Wine fraudsters found guilty

The brother and sister behind the Nouveau/Finbow wine fraud were yesterday found guilty after a two month trial.

CO129-10DANIELSNELLINGDaniel Snelling (pictured) was convicted on four counts of conspiracy and money laundering connected to his fake company Nouveau World Wines and Finbow Wines.

Meanwhile, according to Jim Budd at Invest Drinks, his sister was found guilty on two counts – conspiracy to defraud in relation to Nouveau and Finbow – while their cousin, Rebecca McDonald, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud in relation to Finbow, where she acted as “business development manager”.

The trio tricked hundreds of people into investing in Australian and Italian wines, bringing in nearly £5 million pounds between the two companies yet only spending £474,000 on wine in total.

When clients pressed for evidence that wine was being bought, they would move the wine between accounts to fool them.

One client did see a return on his investment but it is thought this was also a scam to get him to reinvest a larger amount.

Detective inspector Paul Whatmore of the Metropolitan Police’s Fraud Squad, said: “This was a callous family-run plot to dupe people out of their cash. The Snellings went to great lengths to fool victims into believing they were offering irresistible and sound wine investments.

“Had we not arrested them, they would most likely have gone on to create any number of additional companies and take many more victims’ money.”

The Snellings and McDonald are on conditional bail and will be sentenced on 9 September. Another person involved in the scam, Billy Davies, is still at large.

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