The managing director of a company selling non-existent Bordeaux en primeur has been found guilty of fraud.
Pic: www.justlanded.com: £1.2m of orders were not fulfilled
UPDATE 14 July 2011. Paul Craven has been sentenced to six years andOseghale Hayble to five years for their part in the fraud.
The verdict was returned on Paul Craven, of Bordeaux Wine Trading Ltd, at St Albans Crown Court. The jury returned a unanimous verdict after a trial lasting just over three weeks.
Craven set up Bordeaux Wine Trading in July 2006. BWTC sold £1.2m of 2005 First Growths en primeur but never placed any orders with negociants in Bordeaux.
Instead investors’ money was spent on cars, Cartier watches, lavish holidays and cocaine. Only £12,200 has been recovered – £200 in a bank account and £12,000 in cash under Craven’s bed.
Craven will be sentenced on Thursday along with Oseghale Hayble, who was also a defendant in this trial until he was taken ill.
In December 2010 Hayble was found guilty of fraud for his part in running International Wine Commodities Ltd.
Prior to BWTC Craven had worked briefly at another en primeur company, the Bordeaux Wine Company, owned by Frederick Achom and Anthony Grant, both of whom have been convicted of fraud and are barred from being company directors until July 2013.
Hertfordshire Police carried out the investigation.
Written by Jim Budd