Bradleigh Anthony Caley and John George Evans have both been banned from acting as directors for 12 years for their part in the Fine Wine Vintners Ltd investment scam.
The ban, issued by the High Court in London, followed an investigation by the Government’s Insolvency Service.
Fine Wine Vintners Ltd took £1.56m from investors. However, only £446,756 was spent on buying wine – mainly en primeur Bordeaux.
The rest was used in part to pay high pressure telesales staff. Caley, the sole director of the company, and Evans paid themselves, as well as sums to their friends and families, over £500,000. The money was spent on properties as well as restaurants and gentlemens clubs.
Although the company was only set up in April 2009, its website claimed, ‘as one of the UK’s leading fine wine traders we are ideally positioned to assist clients to identify and acquire wines with the greatest potential to appreciate. We combine financial discipline, market insight and wine knowledge to optimise returns’.
While Fine Wine Vintners Ltd used a Mayfair accommodation address as their registered office, their boiler room operation was based in Bromley, which has become infamous for wine investment and land banking scams.
The company went into administration in September 2010 and went into liquidation in November 2011. No company returns or accounts were ever filed.
Written by Jim Budd