Jonothan Piper, a director of Embassy Wine UK Ltd (Embassy), a company that traded in fine wine investments, has been disqualified as a director for 11 years for causing or failing to prevent the company from selling wine to customers which it failed to provide, purchasing wine from customers which it failed to pay them for, and charging fees to customers for which no service was provided.
Mr Pipers disqualification from 17 November 2015 means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 2026.
Embassy was wound up Public Interest grounds after an investigation by the Insolvency Service. There then followed further investigations by a specialist team of the Insolvency Service.
The investigation showed the company was involved in a scheme to deprive investors of their savings by persuading them to invest in wine or sell their fine wine through the company. As a result, customers are owed at least 382,167.
Commenting on this case Paul Titherington, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:
The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers to investigate and disqualify directors whose companies defraud the public.
The amount owed to customers may in fact be higher than that revealed by our investigations as the company failed to keep adequate records and there may therefore be additional customers I am presently unaware of.
The investigation uncovered that between 28 June 2011 and 3 December 2014, Embassy traded buying and selling fine wine from individuals in the UK. As at the date of the winding up order, the company had no known assets.
Jonothan Piper was the sole de jure director of the company throughout the period of these trades.