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Tuesday 12 July 2016

Speed Associates Ltd – a warning from Grant Thornton

From: David Ingram (Grant Thornton) – liquidator for Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd 
Just received the email below from a BFW creditor. Suffice to say the liquidation of BFW continues.  We have had no dealings with Speed Associates and BFW did not purchase wine from them. This appears to be another scam so I’d be grateful if you could put an alert on your blog to that effect.
Email from BFW creditor:
'I was wondering if you could help me.
I am one of the unfortunate investors who has lost money due to the liquidation of the above company. I have been receiving correspondence from Grant Thornton in relation their investigations into the whereabouts of all the wine which investors purchased. However, today, I have received a phone call from a company called Speed Associates, a chap called James Clarke.  He informed me that they had taken over the liquidation of this company due to Grant Thornton having exhausted every avenue.  He told me they were one of the merchants who supplied wine to Bordeaux and that he thinks they may have some of my wines.  He has asked me to provide him with details of the wines I had in my portfolio but I was, obviously, reluctant to do this without checking out his story.  I was, therefore, hoping you would be able to advise me on the validity of this company and person.
I hope you are able to help me and look forward to hearing from you.'

Speed Associates Ltd 
Although Speed Associates Ltd was founded on 9th December 2002, it remained a dormant company for many years. The last set of dormant accounts were made up to 31st December 2013. It has one director – Steven Dhadda (DOB: 15.4.1965). He was appointed on 1st June 2014 but the appointment notice was not received by Companies House for filing until 13th July 2015. Until 2015 the company's share capital was £1. However, the last annual return to 9th December 2015 filed on 19th May 2016 shows that the share capital is now £100,000 – all held by Steven Dhadda. On two occasions Speed Associates have been threatened with compulsory strike-off – 14.4.2015 and 15.3.2016. On both occasions this has presumably been because Steven Dhadda has not filed Speed Associates Ltd's annual return on time. 

It is interesting to note James Clarke's (his real name?) claim that Speed Associates Ltd supplied wine to Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd. Firstly because BFW failed to buy a substantial amount of the wine they sold. Secondly and more importantly The Official Receiver was appointed as provisional liquidator for Bordeaux Fine Wines Ltd just two days after the period covered (to 31.1.2013) in Speed Associates Ltd in their last set of dormant accounts. 1st January 2014 was a public holiday. 

The claim that Speed Associates Ltd has taken over the liquidation of BFW is also untrue as Grant Thornton's David Ingram, the liquidator, confirms. Ingram's assessment that Steven Dhadda's Speed Associates Ltd is a scam appears to be correct.