Regulation  

Fine wine scam sees director disqualified

Fine wine scam sees director disqualified

The Insolvency Service has disqualified a company director for 11 years following an investigation which found his firm had taken close to £60,000 from members of the public by claiming to offer investments in fine wines.

Scott Andrews of London-based Capital Bordeaux Investments Limited targeted victims of previous wine investment scams and misled them into believing it could recover their losses.

The firm was shut down by the court last year in the public interest.

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Mr Andrews, the company’s sole director, has now been disqualified as a director for a period of 11 years for using false and misleading advertising material to induce members of the public into paying for wine, which the company then failed to provide.

At least 10 members of the public paid the company a total of £59,750 for the acquisition of fine wine as an investment product.

Each of those customers was advised by the company that their wine would be held within a government regulated bonded warehouse. In fact, the company made no such deposits into the accounts of its investors and the bank statements for the company indicated it never purchased the wine.

Paul Titherington, official receiver in the public interest unit of The Insolvency Service, explained that it was Mr Andrews and his salesmen who benefited from this company, rather than its investors.

“He misled members of the public and took their money without providing them with the goods they’d been promised. Anyone showing such blatant disregard for commercial morality should expect to be banned from running any limited company for a lengthy period time.”

The marketing materials for the company stated it had been trading since 1995, although Andrews was only six-years-old at that point, and the company was in fact not incorporated until April 2012.

In addition, Andrews failed to maintain, preserve or deliver the accounting records for Capital Bordeaux Investments, preventing the official receiver from establishing whether the company had additional investors or hidden assets.

Mr Andrews’ disqualification runs from 19 August 2015 and means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until the same date in 2026.