Fine wine merchant closed down after misleading customers

The UK High Court of Justice has closed down fine wine investment company Dow and Jones Limited after it was found to have misled and overcharged customers.

Dow and Jones Limited was wound-up “in the public interest” at a court hearing on 17 March before Deputy Judge Jones.

It had been the subject of an investigation by the Insolvency Service after complaints were received about the merchant’s trading practices.

A petition calling for the closure of the company was first presented by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on 12 February 2020 in the High Court of Justice.

Dow and Jones was established in September 2015 and had a registered office in Sidcup, Kent and a trading address in central London until May last year.

It sold fine wine as an investment opportunity, however it was found that it sold stock to customers at double the usual retail price, meaning that customers were never likely to make a profit on their purchase.

In addition to overcharging their clients, the company also told investors that further purchases were required to ensure their wine portfolios could be sold quicker and for a higher price.

The Insolvency Service said that the company failed to honour orders dating back as far as 2016, and had filed inaccurate accounts with Companies House. Even when wine was delivered, customers were left out of pocket as they had been considerably overcharged.

According to Companies House, the current director of the company is Anthony Collins (31), formerly known as Kyrone Collins.

To cover up its crimes, the company used sales records taken from failed companies, which helped staff to convince customers to give them their money.

In her judgment, Deputy Judge Jones stated that “there is something extremely wrong about this company” and added that promises to investors had been “vastly overstated”.

Irshard Mohammed, senior investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “The courts recognised the unscrupulous nature of Dow and Jones when it wound-up the company and our advice is always to reject unsolicited investment offers that sound too good to be true.”

Former customers of the fraudulent wine merchant are advised to contact the Official Receiver on 020 7637 1110 or piu.or@insolvency.gov.uk

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