Napa wine exec accused of embezzling £575k

19th June, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

A former senior executive of Napa-based online wine retailer The Winetasting Network is wanted as a fugitive after failing to appear in a US federal court on charges of fraud.

Martin Christopher Edwards is wanted as a fugitive

Martin Christopher Edwards is wanted as a fugitive

Martin Christopher Edwards, known as “Chris”, is suspected of stealing £575,000 from the company by submitting fake invoices, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

Edwards, the former vice president and general manager of The Winetasting Network, now known as WineTasting.com, was charged with 23 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

A federal grand jury indicted 48-year-old Edwards on 30 May after a two-month investigation for allegedly creating a fictitious company – Dufrane Compliance Trust – to provide tax compliance services.

According to federal prosecutors, Edwards created fraudulent invoices and directed the Winetasting Network to pay a total of £575k to Dufrane Compliance Trust between May 2010 and October 2012.

He then withdrew the funds to buy items for his personal use, including a BMW.

Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison and fines of £320,000.

He may have chosen to name his fictitious company “Dufrane” after the protagonist in the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, who escapes from prison after nearly two decades by tunneling through his cell wall with a rock hammer.

One Response to “Napa wine exec accused of embezzling £575k”

  1. Wine MD says:

    I got to LOVE how the media INVENTS crap. Crap like : “He may have chosen to name his fictitious company “Dufrane” after the protagonist in the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, who escapes from prison after nearly two decades by tunneling through his cell wall with a rock hammer.” A little more investigation and a little less copy-and-paste would have yielded great news. Instead you chose to invent something THIS lame.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

2 x Buying Assistants

Berry Bros. & Rudd
Battersea and Basingstoke, UK

Temporary Christmas Sales Support - Wines & Spirits

Harrods
Knighsbridge, London, UK

Head of Wholesale

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

National Sales Manager

Maverick Drinks
Field based, UK

Regional Sales Executive

EWGA
Gloucestershire, UK

Senior Content Writer

Rude Wines
Ledbury, UK

Events and Trips Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Amsterdam,Netherlands
20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Green Awards 2017

Deadline : 25th October 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 30th October 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more