December 17, 2023 – 8:00 pm – Morocco
Morocco extradited Stephen Burton, a 58-year-old Briton, to the United States on Friday. Burton was arrested in Morocco in 2022 after entering the country on a fake Zimbabwean passport.
U.S. Attorney Breon Pace confirmed that Burton appeared in federal court in Brooklyn on Saturday to face charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, reports said. AP. He was allegedly involved with James Wellesley in a Ponzi scheme to steal $99 million from investors. In court, Burton pleaded not guilty. He was remanded in custody pending his next hearing on 22 January.
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According to the indictment, Burton and Wellesley posed as leaders of Bordeaux Cellars from June 2017 through February 2019. They networked with investors in New York, including during business conferences in the United States and abroad. Their method consists of brokering loans between investors and wealthy wine collectors through their company. These loans will be fully secured by high value wine collections.
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Investors were promised that they would receive regular interest from borrowers. Bordeaux Cellars will keep the wine reserve that served as collateral for the loans. Research showed that wine collectors did not actually exist and that Bordeaux Cellars did not possess any wine cellars to guarantee loans.
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