Wine Name:

Thursday 28 November 2013

Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd disappeared – white knights circling?

Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd – cheap and nasty website 

 White knights appear to be circling 

Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd seem to have disappeared. A client of theirs reports that: 'I've phoned (cut off), emailed (no response) written to 68 Lombard Street on 15th Nov and the letter was returned in the post today by royal mail.' This client bought 2011 Lafite-Rothschild en primeur. Although some 2011 Bordeauxs have started to arrive in the UK, it is likely that the Lafite will not be shipped until spring 2014. Whether, of course, Capital Bordeaux and its sole director 23-year-old Scott Andrews even bought the remains to be seen. The company claimed to have an account at London City Bond – unfortunately LCB has no record of account in this name.   

'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 seems to have disappeared. Among the wines it sold was 2011 Lafite-Rothschild, whether Scott Andrew and his company bought any is another matter.'

Watch out for White Knights!
Following the apparent disappearance of Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd, white knights may be circling perhaps intent on causing further damage to people's savings as the client reports: 'Interestingly I've had no less than 5 cold calls today from investment companies trading in gold, wine etc.   Have said no to each of them and why.'      

Friday 15 November 2013

The London Vines Ltd: watch out for White Knights!

 Watch out for White Knights contacting 
you about a failed company!

investdrinks has received a number of reports of companies contacting clients of the now collapsed The London Vines Ltd with offers of help and to buy their wines. 

The London Vines Ltd went into liquidation on 31st October 2013 with an announced deficit of £590,000, while the company’s assets are negligible. It is very likely that the deficit will rise considerably once all the claims are in. The insolvency practitioner appointed is Joanna Wallace of Findlay James based in Cheltenham.

“I don’t know what the true deficit is yet,” Joanna Wallace told investdrinks. “Laura Goedhuis of Private Reserves Ltd. “is compiling a list of clients who have not yet received their wine.”

Wallace added: “Some of the company’s clients have their wine but not all the wine is there. It would appear that there were payments made by the firm’s customers for goods that were not supplied. At the moment I can’t quantify what wine is missing but it may be substantial.”

Although it is romantic to be rescued by a white knight, beware the chivalrous stranger may turn out to have feet of clay. You might also wonder how they got hold of your details, so as to be able to contact you – who passed on your details?

The warning issued by Thames Valley Police in relation to World Wide Investments Ltd applies here:
'In the meantime we have become aware of further wine companies who have been contacting investors and you should be very cautious if you receive calls from any companies offering you investment opportunities.

The following companies are known to have contacted clients of The London Vines Ltd:
Johnston & Carter Ltd doubtless diamond geezers but no thanks! Share capital £1    
One Vine Day Ltd  Share capital £1    
Woolf Sung Ltd Share capital £1
(further details of companies to be added.)

I would follow Police advice and be very cautious. How did these companies get the details of clients of The London Vines Ltd?

Ethical Elegance Ltd: this company also went into liquidation at the end of October 2013. Clients of this company should also be wary of calls from other investment companies offering assistance and advice.

* NB Private Reserves Ltd has no connection with The London Vines Ltd. The company arranges wine storage. 

Thursday 14 November 2013

Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd: three arrested + watch out for white knights!

 Watch out for white knights – 
determined to never give a sucker an even break!

Notice from the Police to clients of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd:

'On 23rd October 2013, three people were arrested by officers investigating Worldwide Wine Investments (Operation Dinghy).

The arrested persons were a 22-year-old man, a 23-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man all from Essex who were held at two addresses on suspicion of fraud and money laundering.

They have all been released on bail (one to December 2013 and two to February 2014) pending further enquiries.

The investigation is ongoing and we will continue to provide significant updates.

In the meantime we have become aware of further wine companies who have been contacting investors and you should be very cautious if you receive calls from any companies offering you investment opportunities.

Two of these companies, Spencer & Elstein and Murdoch & Chase are currently being investigated by the City of London trading standards department.*

You are advised to contact the City of London trading standards department if you have any concerns.

Telephone - 020 7332 3406'


The sole director of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd (established  29th March 2007 and based in Milton Keynes) at the time it ceased trading was 47-year-old David Nicol. The investigation by Thames Valley Police has been running for over a year now.

* Spencer & Elstein Ltd was 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. Under investigation by City of London Trading Standards.  

* 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.

I certainly would not consider buying or selling wine through either Spencer & Elstein Ltd or Murdoch & Chase. Although it is romantic to be rescued by a white knight, beware the chivalrous stranger may turn out to have feet of clay. You might also wonder how they got hold of your details, so as to be able to contact you – who passed on your details? 

Another company has contacted clients of Worldwide Wine Investments Ltd – Turner-Belgarde Ltd, which was 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'.

Going by their laughably wrong advice (from their website – registered on 29th August 2013) on how wine is not subject to Capital Gains Tax, I would certainly not rely on their expertise!

Turner-Belgarde: 'So providing wine is not held for more than 50 years, it is an investment completely exempt from Capital Gains Tax, meaning you retain all your profits' – premier cru nonsense!!

More gold-plated nonsense from Turner-Belgarde Ltd (above): 
'Thanks to the worldwide interest in fine wines, a ready market awaits and thankfully it's one that's not susceptible to the normal fluctuations experienced by interest rates and stock markets'

Clearly Turner-Belgarde Ltd is not aware of the Liv-ex 100

31.10.2008: Liv-ex 100 was @ 216
30.6.2011  : Liv-ex 100 was @ 365
31.10.2013: Liv-ex 100 was @ 265 

Looks to me like a very definite fluctuation – don't you agree Stephen Turner

Claim of a 'global network'

'When you are ready to sell, Turner-Belgarde global network of private and trade buyers will secure the best price available in the market. We have all the right connections in place to make a swift and safe settlement.'

So Stephen Turner: are we talking Facebook friends here? Your five month old company (share capital all of £1) already has a global network of private and trade buyers!! Congratulations! if true – if not this is utter bollocks (a technical term' yet another wallet-thinning scam

The company also claims to have an account at London City Bond. This is untrue – the company does not have an account at LCB, who have never heard of Turner-Belgarde Ltd

I shall also steer clear of Turner-Belgarde Ltd.  

Friday 1 November 2013

Ian Paul Vanderhook (Bordeaux UK Ltd) banned as director for 9 years

Ian Vanderhook (Bordeaux UK Ltd) has been banned as a UK company director for nine years. The disqualification period started from 18th October 2013. Give the details below Vanderhook looks to have got away relatively lightly with a nine year ban as 15 years is the maximum ban, especially as Vanderhook has failed to cooperate with either the Insolvency Service or the Liquidator.

Unfortunately a ban as a company director still allows Vanderhook to operate as a sole trader or in a partnership – he could, of course, hook up with Andrew Dunne, who was almost certainly the true brains and knowledge behind Bordeaux UK Ltd. Bordeaux Northern Cyprus Partnership has a certain ring to it! 

Given the details in the Insolvency Service press release there would appear to be good grounds for a police investigation and criminal charges.

Press release from UK Insolvency Service:
“Mismanagement on a colossal scale” leads to disqualification for wine investment company director

Ian Paul Vanderhook, the director of a wine investment company – Bordeaux UK Ltd (‘Bordeaux UK) which took in more than £23m from investors and folded with debts of more than £10m - has been banned as a director for nine years for failing to keep proper company books and records.

The disqualification, which started on 18 October 2013 following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, means that Mr Vanderhook (34) cannot be a director, manage or control a company until 2022.

Mr Vanderhook gave undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation not to be a director or manage or control a company until after the disqualification ends.

Bordeaux UK took over £23million from investors between October 2008 and November 2011 of which, only £4.6m was used to purchase wine. The company went into creditors’ liquidation on 30 November 2011 with debts of over £10m but with only £1.7 million of wine available. Mr Nedim Ailyan was appointed as the liquidator.

Of the remaining £19million, Mr Vanderhook benefitted from at least £2million whilst £13million cannot be explained or accounted for as business- related, due to the lack of accounting records.

The investigation showed Mr Vanderhook had failed to keep adequate books and records for three companies, Bordeaux UK Limited, Van Der Hook Management Limited and Van Der Hook Consultancy Limited.

The former lift engineer set up Bordeaux UK in 2002 to encourage members of the public to invest in fine wines, predominantly from the Bordeaux region of France.

The wine recommended to investors by brokers employed by Bordeaux UK was both “In-Bond” - bottled wine stored in bonded warehouses in the UK - and “En-Primeur” - a method of purchasing wines whilst the vintage is still in the barrel and thus not bottled or available to be shipped for at least a year.

In addition, the liquidator was forced to employ specialist agents to assist with unravelling the mess left by Mr Vanderhooks’ failure to keep proper records and to analyse and reconcile claims from investors in excess of £10m.

The liquidator, Nedim Ailyan, called the situation a “mismanagement on a colossal scale” and further stated:

“In my experience the books and records were completely inadequate and we were unable to ascertain the level of creditors due to deficiencies within them. As an example we have instances of wine that was allegedly allocated to individuals but there is no record of the wine being transferred.

“In addition, individuals alleged that the company disposed of wine on their behalf and this was to either be replaced with other stocks of wine or alternatively the proceeds passed to them but this never happened.

“There were no financial records available to us that would have helped us to formulate a statement of affairs or to reconcile individuals’ accounts and on average it was taking at least a day to reconcile each individual’s account due to the volume of sales.”

Furthermore, due to the lack of any accounting records, the Insolvency Service is unable to establish what taxes were due to HM revenue & Customs.

It was also not possible to determine why Van Der Hook Management Limited and Van Der Hook Consultancy Limited received and paid out money from the Bordeaux account as Mr Vanderhook claimed neither company was actively trading.

Given Van Der Hook Management Limited used the trading style of Bordeaux UK, it is suspected their accounts were used for funds due to Bordeaux UK Ltd.

Mr Vanderhook has not co-operated with the Insolvency Service or the liquidator and has not explained the financial transactions or why investors have lost in excess of £10 million.

David Brooks, a Chief Examiner for the Insolvency Service stated:
“This case serves as an example of why companies must keep accounting records and make them available to the liquidator or administrator.

“Without the books and records, costs in the liquidation have increased and what happened to a large amount of investor's money cannot be explained.

“The fact investors have lost in excess of £10million whilst only £1.7million of wine stock was available to them makes this an especially serious case.

“Directors who do not maintain and preserve their company’s books and records adequately will be investigated by the Insolvency Service and in the appropriate cases, disqualified to protect the public and the business community.”

Notes to Editors
Ian Paul Vanderhook is of Kent and his date of birth is 8 August 1979.
Bordeaux UK Limited was incorporated on 19 September 2002 and entered creditors voluntary liquidation on 30 November 2011.

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot;
act as a director of a company;
take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership;
act as an insolvency practitioner; or
be a receiver of a company’s property.
In addition, many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.