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Last updated 17th October 2008, dates are in dd/mm/yy format.

 

Please note that the use of false names by directors and the sales force is widespread in this sector.

Current status: normally taken from UK Companies House.

It is possible that a company may cease trading but remain listed as active because it has not been dissolved or gone into liquidation.

 

You can search inside any Web page by pressing Ctrl (or Command) and F.

"Roll of honour"

Allwines Ltd

Company number: 01189026

Founded: 31st October 1974

Registered office: PO Box 810, Stonecutter Court, 1 Stonecutter Street, London EC4A 4TR

Previous registered office: Peel House, Barttelot Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1BW

Trading address: 12 Barons Court Mansions, Gledstanes Road, London W14 9HZ.

Directors: David Allan, Y.D. Allan

Company secretary: Y.D.Allan

Current status: in liquidation April 2001

Allwines specialised in offering fine wine in large format bottles for investment. Went into liquidation with a provisional deficiency of £1.32 million and there are reported to be a significant gap between the wines listed in customer records and those actually in the bonded warehouses.

3.11.03: Some 200 investors submitted claims in excess of £3.3 million. Some wine was returned to investors and £60,000 raised through two wine sales. Total wine recovered in region of £150,000. The deficiency is around £3 million - not less than £2.5 million. Despite the liquidator, Deloitte & Touche, submitting a report on their investigations into the directors' conduct to the DTI, no action appears to have been taken. Nor apparently has there been any criminal investigation into how wine worth £3 million vanished. Allan and his family had a flat in London, a house in Hove - sold after the liquidation - and now live in Dorset and have some property overseas.

19.4.04: Final creditors meeting set for 10th May at Deloitte's offices in London. Dr Kenneth Jewers, a creditor, is intending to take legal action against the directors of Allwines and their accountants. Any creditors wishing to join Dr Kenneth Jewers should contact him on 020-8460 8769 or ken@ijkmarketing.co.uk

9.3.05: David Allan died in Budleigh Salterton, Devon on 25th May 2004.

 

Alpha Invest Worldwide

Subsidiary company: see Classic Bordeaux Wines Ltd)

Trading address: Inbound House, 8 Greenham Park, Withchford (sic: Wichford), Cambridgeshire CB6 2HY (call centre run by inboundsolutions)

Tel: 0800-0114802

Upfront commission: up to 25% - a minimum of seven years.

The rather grandiose Alpha Invest Worldwide and Classic Bordeaux Wines Ltd appear to be run by Tim Dunton, ex-director of Bordeaux Vintners Ltd (trading as BVI) that went bust on 27th April 2006. Dunton of 14 Harman Avenue, Woodford Green Essex IG8 9DS owns both www.alphainvestworldwide.com and www.classicbordeauxwines.com This is not a UK limited company but is apparently registered in Spain. It offers properties outside the UK.

 

 Architects of Wine (UK) Ltd (formerly The Wine Corporation)

Company no: 03631410

Founded: 15.9.1998

Registered office: 39 Brown Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2AS

Previous registered office: Grange Park 2, Unit 3, Cheaney Drive, Grange Park South, Northampton NN4 5FB

Former registered office: Edgemead House, Edgemead Close, Round Spinney Industrial Estate, Northampton, Northampshire NN3 8RG

Tel: 08701 244 600

Directors:  Robert Middlemiss (DOB: 2.2.1956) appointed 11.12.2002

Type of operation: mail order wine company

Current status: dissolved 6.9.2005

Website: www.winecorp.com

email: info@winecorp.co.uk

Retail mail-order operation that had significant financial support from Seed International who originally lent £800,000 (unsecured) plus a purchase of £600,000 worth of wine at normal commercial terms. The Wine Corporation started trading on 12th January 1999 and made a loss of £140,331 in the year to April 5th 1999.

Prices are in the line with other retailers. Indeed in early 2000 they were offering Henriot Blanc de Blancs at £19.99, which was below the customary market price. Effectively part of Ocean-Seed, although this is denied by TWC's solicitors.

The company has advertised widely in UK broadsheet newspapers during 1999 and 2000. The loss for the year to April 5th 2000 was £2.95 million and a further unspecified loss (quite probably substantial) was made in the year to April 2001. The accounts record a number of loans: £3,091,855 from Seed International, £2,711,875 from the private share offer and a loan of £638,300 from Stone Town - assuming that the shares issued to Stone Town in November 2000 matched the value of the loan.

Turnover during 2000/2001 is believed to have increased to around £10-12 million with widespread advertising in the national broadsheets during 2000 and the staff increased to at least 150. Likely to have made a substantial loss in 2000/2001.

Following publication of the 2000 accounts, there were over 60 redundancies.

11.10.2001: following brands are part of The Wine Corporation - winery, WINECORP, Winefinders.

11.4.02: Annual accounts overdue (05.02.02)

7.01.03: The annual accounts show pre-tax losses of £8,584,043 for 2001 and £4,229,060 for 2002.

13.1.2003: acquired by Architects of Wine on 10th December as part of the 10th October 2002 deal between Seed and AOW.

10.11.03: in July changed name to Architects of Wine (UK) Ltd and registered address changed to Salisbury

6.6.2005: Proposal to strike off - accounts overdue since 05/02/2004 and return since 28.11.04.

Company was then dissolved on 6th September 2005 and figured in the court case bought by the liquidators of Architects of Wine in the Cayman Islands over cheques made out to the Cayman company but paid into the UK company’s account. This was after the

(Go to Ocean-Seed section)

 

 Ashley Jenkins Ltd

Company number: 03954255

Founded: 22.03.2000

Registered office: Suite 27903, 72 New Bond Street, London, W1Y 9DD

Trading address:

Telephone: 020-7514 5863

Directors:  Mercedes Carbo

Company secretary:

Current status: in provisional liquidation - closed by DTI by public interest petition. Hearing in High Court on 14.1.04 ordered the company to be wound up.

3.11.03: Art investment scam run by disqualified director Alistair Stuart Miller (ex-Hamilton Spirit Management, Berkley Champagne Supplies Ltd). Selling was largely down from Spain through associated company Ashley Jenkins SL, Calle de Dios, Casa 2, Atico B, Seville 41002, Spain. Investors losses thought to be around £3 million. Miller, who used the alias David Newman, is disqualified from being a UK director until June 2011.

 

 Ashley White Ltd

Company number: 03840008

Founded: 13.9.1999

Tel: 020 7368 3392; Fax: 020-7368 3301

Registered office: 7-11 Kensington High Street, London W8 5NP

Previous registered office: 7 Cheniston Gardens, London W8

Director: Lynton Guest (DOB: 28.11.1950)

Company secretary: none since 1.10.1999

Current status: compulsory liquidation. Dissolved 10/05/2006

Offering 1996s from Lafite, Leoville Las Cases, Mouton-Rothschild as well as Troplong-Mondot 1995. Aurora Menon is the senior dealer. Lynton Guest was a director of Gold Bullet Ltd - founded 23.10.98 and struck off on 8.8.2000 for non-compliance. Return for Ashley White overdue (11.10.2000).

Company wound up in the public interest in the High Court in London on 24.1.2001 on petition by the DTI (presented 26/10/2000). According to the Insolvency Service the company only bought a fraction of the wine they sold and did not have 'sufficient funds to support the business'.

15.7.02: Official receiver has found £11,734 worth of wine - estimated debts £110,000.

Part of the claret web.

 

Ashley Witter Ltd

Company number: 03918009

Registered office: 42 Station Road, London SE20 7BJ. Formerly 72 New Bond Street, London

Trading address: Park Royal Business Centre, 9-17 Park Royal Road, London NW10 7LQ

Tel: 020 8965 0380 Fax: 020 8965 0379

Founded: 2.2.2000

http://www.ashleywitter.com

Director: Pegasus Holdings Inc, Baynes Brother Building, 2nd Floor, Halifax Street, Kingstown, St Vincent, West Indies.

Managing director: Managing director: 'Harold Alexander - managing the office'. Alexander believed to be Hal Babb.

Company secretary: First Secretaries at 72 New Bond Street.

Current status: 21.3.2001 compulsory winding up order in public interest granted at High Court in London. Petition date - 1.2.01. Dissolved: 24.5.03

Hal Babb is the Babb of Bradley-Ward, Austin and Babb, penny share dealers based in St Vincent. The Austin here is Raun Austin who is Hal Babb's cousin. Stated in court that DTI are intending to pursue Babb for costs. Offered Château Lafite 1996 at £3,700. Also Château Troplong Mondot 1996, St Emilion for £595 (in bond) - Fine & Rare have this for £245 (in bond). There was no individually named director, while 72 New Bond Street is a well known accommodation address.

Offering Château Lafite 1996 at £3,700. Also Château Troplong Mondot, St Emilion for £595 (in bond) - Fine & Rare have this for £245 (in bond). No individually named director, while 72 New Bond Street is a well known accommodation address. No London phone number listed for Ashley Witter Ltd. (6.10.2000). 12.5.03: Due to be dissolved 24.5.03

Part of the claret web.

 

 Aston Lovell Ltd

Company number: 0581218

Registered office: Suite 331, Kemp House, 152-160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX

Founded: 10.5.2006

Trading address: 306 John Humphries House, 4 Stockwell Street, Greenwich London SE10 9JN

Tel: 020-8858 9990

Email: info@astonlovell.com

Website: www.astonlovell.com

Director: Bruce Aston (20.8.1969 ­ appointed 10.5.2006) Company secretary: Ben Lovell (DOB: 6.3.1982 ­ appointed 10.5.2006) Type of drinks: red Bordeaux Current status: active Upfront commission: 25% ­ occasionally 12.5% on purchase and 12.5% on sale.

Bruce Aston was one of the founder directors of Morgan Aston Ford. Like MAF Aston Lovell charge an up-front commission. The charge and the explanation is spelt out on their website ­ www.astonlovell.com/charges.html However, the UK Government warns investors against the practice of upfront commissions: www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/watch_out/scams/investment-scams

 

Berkley Champagne Supplies Ltd

Docklands Business Centre, 10-16 Tiller Street, London E14.

Tel: 0171-345 5073 Fax: 0171-345 5001.

Founded: April 16th 1996

Directors: Alistair Stuart Miller (DOB: 29.12.64), Steven John Plumb (18.6.66), Mark Robert Shephard (DOB: 15.10.65).

Company secretary: Gibland Secretarial Services, 292A Main Street, Gibraltar

Current status: closed in the public interest on petition from DTI: 1997. Dissolved 10.04.2005

Berkley Champagne Supplies Limited was one of the most active Champagne investment companies during the 'bubble' period of 1996. Alistair Miller previously worked for Hamilton Spirit Management in Gilbaltar.

They offered 'premier prix' (the cheapest Champagne available), such as Charles Coubert, Champagne as an investment. Furthermore it emerged in the High Court in London that they only bought a fraction of the Champagne they sold. They were the first Champagne investment company to be closed by the DTI. Berkley were closed in the public interest in the High Court (London) on 19th February 1997. It was stated in court that there was a deficiency of over £900,000 that between August 1996 and January 10th 1997 orders for £1.3 million worth of Champagne were taken, company assets were estimated to be £190,000. Some 24,000 bottles were traced to a warehouse near Calais.

Alistair Miller (resident in Malaga) and Mark Shephard are disqualified from being UK directors from 5th July 1999 until 13th June 2011.

1.11.03: Alistair Miller was the effective owner and director of Ashley Jenkins Ltd, an art investment scam company put into provisional liquidation on petition by the DTI. Investors may have lost £3 million. Miller used the alias - David Newman.

 

The Birches Company Ltd

Company no: 02132753

Registered office: 19-29 Woburn Place, London WC1H 0XF

Previous registered office: The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Building, London EC2M 5PP

Founded: 19.5.1987

Directors:  Andrew John Conyers Sommerville (DOB: 23.3.1938), Angela Susan Carolyn Sommonville (DOB: 15.8.1941 - resigned 20.11.2000, filed 26.3.02)

Company secretary: Andrew John Conyers Sommerville (DOB: 23.3.1938) formerly of Monticello House, 45 Russell Square, London WC1B 4JP, now at The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Building, London EC2M 5PP.

Type of business: accounting, auditing, tax consult, painting & glazing, manufacture of other plastic products.

Current status: dissolved 6.2.2006

Appointments with limited companies: Stanley Riebeck Corporation (struck off and dissolved - formerly Goldberg Kravitz Corp. Ltd and Christophe Le Roux Nominees Ltd), Salisbury Merchant Nominees Ltd, Catchensure Marketing Consultancy Ltd (previously Millennium International Wine Sales Ltd), Cordara Ltd (struck off and dissolved) and City Vintners Ltd (wound up in the public interest 16.1.02).

Company is authorised by the Financial Services Authority to carry out investment business. Its FSA number is 191677

Accounts overdue (30.7.2001) - (funny thought Sommerville was a chartered accountant). Webster Cohen & Galombik Ltd’s company statement approved by The Birches Company Ltd; company secretary for Salisbury Merchant Nominees Ltd (formerly Stanley Riebeck Nominees Ltd).

15.4.02: accounts (to 30.9.00) filed late - 31.1.02 - total exemption small (turnover of less than £1.4 million).

16.9.02: accounts overdue (30.7.02)

19.5.03: Company no longer authorised by FSA to carry out investment business.

 

 Boington & Fredericks of London Ltd.

Company number: 03976445

Founded: 19.04.2000

Registered office: 16/19 Southampton Place, London WC1A 2AX. Tel: 020-7745 7281; fax: 020-7745 7288.

Directors: Frederick Achom (DOB: 22.1.74 - appointed 23.8.00), Grant Boington (DOB: 8.3.63 - 6.1.01)

Company secretary: CFL Secretaries Ltd (resigned 8.6.01)

Telephone: 020-7745 7281, fax: 020-7745 7288.

Type of drinks: Bordeaux

Current status: Liquidation - Insolvency Service. Due to be dissolved: 30.04.2008

Reported to be offering Lafite 1996 for £4,300. Previous company name was Redline Investments Ltd (name changed on 16.01.2001). Frederick Achom has worked for City Vintners.

Frederick Achom and Boington Anthony Grant were convicted of conspiracy to defraud following a trial at Southwark Crown Court, London that lasted from 5th June 2000 to 7th July 2000. They were sentenced to one year in prison on September 1st 2000. Achom and Grant were one of five defendants committed for trial at Bow Street Magistrates Court on 2nd July 1999. investdrinks understands that the pair were released in early 2001 and certainly by March. Company started trading as an wine investment broker from February 2001.

One client invested  £21,800 and got back £17,790. B&F valued his portfolio at £23,600 but 7.5% commission and a 15% deduction for ‘spread of current prices’ reduced the payment by a cool £5,640.

29.11.01: DTI present petition to wind up in public interest to High Court. Provisional liquidator appointed.

30.11.01: offices closed by DTI and Insolvency Service. B&F have not appealed and the winding up order is expected to be heard early in 2002.

16.1.2002: wound up in High Court in public interest.

6.5.02: the Official Receivers summary shows an estimated total deficiency of £228,747. No wine was allocated to clients after October 2001. Turnover for October 2001 was approximately £147,000. B&F may also have failed to buy wine to cover some clients’ purchases in October 2001.

7.4.03: Boington Anthony Grant of Flat 2, 18 Highbury New Park, London N5 2DB and Frederick Achom of 30 Woodlands Close, London NW11 9QR are disqualified from being directors from 23rd July 2002 to 22 July 2013.

 Bordeaux Advisory bv

Registration at Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam: No.14067133.

Address: Kvk: 14067133, PO Box 59267, 1040 KG Amsterdam

Company address from Chamber of Commerce: 85 Orly Plein,Busitel 1,1043 Amsterdam.

Tel: 0031 20 4037390

Fax: 0031 20 4037391

Directors: John Benjamin Taylor, Judith Margareth Antonia Dekker

Website: www.bordeauxadvisory.com

On its website the company claims: 'Bordeaux Advisory bv is a young, dynamic company trading in the fine wine market, this is not an old dusty cellar company selling wine you don't need. This is THE company that has taken the "boring" out of "Bordeaux". No longer is the man on the street excluded from making profits in the International Wine Market.'

The site goes onto explain that: 'Our expert staff can advise you on currently available stock, what to buy & sell and more importantly: when. PLUS: we'll manage your complete Wine Folder for you. We'll also arrange all transactions, buying & selling. This is one of the most lucrative investments currently available.'

Bordeaux Advisory BV then suggests that investors consider the following growth: '14% profit in 3 months; 26% profit in 7 months; 42% profit in 14 months'. Although Decanter magazine's Bordeaux Index has risen just 14.48 points since it was reset at 100 in December 1996., investors are assured that 'These kind of profits ARE being made on a regular basis. Trading in Fine Wines has extremely interesting tax exemptions. Our professional traders can advise you on the current tax advantages in your country.'

Earlier this year Bordeaux Advisory was offering 1999 Château le Bassonnerie, a 3.1. hectare property in Pomerol, for 2080,00 Euros, which a putative investor was told 'will rise by 40% in 12-14 months when it will be worth 3500 Euros'. The same investor told investdrinks that he was offered two cases of Château Haut Cadet 1997, a grand cru St Emilion, for 2550,00 euros with a claimed increase of 40% over 12 - 14 months. investdrinks, however, has been told by Bordeaux Advisory BV that the company has never offered Haut-Cadet 1997 to its clients.

As the little known Château le Bassonnerie is unlikely to cost more than £200 (290 Euros), the chances of an investor making a profit ever on this wine if bought through Bordeaux Advisory for 2080 euros must be slim. Furthermore it is not normally considered an investment wine.

The choice of minor Bordeaux properties sold at a very big mark-up is reminiscent of Vintage Wines.

 

Bordeaux Estates Ltd

Company number: 04533162

Founded: 12.9.02

Registered office: 7 Harley Street, London W1G 9QD

Director: Steve Boyd (DOB: 29.5.1957) appointed 12.09.02

Company secretary: Incorporate Secretariat Ltd

Current status: in liquidation

Company set up by Stephen Boyd of the Wine Index.

16.6.04: Company appears to have disappeared. The return is long overdue (10.10.2003)

20.7.04: Company return still overdue. Companies House are starting a prosecution against the company's director and possibly the company secretary for failing to make company returns as required under UK company law.

9.3.05: Following a petition by the DTI the company was wound up in the High Court, London on 2nd March 2005. DTI investigation showed that the company were charging up to 110% on wines sold as an investment.

 

Bordeaux UK Ltd

Company number: 04540202

Founded: 19.09.02

Registered office: 228a High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1PQ

Former registered offices: 246A High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1PQ, and SBS House, 244a High Street, Bromley BR1 1PQ, Bourne House, 475 Godstone Road, Whyteleafe, Surrey CR3 0BL (also trading address).

Telephone: 08000-854468

Website: www.bordeauxuk.com

Director: Ian Paul Vanderhook (DOB: 8.8.79, appointed: 19.9.02)

Company secretary: Adam John Ridley(DOB: 08/12/1965, appointed: 06/04/2006

Former company secretary: Gillian Vanderhook (DOB: 8.8.79 - appointed 19.9.02, resigned 22.09.2004)

Type of drinks: Bordeaux

Current status: active

7.1.03: In December was offering for investment a range of 16 clarets at an average of 42% above the cheapest market price.  On 9th December Director Ian Vanderhook told investdrinks that the company did not have an account with a bonded warehouse but was considering various options. He stressed that Bordeaux UK Ltd was a long-term venture. Tony Hetherington (Financial Mail on Sunday 15.12.02) advised his readers. ‘Something tells me that a wine company that charges over the odds and is run by a man who has never worked in the industry should not be trusted by investors. I confidently expect the DTI to look closely at it. Do not touch it.’

3.11.03: Annual return overdue (17.10.03). Bromley Small Business Centre ceased trading in March 2003 and Bordeaux UK Ltd moved out and no longer have their registered office there but appear to have neglected to inform Companies House. Bordeaux UK may well have ceased trading.

19.1.04: Registered office was changed on 3.12.03. 246A High Street, Bromley appears to be an accommodation address. Company remains active.

19.7.04: Company is certainly still active. Currently offering Mouton Rothschild 1998 for £1,450 a case. Investors could buy the same case from Seckford Wines Ltd for £895, making Bordeaux UK 62% above the cheapest market price.

29.11.05: Annual return overdue from 17/10/2005

19.1.07: Accounts overdue from 30.6.06.

1.5.07: Accounts have now been filed - don’t have date of filing.

See claret web - Bromley chapter

 

Bordeaux Vintners Ltd

(trading as BVI)

Company number: 03648832

Registered office: 401 Langham House, 302 Regent Street, London W1R 6HH

Tel: 020-7580 7675; fax: 020-7580 2043

Trading office: 112 Coppergate House, 16 Brune Street, London E1 7NJ. Tel: 020-7721 8433; fax; 020-7721 8434

Founded: 8.10.1998

Director: Timothy Spenser Dunton (DOB: 29.08.1972)

Company secretary: Bolt Burdon Secretaries Ltd

Website: www.bordeaux-vintners.com; email: info@bordeaux-vintners.com

Type of drink: red Bordeaux

Current status: in liquidation

Previously called Beau Vins Ltd (name change: 9.2.2000). Although BVI's prices are by no means as excessive as some 'investment' companies, they are often well above the market price. Furthermore some wines are offered for investment that are unlikely to appreciate in value to any significant degree.

In late 1999 were offering 1986 Lafite Rothschild at £2,870 a case (market value: £1,800-£2,000). In September 1999 a case of Leoville Las Cases 1982 was sold for £2,625 ((available then from Farr Vintners for £1,500) and a case of Angelus 1995 for £1,095 (available then from Farr Vintners for £725). In March 2000 a case of Mouton Rothschild 1996 was £1725 (then available for £1,100 - £1,200). More recently BVI offered a number of 2000 en primeur. The price of the examples that investdrinks has seen have been on the high side, sometimes considerably so. An investor was recently offered Pavie Decesse 2000 for £1,050 (Fine & Rare currently have this for £685). Some wines offered as an investment are unlikely to appreciate significantly in value. An example is Lascombes 2000 (sold in May for £295). BVI charge a 25% up-front commission.  'Beware of an up-front commission payable at the time of purchase instead of the time of sale.' Warning on the UK Department of Trade & Industry website on their investment scams section.

BVI's prices also include delivery, storage and insurance for five years. Although storage charges can be paid in advance, insurance has to be renewed annually, so should a company cease trading within the five years investors would have to pay the insurance themselves.

During correspondence last year Tim Dunton told investdrinks that his intentions are honourable and that his company has been legitimately run from its outset. However, in view of the examples of prices given by a number of investors, investdrinks' advice is that these wines can usually be bought more cheaply elsewhere.

19.1.04: Company return overdue since 5.11.03

9.3.05: Latest company return overdue since 5.11.04 and accounts overdue since 31.1.05.

1.9.06: Company went into voluntary liquidation on 27.4.06. The liquidator is Elias Paourou of the Kelmanson Partnership, Avco House, 6 Albert Road, Barnet Herts EN4 9SH

 

Bordeaux Wine Company Ltd

Company number: 04354938

Registered office: 3 Rosemont Road, Hampstead, London NW3 6NG

Previous registered office: 116-118 Finchley Road, Hampstead London NW3 6HY

Founded: 17.01.2002

Director: Arlene King, Mandrell Road, London SW2 5DL DOB: 16.2.1974 (appointed 4.1.05)

Company secretary: VGW & Co Professional Secretaries Limited, 1a The Parade, 30 Haven Green Ealing, London W5 2PB. Appointed: 05/11/2004

Past director: Benedict Moruthoane DOB: 7.6.72) (appointed 17.6.03; resigned 12.1.05) of Henley Close, Finchley, London.

Past company secretaries:  Bisall & Co, 2 Neeld Parade, Wembley, Middlesex

HA9 6QU (appointed: 01/08/2003; resigned 05/11/2004), Gcobani Tyatya (appointed 6.5.03; resigned 18.6.03)

Tel no: 020-7433 2539; fax: 020-7435 4724

Email: info@bordeauxwinecompany.com

Website: www.bordeauxwinecompany.com

Type of drinks: Bordeaux

Current status: active

Previously called Freedom Finance UK Ltd - name changed on 13th May 2003.

22.9.03: two putative clients report possible links with The Wine Index and Bordeaux Estates. Bordeaux Wine Company and Bordeaux Estates have same website registrant. Company denies links with other companies. Offering Lafite 2000 at £3,750 and the 1996 apparently at £2,680 - investdrinks has copy of invoice with 1996 at £3,750. 1996 available elsewhere from £1990 and 2000 from £2,600. ‘I would like to assure you and those that follow your site that we are an honest and professional company and our intentions are honourable.’ (Gcobani Tyatya: 16.9.03)

19.1.04: Accounts overdue since 17.11.03

29.3.04: Unfortunately Mr Tyatya’s honourable intentions do not appear to stretch to offering wines for investment at competitive prices. investdrinks was recently contacted by a putative investor who had been phoned on a number of occasions with the offer of investing in wine with ‘great profits’. Among the wines they were offered 1996 Cheval Blanc and 1996 Haut-Brion at £1,800 a case. Cheval Blanc 1996 can be bought elsewhere from £960 a case and Haut Brion 1996 from £950 a case. Furthermore the performance of these two 1996s has not been exactly sparkling. In May 1999 the Cheval Blanc cost from £1,020 a case and the Haut-Brion from £930 a case, so investors would have been better off putting their money in a building society account. The putative investor has wisely turned down the tempting offer of ‘great profits’ assuming it is only Mr Tyatya’s company that would benefit from these ‘great profits’. The accounts remain overdue.

6.6.05: Accounts have been made up to 31/01/2004

12.5.07: Accounts overdue since 30/11/2006

3.3.2008: Once again accounts are overdue - should have been filed 31.1.2008 as is annual return - should have been filed on 14.02.2008.

 

Bordeaux Wine Consultants Ltd

Company number: 04021454

Founded: 26.06.2000

Registered office: 55 Catherine Place, London SW1E 6DY

Trading address: 35/37 Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7JN.

Telephone: 020-7329 2260; Fax: 020-7329 2264.

Director: Spyros Constantinos (DOB: 17.8.1971)

Type of drinks: Bordeaux

Current status: in liquidation

28.10.02: This company's offer has included en primeur 2000 and 2001. Have a policy of front loaded profit onto the initial price, five years storage and insurance and no sellers commission. The profit loading was 50% for those buying 2000 en primeur. Ross Constantine, the md, has told investdrinks that his clients are aware of the profit loading and that the percentage is now more in the region of 25%. It does, however, appear that some clients were not aware that they were paying 50% more for their wine. Constantine claims that not charging a seller's commission will allow his clients to see a better profit in the long term than if he charges a seller's commission. Any front loading profit scheme rests on the company being still in business when the client wants to sell. Clients who paid 50% more for their wine will need to see a very substantial increase in value before the front loading profit scheme becomes favourable to them. At a 50% loading a case bought for £3000 instead of £2000 would have to reach at least £12,500 before a client started to gain from this arrangement. This calculation assumes that a conventional brokers commission was 8%.

Constantinos says that he is seeking to develop a secondary market for fine wine in Cyprus. From replies to questions posed by investdrinks, it appears that this remains an aspiration rather than a reality. At present it is not clear whether BWC has succeeded in selling any of its clients' wine in either part of Cyprus.

1.9.06: Company went into voluntary liquidation on 19.7.06. The liquidator is Elias Paourou of the Kelmanson Partnership, Avco House, 6 Albert Road, Barnet Herts EN4 9SH. Paourou is also handling Bordeaux Vintners' liquidation.

 

 Bordeaux Wine Supplies Ltd (Mark 1/ Mark 2)

Company numbers: 03443264/ 03852586

Registered office (Mark 1): 17 Dawson Road, London NW2 6UB

Founded: 2.10.97

Director: Mark Kenneth Butt (DOB: 16.10.1964); company secretary: Albert Ernest Burton

Type of drinks: unknown

Current status: dissolved 21.9.1999

Registered office (Mark 2): Suite 501, 223 Regent Street, London W1R 8QD

Founded: 4.10.99

Director: Mark Kenneth Butt; company secretary: Nile Shaboo.

Type of drinks: Bordeaux - purpose unknown

Current status: active

The purpose of this company is not currently known. Certainly they have bought some classed growth Bordeaux. However, Butt's involvement in drinks investment dates back several years. Butt was the sole director of Montrose of St James's (sold Pommery Champagne as an investment), then Company Secretary of Croft & Dupont closed by the DTI in April 2000, petition presented in March. Croft & Dupont were closed on the grounds that they failed to buy 'a substantial proportion of the wine ordered by customers has not been purchased by the company that appears to have vacated its trading premises'.

Mark 2: dissolved on 12.2.02 - no accounts or returns filed.

 

Bordeaux Wine Trading Company

Company number: 05884124

Registered office: Unit 32, The Enterprise Centre, Cranborne Road, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 3DQ

Tel: 01707-649739

Website: www.bordeauxwinetradingcompany.com

Founded: 21.07.2006

Directors:  Niklaus Cashman (DOB: 4.4.1979 - appointed 18.9.07 - previously also a director from 21.7.2006 to 31.8.2006), Paul Craven (DOB: 28.8.1973 - appointed 3.1.2007, resigned 20.7.07) Oseghale Hayble (DOB: 17.7.1978 - appointed 3.1.2007 - resigned 9.7.2007). No current company secretary.

Type of drinks: Bordeaux - investment

Current status: active but proposal to strike off. Objection lodged on 29.12.207 likely to be by Inland Revenue.

18.1.2008: Company offers wine investments including 2006 en primeur. In breach of UK company law on two counts - failure to file annual return overdue since 18.8.2007 and no company secretary since 13.4.2007.

25.6.2008: Annual return remains overdue also accounts overdue since 21.5.2008. Now has a phoenix company called First Growth Investments operating from offices in Primrose Hill, London. BWTC are under vigorous investigation by Hertfordshire Police.

17.10.2008: Hertfordshire Police appeal for clients of BWTC and International Wine Commodities to contact them.

 

 

Bordelais & Dutch Ltd

Company number: 04358653

Registered office: Trafalgar House, 11-12 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AU

Previous registered office: 38 Primrose Mansion, Prince of Wales Drive, London SW11 4EE

Founded: 23.1.2002

Directors: Mark James Blackburn (DOB: 17.5.1968 ), David Jackson (DOB: 17.2.1975)

Company secretary: David Jackson

Trading office: Trafalgar House, 11-12 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AU

Tel: 020-7868 8866; fax: 020-7863 8877

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Website: http://www.bordutch.com

Current status: closed by DTI in public interest on 28th January 2003

4.3.02: Changed name from Castillon Ltd on 26.2.02. David Jackson was general manager for Goldman Williams and Mark Blackburn a broker. Trafalgar House is an address which Morgan Chantel also use. Offering Mouton-Rothschild 1986 as an investment at £3,110 a case - available elsewhere from £2,300 (Corney & Barrow). Although highly rated by Robert Parker this wine has only risen by 4.5% over the past three years. Also offering Haut Brion 1996 for £1,520.

10.2.03: Closed in the public interest on 28.1.03 on petition by the DTI on the grounds that the company had been misleading the public on the potential value of investments made through Bordelais & Dutch. Hearing in High Court was unopposed. Turned over between £2.5m and £3 in year of operation.

(see claret web)

 

Bouvier Ltd

46/48 East Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1QW

Founded: 26.7.96

Directors: Christopher Pibworth, Spencer Pibworth (DOB: 7.10.71) resigned 18.2.1997

Type of drinks: Champagne

Current status: dissolved 15.2.2000

Spencer Pibworth was the managing director. Pibworth had been a senior salesman at the House of Delacroix before setting up Bouvier. Bouvier offered Thienot Champagne as an investment. Thienot were not happy with this and the company soon effectively ceased trading. No returns or accounts were ever filed.

 

Braithwaite & Smythe Ltd

Company no: 60230

3/1 City Mill Lane, PO Box 790, Gibraltar

Founded: 15.2.1997

Directors: Christopher Patrick Bourne, Philip Raymond Lynk

Current status: closed by authorities in Gibraltar in 1997.

Short lived company founded by ex-employees of Hamilton Spirit Management. It concentrated on Port investments. Probably closed around the time that the authorities in Gibraltar shut down Hamilton.

 

Burbridge King Group

401 Langham House, 302-308 Regent Street, London W1B 3HH.

Tel: 020-7636 0548; Fax; 020-7580 4729.

Founded: not known as not registered with Companies House

Type of drink: red Bordeaux

Appeared in early 2001.

Current status: not known - probably no longer active

Offering Troplong Mondot 1996 at £4,200 a case - record rip-off as it is available for between £245-£300 a case. Peter Fretwell (see Harrington Ross & Pembridge Villiers) is involved in this 'enterprise'. On 27.6.01 Peter Fretwell told investdrinks that the company was seeking no new or existing business.

Burbridge is linked to Forrester & Beck's Group. Furthermore a client of Ashley Witter was approached by Burbridge King, who knew of their purchases through Ashley Witter.

 

Calais Direct Ltd

Company number: 04002725

Edgemead House, Round Spinney Industrial Estate, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN3 8RG

Founded: 26.5.2000

Current status: active but proposal to strike off

A subsidiary company of The Wine Corporation.

28.7.02: accounts overdue since 26.3.02; return overdue since 23.6.02

7.10.02: Proposal to strike off initiated by Companies House for non-compliance.

23.6.03: company dissolved 11.3.03

 

Capital Energy Technology Corporation

(now Hi Tech Energy)

Founded: not known but - began operations in 1997

1100 Summit Avenue, Suite 108, Plano, Texas 75074.

Tel: (1) 972-424 3221; fax: (1) 972-424 7267

Email: info@capitalenergy.com

Website: http://www.capitalenergy.com

Type of Operation: oil and gas exploration

Clients of Heros have been invited to invest in Capital Energy. The company's website gives details of various oil and gas explorations in the USA in which CETC is apparently involved. The website states that 'We have participated since late 1997 in over 130 wells. Our budget for the next 12 months $25,000,000'. The site carries photos and details of various explorations in Northwest Pennsylvania and in the Appalachian mountains.

 

Cavendish Wine Merchants

( Trading name of Pearldene Ltd.)

Founded: 9.9.1993

Directors: Lewis Daulby, Lee Rosser.

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: Company was declared insolvent in Gibraltar on 4.7.96. Due to be dissolved on 12.12.2001.

Daulby and Rosser are serving sentences for conspiracy to defraud. Daulby (5 years) and Rosser (7 years). Lee Rosser was ordered by Judge Laurie on 12th November at Southwark Crown Court to pay £519,000 following a confiscation order issued for his part in the Cavendish/Hamilton and House of Delacroix frauds. Rosser has 15 months in which to raise this sum from the sale of his assets. If he fails, he faces a further three years in jail after his current eight and half year sentence ends.

 

CDfender Ltd

Company no: 03778932

Registered Office: 29 Abingdon Road, London W8 6AH

Incorporated: 24.5.1999

Current status: dissolved 27.8.02

Shareholder: Optidisc (Cyprus) Ltd, Limassol - holding the two sole shares.

OptiDisc/CDfender has a product called CDfender (an individual film that is designed to protect CDs) on sale in UK record stores such as HMV and Tower Records for £4.99 for five protective films. CDfender is manufactured in the USA for OptiDisc (Cyprus) Ltd. Website: www.cdfender.com

2001: Evidence of current sales is contradictory. On a recent visit to Tower Records in London's Piccadilly I counted 14 copies of CDfender - hardly likely to make anyone's fortune. However, the main HMV store in London's Oxford Street had five display boxes on the main checkout counter.

The CDfender product featured during 2001 in a breach of contract with Ardistel SL - the case was settled out of court.

28.7.02: accounts overdue since 31.10.01 and return overdue since: 21.6.02.

9.9.02: company dissolved 27.8.02. No accounts ever filed.

(Go to Ocean-Seed section)

 

Cellarchoice

Stonehouse Farm, Ashby Road, Woodville, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 7BP

Founded: 1991

Directors: David Marriott, J.M. Marriott

Type of operation: wine agencies, no drinks investment

Current status: active

Cellarchoice is not a drinks investment company. They did, however, have a close relationship with Forrester & Lamego. They had space in F&L’s office in Hand Court (London) and supplied them with Cattier Champagne (Cellarchoice are the UK agents for Cattier) and Ports from Osborne. Furthermore it appears that David Marriott supplied Stephen Cleeve with highly unrealistic projections of how Vintage Character Port (which has no investment potential) and late bottled vintage Port (no previous record of investment potential) would increase in value.

Marriott predicted in September 1996 that Vintage Character Port with a shelf price of £10.50 would rise to £19.45 over the next five years and LBV from £12.98 to £25.50. This calculation was based on the ‘historic’ cost increase of 10% per annum and the Millennium effect. Marriott, however, seems to have been unduly optimistic. In May 1995 J. Sainsbury plc sold their Sainsbury’s Vintage Character for £6.49 and their LBV for £6.99. Today (8.4.2000) the price is £6.99 and £7.39 respectively, so prices of these Ports over 4.5 years have risen by 7.7% and 5.7%. Even Taylors LBV has only risen from £9.99 to £10.99 - a 10% increase.

One has to wonder whether Marriott intended this projection as an April fool (poisson d’avril).

 

Chamberlain Vaughan Ltd

Company no: 03158221

Mulberry House, 53 Church Street, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8DJ

Trading address: 610 The Chandlery, 50 Westminster Bridge, London SE1 7QY

Founded: 13.2.96

Directors: Alan John Day (DOB: 2.3.54)

Type of drinks: Port

Current status: voluntary liquidation 7.8.1998, dissolved: 25.07.2000

Offered vintage Port as an investment. Company letterheads claimed that the company was established in 1974 - not according to Companies House. Liquidator: Piper Thompson at above address.

 

Champagne de Bruyne

2 Rue des Ecoles, 51120 Sézanne, France

also at: mail du Mont Blanc, 51120 Sézanne, France

Founded: June 1995

Directors: Laurance de Bruyne, Roland de Bruyne

Associated companies: De Bruyne Bonded Warehouses, SARL Debruyne et Leherle

Type of drinks: no drinks investment, supplies Champagne and Cognac.

Current status: active

Although not a drinks investment company, Champagne de Bruyne, whether through naivety or intent, worked closely with several drinks investment companies - House of Delacroix, the Coubert Group and Helmsley. They supplied Lantz Champagne to Delacroix. More significantly de Bruyne issued certificates for 50 and 100 litre casks of Cognac. The company later admitted that these sizes of cask did not exist - the industry standard is around 350 litres. This meant that an investor’s Cognac was part of a larger cask and impossible to identify.

De Bruyne claimed to have sent all investors’ Champagne and Cognac to a company called Globspeed SA in Switzerland to avoid increased EU vat charges. However when in October 1999 an investor’s Cognac was successfully imported into the UK, it came from Cognac. This Cognac was delivered at 40û abv, considerably below cask strength.

 

Chelsea Wines & Spirits Ltd

Trading name of Curzon Distribution Ltd

Company number: 03248747

Registered office: 101 Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8JA.

Trading address: 151 Farringdon Road, London WEC1R 3AD

Founded: 11.9.96

Director: Adam Charles

Type of drinks: Champagne

Current status: closed by the UK DTI in the public interest - 11.6.1997.

Sold over priced Collot-Perrin Champagne as an investment. Collot-Perrin is a brand of Champagne Drappier and is normally reserved for the French supermarkets. Tobias Ridpath (Connaught Drysberg) worked for Chelsea. Liquidator: Patrick Boyden, Coopers & Lybrand in Gloucester.

 

Churchill Associates Ltd (now called Seed International Ltd)

Cayman Islands

Type of investments: Champagne, red Bordeaux, oil and gas exploration, property, CD protection, antiques and possibly more.

Current status: active

Thought to be parent company of the Ocean-Seed group. Believed to have been founded by Anil, Rome Bhamra, and Paul Freeman in around 1995/96.

Kohli may be related to the Anil Kumar Kohli (DOB: 10.11.1962). Anil Kumar Kohli was involved with Vandersteen Associates NV that had offices in Cork in southern Ireland and later in Antwerp. In July 1990 an injunction against Kholi was granted in the High Court in London preventing him and five others from cold calling potential clients in the UK. The injunction arose out of an investigation by the SIB. More recently Kholi was disqualified from being a UK director for 12 years from 30.12.1997 to 08.12.2009. This arose out of an investigation by the DTI into two time share schemes - Worldwide Theme Travel Ltd and Crown Holiday Promotions Ltd. Kohli is believed to have a house in Ireland, another in Monte Carlo and to have an Irish passport.

 

Churchill Ltd

Current status: possibly now Churchill Associates or linked company

The name Churchill Ltd appears on some of the certificates for Champagne issued to Heros investors. Company details unknown but assumed to be similar to Churchill Associates Ltd. Also in Cayman Islands.

(See Ocean-Seed section.)

 

Churchill Contracts SA / Albion Contracts

Founded: around August 1997

VAT register: 461 289 042

Avenue du Martin Pecheur 15-17, Box 24, Brussels

Fax: 32.3.205.9333

The company was set up in 1997 after Champagne Beaumet had refused to deal with an off-shore company. The company later changed its name to Albion Contracts SA. The company negotiated wine purchases, reservations and wine options for Churchill/ Seed. Contracts, however, were signed by Churchill/ Seed. Generally Paul Freeman was the signatory.

(Go to Ocean-Seed section)

 

Churchill Portfolio Management Ltd

Another of the Churchill companies. Name used on some of the certificates issued to investors.

(Go to Ocean-Seed section)

 

Churchill Property Developments Ltd

West Wind Building, PO Box 2075 GT, Grand Cayman

The sole shareholder of Zecca Properties Ltd

 

Churchill Wines Ltd

Company number: 04260210

Founded: 27.07.01

Registered office: Pantilles Chambers, 85 High Street, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1YG

Previous registered office: 63 Holmewood Road, Tunbridge Wells TN4 9HB

Trading address: The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon. CR9 2ER

Director: Malcolm Keith Hills (DOB: 29.05.1968)

Company secretary: Kay Hills (DOB: 29.12.1962)

Current status:  in liquidation (17.11.04)

Types of drink: red Bordeaux

30.9.02: Malcolm Hills was company secretary of James Hewitt Associates from 1.10.2001 until 1.08.2002. It is understood that previously he had worked for Liquid Acquisitions. Currently offering a pair of magnums (150cls) of 1982 Mouton Rothschild for £3,048 - Berry brothers & Rudd have a magnum of Mouton 82 for £940.43, so £1,880.86 the pair. No known connection with the various Churchill companies that are a part of Ocean-Seed.

20.7.04: Company accounts overdue since 31.5.04.

27.9.04: Company closed down on in public interest petition by DTI (20.9.04). Official Receiver appointed as provisional liquidator. Petition to be heard on 3rd November in High Court, London. Company return overdue since 24.8.04.

9.3.05: Company wound up in High Court on 17.11.04 along with subsidiary company Winestore (UK) Ltd. Liquidators are the Tenon Group.

 

City Vintners Ltd

Company no: 03548401

Registered office: HIMS The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Buildings, London Wall, London EC2M 5PP

Trading address: 5th Floor, New Roman House, 10-26 East Road, London N1 6AD

Previous trading address: 4 Bloomsbury Place, London WC1A 2QA.

Founded: 17.4.1998

Directors: Raun Austin (DOB-10.7.1967), Andrew John Conyers Sommerville (DOB: 23.3.1938)

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Website: http://www.cityvintners.com

Current status: liquidation - Insolvency Service

Directors link to Goldman Williams. Raun Austin (nationality British) resigned on 28.2.2000 and was reappointed on 20.7.2000 (nationality Guyanese). Company concentrates on selling 1996 First Growth Bordeaux - a case of Lafite 1996 for £4,048.75 (December 1999) - current market value is between £1,600 -£1,700. Company started life as Heart Scan Centres Ltd - name was changed 19.8.1998. Said in 2000 to be doing £250,000 of business a month, this may now be up to around £400,000 (April 2001). Share offices with Goldman Williams. Offering Margaux 1996 at £4,817.50 (includes 2.5% commission) and expects to have some Lafite 1996 shortly at between £5,200 - £5,300.

22.9.2001: understood to be turning over around £500,000 a month.

29.11.01: DTI present petition to wind up in public interest to High Court. Provisional liquidator appointed.

30.11.01: offices closed by DTI and Insolvency Service

10.12.01: In the High Court Mr Justice Etherton rejects appeal from City Vintners against the lodging of the petition by the DTI and the appointment of the provisional liquidator. Winding up petition will be heard some time in 2002.

Wine (£8,785,725.08) belonging to 664 clients is stored at London City Bond.

16.1.2002: wound up in High Court in public interest

22.4.2002: Report to creditors by Official Receiver shows that the company profits were split one third to Andrew John Conyers Sommerville and two thirds to Raun Austin. This arrangement arose because Sommerville lent Austin an unspecified amount to get this company and Goldman Williams started.

26.2.04: On 9th February 2004 Raun Austin and Andrew Sommerville were disqualified from being company directors for 12 years to run until 8th February 2016.

Part of claret web

 

Classic Bordeaux Wines Ltd

Company number:  03550510

Registered office: Stuart House, 55 Catherine Place, London SW1E 6DY

Founded:  22.4.1998

Trading address: Inbound House, 8 Greenham Park, Witchford Cambridgeshire, CB6 2HY, UK

Tel: 0800-0114802

Email: info@classicbordeauxwines.com

Website: www.classicbordeauxwines.com

Also: Classic Bordeaux Wines, Centro Comercial Plaza, Local 12&13,

29660 Nueva Andalucia, Marbella, Malaga, Spain

Tel: (34) 952.908.267

Director: Spyros Constantinos (DOB:  17.8.1971 - appointed 22.4.1998)

Company secretary:  Ann Margaret Constantinos (DOB: 19.11.1966 - appointed 5.3.2002)

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: active - annual return overdue since 20th May 2007.

Upfront commission: a fee not exceeding 25% of the cheapest market price and includes seven years storage and insurance.

Classic Bordeaux Wines’ website gives the address of its call-centre as Withchford - I think they mean Wichford.

Spyros Constantinos used to be the director for Bordeaux Wine Consultants, which went bust on 19th July 2006. Before setting up the company he worked for BVI. The websites for Alpha Invest Worldwide and Classic Bordeaux Wines are owned by Tim Dunton, who used to be the director of Bordeaux Vintners Ltd (trading as BVI). The company went bust on 27.4.2006, leaving a number of customers without the wine that they had ordered. Dunton blamed this failure on a supplier.

‘Classic Bordeaux Wines is a trading name for Alpha Invest Worldwide S.L. All payments should be made to Alpha Invest Worldwide S.L.’ ‘Andrew Miles is head of our wine department ‘Classic Bordeaux Wines’. Andrew has 11 years experience in dealing with the Bordeaux Fine Wine market and has a great track record of providing many of his clients as much as 200-300% growth over a 5-7 year period.’ Classic Bordeaux Wines/Alpha Invest Worldwide has contacted some ex-BVI clients offering to sell their wine for a flat fee of £345.

25.6.2008: Annual return still overdue and accounts overdue since 31.3.2008.

 

The Classic Malt Whisky Guild Ltd

(formerly World Wide Malts Ltd)

Company no: 03378461

21 Grafton Street, London W1X 3LD

Founded: 30.5.1997

Directors: Richard Turner (DOB: 28.5.56), Gary Weston (DOB: 10.6.1961)

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: dissolved 5th Sept 2000

Company name was changed to The Classic Malt Whisky Guild Ltd on 16.4.1998. In 1998 a Michael Quinn was offering a cask of Highland Park 1989 for £8,000 and one of Glenrothes £3,500. Quinn also worked for Millennium Spirit Investments Ltd (closed by DTI: 17.9.97). Stephen Dunne is also believed to have been involved in this company. The company was dissolved on September 5th 2000. No accounts were ever filed (overdue from 30.3.1999) and the next return has been overdue since 27.6.1999.

 

 

Connaught Belgravia Ltd

12 Harley Street, London W1N 1AA

Founded: 10.7.96

Directors: Joe McConville (DOB: 16.10.64), James Mitchell, Michael Horder

Type of drinks: Champagne

Current status: closed by the UK DTI in the public interest on 7.10.1997; dissolved 15.10.2005

Connaught Belgravia offered a number of Champagnes as investments. This included Etienne Dufour, a Champagne brand that had not been approved by the Champagne authorities in France.

 

Connaught Drysberg Ltd

Artillery House, Artillery Road, London SW1P 1RH

Founded: 20.2.95

Directors: Tobias Ridpath, Joanne Ridpath

Type of drinks: Champagne

Current status: dissolved 12.1.1999

In 1996 Connaught Drysberg made enquiries about securing substantial quantities of Champagne. However, the company appears not to have traded in Champagne rather its main business was speculative currency dealing. Tobias Ridpath had previously worked for Lancashire & Yorkshire Portfolio Management (closed by the UK authorities), Financial Management International (closed by the UK authorities in May 1995). Ridpath subsequently worked for Chelsea Wines & Spirits.

Tobias Ridpath is disqualified as a director from 18.8.2000 to 27.7.2009.

17.3.03: In an article (11.3.03) on This is Money Tony Hetherington named Tobias Ridpath as one of the owners of Taylor Jardine Ltd, a corporate art investment scheme. 'TAYLOR Jardine has the smell of death. More than two years ago, I warned that its guarantee of income from leasing paintings to businesses was only as sound as Taylor Jardine itself.' TH

 

Cooke & Co

Founded: 1997

Directors: Anthony Cooke

Type of drinks: Bordeaux

Current status: not trading.

Believed to be stillborn - the economic crisis in Asia-Pacific may have been an important factor. The company was set up by Anthony Cooke, an ex-employee of Forrester & Lamego, to tap into Asia-Pacific’s expanding interest in fine wine. It would have been based in Hong Kong and sold top red Bordeaux as an investment.

 

Corkers Ltd

Company no: 03781757

Edgemead House, Edgemead Close, Round Spinney Industrial Estate, Northampton, Northampshire NN3 8RG

Founded: 3.6.1999

Type of operation: retail alcoholic and other beverages

Current status: dissolved: 19.11.02

The Wine Corporation holds the only three company shares.

28.1.02: accounts overdue - 03/04/2001; returns overdue - 01/07/2002

16.9.02: Proposal to strike off.

13.1.03: dissolved 19.11.02. No accounts ever filed.

(Go to Ocean section)

 

Coubert Group

Rua das Horta, 11-14.Andar - Santa Luzia, 9050 Funchal

Claimed also to have offices in Geneva, Sydney and New York.

Founded: 9.11.97

Managers: Anthony Clarck, Marcelo Correia

Type of drinks: Cognac

Current status: ceased trading at end of 1998.

The company’s 400,000 shares were held by Lime Light - Marketing & Services, Lda. The Coubert Group claimed to ‘fall under the umbrella of the vastly expanding partnership of companies designed to supply its clients with a catalogue of the finest luxury goods at the lowest possible prices.’ They offered VSOP and Napoleon Cognac as an investment in 25, 50 and 100 litre casks. The usual size of cask used in the Cognac industry is 350 litres. Unknown to investors these casks were only nominal. This, however, did not prevent Leherle Bonded Warehouse (Leherle Entrepots) a company associated with Champagne de Bruyne, from producing certificates for 50 litre casks.

Blee is currently serving five years imprisonment for fraud - Hamilton Spirit Management and House of Delacroix.

 

Croft & Dupont

Company no: 03513125

77 Bond Street, London W1Y 9DD

Founded: 8.2.98

Director: Joe McConville (DOB: 16.10.1964)

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux and personalised bottles of Champagne

Current status: closed in the public interest - wound up in High Court, London on 12th April 2000. Dissolved: 07.05.2002

Joe McConville ex Napier and Connaught Belgravia is the sole director. The company was active in Ireland. The DTI petition to the High Court (7th March 2000) stated that ‘a substantial proportion of the wine ordered by customers has not been purchased by the company which appears to have ceased trading and vacated its trading premises’.

 

Cupidus.com (UK) Ltd

Company no: 03843833

Registered office: Saint James House, 13 Kensington Square, London W8 5HD

Previous registered office: 29 Abingdon Road, London W8 6AH

Present trading address (?):Regent's Place, 338 Euston Road, London, NW1 3BT

Previous trading address: 58 Grosvenor Street, London W1.

Founded: 14.9.1999

Directors: Richard Billington (DOB: 4.4.70) - resigned 12.7.02, Duncan Clubb (DOB: 4.12.63 - resigned 17.1.01), Raymond Maloney (DOB: 3.7.64), Mark Nicolson (DOB: 1.3.65 - resigned 31.7.00), Sven Serpinski (DOB: 19.10.68 - resigned 27.4.01)

Company Secretary:

Shareholders: Cupidus.Com Ltd, Westwind Building, PO Box 2075GT, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, West Indies - 100 ordinary shares.

Type of operation: Internet matchmaker

Current status: dissolved 05.10.2004

Described as the internet arm of Seed International Ltd, so part of the Ocean-Seed group.

15.10.01: ‘The net has brought private investors an explosion of new options, complementing the more traditional system of insider access and good-old-boy networks. With cupidus, investing in high-potential ventures is simple and fast. As a cupidus investor: You get an opportunity to look at the promising ventures in our network; you are kept in constant touch; you are quickly notified about other ventures that would fit your investment criteria; and you are provided with business and financial news and other relevant information.’ cupidus website.

9.9.02: The website is currently down for maintenance. Along with Global Venture Services Ltd,  Cupidus is believed to be now trading from Regent's Place

338 Euston Road, London, NW1 3BT UK. Main tel: +44 (0) 20 7544 8400;  main fax: +44 (0) 20 7544 8401. Regent’s Place is a office block run by Regus, a worldwide operator of business centres.

(Go to Ocean-Seed section)

19.1.04: Accounts overdue since 31.10.03

 Dissolved 05.10.2004

 

Cupidus.com Ltd

West Wind Building, PO Box 2075 GT, Grand Cayman

The sole shareholder of Cupidus.Com (UK) Ltd

 

Cupidus Cayman

Company no:92571

Registered office: Buckingham House, 174 South Church Street, PO Box 1778GT, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

Directors: Douglas Walter George Calder, Craig Douglas Garrett, Disney Limited

Company secretary: Sarum Ltd

(information as of PPM August 2000)

 

Cupidus TC

Company no: E25590

Registered office: Churchill Building, PO Box 64, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Directors: Craig Douglas Garrett, Disney Ltd

Company secretary: Sarum Ltd

(information as of PPM August 2000)

 

James Devereaux Ltd

Registered office: 32 Brook Street, London W1Y 2BB

Founded: 9.6.1995

Previous name: Foursquare Spirit Supplies Ltd (name changed: 28.6.1996)

Directors: Paul Cooper (DOB: 1944), Mark Harvey Creeger (resigned: 30.5.1996)

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: closed by UK DTI in the public interest 22.1.1997, dissolved 29.09.2001

Mainly offered barrels of Isle of Arran whisky as an investment. James Devereaux had a shop in London’s Burlington Arcade. The company ceased trading between 11th-14th November 1996 and went into liquidation 4.12.96. Deficiencies amounted to £1.9 million. There were £1.3 million unfilled whisky orders. It was reported in the High Court, London that Gary Eldridge, a Canadian behind the company, drew £247,000 from the company without ‘adequate explanation’. The company was subsequently closed by the DTI.

Eldridge later briefly appeared at Wimbledon Wines & Spirits.

Associated companies: James Devereaux (Burlington Arcade) Ltd, J&D Management Ltd, 32 Brook Street, London W1Y 2BB

 

James Devereaux (Burlington Arcade) Ltd

32 Brook Street, London W1Y 2BB

Founded: 6.11.96

Director: Paul Cooper

Type of drinks: presumably malt whisky

Current status: dissolved 8.9.98

This company was set up just before James Devereaux Ltd ceased trading.

 

Drysberg & Nash

44 St. Olavs Court, Lower Road, London SE16 2ZY.

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: active

Drysberg & Nash are not a registered company, have no telephone number listed (24.11.01) and their address does not appear on a letter sent out - only on a paid reply envelope. Nor are the names of the principals listed as required by law. The introductory letter is signed by a Simon Hargreaves.

They claim to be specialist brokers dealing exclusively with 'vintage bordeaux wines' and that 'Fine Wine has remained the steadiest form of investment in the world'. Also claim that Château Latour and Château Margaux 1995 'doubled in value in less than two years'. Although it is true that these two wines did double in value between May 1996 when they were first released - Corney & Barrow's initial offer was £625. By April 1998 the Margaux had reached £1,700 and above, while the Latour was £1,500.

Their recent performance has been considerably less sparkling. In November 1999 Farr Vintners had Latour 1995 for £1,400 a case, they are now selling it for £1,480 - an increase of 5.7%. Similarly (Nov 99) Farr had Margaux 1995 for £1,720. On October 27th 2001 Corney & Barrow had a case for £1,620 and a number of brokers are offering it for less than £1,700. Far from doubling in value anyone investing in Margaux 1995 would have lost money over the past two years and seen a slender increase with the Latour.

Whatever their prices may be, investdrinks' strong advice is not to invest with a company that is not registered with Companies House, especially as it is in breach of the Business Names Act 1985 and does not have a telephone number listing.

20.10.03: Drysberg & Nash have disappeared from St Olav's Court and it appears to be impossible to contact them. emails have gone unanswered. investdrinks has been contacted by some investors, who have found it impossible to contact D&N. It appears that the wine was stored in D&N's name - some at Octavian and some at London City Bond. Some of this wine is now being transferred into clients' names. Some wines were extortionately over-priced - £3200 for Leoville Las Cas 1996 in August 2002 but available elsewhere for £1,050.

 

European Fine Wines Ltd

Company number: 05535811

Registered office: 68 Lombard Street, London EC3V 9LJ

Previous registered address: 33 Throgmorton St, London EC2N 2BR

Founded: 18.9.2005

Trading address: as above.

Tel: 020-7861 9595

Email: info@europeanfinewines.co.uk

Website: www.europeanfinewines.co.uk

Director: Emrah Ceyhan (DOB: 9.12.1981 - appointed 1.4.2007)

Company secretary: SBC Accountants Ltd, 228a High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1PQ

Previous director: Brett Ousley (DOB: 23.4.1975 - appointed 15.8.2005, resigned 1.4.2007)

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux - ‘the Bordeaux Big Eight’

Current status: active

Has same company secretary and website registrant as Nouveau World Wines. Their website claims: ‘Your personal advisor

Our team of advisers pride themselves on their knowledge of the wine market and will guide you in the selection of the finest vintages.’

However, their website suggests that this pride may be misplaced:

‘Napoleon III introduced the Fine Wine Index, and today the finest French vintages are still classified and controlled by the Institut Da Appellations da Origne (sic), which we see as Appellation Controlee.’ investdrinks suspects that they mean the Institut National d'Appellation d'Origine et de la Qualité (INAO).

Capital gains tax:

‘Simply - the category of wine that we collect is designated as a wasting asset, i.e. we would expect the wine to be consumed within 50 years.’ In fact Customs & Excise judge whether a wine can reasonably expect to be drinkable after 50 years not whether it is likely to have been drunk.

See Claret web - Bromley chapter

 

Fine Wines of Mayfair Ltd

Company number: 3858969

Registered office: Saint James House, 13 Kensington Square, London W8 5HD

Previous registered office: 29 Abingdon Road, London W8 6 AH

Previous registered office: Beaufort House, Tenth Floor, 15 St. Botolph Street, London EC3A 7EE

Trading address: believed to be at The Wine Corporation

Previous trading address: 58 Grosvenor Street, London W1

Tel: 020-7399 4900; Fax: 020-7399 4901

Founded: 14.10.1999

Current status: dissolved 26.03.2007

The sole shareholder is Worldwide Wine Ltd, c/o Calder and Company, Buckingham House, 174 South Church Street, P.O. Box 1178 GT, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

29th April 2003: Accounts overdue (as of 5.2.02). Believed to have moved from 58 Grosvenor Street.

20.10.03: accounts have been filed.

Part of Ocean-Seed.

 

First Growth Investments Ltd

Company No. 04940074

Registered office: 36 Gloucester Avenue, London, NW1 7BB

Trading address: same as registered

Tel: 020-7284 5922

Founded 22.10.2003 - name changed from World Solve Ltd on 23.4.2008 - previously dormant

Director: William Frederick Boyd (DOB: 12.4.1983

Company secretary: Daniel Davies (DOB: 6.8.1987)

Current status: active

25.6.2008: This is the phoenix company for the Bordeaux Wine Trading Company Ltd with Paul Craven, a former director of BWTC, involved. Selling First Growth Bordeaux 2007 en primeur as an investment.

(See Bordeaux Wine Trading Company)

 

Forrester & Beck's Group

Suite 8, 10 College Terrace, London E3 5AN

Founded: not known as not registered with Companies House

Type of drink: red Bordeaux

Appeared in early 2001.

Current status: not known - probably no longer active

Linked to The Burbridge King Group and assumed to be another vehicle for Peter Fretwell (Burbridge, Harrington Ross and Pembridge Villiers). Introduced to a client of Burbridge King as 'an execution only broker'.

 

Forrester & Lamego Ltd

Company no: 03175136

18-22 Hand Court, London WC1 6JF

Founded 19.3.1996

Directors: Stephen Cleeve (DOB: 16.2.67)

Type of drinks: Champagne, vintage character and late bottled vintage Port

Current status: closed by UK DTI in the public interest: 23.7.1997. Company due to be dissolved - 1.8.2004.

Offered Cattier Champagne and pipes of Osborne Port (vintage character and Late Bottled Vintage) as investments. These categories of Port have never been seen as investment vehicles as their retail price performance shows. (See Cellarchoice entry for details.) Was closed in public interest because ‘representations made by the company as to the potential return on and marketability of such investments were exaggerated and misleading’ and the company was insolvent. In March 1997 Forrester & Lamego had successfully fought off a DTI petition to appoint a provisional liquidator by undertaking that it would no longer represent itself as a broker or offer wines as investment opportunities. In February 2000 Cleeve was disqualified from being a UK director from 29.2.2000 to 7.2.2008.

29.6.04: Stephen Cleeve is now a partner in European Land Sales Partnership, which specialises in selling small plots of land as an investment. See Other News.

 

Frazer & D'Ivoire

Trading address: Suite 501, International House, 223 Regents Street, London W1B 2DQ.

Tel: 020-7602 4383; fax: 020-7602 4373

Current status: not a limited company - sole trader? Disappeared

Type drinks: red Bordeaux

Letters and terms and conditions have marked echoes of Harley Fine Wines Ltd (closed by the DTI in August 2001 because the company failed to buy the wines it offered as an investment.). Frazer & D’Ivoire fail to comply with the business Names Act 1985 - the names of those running the company are not listed on their business letters or invoices. Also its terms & conditions do not comply with the Consumer Protection Act (Distance Selling) 2000: ‘2.2  Due to the unique nature of our product once you return the Sales Order to us generally it cannot be cancelled.’ This contravenes the act which gives customers buying by phone etc. seven working days to cancel from the time of delivery. The period is extended by three months if the statutory right is not mentioned.

Press articles sent out are poorly copied and look scruffy.

 

Gleneagles Spirit Management

Changed name to: First Merchant Group (Australia) Pty Ltd

Parent company: Mondeley International Ltd

Registered Office: Ste 205 Saffrey Square, PO Box N-8188, Bank Lane, Nassau, Bahamas.

Reg office in Australia: Anglewood PTY Ltd, Lvl 4 Gold Fields House, 1 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, NSW 2000.

Trading address; Level 22, 259 George Street, Sydney 2000.

Founded: 7.3.1997

Directors: Jonathan Charles Brannam (Sark CI) Loic Willis (Sark CI).

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: in administration from 13.2.2002

Gleneagles Spirit Management is the trading company of Mondeley International Ltd. It offered malts from the Speyside Distillery Company and the Tasmania Distillery Company. Several correspondents mention a Jolyon Beasley or Bill Beazley working for Gleneagles. This is William Oliver Beasley (DOB:23.4.64), ex-William Buchanan & Company. Beasley became sole director in December 1999. Jolyon Beasley (3.11.1968) is apparently William's half brother. The company is now administration and in the hands of Ngan & Co, chartered accountants of Level 5, 49 Market Street, Sydney (tel. 61 2 9261 0933, fax. 61 2 9261 0922). investdrinks understands that Jolyon Beasley is now called Joe Baker and works for Heritage Fine Wines pty

 

Glennstewart International Ltd

(see LMDV Ltd)

 

Global Venture Services Ltd

Company number: 03783453

Registered office: Saint James House, 13 Kensington Square, London W8 5HD

Previous registered office: 29 Abingdon Road, London W8 6AH

Current trading address:

Previous trading address: 58 Grosvenor Street, London W1.

Founded: 7.6.1999

Directors: Philip Bamford (DOB: 26.1.62), Raymond Mahoney (DOB: 3.7.64)

Company secretary: Goodwille Corporate Services Ltd

Shareholders: Seed International Ltd, 174 S. Church Street, PO Box 1778 GT, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands - 100 ordinary shares

Nature of business: computer related activities

Current status: dissolved 23.3.04

Formerly Heros Computer Services Ltd - name changed 24.10.2000.

28.1.02: accounts overdue (7.4.2001)

9.9.02: Global Venture Services is believed to be now trading from Regent's Place

338 Euston Road, London, NW1 3BT UK. Main tel: +44 (0) 20 7544 8400;  main fax: +44 (0) 20 7544 8401. Regent’s Place is a office block run by Regus, a worldwide operator of business centres. Last accounts remain overdue from 7.4.01.

10.11.03: Companies House proposal to strike off. Accounts overdue from 7.4.01 and annual return since 5.7.03.

15.6.03: Company dissolved on 23.3.04 for non-compliance.

(Part of the Ocean-Seed group.)

 

Goldberg Kravitz, SL

Registered office: 240 Muntaner, Barcelona 08021, Spain

N.I.F.: B-62113600

Registro Mercantil de Barcelona: Tomo 32135 Folio 175 Hoja B 208144 Inscriptión 1

Tel: (34) 93 216 3800; fax: (34) 93.215 8320

Directors: not known

Postal address: c/o Freepost, LON 13570, London EC2B 2HR

Goldberg Kravitz offers advisory only services on a number of securities including shares, gold, precious metals, currencies, options and mergers and acquisitions.

The risks are made clear in the terms and conditions: 'all of the protections provided by the UK regulatory system will not apply to financial services provided by Goldberg Kravitz nor will compensation under the UK Investors Compensation Scheme be available. The contents of the terms and conditions have been approved by The Birches Company Ltd, a firm of Chartered Accountants authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out investment business.

Both Goldberg Kravitz and Stanley Riebeck Corporation recently sent out an identical offer of a free market update on Smith & Nephew PLC

27.5.02: Appears to have changed its name to Union Partners

See Stanley Riebeck Corporation and Salisbury Merchant Bank in Grenada and Reichman Advisory SL in Barcelona.

 

Goldman Williams Ltd

Company no: 03755721

Registered address: The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Building, London EC2M 5PP

Trading address: 5th Floor, New Roman House, 10-26 East Road, London N1 6AD.

Previous trading address: Eurolink Business Centre, 49 Effra Road, London

In USA: 110 Wall Street, Suite 15C, New York NY10005

Founded: 21.4.1999

Directors: Raun Austin (DOB: 28.7.1961), Andrew John Conyers Sommerville (23.3.38)

Company secretary: Andrew John Conyers Sommerville of Monticello House, 45 Russell Square, London WC1B 4JP.

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Website: http://www.goldmanwilliams.com

E-mail: info@goldmanwilliams.com

Current status: liquidation - Insolvency Service

'Goldman Williams is an established vintage wine broker with its head office in the heart of New York's financial district on Wall Street.'

Raun Austin (DOB: 28.7.1961) nationality British resigned as a director on 18.1.2000. On 20.7.2000 Raun Austin (DOB: 10.7.67; nationality Guyanese) was appointed.

Part of the claret web, sold case of 1996 Château Lafite Rothschild for £4,048.75 in January 2000. Said to be doing slightly less business than City Vintners. £200,000 a month? Now offering Lafite 1996 at £4,700 a case. Also Château Pétrus 1995 for £13,000. Market price (January 2001) is around £5,400 a case.

22.9.2001: understood to be turning over around £500,000 a month.

15.10.01: Sold a jeroboam of Leoville Las Cases for £3,331.25 in late July. Farr Vintners, who continue to supply Goldman Williams, had this for £1,080 the same month.

29.11.01: DTI present petition to wind up in public interest to High Court. Provisional liquidator appointed.

30.11.01: offices closed by DTI and Insolvency Service

10.12.01: In the High Court Mr Justice Etherton rejects appeal from Goldman Williams against the lodging of the petition by the DTI and the appointment of the provisional liquidator. Winding up order will be heard some time in 2002.

Wine (£9,236,343.79) belonging to 792 clients is stored at London City Bond.

16.1.2002: wound up in High Court in public interest.

22.4.02: Report to creditors by Official Receiver shows that the company profits were split one third to Andrew John Conyers Sommerville (a chartered accountant) and two thirds to Raun Austin.

26.2.04: On 9th February 2004 Raun Austin and Andrew Sommerville were disqualified from being company directors for 12 years to run until 8th February 2016.

Part of claret web.

 

Grandtully Distillery Ltd

45 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 1EP

Founded: 19.7.93

Directors: Lewis Daulby (resigned Jan 94, Stephen Jupe (resigned Jan 94), Ludovig Gustaaf de Bruyne (resigned: 1995), Charles Henry Jupe.

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: dissolved 30.11.2001

Another of Stephen Jupe’s companies. Appointed Marshall Wineries as brokers to Grandtully. Accounts are overdue - 30.11.97; returns overdue: 16.8.98 Subsequently dissolved.

 

Hamilton Spirit Management

Company no: 53529

Unit 7, Cornwall Centre, Gibraltar

Also: Hamilton House, 1 Temple Avenue, London EC4

(from December 1996)

Founded: 24.10.1994

Directors: William Bright, Lewis Daulby (resigned:10.5.96), Bernard Linares: 5.2.96), Lee Rosser (resigned 26.2.96)

Type of drinks: malt whisky, Champagne, Port

Current status: closed by UK DTI petition to High Court in the public interest both in London (3.9.1997) in Gibraltar (wound up 17.10.1997). Liquidation in hands of Ernst & Young in Gibraltar and The Insolvency Service (Birmingham) in UK.

Essentially the same company as Cavendish Wine Merchants (Pearldene Ltd) with same directors, same product, just a different location. Gross turnover of the two companies £6.2 million. Daulby made some £1.2 million and Rosser around £720,000. Very little of this money has been recovered. Confiscation proceedings are underway. Daulby (5 years), Rosser (7 years) and Julian Blee, sales manager, (4 years) imprisoned for conspiracy to defraud. Daulby pleaded guilty, while Blee and Rosser found guilty at end of trial at Southwark lasting from 5.9.2000 to 16.10.2000. Case was brought by the UK Serious Fraud Office.

 

Harley Fine Wine Ltd

Co number: 04129535

Incorporated: 21.12.00

Registered office: 1-7 Harley Street, London W1N 1DA

Directors: Lynton Guest (DOB: 28.11.57*), Aurora Menon (DOB: 9.9.59)

Company secretary: Fenward Consulting Ltd whose accounts are described at Companies House as of 31/01/2000 as DORMANT.

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: Wound up in the public interest in the High Court, London, on 8th August 2001 on petition of the DTI. Dissolved 07.01.2004

Lynton Guest used to be the sole director of Ashley White Ltd until it was closed in the public interest in the High Court in January 2001. Menon was the senior dealer. * 1950 is Guest’s real date of birth - the 1957 may be a mistake by Companies House.

Harley quoting (May 2001) 1998 Pavie-Macquin (£560), 1998 Haut-Brion (£1,280) and 1998 Margaux for £900. Although these prices are competitive potential clients should bear in mind that Ashley White Ltd failed to buy all the wine it sold and will wish to satisfy themselves that Mr Guest has remembered to buy the wine this time. Harley Fine Wines may be trading from 7a Cheniston Gardens, also using the name London Managed Portfolios. There appears to be an intriguing similarity between the signature of Lara Miles on Harley Fine Wine letters with that of Aurora Menon on Ashley White letters.

As of 8th August 2001 no wine had been traced by the investigating officers. As investigations are continuing, stocks of wine may well be found.

16.7.02: No wine has been found by the Official Receiver but £23,000 in bank account, estimated debt £5,000.

19.1.04: dissolved 7.1.04

 

Harrington Ross Ltd

Company number: 3567122

Incorporated: 19.5.1998

Registered office: 258 Belsize Road, London NW6 4BT

Previously at: 27 Fordwych Court, Shoot Up Hill, London NW2 3PH

Director: Peter Fretwell (DOB: 9.11.1965)

Type of drinks: Red Bordeaux.

Current status: dissolved 10.7.2001

Part of the claret web; along with City Vintners, Harrington Ross was the first of the claret web companies to be established. Name was changed to Harrington Ross on 8th September 1998. Sole director, Peter Fretwell, also ran Pembridge Villiers. In January 1999 was offering Mouton-Rothschild 1996 at £2,900 a case. In October 1998 sold six bottles of Mouton-Rothschild for £1,450 to elderly client in Wales. Harrington Ross appear never to have bought this wine.

Company has never filed any returns (overdue from 19.3.2000) or accounts (overdue from 16.6.1999) with Companies House. 13.3.2001: First gazette issued by Companies House. Dissolved 10.7.01

(Part of claret web.)

 

Helmsley Trading and Marketing Lda, Madeira

Rua Cooperativa Agricola do Funchal, Bloco B-3, Andar-Sala B, 9050, Funchal, Madeira.

Founded: 1.12.1997

Directors: Craig Dean (Managing Partner and CEO of Helmsley Group)

Type of drinks: Cognac

Current status: not currently trading and chances of it trading again are not very high.

On 18th May 1999 S.D.M. (Sociedade de Desenvolvimento da Madeira, S.A.), which runs the island's International Business Centre, recommended to the Regional Government of Madeira that the licence granted to Helmsley to operate in the institutional framework of the International Business Centre of Madeira be cancelled. According to SDM this recommendation was made because Helmsley was not complying with 'the conditions and requirements' needed to operate in Madeira. investdrinks understands that the details are confidential but that these 'requirements and conditions are those indicated by the Portuguese Commercial Code of companies and Portuguese law'. The Regional Government of Madeira cancelled Helmsley's licence with effect from 31st May 1999. Helmsley's old offices are now occupied by another company.

Stated by the Crown on 16th July 1999 at Bow Street Magistrates Court in London that the company 'had been closed by the Portuguese Judicial Police'. However, Craig Dean assured investdrinks (12.1.2001) that the Portuguese authorities had given Helmsley 'a clean bill of health'. Through his solicitors Dean has stated that the Crown's claim is incorrect and that he was 'informed verbally by the Portuguese police that they have no interest in Helmsley'. investdrinks is seeking clarification.

Extracts from literature and letters sent out by the company to putative clients:

'The Helmsley Group was conceived in 1995 by a group of businessmen with extensive contacts and expertise in finance, marketing and international trading. By pooling resources, contacts and experience, along with extensive market research, the Helmsley Groups Madeira Head Office was established in late 1997, its purpose to provide on a demand and supply basis the finest Cognacs, Wines and Ports within a Wholesale, Retail and Mail Order service.'

'Extensive Inventory'

'An unsurpassed selection of fine cognacs wines and ports expertly supervised, optimum maturing conditions.'

'The financial opportunity is simple. Following envisaged increases in global awareness and sales, 'The Helmsley Group' expect to be in a position to re-purchase clients casks - when ready for bottling - at of course a higher price due to their increased age, showing obvious benefit for the client.'

Helmsley offered 50 and 100 litre 'casks' of Cognac. Certificates were issued by De Bruyne Bonded Warehouses in Angeac, near Cognac. This is part of Champagne de Bruyne. Just as at the Coubert Group these were literages of Cognac and not actual casks. The Cognac industry generally uses casks of 350 litres. 50 and 100 litre casks would not be economic and would have too high a ratio of wood to spirit making the Cognac taste over-woody.

Christopher Bourne (ex Hamilton and Braithwaite & Smythe) was marketing manager. After about June 1998 ceased to offer casks and instead concentrated on selling bottled Cognac. In autumn 1998 Helmsley Sprl opened a shop in Brussels. investdrinks has been informed that Helmsley 'has agreed with its clients to bottle all their Cognac free of charge'.

 

Helmsley (UK) Ltd

6 Marble Alley, Studley, Warwickshire B80 7LD

Founded: 25.8.1999

Directors: Craig Dean (DOB: 22.2.1965)

Company secretary: Susan Lightfoot

Current status: active

Website: http://www.helmsley.com

'It is the mission of Helmsley to become a major force in the field of wine and spirit production and distribution. Since we first opened our doors (Sept 1997), just look at what we've achieved. We have our own fully registered Cognac and Champagne label and are currently developing our own malt whisky, wines, armagnacs, vintage ports and Cuban cigars. In fact, wherever you find quality you will find Helmsley.

We know that by building our business creatively and independently, coupled with the global support of our producers, agents and partners, maximum exposure for our world class products will be achieved.

We also know that as much as experience, foresight and extensive market research, our success must also be based on a clear understanding of consumer expectations. This is why we pledge to supply only the highest quality goods in an environment of total customer satisfaction.'

'The origin of The Helmsley Group dates back to 1995 when a young wine salesman had a unique and refreshing vision of the future. That vision has since become reality. Achieved by pooling resources, contacts and extensive market research, The Helmsley Group Madeira Head Office was established in September 1997. Its purpose, to source and supply the finest Cognacs, Armagnacs, Wines, and Ports all stamped with the Helmsley shield of excellence, on a global wholesale, retail and mail order basis.' http://www.helmsley.com

Apparently Helmsley (UK) Ltd has concentrated on selling Cognac to hotels and restaurants.

At the end of the Delacroix trial, the young salesman was found guilty of fraud. He was sentenced to three years in prison on 23rd March 2001. Perhaps his vision of 1995 came during his time as a salesman with the fraudulent Hamilton Spirit Management. The future of Helmsley must be questionable.

20.8.01: The first set of accounts for Helmsley (UK) Ltd are now overdue. They should have been filed on 25th June 2001.

28.8.01: investdrinks understands that Helmsley (UK) Ltd vacated the premises at Marble Alley sometime in March 2001. The site has been re-let to a company selling gowns.

On 31st July 2001 Craig Dean was declared personally bankrupt at Birmingham County Court.

Contrary to the protestations of Dean's solicitors Charles Russell, the fraudster continued to offer Cognac in bulk but in a quantity (100 litres) that could not be easily identified. At the Delacroix trial Dean's defence portrayed Helmsley as a legitimate business suffering unfairly from the repercussions of the Delacroix trial. This was always questionable, this fresh evidence increases the doubts about the legitimacy of the whole Helmsley operation.

29th April 2002: proposal to strike off for non-compliance (accounts and returns not filed). Gazetted on 12.2.02.

 

Henry Talbot's of London Ltd.

Company number: 04541109

Registered office: 13 Richmond Road, Ilford, Essex IG1 1JG

Trading address: believed to be at Regus, Collingwood House, Schooner Court, Crossways, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6QQ

Founded: 20/09/2002

Director: James Morrison (DOB: 13.11.1970)

Company secretary: Slyvia Smiejkowska (10.9.1976)

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: active

10.2.03: The sonorously named Henry Talbot's is another offspring of James Hewitt Associates. Morrison was briefly company secretary for James Hewitt Associates Ltd, taking over the position after Malcolm Hills left to set up Churchill Wines. The company and its director, James Morrison, was covered by Rob Watts in the Sunday Telegraph (9.2.03). Watts described how Anne Palmer, a client of Morrison's while he was at James Hewitt, was persuaded to pay £2,800 for a case of 1993 Château Leoville Las Cases 1993. Not only does this 1993 have virtually zero investment potential but it can be bought (30.1.03) for £385 a case from Richard Kihl Ltd. 627% over the odds - clearly Talbot's are bidding strongly for the rip-off crown.

Four years ago (18.8.99) the Leoville 1993 could be bought from James Tait for £360 a case - an increase of 6.9% in three and half years.

12th May: DTI petition High Court to close company. Insolvency service appointed as provisional liquidator.

23.6.03: Company wound up in High Court (London) on 19.6.03.

Part of claret web

 

Heros Global Marketing Services (now called Ocean International Marketing)

Rotterdam Chamber of Commerce no: 264046

Registered office: De Leuve, Schiedamsedijk 42, 3011 ED Rotterdam, Netherlands

Also offices in Toronto, Canada.

Founded: 1.3.1996

Owner: R.S Bhamra (DOB: 5.1.1967), 19 Holyview Close Station Road, London N3 4JU

Directors: Craig Garrett

Type of drinks: Champagne, red Bordeaux. Also property, oil and gas exploration, and CD protection.

Current status: active

The operation was set up around 1995/96 by Paul Freeman, Rome Banbura and Anil Kohli. About two years ago Ian Chalmers, who was apparently involved in the company at a management level, was killed in a car crash in Canada. He was 32.

Kohli may be related to the Anil Kumar Kohli (DOB: 10.11.1962). Anil Kumar Kohli was involved with Vandersteen Associates NV that had offices in Cork in southern Ireland and later in Antwerp. In July 1990 an injunction against Kholi was granted in the High Court in London preventing him and five others from cold calling potential clients in the UK. The injunction arose out of an investigation by the SIB. More recently Kholi was disqualified from being a UK director for 12 years from 30.12.1997 to 08.12.2009. This arose out of an investigation by the DTI into two time share schemes - Worldwide Theme Travel Ltd (compulsory liquidation - 4.5.94) and Crown Holiday Promotions Ltd (dissolved: 10.5.95). Kholi is believed to have a house in Ireland and to hold an Irish passport.

Heros are 'the appointed marketing agents for Churchill Associates Ltd'. Heros' literature states that 'Each new member sends to Churchill a capital sum - usually between US$1,000 and US$10,000. (There is, however, no upper limit to the capital entrusted to the Program.) The money is entirely safe, since Churchill contracts to operate under the following conditions:...' It has to be said that an increasing number of Heros (now Ocean) investors are wondering how safe their investment money is.

(Go to Ocean-Seed section)

 

Heros Properties Ltd

Company no: 03671146

Founded: 16.11.98

Now called Zecca Properties Ltd (changed 28.3.2000)

Previous name: Heros Properties Ltd

Registered office: 29 Abingdon Road, London W8 6AH

Trading address: 58 Grosvenor Street, London W1X 0DD

Type of operation: property management and investment

Current status: compulsory liquidation (12.6.02), dissolved: 4.08.2003

(Go to Ocean-Seed section)

 

Hi Tech Energy

Founded: not known

1100 Summit Avenue, Suite 108, Plano, Texas 75074.

Tel: (1) 972-424 3221; fax: (1) 972-424 7267

Email: info@capitalenergy.com

Website: http://www.capitalenergy.com

Type of Operation: oil and gas exploration

Previously called Capital Energy Technology Corporation, changed name in March 2000. Clients of Heros have been invited to invest in Capital Energy. The company’s website gives details of various oil and gas explorations in the USA in which CETC is apparently involved. The website states that ‘We have participated since late 1997 in over 130 wells. Our budget for the next 12 months $25,000,000’. The site carries photos and details of various explorations in Northwest Pennsylvania and in the Appalachian mountains.

(Go to Ocean-Seed section)

 

Hopkin Pierce & Co Ltd

Registered international company in Grenada.

Wholly owned subsidiary of the Salisbury Merchant Bank

 

House of Delacroix

Incorporated: Dutch Antilles

Trading address: Herengracht district of Amsterdam

Service offices in Paris: 72 Rue de Faubourg Honoré, 75008 Paris and Singapore.

Founded: 18th March 1997

Directors: Lee Rosser and Julian Blee (at least until 18th March 1997)

Type of drinks: Champagne

Current status: ceased trading in September 1997 and was put into liquidation in early 1998 by Julian Blee.

Offered Lantz Champagne (Champagne de Bruyne) as an investment. Turnover of £2.6 million of Champagne, cost to Delacroix £450,000, gross profit £2.1 million. Investment potential - zero.

Julian Blee, Craig Dean and Lee Rosser were all charged with conspiracy to defraud. Following the conclusion of the Cavendish/ Hamilton Trial, Blee and Rosser pleaded guilty. Blee given additional an additional year on top of his Hamilton sentence and Rosser 18 months. Dean's trial at Southwark Crown Court (London) ran from 23rd January 2001 to 8th February. Dean was found guilty and will be sentenced on March 6th. Case was brought by the UK Serious Fraud Office. Confiscation proceedings are underway.

 

International Wine Commodities

Company No. 05276631

Founded: 3.11.2004

Tel: 020-7016 8811

Registered office: 1 Berkeley Street, Mayfair London W1J 8DJ

Trading address: serviced office in High Street, Whetstone

Directors: Oseghale Hayble (DOB: 17.7.1978) appointed: 20.8.2007; Benedict Moruthoane (DOB: 7.6.1972) appointed 16.8.2007

Company secretary: Easy Mortgages & Loans Ltd appointed 16.8.2007

Status: active

Moruthoane was a director of the Bordeaux Wine Company until he resigned in 2005. Hayble used to work for BWC until becoming a director of the Bordeaux Wine Trading Company on 3.1.2007 - resigning on 9.7.2007.  IWC was briefly called Bordeaux Trading (early August 2007). Its latest accounts have been overdue since 30th September 2008. Understood to offer en primeur wines as an investment.

22.10.08: Along with Bordeaux Wine Trading Company cited in a press release by Hertfordshire Police on 17.10.2008.

 

International Wine Holdings Ltd

Company no: 04216138

Registered office: 16 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7HH

Trading address: Roman House, 10-26 East Road, London N1 6AD

Incorporated: 14.5.2001

Directors: P & L Company Secretaries Ltd (appointed: 14.5.01), David Ambrose (DOB: 24.10.63 - app: 7.9.01 - resigned: 15.2.02); Mark Blackburn (DOB: 17.5.68 - app 1.11.01 - resigned: 15.02.02); David Jackson: DOB: 7.9.01 - app: 7.9.01 - resigned: 15.2.02); Tony Lemom (DOB: 31.1.66 - app: 7.9.01 - resigned: 18.102); Mark Sommerville (DOB: 16.10.72 - app: 7.9.01 - resigned: 2.2.02); Triple Check Ltd (app: 14.5.2001 - resigned 7.9.01)

Company secretary: P & L Company Secretaries Ltd (app: 14.5.01)

Current status: dissolved 5.11.02

28.7.02: proposal to strike off - return overdue since 11.6.02. Dissolved  5.11.02

 

 

James Hewitt Associates Ltd

Company number: 04232358

Registered office: Berkeley House, Elmfield Road, Bromley, Kent BR1 1LR.

Current trading address: 19a East Street, Bromley, Kent.

Presumed previous trading address: Dudley House, 145-147 Croydon Rd, Beckenham BR3 3RB. Tel: 0208 461 8379.

Tel: 0208 461 8379

Founded: 11.6.2001

Director: James Hewitt (DOB: 10.10.1978)

Company secretary: James Morrison (DOB: 13.11.1970 - appointed 1.08.02), Malcolm Hills (29.05.1968 - appointed 1.10.01; resigned 1.08.02); Daniel Hewitt (DOB: 3.11.1975 - appointed 11.6.01; resigned 1.10.01)

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: Provisional liquidator appointed 12.9.02

November 2001: 7th November the registered office changed from a private address in Bickley, near Bromley, to Berkeley House. Offering 1996 Ch Latour for £4,408 (available elsewhere for between £1,750 - £1,900). Price includes 5 years storage (London Bridge Vaults) and insurance. Although storage charges can be paid in advance, insurance has to be renewed annually, so should a company cease trading within the five years investors would have to pay the insurance themselves. James Hewitt are apparently "sponsors of The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy". This is quite untrue. NCYPE have never heard of James Hewitt Associates Ltd and certainly never given them permission to make this claim or use their logo. NCYPE did have contact with Andrew Dunne, company secretary of Liquid Acquisitions Ltd.

James Hewitt was described by Tony Hetherington in The Financial Mail on Sunday (9.12.01) as 'a man who cheats a charity for sick children just before Christmas'.

Evidence suggests that this is Liquid Acquisitions Mark 2 - 'Liquid Hewitt'

7.2.02; investdrinks has traced James Hewitt Associates Ltd to 19 East Street, Bromley. Andrew Dunne of Liquid Acquisitions and Ransby Hoare is clearly involved in the company. When telephoned the company denied any knowledge of Andrew Dunne.

16.9.02: DTI petitioned without warning to appoint provisional liquidator on 12th September to close company in public interest. JHA offices closed 13th September. Winding up petition to be heard 30th October.

Part of claret web.

 

J&D Management Ltd

32 Brook Street, London W1Y 2BB

Founded: 6.11.96

Director: George Frederick Webster (DOB: 24.3.1940)

Type of operation: not known

Current status:

This company was set up just before James Devereaux Ltd ceased trading.

 

Liquid Acquisitions Ltd

Company number: 040201186

Registered office and trading address: Dudley House, 145-147 Croydon Rd, Beckenham BR3 3RB.

Previous registered office and trading: 14 & 20 Burnhill Business Centre, 50 Burnhill Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3LA.

Tel: 020 8650 8833; fax 020 8650 8837

Incorporated: 23.6.2000

Director: Thomas Sloan (5.9.68)

Company secretary: Andrew Dunne (18.5.59)

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: in liquidation

For a long time Companies House had no record of a current director or company secretary. UK company law requires that all registered companies have at least one director and a company secretary. The appointment of Sloan and Dunne was filed on 7th February 2001.

Offering Château Lafite 1996 in excess of £4,000 and 1996 Château Lynch Bages for £835 a case - £340 Farr Vintners; £330-£340 Fine & Rare Wines. Jan 2001: Latour 1996 £3843.75 (£1,650 - FRW) and Haut-Brion 1996 at £3280 (£1,100 -FRW). Have been offering (June 2001) Mouton-Rothschild 1982 for £8,850. The normal market price is around £3,950-£4,000. LA claims the price is high because their wine is bottled at the château. Indeed it is but all Mouton-Rothschild has been bottled at the château since 1924.

22.9.01: Latour 1996 at £4,707.50.

October 01: DTI present petition in High Court (London) to wind up company in the public interest. Liquid Acquisitions are contesting this. The company has ceased trading in wine and are now selling Uniplan.

4.2.02: Company wound up in the public interest in High Court on 30th January 2002. LA contested the DTI's petition to wind up in a two day hearing but lost comprehensively. Andrew Dunne, the company secretary, was adjudged to have been controlling the company and has been ordered to pay the costs, which are unlikely to be less than £25,000.

Part of claret web

 

Liquid Gold

Dept. AA211, P.O. Box No. 4214, Business Reply, Dublin 2.

Linked with Vintage Wines. Thought to be initial point of contact for VW. Have been contacting Eircom shareholders. Reports of letters received by putative investors this January. Apparently current letter claims 30% return, although the free post return card says the returns could be 30% per month ! Also offering offering Dom Pérignon 1990. Some letters are signed by a "Mike Chapel".

 

LMDV Ltd

(Formerly Glennstewart International Ltd, Spring Jasmin Ltd!)

Company number: 02830612

Founded: 25.6.1993

Registered office: 3rd Floor, 10 Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6LQ

Trading address: Prince Consort House, 109-111 Farringdon Street, London EC1R 3BW.

Trading address in Berlin: Torstraße 147 . 10119 Berlin-Mitte.

(Previously trading address: 11 Berkeley Street, London W1)

Tel/fax: 020-7504 8355.

Tel and fax in Berlin: 49 (0)30 - 28 09 59 59 . Fax:: 49 (0)30 - 28 09 59 61

email: info@le-monde-du-vin.com

Directors: Antony Evans (DOB: 26.5.1964; appointed 28.02.1995), Dennis Edward O’Connor (14.12.1962; appointed 28.2.95- resigned 21.8.1997)

Company secretary: Ronald Speelman (appointed 21.8.1997)

Type of drinks: malt whisky, other spirits and wine

Current status: in liquidation (21.7.04), dissolved 10.11.2007

One of the longest established of the malt whisky cask investment companies. Asia-Pacific, especially Singapore, is understood to be a significant market for Glennstewart. Company changed its name from The Animation Gallery on 12.4.1995 to Glennstewart International Ltd. On 4th April 2002 name changed to LMDV Ltd. Among the whiskies offered have been Speyside and Tamnavulin.

In May 1996 Glennstewart International Ltd sold 15 hogsheads of malt whisky to an Italian investor for £36,500. However in 1997, the investor became concerned about his investment and asked Glennstewart to sell the casks for him. On 10th November 1997 Antony Evans wrote to the investor saying ‘I would expect to achieve a minimum price of £2,000 per cask including the bottling and would hope to have disposed of them by the end of March next year’. Although Glennstewart apparently sold one of the hogsheads for £2,990 in December 1997, it was left to the Malt Whisky Buyers Helpline to offer the 15 hogsheads by tender. In September 1999 the 15 hogsheads were bought for £9,929.

17.12.01: Accounts overdue (30.6.01)

24.6.02: Changed name to LMDV Ltd on 4.4.02. BT enquiries still lists 11 Berkley Street for Glennstewart International plus a Glenstewart International at 17 Clifford Street along with a phone number that no longer works. investdrinks understands from Anthony Evans that Clifford Street was a temporary office used some years back. Clients wishing to contact LMDV Ltd should now use the Farringdon Road address and telephone number. Antony Evans’ address is now Torstrasse, Berlin. Company accounts remain overdue (30.6.01).

16.7.02: 2000 accounts filed 28.6.01; 2001 accounts were due 30.6.02

(used to offer Ports)

28.10.02: Apparently Antony Evans is now concentrating on the ‘Single Barrel Collection’. Evans has told investdrinks that this collection has been shown at several international trade fairs, including the London International Wine & Spirits Trade Fair in May 2002. Further comment at this stage is impossible as unfortunately as investdrinks has yet to see any documentation on the ‘Single Barrel Collection’. The 2001 accounts remain overdue.

18.11.02: The company now has premises in Berlin. Whisky casks are stored with investdrinks’ old friends the Speyside Bonding Company, No 14 Bond, Duchess Road, Rutherglen, Glasgow G73 1AU. The 2001 accounts remain overdue (30.6.02). ‘We will file our accounts when they are ready.’ A. Evans - 18.11.02

22.9.03: Company return is overdue since 23.7.03, while accounts still overdue from 30.6.02. How much more time does Evans need before the accounts are ready to file?

10.11.03: Company return has been filed but accounts remain overdue.

19.1.04: Accounts remain overdue.

21.7.04: Company wound up in High Court, London on petition from Inland Revenue presented 14.6.04. Winding up with Official Receiver.

 

Lonhroes International Ltd

Trading name: The House of Lonhroes

Company number: 03161536

Registered office: 16 Connaught Street, London W2 2AF

Sales office: 77 Oxford Street, London W1R 1RB

Founded: 19.2.1996

Director: Shenin Ratnasingham (DOB: 13.12.66)

Company secretary: Rakesh Wadhwa (6.2.57)

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: compulsory liquidation: 24.6.1998, dissolved 14.09.2006

Despite the name (spelt differently) this company had no connection with the late Tiny Rowland's empire. Company name was Lonhroes International but traded as the House of Lonhroes. Claiming to also have offices in New York and Tokyo, this was the first of the claret scam companies. In early 1998 Henry Wood, senior dealer, offered Mouton-Rothschild 1995 for £4,200 (available elsewhere at £1,380) and the 1996 for £3,600 (available elsewhere for £1,160); Haut Brion 1995 for £3,600 (elsewhere £1,200) and 1996 at £2,985 (£950 elsewhere) - giving an average price differential of 207%. This was in line Lonhroes tightly written and extraordinary terms and conditions that stated there would be a 200% mark up on the sale to investors. investdrinks understands that a Carl Dhir, sometimes known as James Mazza, was involved in the company. Henry Wood later worked for Stanley Knight.

On 14th May 1998 the DTI successfully petitioned to have the company closed in the public interest and the Official Receiver was appointed. The petition was accepted in the High Court (London) on 24th June 1998. The grounds for winding up were: 'Lonhroes International Ltd sells specialist and fine wines to the public after applying a mark-up on cost of between 130% and 280%. It encourages purchasers to believe that their wine will appreciate in value substantially.’ investdrinks believes that all or virtually all of the current Bordeaux investment companies charging excessive prices could be wound up on these grounds.

 

Marshall Wineries Ltd

Trading name of Securitised Syndicated Investments (SSI) Ltd

218 Garratt Lane, London SW18

Founded: 5.8.1993

Directors: Stephen Jupe DOB: 16.10.53; Lewis Daulby DOB: 9.4.59; appointed 31.8.93 resigned 19.1.94

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: closed in the public interest (1997)

One of Stephen Jupe’s companies. Marshall along with Pearldene was the first of the dodgy drinks investment companies. The company went into liquidation on 12.12.1996 with £700,000 deficiency and £135,000 of unfulfilled orders. An illegal dividend had been paid in 1995. After Securitised Syndicated Investments (SSI) Ltd went bust, Jupe used Marshall Wineries Ltd as a trading name for Trouillard Champagne (UK) Ltd using company number: 2894571. He also used the name S.S.I Ltd - a company that had been dissolved in 1989. (The dots are vital - SSI Ltd is an electrical manufacturer.) Jupe was declared personally bankrupt on 24.3.1998. Jupe is disqualified from being a director from 1st August 2000 to 10th July 2006.

Also Marshall Wineries Ltd (Number: 02894571) founded in 1994 but activated in November 1996 in last days of Securitised Syndicated Investments (SSI) Ltd. Jupe appointed director on 6th November 1996. Ceased trading around May 1997 with much lower turnover than Marshall Wineries.

23.4.04: Stephen Jupe found guilty on three counts of fraudulent trading and one of using a prohibited company name. Will be sentenced on 21st May at Southwark Crown Court, London.

21.5.04: Jupe sentenced to five years imprisonment.

 

Maybury Cellars Ltd

Company no: 03226802

Current address: Pearl Assurance House, 319 Ballards Lane, North Finchley N12 8LY

Previous trading address: New Loom House, 101 Back Church Lane, London E1 1LU

Founded: 19.8.96

Directors: Matthew John Newman (DOB: 30.12.1971), Joseph Karel Schafer (DOB: 20.10.1956)

Type of drinks: Champagne

Current status: voluntary liquidation (5.2.1998) - contact Henry Lan, dissolved 13.08.2002.

The company offered a number of Champagnes at exaggerated prices for millennium investment, specialised in large format bottles.

 

Ewart McLaren Ltd

Company no: 03138599

8 Bentnick Street, London W1M 6BJ

Founded: 15.12.1995

Directors:

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: compulsory liquidation 17.9.1997, dissolved 22.10.2002

Offered malt whisky for investment. No returns or accounts filed. Liquidators: Coopers & Lybrand (Gloucester).

 

Millennium International Wine Sales Ltd

(Now Catchensure Marketing Consultancy Ltd)

Company no: 02705261

The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall, London Wall, London EC2M 5PP

Founded: 9.4.1992

Directors: Raun Austin (DOB: 10.7.1967), resigned 10.10.1997; Andrew John Conyers Sommerville (DOB: 23.3.1938),

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux (as Millennium)

Current status: dissolved 27.8.2002

Part of the claret web, directors link to Goldman Williams and City Vintners. Company started life as Catchensure Ltd, changing its name first to Ritz Direct Ltd (28.10.1997), then to Millennium International Wine Sales Ltd (8.4.1998). As Ritz Direct, they contacted Champagne Ruinart in 1998 seeking Champagne. Ruinart declined to supply.

14.4.2000: changed company name to Catchensure Marketing Consultancy Ltd. Not thought to be now offering wine as an investment. (Go to claret web section)

12.4.02: Accounts overdue since 30.7.2001. Company applied on 28.3.02 to be struck off.

16.9.02: Company dissolved 27.8.02

(Go to claret web section)

 

Millennium Spirits Investments Ltd

Company no: 03279553

Pentax House, Southill Avenue, Northholt Road, South Harrow, Middx HA2 0DU

Founded: 18.11.96

Directors: Tarsem Khosa (DOB: 28.2.1970)

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: closed by UK DTI in the public interest - 17.9.1997. Company dissolved - 23.2.1999. Michael Quinn (World Wide Malts) was a salesman here too.

Mondeley International (see details under Gleneagles Spirit Management)

Parent company: Mondeley International Ltd

Registered Office: Ste 205 Saffrey Square, PO Box N-8188, Bank Lane, Nassau, Bahamas.

Reg office in Australia: Anglewood PTY Ltd, Lvl 4 Gold Fields House, 1 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, NSW 2000.

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: active

Parent company of Gleneagles Spirit Company, that operates in Australia and has offered malts from the Speyside Distillery and from the Tasmania Distillery Company.

 

Mondeley International

(see details under Gleneagles Spirit Management)

Parent company: Mondeley International Ltd

Registered Office: Ste 205 Saffrey Square, PO Box N-8188, Bank Lane, Nassau, Bahamas.

Reg office in Australia: Anglewood PTY Ltd, Lvl 4 Gold Fields House, 1 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, NSW 2000.

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: not known

Parent company of Gleneagles Spirit Company, that operated in Australia and offered malts from the Speyside Distillery and from the Tasmania Distillery Company. Gleneagles went into administration in February 2002.

 

Monticello plc

Company number: 03655247

Founded: 23.10.1998

Registered office: The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Building, London Wall, London EC2M 5PP (address changed: 26.4.2002)

Previous address: 45 Russell Square, London WC1B 4JP

Directors: Robert Ferrand (DOB: 11.8.26; appointed: 4.10.99); Andrew Glynn Larsen (DOB: 22.12.1964; appointed: 26.1.2001); Andrew John Conyers Sommerville (DOB: 23.3.38); Dudley Dyer Bartlett (DOB: 13.3.1957; appointed: 23.10.1998 - resigned 19.10.1999); Aniz Manji (DOB: 24.5.1965; appointed: 26.1.2001 - resigned: 12.7.2001); Mark O'Hanlon (DOB: 19.2.1961; appointed: 23.10.1998 - resigned: 26.1.2001); Amber Augusta Rudd (DOB: 1.8.1963; appointed: 27.5.1999 - resigned: 8.5.2000

Company secretary: Andrew John Conyers Sommerville (DOB: 23.3.38; appointed 20.6.2001 - previously appointed: 19.10.1999 - resigned: 6.4.2001)

Type of company: corporate venturing in relation to internet start up companies.

Current status: Liquidation - wound up in public interest: 30.4.03 (petition: 19.3.03)

Monticello plc took over The Zinc Corporation (03163073) in January 1999. Its shares traded on Ofex until it was expelled on 10.11.2000. The company is now under investigation by the DTI. (Fuller details on Claret Web - news posted 15.5.02)

27.5.02: annual return overdue (20.11.2001) and accounts overdue (31.10.2001)

DTI Petition to High Court on: 19/03/2003, wound up: 30.04.2003

 

 

Montrose of St James’s

Registered office: 45 Mortimore Street, London W1N 7TD

Trading address: No 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London SW1P 2AA

Founded: 15.8.1996

Directors: Mark Kenneth Butt

Type of drinks: Champagne

Current status: dissolved - 28.3.2000

Montrose offered Pommery Champagne as an investment until Pommery demanded that they contact their clients that their Champagne should not be considered an investment. Ceased trading shortly after. No returns or accounts lodged with Companies House.

 

Morgan Aston Ford Ltd

Company number: 04348445

Registered office: 18/23 Greenwich Market, London SE10 9EZ

Founded: 7.1.2002

Tel: 020-8293 1616

Email: admin@morganastonford.com

Website: www.morganastonford.com

Previous name: Speed 9014 Ltd (changed 22.1.2002)

Directors:  Paul Ford (DOB 29.8.1973 - appointed 10.1.2002), Simon Earl (DOB: 28.11.1954 - appointed 10.1.2002), Michael Wallen (DOB: 2.11.1962 - appointed 2.12.2003)

Company secretary: Paul Ford (DOB 29.8.1973 - appointed 12.2.2002),

Previous directors:  Bruce Aston (DOB 20.8.1969 - appointed 10.1.2002, resigned 12.8.2003), Tim Ford (DOB: 27.1.1945 - appointed 16.1.2002, resigned 17.11.2007)

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: active

Upfront commission: 25%

Morgan Aston Ford’s website explains their pricing policy: ‘We operate fairly with a transparent pricing system based upon the cost of the product plus a one-off brokerage fee. Morgan Aston Ford's over-riding objective is clear and simple. We are in the business of building the company with a view to the long term. The directors of the company are looking to build a solid reputation within the financial world, whereby the business will be the benchmark for all companies entering the same market and a byword for Integrity, Service, Value and Information.’ However, the UK Government warns investors against the practice  of upfront commissions: www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/watch_out/scams/investment-scams

 

Morgan Chantel Ltd

Company no: 03550400

Trafalgar House, 11 Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 4AU

Founded: 22.4.1998

Directors: Pathmanathan Sutharsanan (DOB: 20.12.1974), Roshan Rajaratnam (DOB: 16.5.1958) - resigned 19.11.99, Veluppillai Ratnasingham (13.4.1928) - resigned 19.8.98

Company secretary: First Secretaries Ltd (72 New Bond Street, London W1)

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: active

Accounts overdue (22.2.2000)

Prices are not as high as those in the claret web but they are still far too high. A recent price is £1,625 for 6 bottles of Lafite 1996 - the equivalent of £3,250 a case. This is about 70% over the market price. Furthermore, investors should buy full cases wherever possible.

3.12.01: recently offering Lafite 1998 for £2,300 (available from Farr Vintners for £1,260 - 4th Nov)

16.6.04: Went into voluntary liquidation on 26th May. Harold John Sorsky, 239 Regents Park Road, London N3 3LF (Tel: 020-8371 5000) appointed as liquidator.

 

Napier Spirit Company Ltd

46 Grays Inn Road, London

Trading address: 42 Southwark Street. London SE1

Founded: 21.7.95

Directors: Stephen Cleeve, Alison Alma Dunne, James Gourley, David Haley, Stephen Halsey

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: closed by UK DTI in the public interest 5.2.1997

A number of the directors of this company have been disqualified from being a director. Stephen Cleeve is disqualified from 29th February 2000 to 7th February 2008; Alison Dunne from 12th November 1999 to 21st October 2004; Stephen Dunne from 9th July 1999 to 17th June 2012; James Gourley from 9th July 1999 to 17th June 2009; and David Haley is disqualified from 12th November 1999 to 21st October 2003. Cleeve was later a director of Forrester & Lamego which offered investments in Cattier Champagne and LBV/ Vintage Character Port. Stephen Dunne was involved with World Wide Malts.

29.6.04: Stephen Cleeve is now a partner in European Land Sales Partnership, which specialises in selling small plots of land as an investment.

See Other News.

 

Napier Wine Company Ltd

46 Grays Inn Road, London

Founded: 6.10.94

Directors: David Haley

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: dissolved 23.7.96

Once called the Gaelic Whisky Brokers Ltd (name changed on 7.4.95)

David Haley is disqualified from being a director from 12th November 1999 to 21st October 2003.

 

Naurdex Trading Ltd

Company no: 03824869

28 High Street, Chistlehurst, Kent BR7 5AN

Founded: 13.8.1999

Directors: Rayn Austin (DOB: 10.7.1967)

Company secretary: Adam Brockwell of 28 High Street, Chistlehurst, Kent BR7 5AN

Type of business: unknown

Current status: dissolved 5.6.2001

Another of Raun Austin's directorships. No accounts or returns ever filed.

 

New Wave Wines Ltd

Company number: 0447788

Incorporated: 27.5.2002

Registered office: F30 Moulton Park Business Centre, Redhouse Road, Northampton NN3 6AQ

Previous registered office: Grange Park Unit 2, Cheaney Drive, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN4 5FB

Directors: Philip Capp (DOB: 21.9.66), Gregory Shaw (24.5.1966), David Wilcock (29.10.1946)

Company secretary: Philip Capp (DOB: 21.9.66)

Current status: dissolved 05.06.2006

Part of the Wine Corporation group of companies, thus part of Ocean-Seed.

 

Nouveau World Wines Ltd

Company number: 05233815

Registered office: 228a High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1PQ

Previous registered Office: 246a High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1PQ

Founded: 6.9.2004

Previous name: Infinite Rockall Services Limited (changed on 09/06/2006)

Trading addresses: 2nd floor, Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square,

London, W1J 6BD

Tel: 020-7887 6153

Email: nouveauworldwines.com

Website: www.nouveauworldwines.com

Other addresses: Australia - Level 50, 120 Collins Street, Melbourne, Vic 3000,

Tel: +61 (0) 3 9225 5287. Hong Kong ­- 18th & 19th floor One International

Finance centre No1, Harbour View Street. Tel: +852-2166 8888

Director: Daniel Snelling (DOB: 15.4.1975 - appointed 20.5.2006) 

Company secretary: SBC Accountants Ltd, 228a High Street, Bromley

Kent BR1 1PQ  (appointed: 01.1.2006)

Previous director: Scott Assemakis (DOB: 15.1.1980 - appointed: 01.01.2006,

resigned: 31.08.2006)

Type of drinks: Australian wines

Current status: active

3.3.2008: Until recently the company’s annual return has been overdue. It should have been filed on 14th October 2007 - Companies House received the return on 18th February 2008. Has same company secretary and website registrant as European Fine Wines Ltd. Investing in Australian wines is high risk as few Australian wines have an established investment track record. The ‘Down Under’ section shows how many investors lost heavily in the Wine Orb and Heritage Fine Wines debacles. Australia is an area to avoid if you are just starting out in wine investment.

Nouveau World Wines Ltd’s website claims: ‘New World's experienced wine brokers bring a wealth of knowledge and market information to their clients.’ This may be so but on their website they prefer to rely on Robert Parker’s knowledge with much of the material used without Parker’s permission and without acknowledgment.

See Claret web - Bromley chapter

 

Ocean International Marketing (formerly Heros Global Marketing Services)

Registered office: De Leuve, Schiedamsedijk 42, 3011 ED Rotterdam, Netherlands

Also offices in Toronto, Canada.

Founded: 1.3.1996

Owner: R.S Bhamra (DOB: 5.1.1967), 19 Holyview Close Station Road, London N3 4JU. Retired from business in 1997 following fatal car crash in Canada

Directors: Craig Garrett (appointed 1998), Paul Freeman (1998 - 11.2000), Anil Kohli ((appointed 1998); Sean Stockdale (appointed 2000?)

Tel: (31) 10-2801000; fax: (31) 10-2801055

Type of drinks: Champagne, red Bordeaux. Also property, oil and gas exploration, and CD protection.

Current status: active

Heros were ‘the appointed marketing agents for Churchill Associates Ltd’, so I assume that Ocean are the marketing agents for Seed International Ltd (the current name for Churchill Associates Ltd).

http://www.ocean-marketing-hi.co.uk

16.9.02: the ocean-marketing-hi.co.uk site no longer appears to be operating. Instead there is http://www.ocean-int.com

17.1.03: offices raid by Rotterdam fraud squad and Dutch tax authorities.

(Go to Ocean section)

 

Optidisc (Cyprus) Ltd (OCYP)

Registered office:

Directors: Peter Georgiou Economides (Chief Executive Officer), Athos Foutis (Chief Financial Officer), Trevor Alan Burroughs (Technical Director)

Company secretary: Totalserve Management Ltd, Limassol, Cyprus

(information as of PPM October 1998)

 

Optidisc International Ltd (OIL)

Company no:

Registered office: PO Box 2075 GT, West Wind Building, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

Directors: Douglas Walter George Calder (President, Chairman & B Director), Peter Georgiou Economides (Chief Executive Officer & B Director), Keith Calder Burroughs (A Director)

Company secretary: Sarum Ltd

(information as of PPM October 1998)

 

Optidisc (UK) Ltd

Company no: 03430207

Registered office: Birches Meadow, The Wytchwoods, Pettaugh, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 6TB

Previous registered office: Saint James House, 13 Kensington Square, London W8 5HD

Previous registered office; 29 Abingdon Road, London W8 6AH

Present trading address:

Previous trading address: 58 Grosvenor Street, London W1.

Founded: 5.9.97

Shareholders: Optidisc (Cyprus) Ltd, 227 Arch. Makarios, 111 Avenue, Doms Court 5th Floor, Limassol, Cyprus

Type of operation: CD protection - Cdfender.

Current status: in voluntary liquidation, dissolved 25.07.2007

Part of the Ocean-Seed group.

9.9.02: Optidisc (UK) is believed to be now trading from Regent's Place, 338 Euston Road, London, NW1 3BT UK. Main tel: +44 (0) 20 7544 8400;  main fax: +44 (0) 20 7544 8401. Regent’s Place is a office block run by Regus, a world-wide operator of business centres. 1999 accounts were filed in July 2002, while the 2000 accounts, which should have been filed on 31st January 2002, are overdue.

28.4.03: In voluntary liquidation - 8.4.03. Liqudiator:Peter Hickman, Birches Meadow, The Wytchwoods, Pettaugh, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 6TB

 

Orchid Viva Ltd

No: 03955684

Registered office: 140 Tabernacle Street, London EC2A 4SD

Founded: 24.3.03

Current status: active - proposal to strike off

10.11.03: Accounts ovcrdue (31.1.03); annual return overdue (21.4.03). Like Titus Mirinda one of the administrative companies associated with City Vintners/Goldman Williams and the Salisbury share companies.

19.1.04: dissolved 23.12.2003

 

Pearldene Ltd

Trading name: Cavendish Wine Merchants

Founded: 9.3.93

Directors: Lewis Daulby, Lee Rosser

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: liquidation - 1.7.1996

Daulby and Rosser are serving sentences for conspiracy to defraud. Daulby (5 years) and Rosser (7 years). Confiscation proceedings are due to be heard in June 2001 at Southwark Crown Court.

 

Pembridge Villiers Ltd

Suite 22954, 72 New Bond Street, London W1Y 9DD

Trading from: to Unit 42, 145 Seymour Place, London W1H 5TL.

Previously at: Rivington House, 82 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A

Founded: 2.6.1999

Directors: First Atlantic Directors, Monrovia, Liberia.

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux.

Current status: dissolved 7.5.02

Part of the claret web: Peter Fretwell, director of Harrington Ross, has headed paper that lists both companies. The Pembridge Villiers brochure is so similar to that of Harrington Ross that it has Harrington Ross where Pembridge Villiers should be. Someone forgot to do 'find and replace'. I hope clients of Pembridge Villiers find it reassuring that there is only an accommodation address in London and the director is a company in Liberia. HM Customs & Excise apparently didn't as they have frozen Pembridge Villiers's bonded warehouse account.

In 1999 Pembridge were offering 1996 Château Margaux at £3,800 and Mouton Rothschild at £2,800. October 8th 2000: BT have no listing for either Pembridge Villiers or Peter Fretwell at Seymour Place. The company seems to have effectively ceased trading. It appears that Pembridge Villiers failed to buy wine for some of its clients.

October 8th 2000: BT have no listing for either Pembridge Villiers or Peter Fretwell at Seymour Place. The company seems to have effectively ceased trading. It appears that Pembridge Villiers failed to buy wine for some of its clients.

November 2000: Sole director and company secretary resign. 27.2.2001: First gazette issued by Companies House. 19.6.2001: First gazette suspended but as of 16.7.01 no returns or accounts filed, nor are there any directors or company secretary.

5.8.02: dissolved 7.5.02. No accounts or returns ever filed.

(part of claret web)

 

Quintec Ltd.

Company number: 03182304

Registered office: 16 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7HH

Founded: 3.4.1996

Fax number: 020-7690 7032

Directors: Alyene Alexander Austin Edwards (DOB: 26.4.1974), Orchid Viva Ltd (incorporated 24.3.2000)

Type of operation: development & sell real estate

Some faxes sent from Goldman Williams have the Quintec fax heading on them. CoCurrent status: active - proposal to strike off mpany presumably trades from Roman House, the premises of City Vintners and Goldman Williams.

10.11.03: Accounts ovcrdue (28.2.03); annual return overdue (1.5.03).

 

Ransby Ocean Challenges Ltd

Company number: 04251745

Registered office: 25 Ryegate, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5AA

Previous registered office: 38 South Street, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1EL

Trading address: 3 The Saddlers, Westhampnett, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0PR.

Director: Caroline Alexander (13.7.71; appointed 13.7.01)

Founded: 13.7.2001

Company Secretary: Alexander Ransby (19.10.73; appointed 13.7.01)

Current status: wound up in the public interest on 09/06/2004, due to be dissolved  on 27.12.2010

Ransby Ocean Challenges was set up by Alex Ransby to build a boat called Hipjoint that Ransby, who suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis a form of arthritis, would sail around the world allegedly to raise money for arthritis sufferers. It is not clear how much money Ransby raised when to sailed to Canada and back in 2003. It is, however, evident that Ransby as a disqualified director and personal bankrupt, illegally ran the company and mired it in debt. In September 2003 Ransby fled the UK and the consequences of his actions to start a new life in Canada. It is not clear whether Ransby Ocean Challenges Ltd is solvent. Last accounts made up to: 31/07/2002 (DORMANT)

16.6.04: Company wound up in the public interest in High Court in London. Debts of some £50,000.

3.3.2008: No recent news of the serial fraudster, fantasist and confidence trickster - Alex Ransby since August 2007 when he was supposed to be attempting to row across the Atlantic. First attempt was apparently delayed by bad weather. Not known whether any further attempts were made.

 

Ransby Hoare Associates Ltd

Company number: 038399442

Registered office: Rutland House, 44 Masons Hill, Bromley Kent BR2 9EQ (liquidator)

Last trading address: 1a Playfield Crescent, East Dulwich, London SE22 8QR

Registered office and previous trading address: Suite 11, Lombard Business Centre, London SW19 3TZ

Founded: 7.9.99

Directors: Alexander William Guy Rymil Ransby (DOB: 9.9.1973), Brigadier Geoffrey Paul Rymil Ransby (DOB: 12.4.1939).

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: voluntary liquidation then compulsory liquidation - 10.4.02

Part of the claret web. Linked by similarities of marketing and pricing to the other companies in the claret web (City Vintners, Goldman Williams, Harrington Ross, Millennium International Wine Sales and Pembridge Villiers). Their brochure has echoes of others in the web and carried the bottle and glass on a pedestal. Now offering Château Lafite 1996 at £3,950 (current market price £1,600-£1,700) and Château Mouton-Rothschild for £5,200 (£2,200 UK auction price).

8th October 2000: company moved to East Dulwich. However, the Lombard Business Centre, where their registered office was not informed of their whereabouts. Nor apparently was the registered office changed. Company was highlighted by The Liquid Companion (Radio 4 - early August 2000) and Financial Mail on Sunday (1st October 2000). Also featured on BBC Breakfast TV in early November.

11th December 2000. Guy Harrison was appointed liquidator. The company's total assets were estimated t o be just £1,569.37, while the total debts were £99,837. This leaves an estimated deficiency of £98,270.13. Most of the creditors appear to be private individuals - presumably putative investors.

Although not a company officer the company was run by Andrew Dunne.

16.9.02: DTI petitioned for compulsory closure (20.2.02), winding up order 10.4.02

24th March 2003: Brigadier Geoffrey Paul Rymil Ransby and his son Alexander William Guy Rymil Ransby disqualified from being UK directors. The Brigadier is banned until 20th March 20012 and his son until 20th March 2014.

(Go to claret web section.)

 

Ransby Ocean Challenges Ltd

Company number: 04251745

Registered office: 25 Ryegate, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5AA

Previous registered office: 38 South Street, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1EL

Trading address: 3 The Saddlers, Westhampnett, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0PR.

Director: Caroline Alexander (13.7.71; appointed 13.7.01)

Founded: 13.7.2001

Company Secretary: Alexander Ransby (19.10.73; appointed 13.7.01)

Current status: wound up in the public interest - 9.6.04

Ransby Ocean Challenges was set up by Alex Ransby to build a boat called Hipjoint that Ransby, who suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis a form of arthritis, would sail around the world allegedly to raise money for arthritis sufferers. It is not clear how much money Ransby raised when to sailed to Canada and back in 2003. It is, however, evident that Ransby as a disqualified director and personal bankrupt, illegally ran the company and mired it in debt. In September 2003 Ransby fled the UK and the consequences of his actions to start a new life in Canada. It is not clear whether Ransby Ocean Challenges Ltd is solvent.

Last accounts made up to : 31/07/2002 (DORMANT)

16.6.04: Company wound up in the public interest in High Court in London on 9th June. Debts of some £50,000.

 

Reichman Advisory S.L.

Registered office: General Mitre126, 6B Barcelona, 08021 Spain.

N.I.F.: B-62418298

Registro Mercantil de Barcelona: Tomo 33255 Folio 016 Hoja B 227603 Inscriptión 1. Tel: 9340 93 416 6700; fax: (34) 93 416 6702.

Office tel: 0870-8890304; office fax: 0870-8890305

Correspondence address: Lon 29294, London EC2B 0AR

Links in with Goldberg Kravitz, Stanley Riebeck Corporation, Webster Cohen & Galombik and the Salisbury Merchant Bank.

 

Ritz Wholesale Ltd

Company no: 03535354

223 Regent Street, 501 International House, London W1R 8QD

Founded: 20.3.1998

Directors: Raun Austin (DOB: 10.7.1961), Andrew Patrick Frankland (DOB: 17.3.1970)

Company secretary: Andrew Patrick Frankland

Current status: dissolved 11th September 2001

18.6.2001: accounts overdue (20.1.2000) and returns (17.4.1999).

First gazetted for non-compliance: 14.9.99 (suspended: 5.10.99), 2nd gazette: 10.10.2000 - suspended 7.11.2000, gazetted for non-compliance - 22nd May 2001. No returns or accounts ever filed. Dissolved 11.9.01

 

Salisbury Merchant Bank

Licence no: 07/2000/035

Parent company of Stanley Riebeck Corporation and Webster Cohen & Galombik Inc. Regulated by the Grenada International Financial Services Authority and licensed under the Grenada Offshore Banking Act 1996 to carry on offshore banking business.

 

Salisbury Merchant Nominees Ltd

Company no: 03985757

Registered office: The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Building, London EC2M 5PP

Founded: 4.5.2000

Previous name: Stanley Riebeck Nominees Ltd

Directors: Johannes Boode (DOB:12.2.68), Ocean Breeze Drive, Lance aux Epines, St Georges Grenada. (Appointed: 20/05/2002)

The Earl of Kimberley (DOB: 12.5.1924; died 12.5.02), Alison Martha Letang (DOB: 21.4.1969; appointed: 04/05/2000, resigned: 18/05/2002).

Company secretary: GBA Computax, 1st floor, 172 Hoe Street, Walthamstowe, London E17 4QH (Appointed: 10/05/2002)

Previous company secretary: The Birches Company Ltd, The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Building, London EC2M 5PP. (Appointed: 04/05/2000, resigned: 18/05/2002)

Type of business: holds securities for clients of Stanley Riebeck Corporation and Webster Cohen & Galombik Ltd - companies in Grenada and subsidiaries of Salisbury Merchant Bank.

Current status: active - proposal to strike off

12.4.02: first annual return due on 1.6.01 filed 2.1.02.

6.8.02: John Boode was a key figure in the Salisbury Merchant Bank operation in Grenada until PWC took over the companies' affairs. Not clear at this stage what will happen to Salisbury Nominees.

10.11.03: Accounts ovcrdue (31.3.03); annual return overdue (1.6.03).

 

Securitized Syndicated Investments (SSI) Ltd

Trading name: Marshall Wineries

Founded: 5.8.1993

Directors: Stephen Jupe (DOB: 16.10.1953),

Type of drinks: malt whisky, Champagne

Current status: closed by the UK DTI in public interest (March 1997).

Another of Stephen Jupe’s companies.

 

Seed International Ltd (formerly Churchill Associates Ltd)

Buckingham House, 174 South Church Street, PO Box 1778 GT, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Founded: 1996

Directors: Disney Ltd, a subsidiary of The Kensington Corporation Ltd based on Alderney, Paul Freeman (appointed July 2001).

Type of investments: Champagne, red Bordeaux, Italian wine, oil and gas exploration, property, CD protection, antiques and possibly more.

Current status: active

Thought to be parent company of the Ocean-Seed group. Believed to have been founded by Anil Kohli and Paul Freeman but only Freeman has been a director of both Heros/Ocean and Seed. However website (http://www.seedinternationallimited.com) covers only wine.

(See Ocean-Seed)

 

Shinystar plc

Company number: 03948326

Registered office: Edgemead House, Edgemead Close, Round Spinney, Northampton NN3 8RG

Founded: 15.3.2000

Current status: dissolved 14.1.03

11.2.02: accounts overdue (15.10.01)

7.10.02: return overdue (12.4.02); proposal to strike off initiated by Companies House for non-compliance.

Dissolved 14.1.03

 

Speyside Distillers Company Limited

Company Number: SC199495

Duchess Road, Rutherglen, Glasgow G73 1AU

Founded: 02.09.1999

Status :Active          

Type of drinks: malt whisky distiller

Previous names: Speyside Distillery Company Limited (date of change: 11/02/2002), Exchangelaw (No.232) Limited (date of change: 08/03/2001)

Associate companies: Speyside Distillery Company Ltd, Speyside Bonding Co Ltd

29.3.04: Accounts overdue 31.1.04

3.3.08: accounts overdue since 31.10.2007 overdue and annual return since 30.09.2007.

 

Speyside Distillery Company Ltd

Company number: SC031095

Duchess Road, Glasgow G73 1AU.

Founded: 18/10/1955

Type of drinks: malt whisky distiller

Current status: active but non-trading

Previous names: The Speyside Distillers Limited (changed 11/02/2002), Speyside Distillery Company Limited (changed 08/03/2001), Speyside Distillery And Bonding Company Limited (04/09/1985)

Associate companies: Speyside Bonding Co Ltd, Speyside Distillers Company Limited

Website: http://www.speysidedistillery.co.uk

 Speyside have a recently established distillery (1990) close to Kingussie in the Spey Valley. They supplied casks to Marshall Wineries through Grandtully, William Buchanan & Company and to Gleneagles in Australia. Speyside also offer casks of their whisky on their website under the banner Golden Opportunity - an offer limited to 750 casks a year worldwide.

During the second half of 2000 there was a management buy-in to the company. 'The buy-in was led by an international team of high profile businessmen including Ricky Christie who has previously been managing director of Speyside.'

The website offers 'a declaration of independence' - 'George Christie and his family are determined never to let their customers down. The quality of the whisky is a matter of family pride. So are the standards of the outlets. Throughout the world, the products of the companies are on sale only at the most prestigious stores.' Whether investors in Speyside casks offered by Marshall Wineries, William Buchanan or Gleneagles would agree is another matter. The last accounts showed the company to be dormant.

3.3.08: annual return has been overdue since 21.09.2007

 

The Spirit Company

WG Plein 190, 1054 SC Amsterdam, Holland

Founded:

Directors:

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: uncertain

Was offering casks of various malt whisky in Australia. Newspaper articles (Sunday Times: 21.2.1999/28.3.1999) in Western Australia showed that a number of Australians had fallen victim to being ‘stung by an ingenious international scam’. Likely to be linked to Vintage Wines.

 

Spirit Marketing Ltd

Company number: 03275238

Founded: 7.11.1996

Directors: William Bright (DOB: 6.3.23), Philip Mark Croshaw (4.3.1956)

Type of drinks: Champagne, malt whisky, Port

Current status: dissolved 31/03/1998

Part of Hamilton Spirit Management stable and set up when Hamilton were opening their London office. At the time of becoming a director, Croshaw who resides in Sark had 649 company appointments. Believed to have no connection with Spirit Marketing Ltd (no: 03647090), an active company set up in 9.10.1998.

 

Stallion (Monaco) Ltd

Company number: 04291519

Founded: 21/09/2001

Registered office: Flat 42, Anchor Brewhouse, 50 Shad Thames, London SE1 2LY

Previous registered address: 16 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7HH

Directors: R.A.A. Austin (DOB: 10.7.67), Coral Cove, St Georges, Grenada; Triple Check Ltd (16 Grosvenor Place)

Business activities: general commercial - believed to relate in particular to Austin’s Ferrari’s - hence the company name.

Status: dissolved 14.06.2004

10.11.03: Accounts overdue (21.7.03); annual return overdue (19.10.03)

19.1.04: Proposal to strike off.

 

Stanley Knight Ltd

Company number: 03660218

Registered office: 7 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4AQ

Formerly: Denton House, 40-44 Wicklow Street, London WC1X 9HL

Founded: 2.11.98

Director: Anthony Ohir (DOB: 4.11.1966)

Current status: dissolved 22.10.02

Offering Château Lafite 1996 at £4,048. In April 2000 a shareholder in Pacific Media Corps was offered the opportunity by a Henry Wood of Stanley Knight to invest in Lafite 1996. Aurora Menon worked for the company selling half a case of 1996 Mouton-Rothschild for £1,175 in July 1999.

June 2001: do not appear to be very active.

July 02: proposal strike off.

Dissolved: 22.10.02

(Part of the claret web.)

 

Stanley Riebeck Corporation Ltd.

Company number: 03545578

Registered office: The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Building, London EC2M 5PP

Founded: 14.4.1998

Directors: The Birches Company of The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Building, London EC2M 5PP

Company secretary: The Birches Company of The City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Building, London EC2M 5PP

Type of business: none registered

Current status: dissolved 3.10.2000.

No accounts or returns filed - appear to have been closed for non-compliance. Previous names Goldberg Kravitz Corp Ltd, Christophe le Roux Nominees Ltd and Breezeglen Ltd. On 1st October 2000 Tony Hetherington in the Financial Mail on Sunday reported on a shareholder in M.V. Sports being offered a free market report by both Goldberg Kravitz of Barcelona and Stanley Riebeck Corporation of Grenada. Both offered advice on shares.

 

Sterling and Murray Ltd.

Company number: 04087789

Registered office: 16 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7HH

Former registered office: 368 City Road, London EC1V 2QA

Founded: 11.10.2000

Director: Raun Austin (DOB: 10.7.67)

Company secretary: Mark Sommerville (16.10.72)

Status: dissolved 29.7.03

Type of drinks: unknown, but likely to be Bordeaux.

Austin and Sommerville were appointed early in 2001. It is believed that Mark Sommerville is the son of Andrew John Conyers Sommerville, director of City Vintners and Goldman Williams. Company due to trade as Broadgate Vintners Ltd until Austin learned that a previous wine firm called Broadgate Wine Shippers had gone bust in August 1997. Name changed to Sterling and Murray on 14th February 2001.

Listed as a non-trading company

21.10.02: Accounts overdue (11/08/2002)

 

Tasmania Distillery Company Pty Ltd

(now Highland Holding Pty Ltd Tasmania Distillery)

Company no: 085 534 514

Founded: 1992

Directors:

Type of drinks: Tasmanian malt whisky

Current status: active

The company's malts were offered in cask as an investment by Gleneagles and also by the company, which claimed that 'the prestigious leading Australian Wine Auctioneers - Langton's in association with Christie's, have agreed to include our customers casks in their regular auctions across Australia. This was news to both Langton's and Christie's. The company was founded by Robert Hosken. On 23rd June 1998 Hosken was convicted of insolvent trading over the collapse of the Launceston Hotel in 1990 with debts of $AU335,000.

Hosken was found to have 'acted with gross impropriety with respect to the funds of $AU113,000 he used for his own purpose, resulting in a loss to the creditors'. He was fined $AU150,000 and banned from being involved in the management of a company for five years. The Tasmanian Supreme Court subsequently allowed him 'limited leave to manage the companies'.

The company changed hands on September 18th 1999 and is being refinanced and its production increased. The new owners of the Tasmania Distillery are a Canberra based company called Highland Holdings. The company no longer has any connections with Robert Hosken or his family. All mention of Langton's auctions have been dropped from the website.

The new company is now offering casks of new fill whisky in 50, 100, 200 and 300 litre sizes. Prices per litre of spirit (including cask) range from £15.60 (50 litre size) to £11.99. After first year storage costs £104 a year. Insurance, if required, would be additional. Although the distillery's production is limited and there is not a lot of Tasmanian whisky about, potential purchasers should be aware that the current price for 10YO bulk Scotch malt whisky is around £4.00 to £4.25 a litre. Admittedly this does not include the cost of the barrel.

 

Titus Mirinda Ltd

Company number: 04265648

Registered office: The Old Fire Station, 140 Tabernacle Street, London EC2 4SR

Founded: 6.8.01

Directors: Emma Cousins (DOB: 8.6.1977- appointed 8.2.02), Tony Lemom (DOB: 31.1.1966 - appointed 22.10.2001, nominee directors: P&L Company Secretaries Ltd and Triple Check Ltd (both of 16 Grosvenor Place, London SW1)

Company secretary: GBA Computax (appointed: 7.3.02), Emma Cousins (appointed 3.1.02 - resigned 8.3.02), nominee - P&L Secretaries Ltd. 

Current status: dissolved 04.05.2004

investdrinks understands that Titus Mirinda Ltd has an role in administering the some or all of the share companies associated with the Salisbury Merchant Bank of Grenada. Tabernacle Street is a few hundred yards from Roman House, which prior to the closure of City and Goldman, was also used for administration of the share companies.

28.7.02: likely to have been one of the business addresses searched by the SFO on 23rd July.

10.11.03: Accounts overdue (06/06/2003) and annual return overdue (03/09/2003).

 

T.O.T.O. Ltd

Company number: SC219423

Registered office: 9 Ainslie Place, Edinburgh EH3 6AT

Founded: 22.5.2001

Directors: Mark Tang, Edinburgh (DOB: 28.05.1969)

Company secretary: Charlotte Tang (DOB: 13.2.1969)

Current status: active

The flat in the Boilerhouse, Shad Thames, London SE1 shared by Raun Austin and his business partner, Justin Russell, is in the name of T.O.T.O. Ltd.

 

Triple Check Ltd

Company number: 03302835

Registered office: 16 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7HH

Founded: 15.1.1997

Directors: General Services Ltd (16 Grosvenor Place) - previous directors: Claude Clifford Greaves (DOB: 15.3.1957) - resigned 12.11.1998, Senior Investments Ltd (Europort, Gibraltar) - resigned 7.5.1998, Wear Investco Ltd (7 Cathedral House, Church Street, St Georges, Grenada) - resigned 26.1.2001

Company secretary: P & L Company Secretaries Ltd (16 Grosvenor Place)

Current status: dissolved 14.11.2006

Triple Check is a director of International Wine Holdings and Vintage Assets International Ltd. Greaves  is a director of Greaves & Associates Ltd, which was wound up on 14th June 2000 and is now in the hands of the Official Receiver following a petition brought by the Inland Revenue. Greaves & Associates, chartered tax practitioners and consultants, are based at 16 Grosvenor Place. The accounts to 30th April 2000 for both City Vintners Ltd and Goldman Williams Ltd were audited by Allen & Greaves Ltd, 368 City Road, London EC1V 2QA.   

22.4.02: according to Focus Information Services the company offers: ‘a complete US Tax service to Americans living in the UK. Triple Check is familiar with the British Tax system thanks to its association with a London-based firm of auditors and accountants. Also provide financial and business services for every phase’.

Greaves is awaiting trial at Southwark Crown Court which due to start on 3rd February 2003 for tax evasion, false accounting and money laundering.

23.9.02: Claude Clifford Greaves is disqualified from being a director from 11.6.2002 to 10.6.2012

3.3.08: The trial eventually took place and Greaves was found guilty in 2006 and sentenced to three years for VAT fraud.

 

Trouillard Champagne (UK) Ltd

Company no: 03332330

Corner House, 21 Combe Road, London W4 2HR

Founded: 12.3.97

Directors:

Type of drinks: Champagne

Current status: dissolved - 25.8.1998

Another of Stephen Jupe’s companies, no returns or accounts filed. Jupe was apparently Trouillard’s UK agent. Attempted in 1997 to involve Trouillard with charitable functions through the National Maritime Museum and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital until these organisations learned of the investment side of Jupe’s business, which included investment in Trouillard Champagne.

 

Union Partners SL

Registered office: 240 Muntaner, Barcelona. N.I.F. B-62113600

Registro Mercantil de Barcelona: Tomo 32135 Folio 175 Hoja B 208144 Inscriptión 1. Tel: (34) 93 216 3800; fax: (34) 93.215 8320.

Advisory desk tel: 0870-8890304; advisory desk fax: 0870-889305

Freepost Lon 13570, London

Goldberg Kravitz appears to have changed its name to Union Partners SL. A potential client of Stanley Riebeck was sent an application form to fill in and to return to Union Partners. 'Free Market Updates from Union Partners and Free Market Report from Stanley Riebeck Corporation were received as a four page document with the words 'Please do not separate' down the middle.' There are UK 0870 and London telephone numbers to contact.

The terms and conditions of business issued by Union Partners SL usefully warns that as the company is based in Spain protections offered by the UK regulatory system will not apply nor will compensation available through the UK Financial Services Authority and the Chartered Accountants Compensation Scheme will not be available in respect to services provided by the company. Any dispute will come under the jurisdiction of Spain and the Barcelona Courts.

 

Vaz and Alexander Ltd

Company no: 04082574

Founded: 3.10.2000

Registered office: 50 Aboyne Drive, Wimbledon, London SW20 0AL

Previous registered office: 9 Cork Street, Mayfair, London W1S 3LL

Director: Peter Herman Naiman (DOB: 30.11.55)

Company secretary: Koval Valentino

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: compulsory liquidation

BT have no telephone listing.

May 2001: offering half a case of Lafite 1996 for £2,375. A putative client has told investdrinks that they were "told that they (V&A) only dealt with Bordeaux direct and each bottle was x-rayed to prove it was the very best and the price was higher because of the guaranteed quality" and "we have only a limited amount of bottles on offer and that they were able to take on just a few new clients at this point in time". They were also told by V&A that "the wine could provide a Capital gains tax free investment which would out perform shares bought on the FTSE100".

20.8.2001: investdrinks understands that the company is no longer trading in wine and that only a very small quantity of wine was ever sold.

29th April 2002: wound up in public interest on 1.2.02

 

VCA Vintners Ltd

Company number: 03312675

Founded: 04.02.1997

Registered office: 11 Berkley Street, London W1X 6BU

Previous registered office: 96 High Street, London W8 4SG

Directors: Simon Drake

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux, Champagne

Current status: DTI petition to wind up, compulsory order granted on 6.2.02, dissolved 02.06.2004.

Simon Drake worked for Allwines Ltd before setting up VCA Vintners in early 1997 offering wine as an investment. The prices were not excessive. Unfortunately VCA Vintners may not have bought all the wines they sold. VCA Vintners is believed to have ceased trading and Drake may have moved to Spain. Accounts are overdue from 3.1.2000 and returns from 4.3.2001. Application for a voluntary strike-off made 26.9.2000. Several objections lodged including one on 24th May 2001.

November 2001: DTI petition to close in public interest, provisional liquidator appointed. Winding up petition likely to be heard early in New Year.

29th April 2002: Company wound up in public interest on 6.2.02.

 

Vintage Assets International Ltd

Company number: 04304011 Founded: 12.10.2001

Registered office: 16 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7HH

Trading address: Roman House, 10-26 East Road, London N1 6AD

Director: Triple Check Ltd, 16 Grosvenor Place, London SW1

Company secretary: P & L Company Secretaries Ltd, 16 Grosvenor Place, London SW1

Type of drinks: understood to be 1st growth Bordeaux

Current status: dissolved 15.7.03

22.10.01: investdrinks understands that Mark Blackburn is the MD of this fledgling company. Blackburn was a broker with Goldman Williams.

22.4.02: The third wine company to trade from Roman House but the closure of City Vintners and Goldman Williams' offices brought it to a halt.

Dissolved: 15.7.03 - no returns or accounts ever filed.

 

Vintage Casks Ltd

Company no: 03067066

Founded: 12.6.1995

Directors: Kenneth Evans (DOB: 12.8.1925), John Edmund Odell (14.11.1944)

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: in voluntary liquidation - 26.2.1997; dissolved 12.9.98

Offered casks of malt whisky for investment. ‘Another (ex-employee of Fox Milton a stockbroking firm shut down in 1989) is John Odell, who was banned from the financial services industry for life last July. He worked until recently for Vintage Casks……’ (Mail on Sunday: 6.4.1997)

 

Vintage Hallmark plc

Founded: 1.04.1998

Directors: Henry Crosthwaite (DOB: 17.11.40; appointed: 8.8.01 - resigned 20.11.01), Richard Decicco (DOB:20.3.1957; appointed: 6.12.00 - resigned 11.12.02), Inder Goel (DOB: 1.1.1938; appointed: 8.8.01 - resigned 18.11.02), Robin Grove (DOB: 12.1.1961; appointed: 1.4.1998 - resigned 12.2.02),Richard Gunter (DOB: 12.1.1961; appointed: 6.11.00 - resigned 15.2.02), Joseph Hart (DOB: 23.5.1936; appointed 15.1.02), Robert Jeens (DOB: 16.12.1953; appointed: 8.8.01 - resigned 20.11.01); David Lamb (DOB: 27.3.1944; appointed: 6.11.00 - resigned 15.2.02), Frank Mesdag (DOB: 28.12.1947; appointed: 15.1.02 - resigned 22.1.03), Wallace Milroy (DOB: 16.12..1931; appointed: 18.1.02 - resigned 15.2.02), John Owen (DOB:22.2.1945; appointed: 8.8.01- resigned 4.1.02), Stephen Page (DOB: 26.3.1960; appointed: 18.1.02 - resigned 20.9.02),

Raymond Ziler (DOB: 5.4.1945; appointed 8.8.01)

Company secretary: David Lamb (DOB: 27.3.1944; appointed: 1.4.98 - resigned 18.1.02)

Type of drinks: malt whisky, Cognac, Champagne and Bordeaux

Current status: in liquidation (22.1.03)

A putative American investor reported in November 1999 being approached by Vintage Hallmark. ‘Vintage Hallmark is dealing in new filled casks of 1999 Ben Nevis whiskey at $2100 per cask (invest $14700 and sell for approx $80,000 in 2-3 years), casks of 1996 Vs cognac at $9000 per cask (sell for $21,000 in a year or two), and cases of Herbert Beauforte champagne at $600 per case (60 bottles per case, sell for $1200 per case).

10.3.03: company put into liquidation on 22.1.03. The appointed insolvency practitioners are Neale Jackson, The Meeting House, Little Mount Sion, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1YS and Stephen Tancock, 1st Floor, Holbrook House, 72 Bank Street, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1SN. Creditors are understood to include a number of American investors.

3.3.08: As a result of a case brought in 2006 by the DTI. Robin Grove of Holme, Cambridgeshire and Richard Gunter of Welwyn, directors of Vintage Hallmark plc were found by His Honour Judge Richard Havery to be ‘utterly unfit to be concerned in the management of a company’. Grove and Gunter have been banned from 6th December 2006 to 5th December 2021. Lamb committed suicide on November 1 2005. There is an on-going SFO investigation into the company. Jina Roe, an SFO spokesperson, said: “The Serious Fraud Office is continuing to investigate a serious or complex fraud in relation to Vintage Hallmark plc, in liquidation.” As yet no charges have been made.

 

Vintage Wines Ltd

Prinsengracht 64, 1015 DX, Amsterdam, Holland

Also: Rue Robert Caumont, Immeuble B, 33049 Bordeaux Cedex, France

Founded:

Directors:

Type of drinks: red Bordeaux

Current status: active and specialises in extortionate prices for hopeless investment wines.

Not known where the company actually operates from as both the Amsterdam and Bordeaux addresses are service offices.

Has been very active in Ireland. Last year sold a case of Ch Brane Cantenac 1975 for IR£3,950 (£3,319 sterling) - worth £210 max. Also sold a case of Château Fonbel Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 1994 for IR£1,425 (sterling equivalent - £1,197.48 or £99.79 per bottle). Investor was told a few weeks later that his case had increased in value to IR£1,500 - complete rubbish. The château sells the 1994 for 45FF (£4.64 equivalent at time of purchase)

Currently (October-November 2000) seems to be concentrating on selling 1994 St Emilion Grand Cru for around £1,700 - £1,800 a case. These wines are only worth between £100 to £150 a case depending on the property

Although investdrinks has seen transfer documents issued by Vintage Wines Ltd showing that the wine are apparently stored in London. No details, however, are given of bonded warehouse. Nor has investdrinks seen any of the customary documents issued by a bonded warehouse to confirm that the wines are in their store

Vintage Wines Ltd may be linked to The Spirit Company (the welcome letter sent out by Vintage Wines has remarkably similar echoes to a similar letter sent out by the Spirit Company) and may involve Joe McConville - Croft & Dupont, Connaught Belgravia and Napier Spirit Company. The company has also operated in Australia offering Lafite-Rothschild, Margaux and Pétrus

Have been exposed in a number of Irish papers including the Sunday Tribune, Irish Times and the Sunday Times (Dublin edition).

January 2001 making a new promotional push directed at shareholders in Eircom, the privatised Irish telecommunications company. This is being done through Liquid Gold.

5.5.2004: Please note that Vintage Wines Ltd of Nottingham in the UK has no connection whatsoever with this Dutch scam company. The Nottingham company was founded in September 1953. investdrinks understands that the owner of the Dutch company is Paul Francis Kelly of Bordeaux and Louis Visser of Amsterdam is the director of the Dutch company.

 

Vintage Wines of St Albans Ltd

Company no: 04609871

Founded: 5.12.2002

Registered address: C/O Cartwright & Co, 106 High Street, Stevenage

Hertfordshire SG1 3DW

Directors:

Company secretary

Type of drinks: wine

Current status: dissolved 01.05.2006

The company’s website shows an offer of a small selection of wine from Australia, France, Italy and Spain. Among the wines offered were Château Gamage in the Côtes de Castillon, Chateau Graves de Peyroutas, Grand Cru Saint Emilion, Viña Tobia (Rioja), Fabulae (Gavi, Piedmont), Tenuta Torciano (Tuscany) and Piggs Peake, Mudgee, Australia.

Last accounts filed were up to 31.03.2005 (dormant).

The Serious Fraud Squad has brought a case against Shameen Suleman, Stephanie Callebaut, Haroon Khatab, Donald Thomas and Richard Gunter, which will now open at Southwark Crown Court in London on 6th May. It had previously been scheduled to start on 31st March. The five defendants are accused of conspiracy to defraud and that they ‘between 1st January 2002 and 31st December 2005 conspired together and with others to defraud North American investors by dishonestly inducing them to provide monies for short term high yield, and low risk investments in wine’.

 

Webster Cohen & Galombik Inc.

Registered address: Fort Jeudy, St George's, Grenada.

Correspondence address: c/o Freepost, Lon 29292, London EC2B 0AS

Tel: 1.473.440.0116; fax: 1.473.440.0251

Website: http://208.56.39.254/index_flash.htm

Company's statement approved by The Birches Company Ltd (director and company secretary: Andrew Conyers Sommerville).

Type of business: Stockbrokers for the new millennium - an integrated research-based retail brokerage. Our services include brokering services looking into Europe with particular focus on the UK. Integrated research-based retail brokerage.

Webster Cohen & Galombik Inc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Salisbury Merchant Bank Limited Licence No. 07/2000/035. Salisbury Merchant Bank is regulated by the Grenada International Financial Services Authority and licensed under the Grenada Offshore Banking Act 1996 to carry on offshore banking business. Thought to be a Raun Austin enterprise.

A contract note issued WC&G in July 2001 states that 'Your securities will be held to the order of Salisbury Merchant Nominees Ltd, company number 03985757, incorporated in England & Wales, which exists solely for the purpose of separation of your assets'.

Salisbury Merchant Nominees Ltd is registered at the City Business Centre, 2 London Wall Building, London EC2M 5PP. Founded on 4th May 2000, it was called Stanley Riebeck Nominees Ltd until 31st January 2001. The company's return has been overdue since 1st June 2001. This is not a very promising start as a previous company, Stanley Riebeck Corporation Ltd, which was registered at the same address was Stanley Riebeck Corporation, was gazetted on 6.6.2000 and dissolved on 3.10.2000. The gazette appears to have been issued due to non-compliance on accounts and returns. Founded on 14th April 1998, the company had several changes of name. It started as Breezeglen Ltd, then Christophe Le Roux Nominees Ltd, before becoming Goldberg Kravitz Corp. Ltd and then Stanley Riebeck Corporation Ltd on 27th April 2000.

City Vintners and Goldman Williams are also registered at The City Business Centre.

 

Westminster Wine Investments Ltd

Company no: 03000409

10-12 High Street, Barnes, London SW13 9LW

Founded: 12.12.94

Directors: Ludo de Bruyne

Type of drinks: Bordeaux

Current status: dissolved 20.3.2001

Run by Stephen Jupe's father-in-law. Was one of the longest running drinks investment companies. Offered over-priced Bordeaux Supérieur as an investment. AC Bordeaux is not a suitable wine for investment. Accounts and returns overdue - 31.10.99 and 9.1.2000 respectively.

 

William Buchanan & Company Ltd

Company number: 03171718

1 Hay Hill, Berkley Square, London W1X 7LF

Founded: 13.3.96

Directors: William Beasley (DOB: 23.4.64)

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: voluntary liquidation: 28th February 1997.

Company offered new fill malt whisky from an unspecified Speyside distillery in hogsheads (£1,279) and sherry butts (£2,430).  The distillery was the Speyside Distillery. After William Buchanan went bust, Beasley appears to headed for Australia along with his half-brother Jolyon (DOB: 03.11.1968) and was involved firstly with Gleneagles and then WineOrb, where he was a director.

No accounts or returns filed. Company was due to be dissolved on 21/01/2000.

 

Wimbledon Wines & Spirits

Company no: 03276546

Registered office: 120 Wilton Road, London

Founded: 11.11.1996

Directors: Jeannine Ford (14.3.52) - resigned 4.4.97, Christopher Humphrey (DOB: 22.9.60) - resigned 27.5.97

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: dissolved 29.9.98

This was a briefly lived vehicle for Gary Eldridge after the collapse of James Devereaux. The company was found as James Devereaux ceased trading. Unfortunately they made the mistake of choosing offices in the same building as two wine PR companies, so Eldridge's presence was soon known. No accounts or returns ever filed.

 

The Wine Corporation, now Architects of Wine (UK) Ltd

Company no: 03631410

Registered office: Grange Park 2, Unit 3, Cheaney Drive, Grange Park South, Northampton NN4 5FB

Former registered office: Edgemead House, Edgemead Close, Round Spinney Industrial Estate, Northampton, Northampshire NN3 8RG

Founded: 15.9.1998

Type of operation: mail order wine company

Current status: active

Website: http://www.winecorp.co.uk

Retail mail-order operation that had significant financial support from Seed International who originally lent £800,000 (unsecured) plus a purchase of £600,000 worth of wine at normal commercial terms. The Wine Corporation started trading on 12th January 1999 and made a loss of £140,331 in the year to April 5th 1999.

Prices are in the line with other retailers. Indeed in early 2000 they were offering Henriot Blanc de Blancs at £19.99, which was below the customary market price. Effectively part of Ocean-Seed, although this is denied by TWC's solicitors.

The company has advertised widely in UK broadsheet newspapers during 1999 and 2000. The loss for the year to April 5th 2000 was £2.95 million and a further unspecified loss (quite probably substantial) was made in the year to April 2001. The accounts record a number of loans: £3,091,855 from Seed International, £2,711,875 from the private share offer and a loan of £638,300 from Stone Town - assuming that the shares issued to Stone Town in November 2000 matched the value of the loan.

Following publication of the 2000 accounts, there were over 60 redundancies.

11.10.2001: following brands are part of The Wine Corporation - winery, WINECORP, Winefinders.

11.4.02: Annual accounts overdue (05.02.02)

7.01.03: The annual accounts show pre-tax losses of £8,584,043 for 2001 and £4,229,060 for 2002.

13.1.2003: acquired by Architects of Wine on 10th December as part of the 10th October 2002 deal between Seed and AoW.

10.11.03: in July changed name to Architects of Wine (UK) Ltd and registered address changed to Salisbury.

6.6.2005: Proposal to strike off - accounts overdue since 05/02/2004 and return since 28.11.04.

(Go to Ocean-Seed section)

 

Wine Finds Ltd

Company number: 04016906

Edgemead House, Round Spinney Industrial Estate, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN3 8RG

Tel: 01722-716916

Founded: 19.6.2000

Type of business: wine mail order company

Current status: dissolved 25.3.03

The new company was founded following the acquisition of the assets (chiefly the customer database) of Wine Finds Ltd from the liquidator by the Wine Corporation. Winefinders is now one of the brands of WINECORP, the trading name of The Wine Corporation.

7.10.02: accounts (19.4.02) and returns (17.7.02) both overdue.

Part of Ocean-Seed.

4.11.02: Proposal to strike off by Companies House for non-compliance.

Dissolved: 25.3.03

 

Wine Index Ltd, The

Company number: 03889883

Registered office: Winchester House, 259-269 Old Marylebone Road, London NW1 5RA

Previous registered office: 7-11 Minerva Road, Park Royal, London NW10 6HJ

Trading address: 259-269 Old Marylebone Road, London NW1 5RA

Tel: 020-7170 4050; fax; 020-7170 4060

Founded: 7.12.99

Director: Pierre Stephen Boyd (DOB: 25.5.1957)

Company Secretary: CFL Secretaries Ltd, Cardiff

Type of business: Fine wine merchants - Bordeaux

Current status: liquidation - wound up in public interest 14.5.03. Dissolved 08.11.2006

11.2.02: Company changed its name from Chequergate Investments Ltd on 13th December 2001, accounts showing the company to be dormant were filed on 31.12.01 and the registered office was changed on 3.1.2002. At beginning of February salesman Enzo Giannotta offering Lafite Rothschild 1996 at £3,650 a case. Margaux 1996 is being offered at £3,480 a case with five years storage and insurance. Margaux 1996 is available from Farr Vintners at £2,000 a case (April 2002). Giannotta has since moved to Australian Portfolio Wines Ltd.

Damon Andrew is an account manager. investdrinks has been told from several sources that Frederic Achom and Boington Anthony Grant (ex-Boington & Fredericks) are involved in this company. Achom and Grant are disqualified directors - see B&F entry for details.

7th April 2003: Following a petition from the DTI on 4th April the Insolvency Service was appointed as provisional liquidator.

14.5.03: Company wound up in High Court, London in the public interest.

 

WineOrb PTY LTD

Australian company number: 094 949 998

Founded: 01/11/2000

Previous name: Bordeaux Index Pty. Limited (changed 18.4.2001)

Registered office: Los Vagas Hotel, Unit 1, 54 Darlinghurst Road, Potts Point, NSW, 2011

Previous registered office: Level 1, 100 William Street, North Sydney, NSW, 2060 (from: 30.09.2002 to:18.05.2003)

Previous Registered Office: Level 2, 54 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010 (presumably another room in The Vegas Hotel - from 9/11/2001 to 29/09/2002)

Previous Registered Office: 'The Elan' Unit 2708, 1 Kings Cross Road, Kings Cross, NSW, 2011

Start Date : 01/11/2000

Cease Date : 08/11/2001

Sales and admin office: Westfield Tower, Unit 1, Level 1, 100 William Street

Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: +61 (02) 9357 1288

Fax: +61 (02) 9357 1644

Email: enquiries@wineorb.com.au

Previous Principal Place Of Business: 'The Elan' Unit 2708, 1 Kings Cross Road, Kings Cross, NSW, 2011 (from 01/11/2000 to 29/10/2001)

Directors: Michael Francis Hennessy (DOB: 07.3.1971 - Sydney, NSW; appointed: 1.11.2000), Richard Julian Wynne (DOB: 28.4.1962 - Sydney, NSW; appointed: 1.11.2000), William Oliver Beasley (DOB: 23.4.1964..- London, UK; appointed 1.11.2000 - resigned 21.8.2001)

Secretary: Michael Francis Hennessy (appointed: 21/08/2001), previous secretary: William Oliver Beasley (appointed: 01.11,2000 resigned 21.08.2001)

Shares: Three @$1AU - Hennessy holds two shares and Wynne one.

Website: www.wineorb.com.au

Type of drinks: Australian wine

Extracts from the website:

'We put the passion into wine by allowing our clients to reap the benefits of our knowledge and expertise.'

WineOrb offers fast track entry to the premium Australian wine investment market guaranteeing clients the security of working with merchants with industry reputation and established success in trading fine Australian wine labels.

We advise clients on the premium wine market and know what to buy and when. The industry understanding we have obtained working alongside Australia's leading wine connoisseurs, consultants and winemakers ensures we select only the most reputed labels with good forecast for economic growth.

Opening the door to wine investment WineOrb monitors the success of top performing wines returning maximum growth to clients by selecting labels that reflect the depth of the Australian wine industry.

Supporting the growing trends evidenced in the market today WineOrb secures opportunities for rare access to limited supplies of wine from some of Australia's most reputed winemakers.'

One of the initial directors was William Beasley, whose previous expertise was in whisky investment scams: firstly William Buchanan & Company in London and then with Gleneagles. In both cases the over-priced casks of whisky were purchased from the Speyside Distillery, near Kingussie, and flogged to unsuspecting 'investors'.

The Malt Whisky Buyers' Helpline reported on Beasley's subsequent movements: 'Beasley fled to Australia setting up the same scam there and selling the same new-fill Speyside single malt. As late as 1999 it would appear that Speyside were still supplying Beasley. MWBH have received numerous emails from Australia requesting more information about the scam from troubled investors. As reported in our last issue the company having changed its name finally went into receivership. Our latest information is that Beasley is working for a company called WineOrb with a Michael Hennessey who is also known to investors in this country. He has filed for bankruptcy. Evidently Beasley's brother has fled to South Africa to escape baseball wheeling Aussies who are not too happy about their investment.' Incidentally it appears that Jolyon Beasley (aka Joe Baker), William's half brother, is in Australia working for Heritage Fine Wines . investdrinks also understands that Spencer Pibworth, a senior salesman  with the House of Delacroix and then director of the late and unlamented House of Bouvier is also in Australia.

Investors and potential investors will doubtless take comfort that since 19th May 2003 WineOrb's registered office is listed as a hotel room at the Los Vagas Hotel. According to Australian Yellow Pages the hotel's real name is The Vegas Hotel (02) 9357 3800.

 

Wine Traders International Ltd

Company number: 05232456

Registered office: C/O Romi Tax Elliott House , 10-12 Allington Street

London SW1E 5EH

Previous registered office: 22A Market Street, Alton, Hants GU34 1HA

Trading address: Fetcham Park House, Lower Road Fetcham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9HD

Previous trading address: suit (sic) 72 Cariocca Business Park, 2 Fawley Road (actually Sawley Road), Manchester M40 8BB

Tel: 0870 458 2237

Email: info@winetint.com

Website: www.winetint.com

Founded:  15.9.2004

Directors: Sayed Romi (DOB: 22.7.1953), Abel Lourens Rudman (DOB: 10.3.01976 South African). Both appointed 15.8.2007.

Company secretary: Miller Romi Ltd (appointed 15.8.2007)

Previous director: Christian Goldsbrough (DOB: 3.5.1968) appointed 15.9.2004 - resigned 15.8.2007.

Previous company secretary: Francis Maxwell Ltd, 22A Market Street, Alton, Hants GU34 1HA  (appointed 31.1.2006 - resigned 15.8.2007)

Status: active

Type of drinks: Bordeaux.

Upfront-commission: 25%

1.5.07: Company charges 25% up front commission on already uncompetitive prices. Recent examples of investment packages from Wine Traders International Ltd suggest that their prices are around 70% over the lowest sensible market price. investdrinks has been approached by potential investors who were offered a package of three cases of 2004 red Bordeaux - Château Pavie 2004, Château Haut Brion 2004 and Château Cheval Blanc 2004 for £4792.50 before WTI’s 25% commission charge taking it to £5,990. Checking with wine-searcher shows that the Pavie could be had for  £733 from Fine & Rare Wines, the Haut-Brion for £1400 from Magnum Fine Wines and the Cheval Blanc for £1350 from Vintage Holdings and all for a total of £3483. At 72% over the lowest market price Christian Goldsbrough’s Wine Traders International fine wine investment package is spectacularly poor value. Furthermore 2004 is certainly not a ‘sure-fire’ investment vintage - possibly worth a punt if the price is right but certainly not at 72% over.  At these prices if you buy from Wine Traders International you will indeed pay a ‘significant premium’.

The company’s website does not inspire confidence: it claims that their ‘trading address’ in Miles Platting Manchester is at Fawley Road when it is actually Sawley Road. You have to wonder whether this isn’t an accommodation address and that the company instead operates from somewhere in southern England. 

Wine Traders International Ltd was featured by Tony Levene in his Capital Letters page in the Guardian on 7th April 2007. Levene concluded that ‘This offer is one glass you can refuse.’ Levene’s article can be found here: http://money.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,2051724,00.html

Christian Goldsbrough’s Wine Traders International Ltd failed to file its accounts to 30th September 2006 on time. Now filed these show that the company’s net liabilities total £107,923 and that Christian Goldsbrough’s director’s loan totalled £197,329 by 30th September 2006 - up from £62,562 on 30th September 2005.

3.3.2008: The company had a complete change of management in August 2007. However, this has no improved its record for filing documents required by UK company law with Companies House. The annual return has been overdue since 7.10.2007. Miller Romi Ltd, the company secretary, has also failed to file its latest return on time (overdue 13.10.2007) or its accounts (overdue 31.1.2008 ).

In mid-February 2008 investdrinks was informed by someone who had been cold called by Wine Traders International that they had been offered a case of Mouton-Rothschild 2006 en primeur for £5800 a case plus their 25% up-front commission - a total of £7250. On 14.2.2008 Vintage Holdings was offering a case for £3825 - making Wine Traders International 90% more expensive.

19.5.2008: The overdue company return was filed on 14th March 2008. The company return of Miller Romi Ltd, the company secretary, remains overdue but its accounts have been filed. The company does not actually trade from Fetcham Park House address in Leatherhead but they do collect mail from there.

 

World Wide Malts Ltd

(now The Classic Malt Whisky Guild Ltd)

Company no: 03378461

21 Grafton Street, London W1X 3LD

Founded: 30.5.1997

Directors: Richard Turner (DOB: 28.5.56), Gary Weston (DOB: 10.6.1961)

Type of drinks: malt whisky

Current status: dissolved 5th Sept 2000

Company name was changed to The Classic Malt Whisky Guild Ltd on 16.4.1998. In 1998 a Michael Quinn was offering a cask of Highland Park 1989 for £8,000 and one of Glenrothes £3,500. Quinn also worked for Millennium Spirit Investments Ltd (closed by DTI: 17.9.97). The company was dissolved on September 5th 2000. No accounts were ever filed (overdue from 30.3.1999) and the next return has been overdue since 27.6.1999.

 

Worldwide Wine Ltd

West Wind Building, PO Box 2075 GT, Grand Cayman.

The major and controlling shareholder in The Wine Corporation. On 25th May 2000 Worldwide Wine Company's 1000 ordinary shares (£1 each) were sub-divided by agreement into 1,400 A shares (£0.10 each) and 86,000 B shares (£0.01 each). Worldwide Wine Ltd holds 100% of the A shares and 90% of the B (31.10.2000).

Part of Ocean-Seed group of companies. Shares the same Grand Cayman address and PO Box as Churchill Property Developments Ltd, the sole shareholder of Zecca Properties Ltd and Cupidus.com Ltd, the sole shareholder of Cupidus.Com (UK) Ltd. As well as being the major shareholder in The Wine Corporation, it holds the only share in Fine Wines of Mayfair Ltd.

 

Zecca Properties Ltd

Company no: 03671146

Registered office: 29 Abingdon Road, London W8 6AH

Previous trading address: 58, Grosvenor Street, London W1X 0DD

Tel: 020-7408 0087; fax: 020-7408 1961

Website: www.zecca-properties.com

Founded: 16.11.98

Previous name: Heros Properties Ltd (changed 28.3.2000)

Shareholders: Churchill Property Developments Ltd, Westwind Building, PO Box 2075GT, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, West Indies -100 ordinary shares.

Type of operation: property management and investment

Current status: wound up 12th June 2002, dissolved 14.08.2003

Part of the Ocean-Seed group (formerly Heros-Churchill group). 'It (Churchill Property Developments Ltd) is directly owned by two other companies, which companies also own Zecca Properties Ltd. CPDL and Zecca Properties Limited are controlled indirectly by two family trusts, the beneficiaries of which are the members of the families of Mr Paul Freeman and Mr Anil Kholi.' (South Quay Partners, L.P. memorandum: March 15th 2001).

'We specialize in real estate development in the UK and internationally. Our development opportunities are offered to accredited US investors and provide excellent returns on investments of $16,000 and above.' (cupidus.com January 2000).

A confidential private placement memorandum was drawn up for South Quay Partners, L.P., offering limited partnership interests in a property development scheme at South Quay in Lowestoft, Essex, UK. The placement documents were sent out by Euro American Capital Corporation in Toronto to Ocean-Seed clients.

27.3.02: Zecca accounts overdue from 31.1.02

(Website at Zecca Properties (ZECCA-PROPERTIES-DOM), Westgate House, Museum Street, Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 1HQ)

16.7.02: Petition to wind up (25.4.02), wind up order made in the High Court on 12th June. In the hands of the Official Receiver, who reports estimated debts of over £4 million. Of that over £550,000 is owing for professional services to Ernst & Young, who brought the winding up petition.

(Go to Ocean section)