This week I am featuring another scam. It involved what I suspect is the cloning of a legitimate company – Premier Capital Finance Ltd, which is an Irish company based in Limerick. Fraudsters are increasingly cloning legitimate companies to give their frauds legitimacy.
It would appear that the Irish company Premier Capital Finance Ltd (IE544663) has been cloned by fraudsters operating an advance fee fraud. An invoice for £1850 from ‘Premier Capital Finance Ltd’ was sent to John B on 19th August 2021. It purported to be a guarantee that on payment of this sum for ‘fees pertaining to the Account Remission for your Imperial Fine Wines, in the exit of your Investment Portfolio as orchestrated by the Guarantor’ he would receive payment of £41,900. The Guarantee was signed by Ian Hartery, director.
There is confusion over the company name. The now dissolved Imperial Fine Wines Ltd registered at a company formation business in Kensington. Set up in November 2012 the company never traded and was dissolved voluntarily in August 2018. Instead it was through Imperial Wine & Spirits Merchant Ltd that John B bought his ‘investment’ wines. This company was founded as Imperial Wines of London Ltd on 21st May 2008 with Ben Cazaly (DOB: June 1982) and Barry Gamble (DOB: 19th July 1980). The company changed its name to Imperial Wine & Spirits Merchant Ltd in January 2017. On 6th July 2021 the company was compulsorily dissolved. A restraint order by the Treasury Solicitor on the company’s assets was obtained at St Albans Crown Court on 28th November 2018. In the lead up to the company’s dissolution this has now been disclaimed by the Treasury Solicitor.
Details of Court Order
It is, of course highly unlikely that there are any remaining assets from the now dissolved Imperial Wine & Spirits Merchant Ltd and that this invoice is a further attempt by fraudsters to extract more money from already deceived investors. Incidentally these fraudsters are chasing a dead man as John B died several years ago – sadly his death was possibly hastened by the stress caused by his unwise ‘investments’. As is increasingly the case these fraudsters appear to have cloned Premier Capital Finance Ltd (IE544663) based at Caherass Stud Farm, Croom, Co Limerick. The company dates from 28th May 2014 and Ian Hartery is a director.
Ian Hartery (DOB Sept 1976), a director of Premier Capital Finance Ltd
and also a director of Premier Capital Holdings Ltd
I think it is highly unlikely that Ian Hartery and Premier Capital Finance Ltd are part of this advance fee fraud – instead innocent victims especially as Nick Hartery, who is also based at Caherass Stud Farm, is the current chairman of Horse Racing Ireland. Unfortunately I have had no response to an email sent on 21st August to Mr Hartery explaining my suspicions over the cloning of Premier Capital Finance Ltd but have yet to receive a reply.
When I first started to look into Premier Capital Finance Ltd their website claimed that the company was registered in the UK as this Google search below shows:
However, on Premier Capital Finance website now says that the company is registered in Ireland:
Copyright is given as 2019 but the website wasn’t set up until 26.7.21. Regarding copyright the fraudsters have no compunction over copying text from legitimate finance companies like the Roxbury and Charles Stanley.
I contacted Roxbury, who confirmed that the text used by Premier Capital Finance has been purloined without their knowledge and permission. Roxbury has contacted Action Fraud. I have also contacted Charles Stanley but had no response.
Do watch out for these sophisticated advance fee frauds
Note on the bankrupt Barry Gamble
Gamble resigned from Imperial Wines of London Lt in January 2009 and went on to be a director of The London Vines Ltd, which also sold dubious wine investments. Gamble resigned in April 2013 and has been bankrupt since 8th December 2015 with his discharge suspended indefinitely until conditions set down by the Croydon County Court have been fulfilled.