked to Alpha invest.      

Premier Bordeaux Wine Company Ltd. Same address as now defunct Premier Bordeaux Wines (London) Ltd. Founded 3.12.09. Sole director is 44-year-old Jennifer Scorey. She was also the sole director and company secretary of the defunct Premier Bordeaux Wines (London) Ltd. However, Premier Bordeaux Wine Company Ltd was a vehicle for serial scamster Spyros Constantinos. As Spyros Constantinos is disqualified from being a UK director from 21.7.2008 to 20.7.2017 he would appear to be illegally acting as a shadow director here. 
Update 9.8.2013: Company is under investigation by Tower Hamlets Trading Standards. A first gazette to dissolve the company was published on 6.12.2011 but the dissolution was suspended on 15.2.2012.     
Apparently linked to Sophelna Ltdfounded 2.11.2012; dssolved 9.7.2013. Sole director: Emmett Gerard Joseph Lenaghan. Lenaghan was a director of Parker Knoll Upholstery Ltd and is currently a director of Julian Bowen Ltd (appointed 1.7.2010. 
https://www.duedil.com/company/08278857/sophelna-limited
Premier Bordeaux Wines (London) Ltd: return overdue from 30/12/10, no accounts filed. Proposal to strike off. Dissolved (12.7.2011)
Premier Red Fine Wines Limited: Founded 10.6.09
Premier Wine Company: evidence of selling well above the price these wines can be bought from other companies. Trading name of CF One Ltd of West Street Bromley. Previously called CF One Investments Ltd. Last filed accounts for a dormant company. Latest accounts overdue since 31.10.10 (posted 24.1.11). Accounts have now been filed (13th February 2011).  Use cold calls. 
Prestige Fine Wine Ltd (incorporated 5.3.10): serviced office@100 Pall Mall, London SW1, cold calls, uninformative website (www.prestigefinewine.co.uk). 'profits are free from Capital Gains Tax as long as the wine is kept in bond'.
Prestige Wine Collections: Not a limited company so no indication of who is running company. London address is a serviced office. 
Sanderson Forbes Ltd: company founded 27.4.2010 – £1 capital. Dormant accounts to 28.2.2011. Website created 28.1.2011. Incorrect claims that profits from wine investment are invariably tax-free. Lack of track record. 'Flying pig' claim of 15% average annual return. Highly unlikely in falling market and anyway Sanderson Forbes Ltd has only be operating for a short time. Linus Hornsey-Pennell is head of operations and the sole active director. He was previously broker with Boltons Investments.  
29.4.2013: the company appears to have disappeared. Website domain up for sale and phone number not recognised.
SAWA Wines Ltd: formerly European Fine Wines (2012) Ltd. Founded 6.6.12. Name change 20.9.12 
Seale Wines Ltd (accounts overdue 30.6.10; proposal to strike off). Under police investigation. Compulsory liquidation 23.11.11.  
Select Bordeaux Ltd: Founded 28.10.09. Registered office is virtual – a telephone answering service.
17.1.2014: Sole director is is 29-year-old Salman Rahman. Both the accounts (since 31.12.13) and the annual return (25.11.13) are overdue.
Select Money Tree – for en primeur no track record 
SJB Trading Ltd: company founded 12.12.12, 38-year-old Stuart John Barnes sole director, share capital: £1. Claims 'wealth of experience' plus 'Location: We are the leading independent fine wine investment company located in the United States. Although our services are open to foreign investors, our location within the United States allows us to meet the unique needs of American investors.'
http://investdrinks-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/sjb-trading-ltd-wealth-of-experience.html

Spencer & Elstein Ltd set up on 23rd January 2013. Its address is Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HN – a serviced office/ accommodation address. The sole director is 24-year-old Aaron Sandford. They have a glossy but vacuous website. Contacting clients of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd. 
Any complaints should be registered with Action Fraud.
12.4.14: Annual return overdue since 20.2.2014 
Stanford Barclay Ltd: founded 19th September 2013. Sole director 28-year-old Billy Stevens. In addition to wine brokering offers investments in gold and natural rubber and previously graphene. Stevens is also a director of Brinkmann-May Ltd. The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) issued a warning against Brinkmann-May Ltd in February 2013 for unauthorised trading. Further details on Stanford Barclay Ltd here
Strategic Wine Acquisitions Ltd (dissolved 21.9.10). Appears to be trading as Strategic Wine Acquisitions.
Templar Vintners Ltd (accounts, annual return overdue, proposal to strike off). Benedict Moruthoane found guilty of fraud and imprisoned for 7.5 years. 
The Ideal Wine Company
The London Vines Ltd: founded 26.1.2010, first accounts due 26.10.2011, accommodation address, unlikely website claim: 'London Vines are a leading wine brokerage company offering brokerage and bonded storage.' 14.6.11: offering case of 2007 Mouton-Rothschild for £5510 apparently with assurance that it will 'nearly double' by Jan/Feb 2012. Can be bought elsewhere for around 3500-3700 a case.July 2011: aggressive sales tactics. Invoice for wine sent when potential client asked for information. Told cancellation wasn't possible – nonsense and contrary to the Distance Selling Regulations. 
25.6.13: London Vines Ltd has a book value of £2748 according to Duedil 
13.12.12: Now at 13 Holywell Row, London EC2 4JF.  A google search notes that: 535 companies also use this postcode, this is probably a mail forwarding service address. 
31st July 2013: The London Vines Ltd seems to have disappeared, apparently having failed to buy all of the wine that its clients ordered. 
The London Vines Ltd has two directors: 33-year-old Barry Michael Gamble (appointed 26th January 2010) and 42-year-old Robert Phillips (appointed 9th April 2013) – Phillips was a director of Arlington Wine Portfolios from 15th March 2012 to 14th May 2013. Gamble was a director of Imperial Wines of London Ltd from 21st May 2008 to 1st January 2010. investdrinks understands that Gamble and Phillips are blaming each other for the collapse of the company and the failure to buy sufficient wine.  
13.11.2013: The company went into liquidation on 31st October 2013. The liquidator is Joanna Wallace of Findlay James.  There would appear to be a number of clients who have not received their wines. At present it is not possible to say what the final deficit will be. A number of companies have contacted clients of The London Vines Ltd offering to sell their wine. investdrinks suggests that these offers should be treated with care. How, for example, did these companies get hold of the address details of clients of the The London Vines Ltd?  
The London Wine Shop Ltd: evidence of selling well above the price these wines can be bought from other companies 
Turner-Belgarde Ltd: company founded on 13th June 2013). Its contact address on the website is given as Glen House, 125 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3RP. These are serviced/virtual offices. The registered office is 113 Winnipeg Way, Canada Fields, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, EN10 6FH with 41-year-old Stephen Turner as the sole director. Although founded just five months ago, Turner-Belgarde Ltd claims to be 'a specialist fine wine wholesaler' with a 'global network of contacts'. Have been contacting clients of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd. Despite the company's claims, Turner-Belgarde Ltd does not have an account at London City Bond.  
UK Fine Wine Investments Ltd: Company founded on 5th January 2011. However:
'Here at UK Fine Wine Investments we are a brokerage specialising in premier cru (meaning First Growth) wines from the Bordeaux region of France. We pride ourselves in delivering of a congruent, first-classed tailored service to each and every client. Not only do our established, select team of brokers and market analysts work perpetually to ensure our client demands are satisfied, they also go that extra mile to embellish a long-lasting positive relationship.' Claims wine investment of 'tax-free returns'.
United Wealth 
Veblen Wines Ltd: Over optimistic tax advice (from their brochure*):  
*: The quote below comes from an old brochure. The current Veblen brochure makes no such claims.
'Tax Benefits
Another of the incredible advantages of this market is that in the UK there are no taxes on profits made and there is no upper limit to investments made in fine table wines.  This equates to TAX FREE PROFITS. Fine wines are also considered to be ‘wasting assets’ which therefore are not subject to capital gains tax.  Investments in fine wines therefore are CAPITAL GAINS TAX FREE.  This makes an investment in fine wines different from many other investments, allowing you to keep your profits.'
Wines with an expected life span of more than 50 years at the time of purchase are subject to CGT. A 'wasting asset' has to have a life expectancy of less than 50 years. For example, many top Bordeaux wines bought young, especially en primeur, have a predicted life span of well over 50 years. Most wines for investment are bought when they are young. After all there is no suggestion that the 1961s from Latour or Palmer are now no longer drinkable!  

Duedil currently lists the company's book value as  - £68,871 GBP
https://www.duedil.com/company/06756983. Its sole director is 32-year-old Lazare James Morel.    
Vinance plc (formerly Morgan Aston Ford): annual return overdue) 8.9.2010. Return now filed. 25% upfront commission. Accounts overdue since 31.12.2010 (11.7.2011). 
17.10.12: latest accounts again overdue since 30.6.2012. 
21.10.12: Charge well above going rate for First Growths from lesser vintages. 
16.11.12: went into administration. Herron Fisher appointed. Deficit not yet known.
17.5.2013: went into voluntary liquidation. 
Vin Vende Courtier: website says based in London and Hong Kong but no contact details listed for either location.   
Vine Capital Ltd: Founded 2.8.10. Previous name Vine Investments Ltd (changed on 17.11.10). Registered office 111 Buckingham Palace Road Victoria, Westminster, London SW1W 0SR – serviced office 16.6.11 ‘Vine Capital Ltd, one of the leading Fine Wine Commodity Brokerage's in South East London & North Kent is now recruiting sales personnel’s to join their fast and expanding team.​’
We expect all candidates who wish to apply to be; Target Driven, Money Hungry and Hard Working
. ​ Experience in telephone sales is essential, however training is provided.​ Candidates with a proven sale's track history will have a much greater advantage in being successful.​’ (Knowledge of fine wine not mentioned but previous experience of cold calling presumably an advantage.)
Positions available: Opener's (Junior Broker) /​ Closer's - Loaders (Senior Broker's)
  • Opener’s duties include: calling up and pitching new prospective clients explaining the benefits to investing within the fine wine market, start to build a trusting relationship with the client.​
  • Closer’s duties include: calling up prospective clients who have expressed an interest to invest in the fine wine market from the conversation with the opener, explaining the market in more depth and closing the deal.​
  • Loader’s duties include: up selling and maintaining clients as well as informing them of any market trends and movements within this arena.​
Brokers will be based at BR6 7SA – Charmwood Lane, Orpington. 

28.11.13: appear to be more efficient at selling wine to their clients than selling wine for them. 
Vino Bay Assets Ltd: cold calls. 
28.7.2013: currently two directors: 71-year-old Norma Elizabeth Stone and 69-year-old Yohai Abraham.  

Vin Bordelais Ltd: Formed 4.5.2011. This appears to be the son/daughter of Bordeaux UK. Using the same logo on its website as Bordeaux UK and the same contact telephone number and employing the same staff. Trading address is a Regus serviced office block in Reigate. Sole director (as of 17.11.2011) is Douglas Lawrence Adams of Douglas Company Services Ltd.
Update 8.9.12: Laurence Adams resigned as a director on 29.8.2012. On same day Grant Burberry was appointed as director. Octavian has closed Vin Bordelais' bonded warehouse account. Vin Bordelais is now using EHD bond.
Went into voluntary liquidation on 18.2.13. Liquidators Nedim Allyan (Sidcup) and Alexander Kinnmouth (Eastleigh).
Vintage Bordeaux Ltd: set up 2.12.2009. Registered and official trading address: Imperial House, 21-25 North Street, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1SD but belived to operate from an address close to East Croydon Station. The company did not trade during ys/e 31.12.10 and 31.12.11, so started trading in 2012. According to Duedil Vintage Bordeaux Ltd has a book value of minus £1,024.Michael Joseph Solle is the only director. He is also a director of M.J.S. Consultancy (London) Limited. Solle is believed to have worked at Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd, where apparently he preferred to be called Joseph Stanley. The East Croydon address is conveniently close to BFW's former trading premises, so a number of old friends may have been reunited. Company cold calls, offering a case (12 bottles) of 1995 Mouton-Rothschild at £4620. Apparently no website.
Vintage Bordeaux London: not a registered company. Address: Portland house Bressenden Place London SW1 (likely to be accommodation only with firm based elsewhere). Charged an investor £40,465 for a portfolio of wines that could have been bought elsewhere for £21,960.
Vintage Bordeaux Wines Ltd:Incorporated 18.3.2011.Registered office: 68 King William Street, London EC4N 7DZ. No accounts filed – overdue since 18.12.2012. Annual return overdue since 15.4.2013. Proposal to strike off with First Gazette issued: 27.8.13. Sole director is 34-year-old Mark Oscar.  
Update: compulsory strike off suspended: 24/09/2013.  
Vintage International Ltd: cold calls, serviced office/accommodation address, evidence of selling well above the price these wines can be bought from other companies – despite claim: 'We design all portfolios in fine wine to suit your needs.' No details on website of who runs the company or their experience. Wine investment is 'Totally Tax Free' claims their website – er what about inheritance tax? Company founded on 22.8.08. Although the website suggests that the company is based in Paris, New York and Hong Kong as well as Canary Wharf, London no details are given on the website.
Vintage Vines Ltd: Founded 13.10.2010. Share capital £1. Cold calls. No track record. Website under construction. 
Vintage Wine Investors: highly unlikely claims (50% profit in three months) and offers from a company that is not registered in the UK with no indication on its website if it is registered elsewhere. Virtual office/accommodation address. Website registered in Canada. Appear to be linked to Classic Bordeaux Vintners – another scam to be avoided.   
Vin-X Ltd: 'Vin-X was formed by a team with backgrounds in stockbroking, wine investment and retail, with the aim of introducing and educating private individuals to the benefits of investing in wine.' (About us – Vin-X Ltd website)

The company founded on 10th July 1989 as Nerigrass Ltd, changing its name to Safety Watch Ltd (11.10.89), to Kestral Holdings Ltd (20.12.91) and to Vin-X Ltd on 10.3.2010. It has been run since 1990 by Peter Shakeshaft. The company's accounts were dormant until 31.3.95 with the first full set of accounts covering the period to 31.3.96.

The background in 'stockbroking' is unfortunate as a number of those involved in Vin-X Ltd were also involved in Wills & Co Ltd (fullname: Wills & Co Stockbrokers Limited), which was censured by the FSA and later closed in the High Court.

On 31st October 2007 Wills & Co were fined £49,000 by the FSA (Financial Services Authority) 'on the basis of failings in its sales practices, the information provided to its customers and its systems and controls'. The FSA required the company to put these right by 23rd December 2007. Wills & Co confirmed to the FSA that the required remedial actions had been carried out. 

May 2008: 'The FSA visited Wills & Co in May 2008 to assess whether it had implemented the remedial actions required by the settlement agreement and rectified the failings identified in the 2007 Final Notice. As part of the visit, the FSA identified similar failings in sales practices and compliance monitoring as set out in the 2007 Final Notice. The FSA reviewed a further 19 transactions between 17 January and 17 March 2009 as part of its Enforcement investigation and identified similar failings in sales practices and compliance monitoring as set out in the 2007 Final Notice.' (from FSA Final Notice 16th February 2010).

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17th February 2010: The FSA 'stopped Wills & Co Stockbrokers Limited (Wills & Co) from giving investment advice, because of its poor sales practices. This includes poor risk warnings and misleading information to its high-risk penny share customers. The firm will no longer be able to provide recommendations to retail customers on buying shares.'
(http://www.fsa.gov.uk/consumerinformation/firmnews/2010/wills_co_stockbrokers.shtml

Peter Shakeshaft was the Group CEO (Wills & Co Financial Group plc) and was a director of Wills & Co Stockbrokers Ltd from 23.8.2010 to 10.5.2011. Staff at Vin-X Ltd include Guy Hemphill, a salesman with Wills & Co Ltd. Please see Shakeshaft's comments below:


Further details on Wills & Co Ltd:
Wills & Co was subsequently put into compulsory liquidation at the High Court on 1st July 2011 following a petition by the Insolvency Service on 6th June 2011. 

Also Wills & Co were described by Tony Hetherington in the Mail on Sunday (6.11.11): 'Wills & Co were as dodgy as they come.'
Vin-X Ltd is the fine wine partner of Harpers Wine & Spirit Trades Review. Shakeshaft is involved in setting up the Wine Investment Association, a regulatory body with the aim of safeguarding private investors, with three other wine investment companies. It is due to launch in the autumn.
Vin-X Ltd is represented by pha media – see here.
Peter Shakeshaft responded to comments made on Motley Fool in relation to Wills & Co and to Vin-X here. Lansdown and Katharine Pritchard, the compliance director of Wills & Co, were censured for failing to deal adequately with the issues the FSA raised in 2007. Lansdown and Pritchard did not contest the FSA's findings.


10.9.2012: comment from Peter Shakeshaft:
'You talk about stockbrokers and You suggest I was a director of that firm That you know is not the case. I was Group CEO and was regulated for Corporate Finance work only !  The FSA specifically requested there was a Chinese wall between Stockbrokers and myself which I strictly adhered to and the reason I was not publically censured ,   I still believed that if I had more involvement in Stockbrokers I could have seen that not enough risk warnings were applied !   And dont forget I was the one that recruited Ernst and Young to review the business independently ! Does that sound like someone trying to hide something.  I think not.'
17.9.12: comment from Peter Shakeshaft: 
'As far as I am concerned I have told you I was not a director of stockbrokers whilst it held its FSA license.  I have told you that I have owned Vin-X (formally Kestral) since 1990.  Your blog should allude to both those facts.  I was not fined nor was I publicly censured by the FSA following the stockbrokers notice.  I was commended by its Administrators for not washing my hands and walking away and becoming a director to effect (with the Administrators) an orderly wind down.  I am a Corporate Financier and as a consequence on the other side of a chinese wall !  I had no idea of what was occurring within stockbrokers (or any complaints) until after 2007 when I instantly (with The FSA's knowledge) took decisive action.  As a corporate financier I had no understanding of running a stockbroking house and left that to others more qualified.  The  FSA after 2007 still expected me to maintain a chinese wall.  Which I did.' 
 
According to Companies House Peter Shakeshaft was a director of Wills & Co Stockbrokers Ltd from 23.8.2010 to 10.5.2011. The FSA issued a Final Notice on 31st October 2007 requiring changes to be made. Wills & Co appointed Ernst & Young in 2009. However, the FSA noted: 'Notwithstanding these reports, the FSA considered that the Firm continued to pose a risk to customers and published a Second Supervisory Notice in respect of this matter on 15 February 2010'. 
Wellington House Collections Ltd. Founded 20.9.2013. £1 company with sole director 46 year-old Steven Allum – also a director of Prestige Wealth Collections Ltd founded 19.9.2013. Wellington House offers investments in art and wine. Graphs on wine section of site stop at December 2011, so don't show recent fall in prices. Both companies registered at 124 New Bond Street, London W1S 1DX  – a well known accommodation address. Neither Wellington House Collections Ltd nor Prestige Wealth Collections Ltd has a track record to date (11.3.2014).
Westminster Fine Wines Ltd:  Recently formed company – 7.11.2011 with a serviced/virtual office address and no track record. No mention of directors on website. Not a company I would buy from, especially en primeur. 
28.7.13: Accounts overdue since 7.7.13. No accounts have been filed. 33-year-old Jeff Berrill is the sole director and sole shareholder (£10).50 Broadway, London SW1 is a Regus serviced office block.
Update 9.7.14: Company went into liquidation on 27.6.2014. Liquidator Nedim Ailyan. Deficit £232,326. No accounts ever filed.  

Wine Asset Ltd: Amazingly high prices for ordinary Bordeaux wines with no investment potential. See warning on This is Money Company registered in Belize.
Wine Traders International (Assets Vin Rouge Ltd) + Bradshaw & Karr: closed in public interest now under police investigation
Wine Wholesale Ltd: cold calls, (annual return overdue since 19.7.2010) - now filed. Dormant company until 30.6.08. 'Our team has many years experience within the fine wine investment market and have managed portfolios for a wide audience, from first time investors through to wine connoisseurs.'  'even more so as there is no Capital Gains Tax on the profits you achieve'. Accounts overdue since 31.3.11 and the annual return since 26.11.2011. Proposal for complusory strike off issued 3.4.2012 but suspended 31.5.2012. Might be an objection from Customs & Revenue or a customer. It would appear that at least some of the wine ordered is not in the warehouse.
Wines World Wide Ltd: incorporated 1st July 2013. Registered office: 23 Admiral House, Rivergate, Peterborough PE1 1ES, United Kingdom – given on 192 as an address for Paul Freeman but not on Electoral Roll. Sole director: 48-year-old Paul Freeman (DOB: 9.9.1964). Paul Freeman also is the sole shareholder with 100 shares@£1. (May well be the return of Peterborough's favourite son after spells in Rotterdam, Monte Carlo and Tamarin in Mauritius.) 
In 2012 a court in Tennessee found that Paul Freeman had been a ring leader in a fraudulent scheme: 'involving the sale of unregistered, worthless securities'. The shell company, the British Medical Trust Company Ltd., was based in Mauritius.  Another company – Global Biohealth Solutions Ltd, based at 1st Floor, Block B, Ruisseau Creole Complex, La Mivoie, Black River, Mauritius was also cited in the case. The fraud also involved Beth Maria Freeman, his wife, and Carly Freeman, his daughter, Ryan Ferreira and Daniel Bartlett. 

Wines World Wide Ltd should not be confused with Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd.  
Update (17.8.2014): annual return overdue since 29/07/2014.  
Winnington Fine Wines Ltd: set up 23.1.2012 but claims already (7.3.12) to be a 'leading wine broker' with 'a long term history of impressive returns'. Claim an storage account with London City Bond – no account with LCB (7.3.2012). 
June 2013: company disappeared some time ago. Proposal to strike off – First Gazette published 21.5.2013. Appears to have bought some but not all of the wine ordered by its clients. See post here
Woolf Sung Ltd: Company founded 29.6.2012.The sole director is 33-year-old Sebastian Joseph Woolf. Woolf learnt his craft with European Fine Wines Ltd – now bust with debts of £2 million. He was one of two senior managers at Europeans Fine Wines Ltd – with Sean Dineen responsible for running the trading teams. See story in The European 10.2.2012.
Woolf Sung Ltd cold called a number of clients of the disappeared The London Vines Ltd. Many of these people would have been elderly. Rather different from what he told The Drinks Business in August 2014.
“A six bottle case of the 2002 Salon Cuvee is currently worth £1,650 and we are predicting a 10% growth in the next 12 months,” said Sebastian Woolf founder and CEO, Sebastian Woolf, who set up the company in 2012 with the aim of targeting young fine wine investors via under the radar wines and vintages.'
How did Sebastian Woolf and Woof Sung Ltd get their contact details?
Update August 2014: now touting Champagne as the next wine investment – covered by The Drinks Business and wine-searcher magazine.
Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd (dissolved 28.9.10 on voluntary strike off)
Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd (Mark 2): Founded 28.3.2007 as Clearpoint Trading Ltd. Changed name 15.10.2010. Dormant company accounts made up to 31.3.2010. Milton Keynes address is virtual office. Cold calls, no track record for en primeur sales. 'These so called "investment-grade wines" from the Bordeaux region are finite as the 1855 French regulation restricts vineyards expansion.' What '1855 regulation' would this be?
'Therefore it is viewed as a perishable commodity with a shelf life of between 30-50 years. So as long as you don’t hold your wine for over 50 years you are completely exempt from CGT, meaning it's a tax free investment and you keep all your profits,'. Suggest you read HMRC's Bulletin 42 on wines & spirits tax treatment and, while you are at it, take a look at the implications of inheritance tax. 
'During the course of the lifetime of your investment World-Wide Wine Investment will liaise with London City Bond and Vinoteque (sic)'. Currently Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd has no account at London City Bond (LCB). Update: 28.3.2011: still no account at LCB. However, they told a putative client who they cold called that they will be 'opening an account there this week'.
4.5.11: Company now has a private account at LCB but no trade account.
28.7.2013: Proposal to strike off for non-compliance: accounts overdue since 30.6.12 and annual return since 8.3.13. Company has had a number of directors including 43-year-old Geraint Jones and 46-year-old David Nicol (14.11.2013 - now 47 years old).
23.10.2013: Police arrest three people (including one 47 year-old man) in Essex in connection with their over a year old investigation into the company. Arrests made on suspicion of fraud and money laundering. Suspects on police bail. Clients of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd have been contacted by Murdoch & Chase and Spencer & Elstein Ltd .   
Worldwide Wealth Collections Ltd: founded 11.7.2011. See Mirror investigation here. In liquidation – liquidator appointed 5th March 2013. Sole director was 44-year-old Nicholas Jones
www.1855.com: considerable delays in supplying en primeur with some clients still waiting for 2003s, 2004s, 2005s, 2006s and 2007s. Over 501 cases outstanding (estimate value 297,657€ – 6.3.11) and shocking tales of serial promises broken. Was probationary member of Fevad. Rated 19/100 by creditsafe (solvabilité enterprise) – 'company in debt status (Social Security preferential right)' France's most successful on-line wine merchant fraud.
22.11.2013: now in administration but this doesn't stop the frauds.

Page last updated: 18th August 2014