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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Mr Lewis Samuels and Samuels & Parker Ltd – just the latest joker on the block!

Samuels & Parker say they are specialists in Bordeaux but their home page features a cropped version of a photo of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc vineyard – see here

'Formed by a group of experienced and successful wine traders, Samuels & Parker are providing an opportunity for our clients to gain a foothold in the thriving and prosperous fine wine market.'

'We are committed to ensuring our clients receive the best market knowledge and access to opportunities that have only been available to a select clique. It is our fundamental objective to ensure complete customer satisfaction with our range of services and products.

Our entire team are extremely experienced and have an exemplary depth of knowledge and performance within the fine wine market – many forming long term relationships with our clients.

 'At Samuels & Parker, we have built a business on the basis ....'

'At Samuels & Parker, we have built a business on the basis that many independent financial commentators believe fine wines deserve consideration as part of a comprehensive collecting strategy. A holding in fine wine is part of the diversity argument.'

The guff on the Samuels & Parker website sounds impressive! Even more impressive when you realise that the company wasn't formed until 9th September 2014. Its sole director is 27-year-old Lewis Samuels (DOB – 7.10.1987). Samuels is also the sole shareholder of Samuels & Parker Ltd with £100 of share capital. The company was initially registered at 16 Rayfield Close, Bromley BR2 8JT.   

The mention of Bromley and investment is so reassuring!!

On 18th November 2014 Samuels & Parker Ltd's registered office changed to 3 More London Place, London SE1 2RE. These are serviced offices and this is given as their trading address.

Addresses in Central London and Hong Kong 
– both serviced offices

Regus serviced office @3 More
Serviced offices at Level 10, Hong Kong

Lewis Samuels and Samuels & Parker Ltd appear to specialise in offering to sell wine for their clients – nothing wrong in that except there is a nasty catch

At the beginning of the year one client (AG) was persuaded to transfer some 36 cases of fine wine, worth some £80,000, that was in-bond to Lewis Samuels. Samuels told AG that he had a client in Hong Kong who wanted to buy the wines in time for the Chinese New Year. The wines went into Lewis Samuels' private account. Samuels & Parker Ltd does not have an account at this bond.

Once the wines were in Lewis Samuels' account they were immediately transferred to another UK bonded warehouse. Very soon AG had doubts and tried to get his wine back/get paid for it. Despite AG chasing for payment to date he hasn't received a penny. And the wine? He was told it was now in Hong Kong but – quelle surprise! – the Chinese client no longer wants the wine! Samuels & Parker Ltd could, however, told AG that they could fly his wine back from Hong Kong at a cost of £9200!

Clearly Lewis Samuels is both a joker and a chancer as it is highly unlikely that AG's wines ever left the UK. Their alleged journey to Hong Kong is as fictitious as the Chinese client.  

Curiously AG received a broking list from Samuels & Parker Ltd called: 'Samuels & Parker Ltd Wine Stock 2015'. However, it is Corney & Barrow's broking list. As agents for DRC and Pétrus among others, Corney & Barrow would have nothing to do with the likes of Mr Lewis Samuels. Doubtless another instance of Lewis' sense of humour!

'Samuels & Parker Wine Stock 2015'
actually no – Corney & Barrow's list!
You might wonder why it is Samuels & Parker. I assume that Lewis added the Parker name hoping for additional gravitas and credibility from the famous American wine critic – Robert Parker. The great man happens to be in London this week. Whether Robert will welcome any linking, however tenuous, with Lewis Samuels is quite another matter – highly unlikely I would have thought.... 

I understand that AG has reported Lewis Samuels and Samuels & Parker Ltd to Action Fraud. I hope the police can intervene before Lewis Samuels turns magician and makes AG's wines disappear.
Clearly Samuels & Parker Ltd is one to watch out for and, as far as I'm concerned, avoid

The moral of this story is clear – do your due diligence properly before transferring your wine portfolio into someone else's account.

Very good to see UK bonded warehouses cooperating here!

Update: 26th February 2016
Samuels & Parker Ltd was dissolved on 23rd February 2016 as its annual return was never filed. I understand that AG died in December 2015. He never received any money for his wine that he transferred. Furthermore in October 2015 he was persuaded to to send money, which I understand also disappeared without trace.


  1. When will all this end? Private investors are fast becoming nervous wrecks..

  2. Anon. A fair and good question. However, private investors could help themselves by refusing all cold calls and doing proper due diligence before making any investment or transfer. A few checks on the internet will provide plenty of information and often warnings.

  3. Agreed Jim.. however a huge proportion of the people who fall foul of this type of scam are the elderly and most of those do not use the internet enough to know how to go about researching, they are bullied into making decisions on the spur of the moment with promises of huge returns on their portfolios.

  4. You are right Jack – the elderly are certainly targetted and the sales pressure and bullying is repulsive! But it isn't the just the elderly who get scammed. people who should know better get taken in for large sums.

    I know this is easier said than done but it would be good for those with elderly parents or friends to try to keep a discreet eye. All too often sons and daughters find out their parents have been scammed when it is too late. Try to impress that it isn't rude to put the phone down on a cold caller.

  5. Hi Jim, They also don't know anything about wine as Petrus, Le Pin and Ausone are not first growths as listed on there website under "First Growths". I can't believe people still fall for these companies who don't tell the investor anything about the company at all.

  6. Again, you have to ask how a firm run by a 27 yr old from Bromley, with no prior wine trade experience and a company that has been running for just 5 months, got hold of the details of someone with 80 odd cases of wine in bond (presumably purchased from reputable sources)

  7. Hi Jim, did you know that Vin-X now own Provenance fine wines? The entire issued share capital of Provenance fine wines was acquired by Vin-X on the 27th May 2014 and from that day the ultimate controlling party of the company changed from Adrian Lenagan to Vin-X? Do Provenance's clients know this? Would you yourself buy wine from them knowing this?

  8. Anon Fair question, although it is some 36 cases worth £80,000. I suspect that the answer is the wines were sold to him by EFW, so not entirely reputable ....

    Incidentally I understand Lewis is now claiming he is based in Dubai and is of wealthy stock. Somewhat of a puzzle why Samuels & Parker Ltd was originally registered in Bromley...