Two British men have been charged by federal prosecutors in New York with defrauding people into investing nearly $100 million (€90 million) in loans allegedly backed by an expensive wine cellar. doesn’t really exist.
According to a grand jury indictment released yesterday, Stephen Burton and James Wellesley entice people to invest in loans allegedly brokered by their Bordeaux Cellars company and mortgaged with wine which they kept for wealthy collectors.
Bordeaux Cellars allegedly had thousands of fewer wines than the loan documents reflected, including wines from the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti in Burgundy and Chateau Lafleur in Bordeaux, court papers said. see.
Prosecutors said Burton and Wellesley both used multiple aliases and used loan proceeds to make fraudulent interest payments to investors or personal spending, in a scheme that spans from June 2017 to February 2019.
“These defendants defrauded investors by offering them a drunken investment opportunity collateralized with valuable bottles of fine wine that turned out to be too delicious to be true.” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace of Brooklyn said in a statement.
Burton (55) and Wellesley (57) were each charged with electronic fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money, and could face up to 20 years in prison.
Attorneys for the defendants could not be immediately identified.
Wellesley was arrested on February 4 in the UK, and Burton was a fugitive, prosecutors said.
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/two-british-nationals-charged-in-the-us-with-100m-wine-fraud-41400519.html Two British nationals charged with $100 million alcohol fraud in the US