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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jim Budd

Boington & Fredericks, City Vintners and Goldman Williams have been closed in the public interest by the DTI. All three were suspected of excessive price charging for wine investments. Petitions to close the three companies were successfully presented in the High Court on 29 November and a provisional liquidator was appointed. City Vintners and Goldman Williams had an appeal against the petitions and the appointment of the provisional liquidator rejected on 10 December. It seems highly likely that the two companies will contest the winding up orders, which will be heard some time in 2002. These moves are a major plank in the DTI's clampdown on the alleged drinks investment scams'. City Vintners and Goldman Williams, who operated from the same offices near Old Street, were the two largest players in a market which the DTI now estimates may be worth 50 million or more. City Vintners and Goldman Williams have some 18 million worth (ie, what investors paid) of wine stored at London City Bond for 1,450 clients. At current market prices, this wine is probably worth no more than 8 million. Founded in April 2000, Boington & Fredericks was a much smaller operation. It appears that it only effectively traded from the end of March 2001 when the two directors, Frederick Achom and Anthony Grant, were released from jail. They had been sentenced to a year's imprisonment in September 2000 for conspiracy to defraud by pretending that they could help obtain EU grants for companies. n The DTI has also presented a petition to close VCA Vintners, run by Simon Drake, previously of Allwines. David Allan's Allwines went into liquidation in April owing nearly 1.5 million. Enquiries about these companies should be made to Cheryl Lambert, Senior Examiner, tel: 020 7637 6366.