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Directors disqualified over fine wine investment scam

Wine-Glass-Bottle-700.jpgTwo company directors have been disqualified for a combined 20 years after running a fine wine investment scam that lost investors nearly £1m.

An Insolvency Service investigation found that Crimson Fine Wines cold-called customers and then did not purchase or allocate wines to those who had paid for their investments.

The investment scheme offered investors returns over 12 months to five years, at a time when it claimed the property market and shares were less attractive.

Directors Craig Cooper and Jeffrey Kushner were disqualified for 11 years and nine years, respectively.

Kushner lived in Canada and allowed Cooper to run the operation in the UK. At the time of liquidation Crimson Fine Wines did not have enough wine in its warehouse to run the operation.

Cooper used the company’s bank account for his personal benefit and paid at least one third share of dividends into his own personal account.

Kushner was negligent in failing to monitor the company account and allowed it to be used for non-commercial benefits. He also received at least one third share of £114,106 in dividends.

Customer claims in the liquidation totalled £989,258 of the overall debts on liquidation of £1.08m.

Insolvency Service official receiver Karen Jackson says: “These disqualifications should serve as a reminder that the Insolvency Service will investigate unacceptable conduct by company directors.”

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. To my mind, anything labelled scam should surely involve a custodial sentence? I’m not sure Karen Jackson’s comment will serve as a reminder to anything. These type of individuals will always find ways around this ban to continue to transact business and further exploit innocent clients.

    “Sorry you lost all your money Mr Smith, but don’t worry, they’ve been punished!”
    “Oh great! They’re in prison and I’ll get some of my money back then?”
    “No! But we’ve banned them from being Directors again for a long time.”

    Pathetic.

  2. I got cold called by these monkeys – but Craig Clifton is right. I was not able to easily get anything done to protect others.

    We need a system where those of us able to spot somebody attempting to scam us can be reported and action is taken to stop them going after others.

  3. Perhaps two separate investigations are needed, the second being Police/SFO.

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