Five people have appeared in court after being charged for their part in an alleged wine fraud, following an extensive Hertfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards investigation.

The following appeared at St Albans Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, January 17, each charged with fraudulent trading, and are next set to appear at St Albans Crown Court on February 14:

  • Benjamin Cazaly, 41, of Church Road, Orpington
  • Gregory Assemakis, 38, of Plaistow Grove, Bromley
  • Dominic D’Sa, 43, of Oxford Avenue, London
  • Emma Akast, 35, of Riverside Walk, Kent
  • Ayesha Pindoria, 31, of Saint Keverne Road, Mottingham

It is alleged that between May 1, 2011, and November 30, 2018, the individuals knowingly carried on the business of Imperial Wine and Spirits Merchant Ltd, formerly known as Imperial Wines of London Ltd, for a fraudulent purpose.

A sixth defendant will appear in court on February 5 at St Albans Magistrates' Court.