Three people have been jailed for their role in an investment fraud based on allegedly rare wines, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.
John T, said to be the brain behind the scam was jailed for 3.5 years. Judith D, the director of the investment group Bordeaux Advisory, was jailed for 20 months and English national Richard W, who bought the wine, for 18 months.
The Amsterdam court said the fraud was extremely serious and jail terms were merited because ‘a lot of people were conned out of gigantic sums of money’. In total 360 people invested €19.4m in the company, which promised people a return of 30%.
Investment company Bordeaux Advisory was started up with one aim: ‘to rip off investors and get rich,’ the public prosecution department said in a statement at the start of the trial.
Victims of the scam paid more than €1,100 for a case of wine which Bordeaux Advisory bought for €4.75 a bottle, the prosecution said.
Wine-lovers’ website Decanter.com says one Ontario investor bought eight cases of 2002 Château Lagrave Paran Bordeaux Supérieur for €1,170 a case – a wine which is available for around €140 a case.
The Financial Services Authority AFM issued a warning to investors not to put money into the company in 2007. The company was declared bankrupt in 2008.