En primeur wine scammer jailed over £1m fraud

21 January, 2011

A wine investment company director has been imprisoned for seven-and-a-half years for fraud.

Benedict Moruthoane, of Raleigh Drive, Barnet, north London, and Oseghale Hayble, of Battalion House, Colindale, north London, set up and ran Templar Vintners and defrauded en primeur wine investors out of almost £1 million. Moruthoane was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court.

He was also a director of International Wine Commodities, which pretended to have an affiliation with the International Wine Challenge and fraudulently advertised a logo on its website. It also used the IWC acronym.

Trading as IWC, Moruthoane and Hayble conned £800,000 out of customers and Templar Vintners defrauded investors of £100,000.




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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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