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Fraudsters target victims of collapsed wine investment firm

Consumers owed money and wine by collapsed European Fine Wines Ltd in the UK have been targeted by fraudsters posing as both the company’s directors and its liquidator, while London's High Court has ordered another wine investment group to be wound up.

European Fine Wines Ltd was placed in liquidation in June last year, with debts of around £3m. Liquidator Abbott Fielding said that fraudsters were trying to take advantage of the situation.

‘In recent weeks, a company has been writing to the creditors on European Fine Wines letterhead alleging that they are the company and trying to obtain money from them,’ said Abbott Fielding’s Nedim Aliyan, who issued a warning about the wine fraud.

‘In addition, a third party has been ringing creditors alleging he works for my office and that for a small payment, he can get people’s wine. Needless to say, anyone who passes any money to both these parties receives nothing.’

His warning follows news that the High Court in London has ordered another wine investment firm, Embassy Wine UK Ltd, to be wound up in the public interest.

Investors were told that they could see returns of 30% on their wines. The firm also took advance fees for storage and to sell investors’ wines, according to the Insolvency Service, a government agency that filed the case.

Among the victims of the scam was a 94-year-old who had paid over £30,000 to the company, which was established in 2011, the court heard.

‘The court found that [the company’s] claims were baseless, and that the company had failed to pay promised returns to customers,’ the Insolvency Service said.

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Written by Jim Budd

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