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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Montevino Partners Ltd – into liquidation (28th April 2017) + various updates including 'antics'

.... going bust .....


As already reported by investdrinks Thomas Roger White has decided to put Montevino Partners Ltd, the phoenix company of Spirited Ventures Ltd that traded as Montevino Partners, into voluntary liquidation. Spirited Ventures Ltd went into liquidation in July 2016 before being wound up in the High Court in August 2016. 

The creditors' meeting for Montevino Partners Ltd will be on April 28th 2017 at the Wenta Business Centre, 1 Electric Avenue, Enfield EN3 7XU, on 28 April 2017, at 11:00 am:




It was notable that in the statement of affairs for Spirited Ventures Ltd White failed to make a complete declaration of all creditors. He left out an unknown number of the company's private investors who had paid for wine they did not receive. It is still not clear whether this omission by White was deliberate or just down to incompetence. 

Mark Ireson of the Insolvency Service is currently investigating White's failure to list all the creditors with regard to Spirited Ventures Ltd. I understand from Ireson that a liquidator has now been appointed to wind up Spirited Ventures Ltd. Details: Andrew Kelsall and Lee Green of Larking Gowen Chartered Accountants,  King Street House, 15 Upper King Street, Norwich NR3 1RB [0845 077 4165; info@larking-gowen.co.uk]. Creditors can claim by contacting the liquidators.
 
I trust that White's statement of affairs for Montevino Partners Ltd will be this time be properly comprehensive and list all creditors. Practice they say makes perfect!

White's statement should include the investor who bought around £70,000 worth of Barolo but who has never received their wine. Hardly surprising when no order was placed with the producer....   

White's statement of affairs for Montevino Partners will be available free through Companies House's excellent Beta Service. I suspect I will not be alone in reading this statement with keen interest... 




Montevino Partners – Mark 3
To date there appears to be no sign of the promised Montevino Partners Mark 3

Thomas White has been promising potential backers of this new venture that he will be instructing solicitors to put forward a case for defamation in relation to my various posts about the Montevino Partners saga. 

Here are a selection of email messages from Thomas White to potential supporters of his latest venture:   
   
'Also have instructed them to look into Jim Budd what can be done to stifle him to stop him damaging the Newco before we start.'  (Thomas White: 20.2.17)
 
'And I will be engaging the solicitor to continue to look at Mr J Budds (sic) antics, I don't wish him to jeopardise what we are trying to do, we require fair treatment.' (Thomas White: 22.2.17)

'I am still awaiting the full feedback from solicitor regarding the defamation posts online and what can be done or the approach that is best to take. It is a frustrating delay but I'm sure you agree that I wish to make sure that before we launch our new ship for its voyage beyond the harbour, we should check what the weathers like at open sea and if any storms are likely from Mr Budd.

So I will be actively chasing this advice down next week, so will update again when possible.' (Thomas White – early March 2017).

Despite Mr White's 'active chasing' I have yet to receive any communication from any solicitor acting for Thomas White, who I invited in February 2017 to inform me what he believed was 'defamatory' in my posts. To date I have received no reply from White. Probably hardly surprising as my posts are largely based on material that White himself has filed with Companies House.

Has White's intention to launch a third 'Montevino Partners' been slowed by the very welcome investigation by the The Insolvency Service or has White perhaps failed to convince enough clients of Montevino Partners to sink more good money after bad? Have they looked at White's record as a director at Companies House and concluded that 'third time lucky' is a gamble too far? 

We will see ....    






Friday, 3 March 2017

Spirited Ventures Ltd (Montevino Partners): Insolvency Service investigating undeclared creditors

Breaking news: 
Today I have been contacted by Mark Ireson, senior examiner and deputy official receiver for the Public Interest Unit of the Insolvency Service. He is looking into the incomplete list of creditors submitted by Tom White, the sole director, in his Statement of Affairs when Spirited Ventures Ltd (trading as Montevino Partners) went into liquidation on 26th July 2016. 

Mark Ireson is very keen to hear from from any creditor of Spirited Ventures Ltd, who was not listed in White's Statement of Affairs for Spirited Ventures Ltd when it went into liquidation. If you bought wine through Spirited Ventures Ltd trading as Monetvino Partners and didn't receive your wine do get in touch with Mark Ireson.

It is known that there was at least one private investor client (DL), who was  owed £46,362. This debt was well known to Tom White as DL sent White an email on 15th March 2015 detailing the outstanding wines and their cost.

White replied the following day: 

'Tom White Wed 16/03/2016 14:39



To: DL



Hello Mr L

Thank you for your comments, sorry to hear you feel this way, And I assure you not our intention to provide our services this way. Just picked up your email, Please let me look into what has happened and why no progress has been made with your sale request.

Ok understood regarding the deliveries, Let me review the items you are awaiting for and I will provide an update of the landing time frames soon as I can.

Kind regards, Speak soon. Tom'

DL did not hear from White again.  

Please note that Ireson is only looking at Spirited Ventures Ltd at present and not at any wines owed to investors by White's follow on company – Montevino Partners Ltd.        

Mark Ireson can be contacted on 020-7637 6230 or piu.or@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk 

If you send an email please put Mark Ireson and Spirited Ventures in the heading.


Two Extracts from Tom White's Statement of Affairs: 26.7.2016



26.7.16: Tom White's director's list of debts owed by Spirited Ventures Ltd:
No private investors listed
26.7.2016: Tom White declares Stock of Wine as 'uncertain'!! 


***

12 X 75 ltd
investdrinks has received further reports that 12 x 75 Ltd has been cold calling Montevino Partners clients and offering to sell their portfolios. The callers are reported to be pushy and the valuations offered have not impressed.

It is not known how 12 x 75 Ltd acquired contact details of clients of Montevino nor details of the portfolios they hold. 

I suggest anyone contacting Mark Ireson regarding not being listed as a creditor of Spirited Ventures Ltd and who has been cold called should also report these calls from 12 x 75 Ltd. 

My advice to anyone cold called by 12 x 75 Ltd is to put the phone down.   

Monday, 20 February 2017

Two men – Thomas Hole and Ryan Fraser – sentenced for wine fraud offences – London and Essex

Thames Valley Police
Press Release: 
Saturday 18 February 2017, 4:27pm

Two men have been sentenced for duping victims in a £362,000 wine scam, following a Thames Valley Police investigation.

Thomas Hole, aged 31, of Rectory Crescent, London, was sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment and Ryan Fraser, aged 25, of Hemnall Street, Epping, Essex, was sentenced to a total of three years and four months’ imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court on Friday 10 February.

Thomas Hole was convicted by majority jury of one count of conspiracy to defraud following a four-week trial at the same court which concluded on 3 February.

Ryan Fraser pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud at a previous court hearing in January 2016 and pleaded guilty to a further count of conspiracy to defraud on the first day of his trial on 9 January 2017.

Both men were also disqualified from being company directors for 10 years.

Two other defendants who stood trial; Mohammed Boodhoo, aged 38, of Ruxley Lane, Epsom, Surrey, was acquitted of one count of conspiracy to defraud and Kenneth Fraser, aged 50, of Thornwood Road, Epping, Essex, was acquitted of one count of conspiracy to defraud.

A company, Premier Wine Investment Limited, was set up which offered investment in Bordeaux, fine wine. Various people were cold called and were persuaded to invest. They were told that they should leave their investments to grow in value over a number of years which most investors did, allowing the defendants to be able to use the money without being immediately detected.  

To overcome the suspicions of their bank, a new company similarly named which just added an ‘s’ on to Wine, was set up. The formation of Premier Wines Investment Limited, in June 2012, allowed the offenders to continue to convince victims to pay their money in to a new separate account with a different bank, allowing them to continue their criminal activity.

The investigation, carried out by Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit, identified 13 victims, most of whom were approaching or enjoying their retirement.

The victims did not realise that instead of the company purchasing fine wine for them, the money was being used by the defendants on payments to their own bank accounts, was withdrawn in cash, was used on expensive overseas travel, on spa days, bespoke tailoring and on meals at restaurants. 

The only money which was spent on wine was the wine that the defendants purchased and consumed themselves. Between December 2011 and August 2013 the defendants conspired together to defraud people by making false, misleading and dishonest representations about the value and existence of wine.

Investigating officer Det Con Steve Conroy, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “Thomas Hole and Ryan Fraser preyed upon the naivety and vulnerability of potential investors when they defrauded the victims in this case. This was a crime motivated by their greed which resulted in them taking thousands of pounds of other people’s retirement money and savings for themselves. Their contempt for the victims, who were mainly retired or elderly, showed they had no thought for the impact on their lives or the hardship they caused as a result. 

“The sentences passed show that these offences are taken seriously by police and the Economic Crime Unit will pursue those who offend to ensure they are brought to face justice.”