“Wine Ponzi Scheme” Perpetrator Sentenced to Six Years
John Fox, former owner of wine shop Premier Cru, has reportedly been sentenced to 6.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and defrauding investors out of at least $45 million. As part of the scheme, Fox sold wine to customers around the world, embezzled the money, then used newer purchasers’ money to buy and ship the wine promised to earlier purchasers, an arrangement one prosecutor called a “wine Ponzi scheme.” Fox reportedly spent the money on luxury cars, personal credit cards and gifts for women he met online. He began serving his sentence immediately. See Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2016.