Grant Thornton partner David Ingram has previously been nominated by creditors of several wine investment companies to act as liquidator following the companies having been placed into liquidation with the Official Receiver's office. These companies have also used similarly aggressive sales tactics promising an investor's wine is safe and secure in a bonded warehouse.
In such cases our team have conducted in-depth investigations which have in some situations resulted in reports made about the director’s conduct to various prosecuting authorities. Civil claims have also been brought against several of the directors by the Liquidator. Wine that had been purchased by these companies was also recovered and sold for the benefit of the liquidation estates and dividends paid to the creditors.
Whilst a liquidator's role is to realise assets and distribute the proceeds to its creditors this is still a time when creditors need to be alert to ensure they do not run the risk of falling victim to a recovery room scam. We have seen many instances of fraudsters contacting creditors and masquerading as the legitimate liquidator or advising they have been instructed by the liquidator all with the sole purpose to extract further money. The fraudster may state an upfront 'fee' or 'tax' is needed to release or sell the creditor's investment. More information can be found here http://find.grantthornton.co.uk/post/102ebci/caller-alert-have-you-spoken-to-a-fake-liquidator
Intercontinental Wines Limited was wound up in the public interest at the High Court on 23 November 2018, with the Official Receiver appointed as liquidator. The company’s sole appointed director since incorporation in 2011 has been David Angel. The court heard that the company claimed to be a wine broker and used high-pressure cold calling to target members of the public. Representatives would emphasise that investments in wine were secure and resulted in profitable returns. Customers were also told that the cases of fine wine would be stored in bonded warehouses under personal accounts. However, customers began to complain about various matters, including a complete failure by the company to respond to queries, such as information about the safe holding of wines supposedly purchased on their behalf.