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Ruling imminent on wine sellers'

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jim Budd

On 26 September, Ocean International Marketing and its two directors, Craig Garrett and Sean Stockdale, attempted to have the orders freezing their assets lifted. The freezing action was brought by three investors who are believed to be demanding reimbursement of $1.5-$2 million. Ocean International Marketing is the marketing agent of Seed International. Since 1996, American doctors have invested $250-$400 million in various investment schemes, including wine, run by Seed International. In 2000, $40 million was invested by Seed clients in red Bordeaux. In 2001, Ocean persuaded investors to switch to a new Italian programme, with ten-year contracts and two annual instalments. The investors claim that they were misled over the nature of the contracts. They also claim that Ocean International Marketing and Seed International are one and the same. This is denied by the companies, who claim to be wine sellers and not an investment company. The Italian wines are supplied by Orchestra International SRL, which Harpers understands has no common director or capital connection with either Ocean International Marketing or Seed International. Harpers understands that Paradigm Wine Services SRL, which manages Orchestra International, is in negotiation with Seed International in order to secure the Italian wine for Seed's clients.