High Court winds up phoney wine investment company

Intercontinental Wines, a UK company that misled customers into investing in fine wines, has been wound up by order of the High Court.

The company was shut down on 23 November following a court order. During a hearing it was relayed how the company used “high pressure cold calling” to push members of the public to buy wine for investment.

Despite assurances that the wines would be held in bonded storage, customers began to complain that the company utterly failed to respond to enquries on matters such as where their wine was being stored.

The Insolvency Service investigated the company and found only a very few purchases had been made, with only 10% of its customers having any wine held in bond.

In a two year period from March 2015 to February 2017, Intercontinental showed sales of £460,000 but wine purchases of just £100,000.

Having failed to provide adequate purchase records the company’s banking records were analysed.

Intercontinental vacated its trading premises in Southampton in March of this year but failed to disclose this to the Registrar of Companies.

Irshard Mohammed, Senior Investigator & Case Manager at the Insolvency Service, said: “Intercontinental Wines enticed customers with the promise of attractive returns from building a portfolio of fine wines, entrusting the company to make purchases and store wines at bonded warehouses on their behalf. “However, the company blatantly failed to do so in the vast majority of sales made and instead took customers’ funds on face value, frittering it away on unexplained or personal expenditure.

“These winding-up proceedings show that we will take firm action against companies that operate in such an unscrupulous way.”

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