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Wine broker sentenced over £25k auction fraud

A fine wine investment broker has been given a suspended jail sentence after he conned clients out of £25,000.

Sammy Rooks was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service after pleading guilty to fraud.

Rooks conned his clients by claiming that he could secure them profitable auction slots for their collections. Croydon Crown Court heard that he then used the money to fund his own Champagne lifestyle, spending it on a huge bar bill at his favourite nightclub.

Prosecutor Hamish Reid said: “The defendant, without authority, and on his own initiative contacted clients.

“It all seems to have been spent on bar bills etc.”

Rooks was employed by Encarta Fine Wine, but went behind the company’s back to charge customers extra fees.

Recorder Gregory Mitchell QC said: “Encarta Wines have lost money and it has tarnished their reputation.

“You entertained people at nightclubs and spent large amounts of money on alcohol.”

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