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Friday, 17 August 2012

Global Wine Investments Ltd disappears after failing to supply wine


Global Wine Investments Ltd, which was set up in April 2011, would seem to have disappeared. The website ( no longer operates and the phones are dead. The company had an account at London City Bond but apparently there is minimal stock in the account. 

According to investor AR:
'I purchased 4 cases of Lafite Rothschild 2008, for £8.5k per case. I made the payment on 30th April. They have twice offered me a refund, once spent a week telling me it was in the post, but nothing has materialised. They have changed offices, changed directors several times, their original CEO Michael Wilson was allegedly the CEO of a company called Omera Ltd, which was financing global wine allegedly. This looks bogus also.

I was promised by their solicitor a partial refund of £28,000 but received nothing. 

The main culprit seems to be the ex-CEO Michael Wilson, who has several companies with dodgy histories, such as Omera Ltd (06625374) until he wound that up last year. This company was supposed to be funding global wine. We need to get the word out that he is a con artist. People are now contacting the police, hopefully with enough people making allegations they will actually do something.'

Another director was a James Hamilton. 

As well as being a director of Global Wine Investments Ltd, Michael Wilson was also a director of  Omera Limited, which was dissolved last October, and a director of the similarly named Omera Ltd until his resignation on 9th May 2012. Omera Ltd (07845830) was set up on 14th November 2011. 

Global Wine Investments Ltd promised 'First Class Expertise'. The only expertise demonstrated would appear to be the ability to take its customers' money, not supply the wine and then do a runner.   
 Omera Limited – dissolved on 18th October 2011 no accounts filed 

Clients of Global Wine Investments Ltd, who have not received their wine, should make sure they report this company and its directors to ActionFraud. This is a central police registry for reporting fraud. Customers of Global Wine Investments Ltd may well be contacted by other scam companies offered to sort out their problems with Global. This is a classic 'white knight' ploy designed to rip off the investor for the second time. These companies should also be reported to ActionFraud. 

There were two earlier posts on investdrinks about Global Wine Investments Ltd here and here.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Any regulatory body for wine investment has to be independent

Some thoughts on moves to set up a regulatory body for wine investment:  

An extract from my editorial in the July 2012 issue of Circle Update, the newsletter of the Circle of Wine Writers

'In the UK wine investment remains unregulated so companies are able to make claims like this – ‘10% return per month’ ‘existing clients up to 100% per year tax free!’ (see below). If wine investment fell under the aegis of the Financial Services Authority such claims would not be allowed.

The bait of 100% a year tax-free from Vintage Wine Investors Ltd. The above scheme looks as though it might be a collective investment, so subject to FSA approval

There are moves to form a regulatory body for wine investment, ‘to combat an influx of bogus sellers and prevent company collapses’, as most recently reported in The Independent

In principle I am all in favour of trying to protect the public and to restrain and preferably weed out the many dubious and unskilled companies that have jumped on to the wine investment bandwagon. Some sort of regulatory control could be very beneficial. Any body that helped potential investors to distinguish between properly-run companies and boiler rooms, often located in Bromley, would certainly be welcome.

It is, however, crucial that any sort of regulatory body is truly independent and should be independently administered. Otherwise it is all too easy for it to be seen as a cosy cartel and open to legal challenge for anti-competition. It is also essential that any regulatory body should have broad support from the fine wine trade.

The article in The Independent indicates one of the main movers in creating this new regulatory body is Peter Shakeshaft of Vin-X. Unfortunately Shakeshaft has had his problems with the Financial Services Authority. He was a director in stockbrokers Wills & Co, which was censured by the Financial Services Authority. See here and here.

Wills & Co went into administration (voluntary arrangement) on 5th August 2010. It 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.

I repeat, it is crucial that any regulatory body is independently formed and administered.'

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Nouveau World Wines Ltd and Finbow Fine Wines Ltd: trial date set

Following the hearing on Friday 27th July at Southwark Crown Court a provisional date for the start of the trial involving the five accused regarding alleged offences with regard to Nouveau World Wines Ltd and Finbow Fine Wines has been fixed for 7th May 2013. From previous experience of similar trials I would expect this trial to last six weeks at a minimum and probably longer. 

The five defendants are Simon Dempsey, Kelly Humphreys, Rebecca McDonald, Daniel Snelling and Dina Snelling.