Two directors banned over £1m fine wine scam

Two directors of a company that traded in fine wines have been disqualified for a combined 20 years, following an Insolvency Service investigation, after scamming its customers out of nearly £1 million.

The investigation by the Insolvency Service found that Crimson Fine Wines Limited, based initially in London and then in Sittingbourne in Kent, used cold calling to ensnare clients, and then failed to purchase or allocate wines to customers who had paid for their investments.

The scheme offered investors returns over 12 months to five years, at a time when they claimed the property market and shares were less attractive.

Craig Cooper, of Chatham, Kent, and Jefferey Kushner, of Ontario, Canada, who together ran the operation, have both been banned from acting as directors for 11 and 9 years respectively.

Kushner was the listed director of Crimson Fine Wines Limited but lived in Canada, and allowed Cooper, who had previous experience in the industry, to run the operation. At at the time of liquidation of Crimson Fine Wines Limited there was insufficient wine held in the bonded warehouse to satisfy customers’ claims.

Additionally, Cooper used the company’s bank account for his own personal benefit, used his own personal bank account for the receipt of company funds and was paid at least one third share of £114,106 in dividends. Kushner was negligent in failing to monitor the company account, allowing it to be used for non-commercial benefits, but also received at least one third share of £114,106 in dividends.

Customer claims in the liquidation totalled £989,258, of the overall debts on liquidation of £1,080,724.

“One of the main purposes of the Company Directors Disqualification Act is to ensure proper standards of conduct of company directors are maintained and to raise those standards where appropriate,” said Karen Jackson, official receiver with The Insolvency Service.

“These disqualifications should serve as a reminder that the Insolvency Service will investigate unacceptable conduct by company directors. The Insolvency Service will take action against directors who do not take their obligations seriously and abuse their position.”

The disqualification order means that neither men, without specific permission of a court, can act as a director of a company, take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership, or be a receiver of a company’s property.

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

Sales and Brand Manager

The Duchess Virgin Gin & Tonic
London,

Sales Scotland

Liberty Wines
Scotland, UK

Supply Chain Supervisor

Speciality Drinks
UK, UK

Sales Manager

Stilnovisti
London, UK

Regional Key Account Manager - On Trade

Lanson International UK
South of England, UK

Private Account Manager

Jeroboams Wine Merchants
London N1, UK

Sales Role

JF Tobias
London, UK

Events Assistant

Decanter
London, UK

Head of Marketing

Decanter
London, UK

Market Manager - Asia

Wines of South Africa
China,

Prosecco Springs

London,United Kingdom
26th Apr 2018

Spirits & More

Rome,Italy
19th May 2018

db Awards 2018

London,UK
23rd May 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more