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Wine fraudster jailed for eight years

A convicted wine fraudster who swindled £1 million out of investors to pay for luxury holidays has been jailed for eight years.

Spyros Constantinos, 44, from Earl’s Court, ran a fraudulent wine investment scam for five years, promising huge returns to his victims on crates of non-existent Bordeaux.

Rather than investing their money in fine wine, Constantinos spent it on shopping sprees at Harrods and Selfridges, pay private school fees and lavish family holidays to San Francisco, as reported by The Telegraph.

The former trader lured in his victims by presenting them with glossy brochures, setting up a string of fake companies under different names to cover his tracks.

Constantinos was arrested in February 2013, but continued to receive investments until July that year, prosecutors said. In court, he argued that he was running a legitimate investment service, only to be let down by his supplier.

He had previously been banned from running a company for 10 years in 2008, after he was found guilty of running a fraudulent wine investment scam. He escaped detection by setting up a bank account in Spain to continue selling investments.

Yesterday, Constantinos he was sentenced at the Old Bailey in London to eight years in jail, having been found guilty of 10 offences relating to the fraud.

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