UK police say that they have exposed an investment firm that took up to £1m in orders for fine wine that it never had access to.
A 25-year-old man from London was arrested by Staffordshire police on suspicion of fraud by representation and conspiracy to defraud in relation to the alleged scam run by Le Bordeaux Wines Ltd.
Police have bailed the man until April, pending further inquiries, but did not name him.
Officers said they believe Le Bordeaux Wines has received up to £1m from wine buyers since its launch in October 2012.
‘A police investigation established that wines sold to investors did not exist, and investors who sold their wine through the company did not receive any money,’ Staffordshire police said.
It is believed between 20 and 30 people or businesses invested in Le Bordeaux Wines, including some from as far afield as Hong Kong.
It is thought the company also offered to buy wine to fulfill a £3m order from China.
Le Bordeaux Wines Ltd and Le Bordeaux Wine Shed Ltd are registered for trading at 88 Wood Street, London EC2V 7RS. The website for Le Bordeaux Wines is listed as ‘suspended’ by host 123-reg.
(Editing by Chris Mercer)
Written by Jim Budd