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Wine Investment Scams

Advice for Victims of Wine Investment Scams

Wine fraud is on the rise. Scammers are targeting wine investors who are looking to sell their investment. Using unscrupulous methods, the fraudsters encourage the investor to part with their collection which is then sold on.

If you think you have been the victim of a wine investment scam, contact us today. Our expert team have extensive experience in helping victims of fraud recover their funds or seek compensation for their losses.

How do wine investment scams work?

Scammers set up fake companies (even going to the extent of setting up fake websites) and exploit the names and reputations of legitimate, established and reputable companies to carry out wine fraud. Then, they cold-call victims, offering to purchase their win investment for significantly more than the wine’s market value.

Then, fraudulent documents such as purchase agreements are drawn up. These are sent by post and email. The fraudsters then send the victims instructions to transfer their wine into storage within legitimate bonded warehouses. The victims of the fraud are then informed that this transfer will trigger payment of the agreed amount. The use of legitimate facilities adds an air of legitimacy to the process but in actual fact the storage accounts are controlled by the fraudsters.

Once the victim’s wine has been transferred into storage the fraudsters cease contact with the victim. The wine is then moved again, often quickly, to another location and sold. The original owner obviously never sees the profit.

How can I protect myself from wine scams?

  • Never deal with anyone on a cold-call. Hang up if you are at all in doubt.
  • Double check the identity of the firm with whom you are dealing. Never accept their identity at face value.
  • Never sign over or part with your wine without first exhaustively checking that you are dealing with a legitimate organisation.
  • Take independent advice before parting with your investment.

What can I do if I’ve been the victim of wine investment fraud?

First of all, there is no shame in being the victim of one of these sophisticated and predatory operations. By coming forward you may be able to recover some or all of your lost funds and prevent the scammers from targeting others. Secondly, contact Selachii LLP. We have extensive experience in helping clients to recoup and recover funds lost in wine scams. Our team have built up knowledge and experience in the workings of these schemes and the methods they use to target investors. We also understand how professional misconduct can cause you to lose money.

This puts us in a unique position with respect to helping creditors and investors to recoup their losses and in holding scammers and fraudsters to account.

We have an excellent track record in holding scammers to account including having assets frozen, even where companies have been set up using fake information. Our approach is based on close collaboration with forensic accountants and other experts, prosecution agencies (both domestic and international) to trace and recover your assets.

While it may feel hopeless, there are legal avenues open to you to recover your money. At Selachii, we explore each of these and investigate the best approach to recover your investment. 

In most cases, the recourse is to issue a winding-up petition against the company who first elicited the investment. This enforces the debt and takes the matter to the Official Receiver. At this point, our expert team of solicitors go to work investigating matters, with the help of other experts, to recover your funds. We will seek to recover the funds from the company or the individuals responsible.

In order to pursue an individual directly for repayment of funds they’ve misappropriated, there must be evidence of some kind of wrongdoing, such as misfeasance, misrepresentation or unjustified enrichment.

If the investigative and prosecuting authorities have information on the fraudster (normally because they’ve got a criminal conviction) we work to get access to this data. It’s important to bear in mind that the civil standard of proof, which only requires to be proved on a balance of probabilities, is lower than the criminal standard of beyond reasonable doubt.

As well as acting for individuals and businesses, we have also acted in class actions (also known as multi-party actions), where the same fraud has been committed against many individuals. This means that an individual unable to recover funds because of the costs and time involved can have recourse by pursuing legal action as part of a group.

 

Contact Selachii Expert Fraud Litigation Solicitors

 

We take pride in building case-winning strategies tailored to the needs and budget of our clients, and are expert in tracing and recovering assets in both the UK and overseas. If you require first-class, cost-efficient legal advice on wine fraud, or any other type of fraud, please contact us.

How Selachii Can Help

Fraud is an issue that demands extreme tact as well as often needing great doggedness and attention to detail. We don’t believe in simply handing out one-size-fits-all solutions to problems. We will focus on your specific circumstances before working out the best and most cost-effective way of helping you achieve your aims.

Selachii is a dynamic litigation law firm based in Kensington, London. We put the best interests of our clients at the heart of everything we do. We work with both businesses and private individuals, giving them legal advice and support which is unique to them and their situation.

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