Wine fraudster jailed over £760,000 scam

A man who conned his friends through fake wine investments has been jailed for three years.

A south London man was jailed after a £760,000 wine scamThe Old Bailey heard how Keith Milton, 42, befriended affluent people before persuading them to invest huge sums of money in wines that simply did not exist.

Milton, a former wine merchant from south London, persuaded 20 people to part with £760,000 over the course of eight years. Milton told his friends that they were investing in fine wines from the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions of France, convincing them they could expect excellent returns on their investments.

As part of his con Milton even created fake portfolios to show his investors the increasing value of the wines he claimed to have bought, as well as detailing the sales he had made.

In 2009 some of the investors demanded to see either the wine or their money and at that point Milton fled to France. He left a letter of confession for his wife and children before making his escape across the channel.

In September last year Milton returned to the UK for a meeting and was arrested by police. The court heard that Milton had not invested in fine wines, but had instead used the money himself and so had nothing to give his investors.

Milton pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and obtaining a money order by deception and was jailed for three years.

Detective Constable Elliot Toms of the Metropolitan Police’s fraud squad said: “Here is a man whose greed saw him trick supposed friends out of thousands of pounds, and whose cowardice saw him flee when confronted by them. His sentence is well deserved.”

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