Holdings in whisky casks - Attention fraudsters!

Bankruptcies - Proceedings - Names

Note: The following message is now several years old. However, it has lost none of its topicality. With great regularity this trick is tried again and again.

Growing concern about companies offering investment opportunities in beverage products was expressed by the British Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at the turn of the year 1996/97. This warning is accompanied by the opening of proceedings against the two companies 'James Devereaux Ltd' and 'Napier Spirit Co Ltd', both of which had offered malt whisky casks as investments. 'James Devereaux Ltd' and 'Securutuzed Syndicated Investments (SSI) Ltd', which traded as 'Marshall Wineries', have already entered into winding up proceedings and DTI has filed a petition to close down 'Napier Spirit Co Ltd' as "the potential returns and marketability of such investments are untrue". DTI announced that they have details of about a dozen companies that have investments in the whisky, champagne and port sectors. There are said to be claims of more than EUR 2 million against 'James Devereaux Ltd', against which there are only assets worth EUR 35,000. James Devereaux Ltd' also sold other whisky, but had specialised in freshly filled casks of the newly founded 'Isle of Arran' distillery. The two main creditors, the 'Isle of Arran' distillery and 'First Feature Print Ltd', which had produced the promotional brochures for James Devereaux, have bad debts of EUR 175,000 and EUR 125,000 respectively.

The latest news (August 1997) reports two further petitions for winding up proceedings against the firms 'Ewart McLaren Ltd' and 'Brooktheme Ltd' which traded under the name 'Millennium Spirits Investments'. The offences the firms are accused of are:

  • "Claims made by the firms about the potential returns and the marketability of such investments were 'untrue'."
  • "The grounds of our petition are that no established market exists in which investors' whisky casks can be sold and investors are unlikely to recover the sums paid".

The typical losers in investing money in whisky casks are private individuals who invest sums ranging from a few thousand to a few tens of thousands of euros in whisky that you have never seen or will never see. The promised profits are usually lost, as is the money invested. The industry's advice is:"Don't buy shares in whisky investments!"