Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.


Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jim Budd

Melanie Johnson, the consumer minister, has warned would-be investors to beware of fine wine and art investment scams. Investors need to seek independent, trustworthy advice' before committing themselves, she said. According to the DTI, Experts believe that around 50 million may have already been invested in wine worth less than half that sum.' Johnson said: Some companies are preying on people's naivety about wine as an investment. As with all investments, if you don't understand it yourself, take advice from an independent expert who does. In other words, take time to ask difficult questions, consider the answers carefully and check them with someone you can trust.' The public is warned not to be rushed; not to assume that someone who calls himself a broker is honest, regulated or acting in their best interests; and that if it sounds too good to be true - it probably isn't. In 2001 the DTI investigated 11 companies, and Ashley White, Ashley Witter and Harley Fine Wine were wound up in the public interest. On 29 November, the Insolvency Service was appointed as the provisional liquidator for Boington & Fredericks, City Vintners and Goldman Williams. Liquid Acquisitions is currently contesting a DTI winding up petition presented in late October. The DTI warns that further petitions may be presented in the near future. The Wine & Spirit Association (WSA) has also issued a release supporting the DTI's action and referring would-be investors to the WSA website for a list of legitimate merchants, and to websites such as, for help in gauging the current spread of prices.