Daniel Snelling, who ran Nouveau World Wines Ltd and Finbow Wines Ltd, has been found guilty of four counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering after a two month trial.
Snelling (pictured) was aided by his sister, Dina Snelling, who was found guilty on two counts including conspiracy to defraud in the running of Nouveau and Finbow, and his cousin, Rebecca McDonald, who was found guilty of fraud in relation to Finbow.
Simon Dempsey was found not guilty of the two charges he faced.
Nouveau World Wines, who offered Australian wines for investment, took around £2m from clients but spent less than £450,000 on wine. When Nouveau collapsed, Finbow Wines Ltd was set up. It touted rapid profits through sending cheap Italian wine to China.
Investors poured £2.5m into Finbow – includig a single investment of £290,000 into the scam. However, only £24,000 worth of wine was sent to China.
The trial at Southwark Crown Court, London lasted two months and the jury took over five days to reach their verdicts.
The two Snellings and McDonald are on conditional bail and will be sentenced on 9th September.
The investigation was carried out by the Metropolitan Police, who are still searching for Billy Davies, one of the accused.
Prior to Nouveau World Wines, Daniel Snelling worked for WineOrb, a wine investment scam in Australia.
Scott Assemakis was the first director of Nouveau World Wines from 1 Jan 2006 — 31 Aug 2006. Daniel Snelling was appointed at Nouveau World Wines on 20th May 2006.
Assemakis was also a director of European Fine Wines until 28th June 2013, according to Companies House records. At the end of June, Assemakis and fellow director, David Evans, were banned from being UK directors for 11 years each for their part in two land banking scams.
Written by Jim Budd