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Wine conman jailed

A fraudster who used celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s name to lure investors has been jailed.

Steven Crump of Essex, England, cheated investors out of £74,000 by telling them TV chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver was involved in a non-existent company called Virtual Vineyards.

Crump, his father-in-law Bruce Watkins, and Roland Antony, a British businessman based in Barcelona, established phony stock brokerage Gilberts and sold shares in the fake wine project at £3.50 apiece.

Crump was charged with seven counts of fraud, sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to repay the investors. His accomplices received suspended sentences.

Written by Maggie Rosen

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