A MAN has been arrested over allegations of a £10m fraud in which elderly people in the US were duped into investing in Scotch whisky.

Some 150 people are alleged to have been duped in the elaborate scheme that promised big returns on whisky investments, federal authorities said.

British national Casey Alexander from London has been arrested for his alleged role in the scam in which it is alleged he worked with three companies.

It is claimed  older US residents would be called with the promise of significant returns on investments made in rare whiskies and fine wine.

The allegations were detailed in an affidavit after the arrest of Mr Alexander who is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

It is alleged phone numbers of elderly people were obtained before they were cold-called.

It is claimed fake names and British accents were used as callers used “aggressive and deceptive tactics” on the calls and promised huge gains.

It is claimed exclusive parties in Scotland were further dangled as bait to snare whisky investors interested in a cache of products  such as vintage 2017 Craigellachie Scotch.

The alleged fraud was exposed when an 89-year-old man from Ohio phoned police after being tricked out of $300,000 by alleged scammers, having been told he would be able to double his investments in just three years.

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An FBI agent said the defendants would cold-call people throughout the US and persuade them to invest.

It is claimed co-conspirators used “aggressive and deceptive tactics,” false names and the promise to store the fine wines and whiskeys in a warehouse in Britain, while they accrued value.

Defendants were able to convince victims to wire funds or make checks out to the Suspect Companies to invest in purported wine or whiskey," the affidavit says.

"After the initial investment with the suspect companies, the defendants kept in contact with the victims via email and telecommunications convincing them to keep investing with the suspect companies by promising even larger returns on their initial investments."

None of the victims ever received their returns, the FBI said.

The FBI said the defendants used fake names, such as Elliot Stewart or Robert Wilson, and talked in British accents. The defendants would tell the victims that the companies had offices in Delaware, according to the affidavit.

The victims were told that the companies "could identify and purchase a portfolio of fine wines and or whiskeys on behalf of investors," which would be held in a warehouse in the UK and sold for profit, the affidavit says.

Another victim, a 73-year-old from Grandville, Michigan, wired $25,560  under the belief it was an investment in rare wines, according to the affidavit.

The victim, who was promised a potential return of 35% to 40%, then invested $60,000 more.

Mr Alexander is alleged to have cold-called a third victim in 2020 and persuaded the person to buy about $22,000 worth of whiskey, the affidavit says.

It is alleged in an in-person meeting a victim mailed a check for $100,000 to buy more whiskey. However, the victim was contacted by the FBI and was able to prevent the check from being cashed.

Federal authorities said they have identified more than 150 victims in the US and have been able to return about $250,000 of the $13 million invested by the victims.

Mr Alexander was released on a £41,000 bond, according to court records.