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Vintage Wines employees on trial for fraud

After investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) five employees of a St Albans wine company are go on trial for conspiracy to defraud.

The trial of Shameen Suleman, Stephanie Callebaut, Haroon Khatab, Donald Thomas and Richard Gunter of Vintage Wines of St Albans will start next year at London’s Southwark Crown Court,

The company ran a high yield alcohol investment scheme, whose clients included a number of wealthy American doctors.

SFO is continuing to investigate an associate company, Vintage Hallmark, of St James’s Street one of London’s most expensive shopping districts. An SFO spokesperson said, ‘The Serious Fraud Office is investigating a serious or complex fraud in relation to Vintage Hallmark plc, in liquidation.’ As yet no charges have been made.

In another development involving the SFO, Craig Dean, who was convicted and imprisoned for three years in 2001 for his part in the House of Delacroix millennium Champagne fraud, lost his appeal in London’s High Court against his confiscation order.

Written by Jim Budd

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