Time called on fine wines scam director
The director of a firm claiming to offer investments in fine wines has been disqualified as a director for 11 years, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service which found the firm had taken close to £60,000 from members of the public.
London-based Capital Bordeaux Investments Limited targeted victims of previous wine investment scams and misled them into believing it could assist them in recovering their losses. The firm was shut down by the court last year in the public interest. Scott Andrews, the company’s sole director, has now been disqualified as a director for a period of 11 years for using false and misleading advertising material in order to induce members of the public into paying for wine, which the company then failed to provide.
At least 10 members of the public paid the company a total of £59,750 for the acquisition of fine wine as an investment product. Each of those customers was advised by the company that their wine would be held within a government regulated bonded warehouse. In fact, the company deposited no wine into the accounts of its investors and the bank statements for the company indicated that it never even purchased the wine.
Commenting on this case Paul Titherington, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:
It was Mr Andrews and his salesmen who benefited from this company rather than its honest investors. He misled members of the public and took their money without providing them with the goods they’d been promised. Anyone showing such blatant disregard for commercial morality should expect to be banned from running any limited company for a lengthy period time.
The Official Receiver’s investigation found that the company failed to provide any goods or services for which it was paid. The marketing materials for the company stated it had been trading since 1995, although Andrews was only six years old in 1995, and the company was in fact not incorporated until April 2012.
In addition, Andrews failed to maintain, preserve or deliver up the accounting records for Capital Bordeaux Investments Limited, preventing the Official Receiver from establishing whether the company had additional investors or hidden assets.
The disqualification regime exists to protect the public. Scott Elliott Andrews’ disqualification from 19 August 2015 means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 19 August 2026.
This disqualification follows an investigation by the Official Receiver at Public Interest Unit, a specialist team of the Insolvency Service, whose involvement commenced with the winding up of the company in the public interest following an investigation by Company Investigations into the affairs of the company.
Notes to Editors
On 28 July 2015, Scott Elliot Andrews signed a disqualification undertaking for a period of 11 years. The period of disqualification is from 19 August 2015.
Included amongst the misleading information were claims that the company had “been successful in delivering results for our clients since our incorporation in 1995” and that “The idea of creating a pure investment company of this kind came in 1992 when one of the founder members of Capital Bordeaux Investments was introduced to a National Insurance Contributions discount scheme utilising fine wine.” Mr Andrews was only 3 years old in 1992 and the company was not incorporated until April 2012.
Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd was incorporated on 24 April 2012. Its trading address was at 68 Lombard Street, London, EC3V 9LJ.
The petition to wind up the company was presented by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations and Skills in the public interest following an investigation conducted by Company Investigations (Live), another specialist unit within the Insolvency Service which uses powers under the Companies Act 1985 (as amended) to conduct confidential enquiries into the activities of live limited companies in the UK on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations & Skills (BIS). The winding up order against Capital Bordeaux Investments Ltd was made on 14 May 2014.
A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:
- act as a director of a company
- take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
- be a receiver of a company’s property
In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions is available.
The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice. Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.
All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit (South), The Insolvency Service, 2nd Floor, 4 Abbey Orchard Street, London SW1P 2HT. Tel: 020 7637 6256. Email: email@example.com.
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Published: 3 September 2015
From: The Insolvency Service