Wine fraudster jailed for seven years11th September, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Wine investment fraudster Daniel Snelling has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for cheating “elderly and retired” victims out of £4.5m.
According to The Telegraph, Snelling was sentenced yesterday at Southwark Crown Court for having scammed the millions through his two investment wine companies: Nouveau World Wines and Finbow Wines Ltd.
Judge Michael Grieve QC told Snelling: “In my assessment, you are not so much a cold and calculated criminal, but one whose conscience is eased by self delusion and denial.
“Your victims were individuals in many instances elderly and retired people looking for a return on their modest savings.
“You brought in members of your family to help with the running of both frauds. Your sister and cousin’s current predicaments are in a large part due to you.”
Grieve told the court that Snelling used the money to “fund an extravagant lifestyle” of fast cars, designer clothes and lavish holidays.
Snelling was also banned from being a company director for ten years and subject to a Serious Crime Prevention Order that restricts his business activities.
His cousin, Rebecca McDonald, was given a three-year prison sentence for conspiracy to defraud in relation to Finbow, where she acted as “business development manager”.
His sister Dina was found guilty on two counts for conspiracy to defraud and will be sentenced on 11 October.
In July, Snelling, 38, was convicted at on two counts of conspiracy to defraud and two counts of money laundering connected to Nouveau World Wines and Finbow Wines Ltd.
The trio tricked hundreds of people into investing in Australian and Italian wines, bringing in nearly £5m between the two companies while only spending a total of £474,000 on wine.
The Snellings went to great lengths to dupe victims into believing they were offering sound wine investments, moving the wine between accounts to fool them.
Nouveau Wines was set up in 2007 and offered investments in Australian wine. The company went into liquidation in 2010 having taken 2.5m from investors.
Finbow Wines Ltd was set up to ship Italian wine to China, Hong Kong and South Africa. The company took £2m from investors, none of whom saw their money returned.