NEW YORK CITY, March 1 (Reuters) -2 British males have been charged by federal prosecutors in New york city with defrauding individuals into investing nearly $ 100 million in loans allegedly backed by an inventory of expensive red wine that did not in fact exist. According to a grand jury indictment revealed on Tuesday, Stephen Burton and James Wellesley induced individuals to purchase loans allegedly brokered by their company Bordeaux Cellars and collateralized by white wine they stored for wealthy collectors.
Bordeaux Cellars supposedly had custody of thousands fewer white wines than loan documents shown, including wine from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti in Burgundy and Chateau Lafleur in Bordeaux, court papers showed. Register now totally free endless access to Reuters.com Register< p data-testid ="paragraph-3" class ="text __ text __ 1FZLe text __ dark-grey __ 3Ml43 text __ routine __ 2N1Xr text __ large __ nEccO body __ base __ 22dCE body __ large_body __ FV5_X article-body __ component __
OOj6H” > Prosecutors stated Burton and Wellesley both used numerous aliases, and used loan proceeds to make deceptive interest payments to financiers or for individual expenditures, in a scheme running from June 2017 to February 2019.
” These defendants deceived investors by providing them an envigorating financial investment chance collateralized by valuable bottles of great wine that ended up being too excellent to be real,”U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in Brooklyn said in a statement. Burton, 55, and Wellesley, 57, were each charged with wire scams, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, and could face up to 20 years in prison.
Attorneys for the accuseds might not instantly be recognized. Wellesley was arrested on Feb. 4 in the UK, and Burton is a fugitive, district attorneys stated.
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