Monday, October 7, 2013

Village Wines Closes Amid Fraud Charges; Alleged Victims Aim to Reopen Store

Posted By on Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Over at Nashville Post, my colleague Steve Cavendish has investigated the scandal surrounding Village Wines, the 14-year-old Hillsboro Village shop owned by prominent wine seller Hoyt Hill.

The store closed last month, and Hill has been hit with several lawsuits accusing him of defrauding his high-dollar customers. Cavendish reports that Hill has judgments issued against him totaling at least $200,000 and claims for more. Furthermore, the actual amount owed to several dozen former clients may be significantly higher: Two different sources described the amount as being in excess of $1 million, Cavendish reports.

Hill, who formerly ran the wine programs at F. Scott's and the Wild Boar, was known for holding informative wine tastings in conjunction with his store, bringing in vintners, importers and other wine experts from around the world. He generally had a good reputation until the past two years, when he began an alleged pattern of taking large amounts of money from customers upfront for rare and expensive European wines that he never delivered.

A group of former customers formed a company called Coat Door LLC and has purchased Village Wine's non-alcohol assets. They are renovating the store at 2006 Belcourt Ave. and plan to reopen it under a different name before Thanksgiving.

Read the full story here.

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