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Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Mayfair Worldwide Trading etc: fraudsters jailed for duping wine investors out of nearly £1m

 Home page of Mayfair Worldwide Trading Ltd


 Mayfair Worldwide Trading Limited
– 'Trusted Worldwide' !!!!

Christopher Brummitt
currently on the run 



Press release: 5th April 2019

'A group of fraudsters were jailed for a combined 17 years and 9 months today for their part in an elaborate wine investment scam which conned nearly £1m out of investors, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable.

Adam Edwards, Barry Warner, Christopher Brummit, Tarik Drissi and James Brooks were today sentenced at Southwark Crown Court for their actions between 2013 and 2015.

The five men operated three fake companies - Mayfair Worldwide Trading Ltd, Commodex Global Limited and Winchester Associates Ltd. These companies claimed to be established fine-wine brokers based in prime locations such as Berkeley Square, Mayfair but were in fact based in industrial estate units on the outskirts of Great Dunmow in Essex.

The gang cold-called fine-wine investors from a ‘sucker list’, and through a series of aggressive sales tactics, managed to defraud a number of wine holdings from vulnerable victims. Once these had been obtained, they would be sold on to legitimate buyers, with the proceeds pocketed by the fraudsters.
Victims were then told a series of elaborate lies about the whereabouts of their money. Some were told that their wine had been reinvested into graphene, diamonds or gold.

Sian Mitchell from the CPS Specialist Fraud Division said:

“This was an unscrupulous gang who would go to great lengths to defraud elderly and vulnerable people out of their very valuable wines, many of which represented their savings for their retirement. One of the victims was a disabled man who, as a result of not receiving payment, was unable to buy a new wheelchair.

“They went to great lengths to legitimise their fraudulent activities - Mayfair Worldwide Trading issued a bogus press release claiming that the company had won the ‘2014 ID Times Trading Award for Best Asset Exchange Programme and the Internship Europe Excellence Award.’ Obviously, no such awards existed, and were designed to dupe innocent investors.

“We are delighted to have secured custodial sentences for this group, and will continue to prosecute those who think they can benefit from fraud.”

How the wine fraud operated

1.    Victim A is cold called by ‘David Barrington’ from Mayfair World Trading. Having in reality spoken to the defendant Adam Edwards, Victim A agrees to sell his wines to Mayfair Worldwide Trading (MWT) for £38,228 in a ‘graphene asset swap’, on the understanding graphene will be sold and the sum paid to him in 28 days
2.    The victim instructed LCB Bonded Warehouse to transfer wines to the account of MWT at EHD Bonded Warehouse
3.    A legitimate buyer, Vintners Fine Wine Merchants Ltd, agree to buy the wine for £27,470 and instructs EHD to transfer wines to them
4.    Vintners Ltd transfers payment of £30,970 for these wines (and £3,500 worth of other wine) to the bank account of MWT - none is paid to the victim.

5.    Having spoken to another employee with an assumed name ‘Peter Phillips’ and told there is a problem with the graphene market, Victim A is now told his wines will now be converted to diamonds and sold
6.    Having received no money and struggling to contact MWT, Victim A contacts the police to report the fraud



Sentences
  • Adam James Edwards - 6 years plus 5 years Director’s Disqualification Order
  • Barrymore Alexis Warner - 5 ½ years
  • Tarik Drissi - 3 years
  • James Robert Brooks  - 20 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years, 300 hours unpaid work
  • Christopher Brummitt – Sentenced in absence – 3 years 3 months, 5 years Director’s Disqualification Order

Other details:

Sian Mitchell is a Specialist Prosecutor from the Specialist Fraud Division of the Crown Prosecution Service'

The successful investigation was a collaboration between Essex Police and the Met. 

Comment:
Good to see these fraudsters sent to jail. Hopefully Christopher Brummitt, who has fled, will soon be caught. However, would have liked to have seen longer disqualifications from serving as a director unless the disqualification period runs from time of release from prison. 



Mayfair's pack of lies

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Twelve-by-Seventy-Five Ltd: in compulsory liquidation – White Knights circle

Following a petition in the High Court London by three creditors it was ordered that the company – Twelve-by-Seventy-Five Ltd – be wound up. The order was made on 30th January 2019. The petition was lodged on 14th December 2018 by Stuart John Reid, Gregor James Reid and Shona Louise Reid. 

Sultan Mahmood Rashid, the sole remaining director, did not contest the petition nor was he present in court of the hearing. 

The liquidator is: The Official Receiver Or London, 2nd Floor, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 2HT 

Like vultures White Knights are circling looking to hit victims a second time. Step forward Empire Investment Capital Ltd. This company was founded in 2014 and its sole director is 59 year-old Raymond William Empson  

Today I received this email (below) from an investor misled by promises from Twelve-by-Seventy-Five Ltd asking for advice. They have been contacted by Empire Investment Capital Ltd. 

'Like many others you are aware of I was mis-sold Excellence De Belliard wine by Twelve by Seventy Five and their directors, De Nardis and Rashid with the promises of high returns. As with all their other customers they eventually refused to even speak to me over the past year and I now know the company has been liquidated.



Within the last month I have been contacted by a company called Empire Investment Capital and in particular by their director Raymond William Empson who has offered to sell my wine as a 'Capital Exchange' to Shangri La Hotels, Hong Kong.  The sale price they have quoted would be 16.5% premium on my purchase price to TBSF.  In order to be in their 'Capital Exchange Programme' they have requested a returnable deposit of 3750 GBP and also insist that for the exchange to be made then I must pay them the VAT on the original purchase price of my wine which is currently held in bond with LCB.  This I have refused to do as I know that VAT is not payable until the wine is released from bond.



Somehow this company has obtained a list of TBSF former customers and I believe is trying an elaborate scheme to defraud these customers of cash with promises of a lucrative sale of their wine to Shangri La Hotels who I find it difficult to believe would deal in this way knowing that the current market for Excellence De Belliard wine is virtually non-existent.  I believe also that HM Customs and Excise would not look favourably on Mr Empson's demand that VAT be paid to him in advance of any sale.'
My advice:
I have strongly urged the investor to have nothing to do with Empire Investment Capital Ltd. All too often similar deals suggesting that there is a buyer in China or somewhere else in Asia Pacific have 'fallen through' once the wine or the advance fee has been paid. I can see no reason why Shangri La Hotels would want to buy the virtually worthless Excellence De Belliard wines, especially not at a 16.5% premium. 
I can only assume that this deal suggests that Raymond William Empson has an over-excited imagination......
I have also urged this investor to contact the Official Receiver about this approach.   
 





Saturday, 2 March 2019

Wine investment scams: Court success for Essex Police



 Christopher Brummitt
sought by Essex Police for 
skipping bail prior to sentencing


An update on Mayfair Worldwide Trading, Commodex Global and Winchester Associates involved in wine investment and graphene scams

Success for Essex Police:  

 

Adam EDWARDS – Guilty – awaiting sentence (appearing in court for sentence in April 2019)


Barry WARNER – Guilty – awaiting sentence as above


Tarik DRISSI – Guilty – awaiting sentence as above 

This was following their Not Guilty pleas and jury trial at Southwark Crown where all three were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud victims of Mayfair Worldwide Trading, Commodex Global and Winchester associates.

James BROOKS – guilty plea at pre-trial hearing to criminal finance offences. Will be sentenced alongside others in April

 

Christopher BRUMMITT – guilty plea at pre-trial hearing to criminal finance offences, was given bail by court but has absconded. Essex Police are actively seeking him. He admitted the offences on November 7th 2018. 

Christopher Brummit, 36, of Ugley, Bishop's Stortford, was due to be sentenced on Thursday 14th February, for two counts of transferring and acquiring criminal property.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "The case relates to a fine wine scam between 2013 and 2015 where he acquired £157,000 of criminally gained funds and transferred over £72,500 of them.
"Brummit is 5ft 7ins, he has a tattoo of a zodiac star on his neck and Celtic and tribal tattoos on his arms. 

"He has a triangular symbol tattooed on his chest and a scar. He has links to Bishop’s Stortford." 

Anyone with information can call Braintree CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

Details from Essex Police and the