Recidivist British Wine Investment Scammer Again Subject Of Banning Order
Seven years ago, British regulators exposed Boington & Fredericks Ltd and The Wine Index as wine investment cons that tricked investors into paying inflated prices for cheap or non-existent plonk. Stephen Pierre Boyd, the man behind those dodgy schemes, was banned from running companies for 13 years but according to The Mirror he managed to carry on with the scams. Using the aliases Dave Martin and Steve Gordon, Boyd created Wine Traders International Limited and extracted over ₤2 million from investors for wine which was never delivered, obliging the authorities to once more step in to get Boyd out of business life. The High Court found that Boyd was also guilty of wrongfully transferring customers’ wine valued at over ₤1 million to a fictitious entity he had created, purloining a Porsche leased to the company and failing to keep records to explain over ₤3 million in expenditures.
Boyd has now been banned from being a company director for another 15 years – the maximum possible period. According to investigators, the director of record of Wine Traders International, one Abel Rudman, had been a mere puppet whose strings Boyd had been pulling from behind the scene.
“Hiding behind false names and stooges will not protect rogue directors,” said Paul Titherington, the official receiver from the Insolvency Service. “As this case shows, our investigations will reveal who is ultimately in control and we will take robust action to address wrongdoing. In handing down the maximum possible period of disqualification, the Court has shown that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. It also demonstrates that The Insolvency Service will seek to remove these people from the business environment.”
!m[New Self-regulatory Body To Deal With Growing Number of Wine Investment Frauds](/uploads/story/1457/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)
**New Body To Regulate Wine Market**
On Thursday 14 February, the UK’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) announced that it is to join forces with the newly-formed Wine Investment Association (WIA) to rein in on an invesment market plagued by fraudsters. Wine investment companies wishing to assure the public of their bona fides will now be required to sign a code of conduct and to comply with tough self-regulation and a stringent compliance procedure.
“Fraudsters will always follow the money — wine investment is just the latest in a long line of investment opportunities that are being exploited and corrupted,” said Det Supt Dave Clark, director of the NFIB.
And Peter Shakeshaft, inaugural director of the WIA, commented: “Our industry has been held back far too long by unscrupulous practitioners and issues around fraud. The WIA will really hold the industry to account.”
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