14 Apr - Aggrieved customers of the Bordeaux Wine Trading Company have formed an action group. Details may be accessed here.
British wine lover Alan Johnston has contacted me to warn you of his experiences with a Borehamwood-based company called Bordeaux Wine Trading Company Ltd.
He says he paid them £8,000 for en primeur bordeaux purchases. "A Niklaus Cashman and Paul Craven are the directors and I would advise you to warn any people to have no dealings with these conmen." He claims they have defrauded at least another three people of a total of £57,000.
"They sent me a refund in the form of a cheque on the 15th," says Alan Johnston, "and stopped it on the 17th and told me they would BACS the money on Friday 21st (a bank holiday!). I bet that their bank account is now closed. I have written to their bank in Potters Bar."
He contacted the estimable Jim Budd of www.investdrinks.org who specialises in investigating drinks scams who already knows Cashman and Craven. See two entries dated 5 Mar and 18 Jan on his Claret Web page. Jim Budd is worried that this pair have resurfaced and comments that Alan's experience is "a good example of why en primeur is potential[ly] a bespoke vehicle for fraud".
27 Mar - Jim Budd points out: "Good to see your story on BWTC and many thanks for the mention. Only Cashman remains a director, Craven having resigned in July 2007.
"It is interesting that the 'second generation' scam claret investment companies have moved into en primeur whereas the 'first generation' only offered finished wine. "