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Response from Paul Seakens, Director of Carbon Neutral Investments and Enviro Associates

Ten days ago, REDD-Monitor wrote about a UK-based company called Enviro Associates, after the BBC had secretly filmed a director of the company, Luke Ryan, making “misleading” claims about the amount of money to be made by investing in carbon credits.

Paul Seakens is a director of Enviro Associates. He is also director of a company called Carbon Neutral Investments Limited, which provides clearing and settlement services for companies (including Enviro Associates) that sell over the counter carbon credits. REDD-Monitor sent Paul Seakens some questions, but he did not reply within one week as requested. On 6 December 2012, REDD-Monitor received an email from Seakens, who apologised for the delayed response and explained that, “your original email hit our spam folders but after reading your article we located it”.

At the end of Seakens’ email are the following logos:

Carbon Neutral Investments is a member of the London Stock Exchange. But a note on the Exchange’s website points out that “The firm does not have direct access to the Exchange’s markets.”

Carbon Neutral Investments claims to buy only Verified Carbon Standard certified carbon credits – hence the VCS logo.

Carbon Neutral Investments is on the Financial Services Authority register, but the FSA does not regulate carbon credits. The small print at the end of Seakens’ email explains that,

CNI only supplies Spot Carbon Credits and these are not categorised as an “Investment Product” under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. They are therefore not a regulated product and any customers purchasing Spot Carbon Credits for investment or corporate social responsibility purposes should be aware that neither the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) nor the Financial Ombudsman Scheme (FOS) apply to the transaction or to any monies paid to CNI for the purchase of VCS VER Spot Carbon Credits. Spot Carbon Credits are not tradable on the London Stock Exchange and customers should be aware there is little or no liquidity and it may not be possible to sell the VCS VER Spot Carbon Credits without suffering a loss of some or all of the capital invested.

There’s also a link to Carbon Neutral Investments’ “Company Disclaimer/Risk Warning” at the end of Seakens’ email. Unfortunately, the link is an old one:

Carbon Neutral Investment’s current “carbon risk warning” is available here.

Below are REDD-Monitor’s questions (20 November 2012) followed by Seakens’ answers (6 December 2012):

REDD-Monitor: Please describe briefly what your company does and how many people are employed there.

Paul Seakens: Please refer to our website at www.cn-investments.com which contains the information you require. The company employs about fifteen people.

REDD-Monitor: I understand that CNI provides clearing and settlement services for companies selling over the counter carbon credits. Please explain what these services involve and why such a service is necessary.

Paul Seakens: The services involve CNI in providing settlement and custody services for firms engaged in buying and selling on the spot carbon market. This involves us in acting as a settlement agent for members of our clearing systems by settling the cash element of the transactions and holding the credits in nominee for both parties. Why is any service necessary? There was a demand for the service and we had the capability to fulfil the demand.

REDD-Monitor: One of the companies on CNI’s list of companies for which CNI provides clearing and settlement services is Enviro Associates. You are a director of Enviro Associates and of CNI. You are also a director of AGT Investments Ltd., the company that buys Enviro Associates’ carbon credits. Isn’t there a conflict of interest here?

Paul Seakens: You point out in your article that CNI has had six names. If you had paid closer attention you may have noticed AGT Investments Limited was one of those. The reference on the Enviro website was incorrect and has now been removed.

REDD-Monitor: CNI is on the Financial Services Authority register. The register for CNI includes a Notice that states: “Unable to hold client money.” Could you please explain what this means and how CNI provides financial services without holding client money.

Paul Seakens: The reference to client money on the FSA is a constant source of unnecessary consternation. The FSA definition of client money is very narrow and CNI does not “hold” client monies. Funds received by CNI are not client monies in that definition of the phrase but only monies paid in settlement of transactions. In any event the spot carbon market is unregulated and not subject to FSA rules so therefore the reference to client monies does not in any event apply.

REDD-Monitor: According to Enviro Associates, AGT Investments Ltd. buys only VCS certified carbon credits. But what proof does CNI (or AGT Investments Ltd. or Enviro Associates) give to people who buy the carbon credits to show that this is in fact true?

Paul Seakens: In common with many financial products there is no certificate issued, the entitlement being held electronically in exactly the same way as if you purchased a FTSE100 share and the broker held the shares in CREST on behalf of the client. All purchasers receive log-in details for our systems and can login and view/download a statement of their holdings.

REDD-Monitor: Could you please explain exactly what CNI did to make Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes the world’s first carbon neutral Formula 1 team. According to CNI’s brochure, “Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes worked alongside CNI to select projects that would prove to be not only ideologically relevant to their core business, but also ethically viable.” Which projects were selected to supply the carbon credits to make Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes “carbon neutral”?

Paul Seakens: The contract we have with Vodafone Maclaren Mercedes precludes us from divulging this information. Suffice to say that credits were selected which met with the clients requirements and which were selected for the additional socio-economic benefits they delivered over and above the CO2 removal they achieved.
 

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133 Comments

  1. i puchased 450vcs for a total of £2223.00 through a company called Oswald Bradshaw the cheque was made payable to Carbon Neutral Investments and cleared on the 15/8/2012.I was given a password by oswald bradshaw and the 450vcs in id766 teesta-vhydro in sikkim india did show up on their clients account-firsly no more oswald bradshaw so i tried the CNI client section on more than one occasion to trace the certificates but to no avail,i rang the office to be told the person i needed to speak to would ring me back but it never happened.I have put the details on FSA website.Other information the salesmam a mr dean oneill rang me from a company called Anthony Stewart 01438 870870 but is now off the radar,Anglo capital investments connected to oswald bradshaw still trading with CNI.I am not expecting miracles but any feedback would be appreciated.

  2. @MR L SAUNDERS – I’m sorry to hear about this. If you cannot access your carbon credits and cannot contact the brokers who sold you the carbon credits and you believe that you have been scammed, you could contact the national fraud reporting centre, which passes reports to the police.

  3. I have contacted Naional Fraud as advised see where it takes us.

    Thanks

    Larry

  4. I purchased carbon credits from New Frontier Partnership in October, payment was made to ecoSynergies for £3450.00 for 500 credit for Luogu Hydro electric Project, VCS ID number 877 and received a VCS registry certificate.

    In November I agreed to purchase carbon credits for the value of £2300.00 for the Hyundai project, the payment was made to Carbon Neutral Investments Ltd. [ . . . ]

    R-M: The rest of this comment has been deleted at the request of Mr Arnott.

  5. I have purchased VCS carbon credits and have my certificates as well as them being on the VCS register but need a new broker. This is where I was first introduced to CN Investments through their sister company Enviro Associates.
    They have offered their broker services to me only if I first purchase spot carbon credits from them.
    I have refused to do this as I am trying to sell my holding not add to it!
    If CN Investmdnt still exist and I know they do, you should make contact with them as you are entitled to your certificate to prove your purchase and in exactly which project or your money back.

    I think there are far too many scam companies feeding off the lack of clarity within this new emerging market

    I am now considering opening my own broker services for people left in a similar situation

    Welcome all comments

  6. I think that it is very difficult. In fairness we cannot expect any brokerage to work for free.. Because there are no exits in place, I would presume there would be no exit fees and so I would imagine that brokerages would not take on some ones port folio for free. Even on the stock market, brokerages will take selling fees, and as carbon brokerages would not be able to do this just yet they would need to make their money from somewhere. I do have an interest within the market but feel that it is just very early at this stage, in a couple of years time things could be much more liquid though, and then I would consider buying in with the knowledge that I could exit at any time. Its an immature market, as long as a broker is not making guarantees that they can sell your credits within some totally unrealistic time frame there could well be a long term opportunity.

  7. Mr. Arnott, seem i’m in a very similar situation to yourself. I purchased £3000 of carbon credits from Alan Roscoe of New Frontier partnership. I was told it could take 2 weeks for my log-in details to arrive but two months on, I’ve still not received them. I have phoned and spoken with him and was told there must have been some mistake their end and he’d sort it out but still had no joy. Is there anything I can to to try and get some resolve to this. What can the national fraud reporting centre do and should I take any other coarse of action?

  8. Bought some credits through a broker who settled through CNI only to find out I was issued with credits from a different project.
    CNI tell me this was their suppliers error that in their role as a clearing agent they have no responsibility to ensure I get delivered what I paid for even though I sent the money to them.
    In short the fact that CNI are FSA authorised gives you no protection that you will even receive the credits you bought, let alone if you were promised a return.

  9. I was sold some credits by a company called Strategic Carbon Solutions that has since disappeared the holdings were through CNI and I have a certificate and access to the information through their website, I am not sure however just how they can be realised.

  10. Enviro still peddling there wares! An exert from what I received yesterday:

    We are expecting great things this year we have already seen the release of trading platforms which is slowly showing liquidity within the market. And also with more and more companies becoming carbon neutral shows how large this market has now become.

    With the returns that have been predicted by the likes of Barclays Bank, Bloomberg and Reuters now is the time to get involved and please feel free to e-mail me for further information.

  11. Bought a total of £10K carbon credits in various projects through a Comapny Called Green Market Opportunities, a subsiduary of White Knight Associates. Both are now in liquidation.
    Some of the credits are with CNI and they have confirmed by phone that do exist. However, the others are with other companies around the world who have either not replied to emails or state that they have no holdings in my name or GMO.
    I think I have lost my mmoney to a scam and have no idea how to realise the money from the credits held with CNI?

  12. I to feel like Ihave been scammed . I have checked C N I website & my
    carbon credits do seem to exist. The question is how do I sell them I was guaranteed that they would be sold this April by the scum at Alternative Capital now they along with Enviro Associates & Global Neutral have dissapeared so has anyone any idea of how to sell them
    Are there any honest brokers out there?

  13. I bought carbon credits from Global Carbon Options in Feb 02 at a cost of £3,000 a contract note was sent. After much sales talk and pressure I then bought a further £6,000 worth. I have login detail for CNI and it brings up my account, but shows no detais of my tranactions. I did not recive a contract note for my second purchase from GCO. I have tried to to contact them by email, phone and letter and have had no responce.
    I now need to sell as I am out of work. Can any one advise/help.

  14. Nigel

    Were your payments made to GCO or CNI? In either case I would contact CNI with your problem.
    However, even assuming ownership of your credits is resolved, I’m afraid selling them is going to be a problem. If you look at other posts you will find that despite promises from many companies, we know of nobody that will actually sell our credits.

  15. Same position as Pete invested in carbon credits with Green Market opportunities broker called Daniel Terry no longer contactable,looking for a way to recoup something if possible.

  16. I have recieved an unsolicited e-mail from Paul Mark Green who has started a company called carbon trading platform which suggests that they could sell carbon credits to companies wanting to become carbon neutral . Thier website is info@carbon-neutral-trading-exchange.com tel.02381 157134 Has anyone had any dealings with them?

  17. Interesting that many of these companies that used to sell credits to individuals as investment opportunities now seem to be marketing themselves as business-to-business carbon offset specialists. Could this just be a recovery room ploy? Pretend that you have a large number of businesses waiting to buy credits so that they can become carbon neutral, and contact desperate people with credits they can’t get rid of on the proviso that they buy more credits/pay a fee.

  18. @Keith Johnson – Thanks for this. I would also be interested to hear whether anyone has had any dealings with Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange. In the meantime, I think there are several reasons to be suspicious about this type of operation.

    This just looks like part 2 of the carbon credits boiler room scam. Part 1: Sell something that is near worthless. Part 2: Offer to recover the investor’s money, as long as they hand over more money. Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange charges the following “admin fee”:

    And here’s how Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange describes their service:

    To sell all we do is simply place your credits onto the trading platform so they are readily available to clients and any small to medium sized businesses on line who our looking to purchase or become carbon neutral.

    That seems to be little more than putting the information on the website (the same service offered by World Carbon Marketplace, at least before REDD-Monitor sent the owner of the company some questions about the operation).

    Any company that wants to buy carbon credits in order to become “carbon neutral” will undertake a process of due diligence and is very unlikely to buy carbon credits via a company that was only set up a few months ago (Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange was established on 31 December 2012).

    The company’s registered address is Wessex House, Eastleigh. A virtual office in Wessex House can be bought for £35 a month.

    Paul Mark Green, the director of Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange, previously worked at Enviro Associates from January 2012 – October 2012. In November 2012, the BBC caught the director of Enviro Associates making misleading claims about the possible profits from investing in carbon credits.

    It would be interesting to ask Paul Mark Green how he got hold of your email address.

  19. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions I shall follow up on them and keep in touch. Just to let you know Global Carbon Options contacted me approx 6 months ago to see if I would make up my credits to 10K so they could sell it on as a package. 4 months ago I was contacted to see if I would like to buy dimonds at a discounted rate?? I told them if they sold my carbon credits I would then buy the dimonds. Guess what I have not heard back. So beware.

    Nigel

  20. Similar to Nigel here. Spoke to Global Carbon Options at the beginning of the year with an update to say my investment was up in April and spoke to Thomas Cohen there about selling up. Have been trying to call for a few weeks with a couple of email responses saying they were inundated and would get back to me. I called again yesterday and got a shifty and very rude woman at ‘general reception’ who claimed she had no idea when anyone would be in the office. I rang back and she hung up the phone. As of the last 24 hours the number doesn’t work anymore. I also called CNI and spoke to a couple of people there however I’m still waiting to hear back from them with any info.

  21. CNI are very clever in this space. They act as a middleman between your broker and the suppliers. They do not sell direct. So they will tell you they have no responsibility for what your broker told you as you do not have a contract with them. They are FSA authorised but do not act in this capacity in these transactions. I bet they never do any business for which they are FSA authorised – its a cunning smoke screen. You probably paid money into a bank account in their name, but they claim this does not constitute ‘handling client money’ which they are not authorised to do. This does not make them innocent. They are almost certainly knowingly involved in fraud.

  22. @Mike – Thanks. I’ve written a new post about Carbon Neutral Investments. The company seems to have stopped doing business, and its website points you to either a company called Gemmax Solutions, for “information regarding the Carbon Clearing platform and the Clearing service”, or to CNI (UK), for “information regarding the CNI UK offsetting business”.

    Here’s the post (which also includes a warning from the FCA about CNI):

    “Beware when an investment involves Carbon Neutral Investments,” warns the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority

  23. Oswald Bradshaw Ltd is run by a Sami Raja – he also is director of Elite Gems Ltd, selling diamond investments and Gallisard Ltd (also Galissard Ltd) linked to Rare Earth brokers – he is also linked to the failed art investment company Berchmere and Oak Ltd. Not the most impressive track record!

  24. Hi All
    If I wanted to change the name on my carbon credit holdings, has any one any idea how you would go about this?

  25. Further to my comment in April am still no futher on with sale of credits. Have written to P.M & my MP, this has been forwarded to the Treasury.I am been advised a new enforcement agency starts i October,though if this is not under the F.S.A/ F.CA,I cannot see any end to it. So much for law & order.Has aMr Ritu set up his brokerage yet?
    N.J.

  26. Does anyybody have a telephone number for CNI please. I was sold carbon credits from CO2 Markets who ceased trading in April. Not sure if they ever registered or purchased the credits shown on my trade receipt. Have never seen a contract from CNI the ‘appointed custodian’

  27. @Greg – I recommend that you contact Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040. They should be able to advise you on what to do next.

    I wrote an update about Carbon Neutral Investments, in April 2013:

    “Beware when an investment involves Carbon Neutral Investments,” warns the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority

    Carbon Neutral Investments recently changed its name to Opus Capital Ltd. Two other companies, Gemmax Solutions and CNI (UK) Ltd have took over parts of Carbon Neutral Investments’ operations. Currently, none of these companies have functioning websites. CNI (UK) Ltd’s website has the following notice – with a phone number +44 (0)203 056 1218:

    On 22 May 2013, I wrote to CNI (UK) Ltd’s email address to ask how long the website would be under maintenance. I have not yet received a reply.

  28. I purchased 500 units of VERs from CNI at the rate of £6.4 per carbon credit. Having invested £3200, I was concerned when I noticed the website of CNI dysfunctional. I called the phone number +44 20 30 56 12 18 earlier this afternoon and someone from “Gemmax Solutions Limited” answered the phone. I was told that their platform is down temporarily as they are going through some maintenance and their websites would be up and running shortly. How reliable is this information? Should I trust this person with whom I spoke on the phone?

  29. I bought £3000 worth of carbon credits from CNI through a man named Edward Blake. I have the project details, etc. but no contacts with CNI seem to generate a response. Have I lost it all to a scam? They even had a FSA person call and walk me through all the security issues (or so they said)…if that was fraudulent then it must be a crime…?

  30. Hi all, I wish I had come accross this website a while ago. Basically my story is very similar to those published here: I bought 500 Voluntary Carbon Credits through a company called Alternative Capital – the money for these was paid to Citadel Trustees. Several months later after I had to spoken to various people at AC, I decided to ring them around the time (April 2103)they said they would be selling my credits and other peoples. The phone number I had previously used wasn’t working any more and the business had disapeared with no contact at all. I have reported my case to Action Fraud and FSA or FCA as they are now.
    Recently though (before I found this website) I came accross Enviro Associates online and left my tel number, to see if they could help with selling the credits I have, however I didn’t like the sound of them, they seemed very over the top in being nice, but also repeatedly calling me trying to get me to buy more credits through them then they can help sell my current ones. It was then I found Redd-monitor, and after reading all the info here I have decided not to trust Enviro Associates. Surely all this illegal isn’t it? Why is Enviro Associates still trying to scam people if it’s illegal??

  31. Good morning all,

    Please see the extracts below from Point Carbon’s ‘State of the Voluntary carbon market reports’ for 2013(website owned by Thomson Reuters). For those of you who are not aware, this is a very reputable source of information based on facts and statistics. Not speculation.

    This article quite plainly demonstrates that VERs are ‘worth something’ and that there is an increasing demand for the product.

    Whilst there is not currently a market place enabling investors to sell their VER credits just yet, it does not mean that there will not be within years to come. Based on these findings and in conjunction with many of the points raised, it would seem that the largest problem with this market is that individuals have been subjects of misrepresentation’s as the credits have been sold on a short term basis(which is obviously not the case). Whether or not the product was intended to be an investment vehicle, I believe that it could well progress/develop in order to serve just that purpose in years to come as a longer term vehicle.

    Voluntary CO2 Market Volume Rises
    ________________________________________
    Trade volumes in voluntary trading rose, with the average price paid for credits at $5.90 (£4.00) per tonne.

    “Where some policy makers fear to tread, many private companies are voluntarily internalizing the price of carbon in their business activities, as seen in their still-growing voluntary demand for carbon offsets in 2012,” the report said.

    The credits, known as voluntary emission reductions (VERs), are valued several times higher than the current price of compliance offsets issued by the U.N., which are used by companies and companies with legal targets to cut emissions and are trading around 35 euro cents.

    The price of U.N.-backed credits has fallen by 99 percent in the past five years, largely due to the international community’s failure to broker a new climate deal that would have seen many nations take on deeper emission reduction targets that would have driven offset demand.

    Meanwhile, the price of VERs can vary greatly depending on the location and type of project they are generated from, with credits from schemes boasting strong community links often able to command a higher price due to the perceived additional benefits they bring.

    In contrast most U.N. credits issued have little community benefits as they are derived from destroying greenhouse gases at big industrial plants, such as chemical factories. Demand for cheaper types of voluntary credits, costing less than $5 per tonne, rose by 19 percent while buyers shied away from more expensive credits, with volumes of credits priced at $10 or above down 46 percent, the report said without giving exact figures. Companies in the private sector bought 90 percent of all VERs sold last year, primarily to meet corporate social responsibility goals, the report said.

    Suppliers of voluntary offsets forecast the global market value could reach $1.6-2.3 billion in 2020 “if market actors can effectively communicate the relevance of offsetting and carbon market infrastructure to private sector actors, the international donor community, and governments,” the report said.

    The report surveyed around 320 offset suppliers, exchanges and registries involved in buying and selling carbon offsets voluntarily.

    Report sourced from: http://www.pointcarbon.com

    Maneuvering the Mosaic: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 Report (Attatched)
    ________________________________________
    Voluntary demand for carbon offsetting grew 4% in 2012, when buyers committed more than $523 million to offset 101 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Private sector buyers flocked to offsets earned by planting trees, saving tropical forests, or distributing clean cook stoves in the developing world, according to this year’s State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report, released by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace this week in Barcelona, Spain.
    The European private sector, including regulated energy utilities, was the market’s biggest voluntary buyer – seeing demand grow 34% to 43.4 million tonnes of offsets even in the face of significant challenges to Europe’s mandatory carbon market.
    Across the pond, United States-based corporations, ranging from The Walt Disney Company to Chevrolet, offset more emissions than buyers in any other single country at 28.7 million tonnes. A little over a third of offsets purchased by US buyers (9.7 million tonnes) were obtained for future use in California’s emerging cap-and-trade program.

  32. @Chris Lowe – Thanks for this. Yes, VERs are worth something. However, there is no generic price for voluntary carbon credits. The average price was US$5.90 in 2012, down from US$6.20 in 2011. But the cheapest voluntary carbon credits can be bought for a few cents.

    Regardless of whether there is a secondary market to sell voluntary carbon credits, if you bought carbon credits that are only worth a few cents for an inflated price, you will not be able to get your money back. It’s nothing to do with short term or long term investments. Very cheap carbon credits that were generated four years ago from large scale industrial gas projects, wind farms or hydropower plants are not going to increase in value.

    Think of it like buying a car. Cars have a value. Some cars are even a good investment. There is an average price for cars. But if you buy a 20-year old clunker and pay 20 times the going rate, you’re never going to get your money back. The difference between cars and carbon credits is that you can see a car, you can test drive it and most people can see when the wheels are about to fall off a rust bucket with a broken windscreen and no engine.

    Could you please provide a link and a date for the article on the Point Carbon website? The only article I could find there was this one:

    Voluntary CO2 market value falls 11 pct despite volume rise, Point Carbon, 30 May 2013.

  33. Good Morning Chris,

    Many thanks for your swift response,

    Having read many of your topics, I do have respect for the time that you are taking to provide readers with information that could leave those without it vulnerable. So well done for raising questions/concerns that may help individuals to protect themselves appropriately.

    However, I must also be honest in that having read many of your inserts, most prominently your latest response to myself, I do feel that there are times where your passion is verging on bias. The problem for myself, is that in allowing this to be the case, there are times where you sacrifice clinical rationality. This, I believe could result in you providing information that is heavily imbalanced.

    I believe the extract provided is obtained through being a member of Thomson Reuters. Perhaps making yourself a member this will provide you with all of the accurate statistics that will assist you in ensuring that you can maintain a balanced approach where applicable.

    I would like to thank you for taking the time to respond to my entry, and I will return with any useful information that I can provide for you in the future.

    Very best for now

  34. @Chris – Thanks for this. At a cost of €1,395 a year, I’m afraid a subscription to Point Carbon is outside REDD-Monitor’s budget. I’m hoping to sort out more funding this year – perhaps this will include money for subscriptions. And if anyone fancies making a donation to REDD-Monitor, please get in touch!

    Point Carbon has a page on its website where it lists all the headlines of its news articles: http://bit.ly/15MCCYU. The reason I asked you for the link and the date is that I can’t find the headline “Voluntary CO2 Market Volume Rises” on Point Carbon’s ‘All News” page.

    I’m not criticising either you or Point Carbon, I’m just trying to explain the voluntary carbon credits as investment scam, which you appear to have slightly misunderstood. Here it is in one sentence:

    Companies buy very cheap VERs (for cents) and sell them to the public, as investments, for way more than they are worth (in some cases as high as US$15).

  35. Hi

    My story is similar to many of the posts here. I was persuaded to buy some VCS’s by a Sebastian Morgan of Wealth Capital. Initially (October 2012) Qty 670 in Yingpeng HFC23 Project (Project ID 439)with the certificates being held by Eco Synergies. I was then persuaded (November 2012)to buy a further 1330 in VCS Project ID 883 (Madushan Hydropower in Yunnan province, China). These are held with CNI!!! A total outlay in excess of £10K. The rational for needing 2000 credits was that this was the minimum number needed to take advantage of exit strategies that Wealth Capital were working on. Needless to say I have not been able to take advantage of (i.e. sell) any credits through their “exit strategies”.

    So I suppose my bottom line question is “have I lost my £10K outlay” and is there any advice you can give to help me recover somes of the money?

    Thanks

  36. “So I suppose my bottom line question is “have I lost my £10K outlay” and is there any advice you can give to help me recover some of the money?”

    I am afraid to say that your credits are currently worthless and were worthless when they were sold to you. I would contact the fraud department of your national police service and file a complaint for mis-selling.

  37. Just be clear – when anyone reports this to the police, they should report this as fraud, which is a criminal offence. Mis-selling (or misrepresentation in law) is only a civil wrong.

  38. Like most of your correspondants, I have purchased a number of carbon credits over the last year – and now find most of the brokers have gone bust! In many cases their custodian has also dissappeared!

    My question is do my credits still exist and if so, how can I trace them?

    Harry

  39. @Harry – Please contact Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040. Give them the details of the various companies that sold you carbon credits and where the credits were registered.

    I’m afraid you’ve slightly misunderstood the scam that these companies are running. The companies buy carbon credits very cheaply (around 50 pence in some cases) and then sell them for much more. Whether you can track down where your carbon credits are registered and whether they exist isn’t really the point. Your carbon credits are near-worthless, there is no secondary market and in any case no one wants to buy them.

    As CarbonTrick points out, “your credits are currently worthless and were worthless when they were sold to you”.

  40. Is this the new scam? I recd a call from EVR Incomes on13/6,if I was interested in buying leasholds in commercial properties. I have said no way, I have been fleeced once,never again ( I learned the hard way)!
    N.J.

  41. I to have received a call from ENVIRO this week trying to get me to invest in Store First who give 8% return –once bitten,twice shy.
    I have also had a call from Stein House trying to get me to invest in
    oil exploration company Africa New Energies Ltd.with shares @10p each the money has to be paid to Tricon Ventures (UK)Ltd. any one know if they are ligit.

  42. @keith johnson – REDD-Monitor focusses on carbon credit boiler room operations. Tricon Ventures (UK) Ltd was registered in April 2013. Stein House was registered in January 2013. Africa New Energies was registered in November 2012. You were cold called about these investments. I think this suggests several red flags.

  43. @keith johnson – I have also received calls from Stein House trying to get me to buy into Africa New Energies. Previously (last year) they were also flogging Stor Pods. Thankfully I declined both generous offers! It appears once you got on one of the companies calling lists you appear on other similar ones.

  44. I thought it all sounded to good to be true so I have declined their offer

  45. I bought a number of volentary credits from MHCarbon who have gone bust. I now have guys from a Gibraltar based company South West Utilities offering to buy them at £7.50. But of course they would like an upfront fee. Anyone heard of these guys and can let me know if they are legitimate? Thanks

  46. Also been contacted by South West Utilities who told me they got my details from the registry. 100% a scam – do not send money.
    Tulloch and Boch another one.

  47. @John Blade – How did South West Utilities get your phone number? Why do they want an upfront fee? Who owns the company?

    There’s is very little information available on the company’s website, which was registered on 3 May 2013 (anonymously).

  48. Has anyone purchased from these guys or dealt with one of their brokers Harry Selmi. I have tried to access my holdings but when trying to login it refers to a domain registered site. admittedly i had paid through CNI which after reading the above is no longer. I was told that their website was down for maintenance. I will be speaking with EA first thing Monday!

  49. Found an email in my junkbox 10/7,from carbon neutral trading exchange.Offers to dispose of my credits for an upfront fee! Left it there for disposal.Saw the earlier Redd comment on this. Where did they get my address? When is this to be stopped?

  50. I was told by someone at Alternative Capital that companies buy email
    addresses from other companies that is how they got hold of mine.

  51. I was scammed into buying a lot of VER carbon credits at the beginning of last year (basically my whole pension pot).

    Since I only discovered this last week and spent all of Friday working out what actually happened I was surprised to get a call today from Southwest Utilities offering to help me offload these credits.

    The company I was dealing with on Friday is supposedly a reputable pension firm who claimed to know nothing of the carbon credit investments when my SASS pension was originally set up, but all of a sudden I get a call today on a telephone number that is about 3 months old. They also had my full name and email address.

    The only ‘fee’ they were discussing was that of an insurance policy (for them) in case I pulled out of the agreed sale of my credits (for whatever reason) so that they weren’t out of pocket. They also claimed that although they couldn’t make me any profit, they could at least get back what was paid in.

    I can’t believe this market is so unregulated that this keeps on happening. I’ve lost my entire pension pot to these ****s.

  52. I filled in a ‘Mis-sold Investment’ form on an advert, about two weeks ago. This evening, I was called by someone from SouthWest Utilities, offering a chance to take part in ‘corporate offsetting’. According to his email there is a ‘tender security cost’ of 40p to 60p per credit, “to ensure the seller allows the retirement to happen and fulfils their end of the bargain”. As if anyone commenting here would do otherwise!

  53. Gareth,
    Report it to action fraud straight away! Give them all detail,names,nos,addresses,
    every company info you can,. Their no is on line,so easily accessed. When is govnmt
    going to pull their finger out?

  54. I reported this to Action Fraud and the FCA back in April. With all the people who have reported this has anyone actually had someone calling them back to say they will be investigating this? I was told no to expect it since there are “too many fraud cases out there for them to get to everyone” but it seems there are many people who have fallen victim to this. It also seems like a ring of particular individuals spearheading this so I fail to understand why an investigation is not taking place.

  55. Cannot reiterate it more strongly. If you have been fleeced, tell action fraud and keep bombarding them with info! Names , phone nos, ,their bank account nos,

  56. There could well be investigations taking place but I suppose the authorities would not want to make this public in case the fraudsters get an early warning. Its frustrating but I would imagine the more information they have the better so like adger says please do report every last detail to Action Fraud. I did get a call back from Action Fraud a few months ago asking for more specific details but I don’t want to reveal exactly what that was about on a public forum.

  57. Re. me
    Also, contrast the price quoted to John Blade, with their offer to me: £4.15 each, almost exactly equal to the average purchase price per credit of my holding. On another thread ‘Bruce’ was offered £8.50.
    They are obviously relying on a feeling of relief to sway peoples’ judgement.

  58. Yesterday I was contacted by William-Perkins offering to sell my voluntary credits for £8-01 each all I had to do was send them details
    of all my purchases and then they would tell me how many certified credits I would need to buy from them @25p.a discount of 25% to become
    a client of theirs so they could make me a good profit .They also said
    legislation was being enacted in 60 days which would make voluntary credits worth only 20p.each I have not risen to the bait..

  59. Same happened to me last week. They quoted the FSA; I contacted the FCA and Action Fraud. Both organisations considered that this was Phase 2 i.e. a Recovery Rom scam. So I am not buying their CERs even though the 28p per CER was a good price. Any views?

  60. ALL, plse see BBC news app,uk news.re – Boiler rm scam,3 brits given 43 yrs in USA in £80m fraud, Pope, Odoni,& Gunter. I assume now ok to name them as they are behind bars? Did not say what they “sold”. There may some hope for some of us.

  61. @adger – The BBC article is here: Boiler room scam three sentenced to jail in US http://bbc.in/1aH7n3C and the Daily Mail article here: Fast-living trio of British boiler room fraudsters who sold worthless shares to 2,300 victims in $130m racket jailed for up to 25 years by Florida court http://dailym.ai/15g2M6r.

    They were selling worthless shares. It’s interesting to see the length of time this case took:

    “The enormity of the case first came to light in 2006 when the City of London police linked a number of inquiries in the UK to activities under investigation by federal agencies in the US.”

  62. Has anyone else heard of this impending legislation,I would have some publicity .

  63. @Keith Johnson – I think you were right not to rise to the bait. How could any impending legislation make all voluntary credits worth 20 pence? The voluntary carbon market is not regulated. There is no global government (or governance system) in place that can from one day to the next enact legislation that would change the price of voluntary carbon credits.

    But (suspending disbelief for a moment) if it were true, surely there would be a news item about it Point Carbon or Ecosystem Marketplace?

  64. As I posted earlier the FCA or Action Fraud had not heard of any relevant pending legislation. So I think it is part of their selling technique to persuade potential “clients” to make a speedy decision and buy CERs as well as “promising” to sell their VERs at a later date for a profit!!

  65. Southwest Utilities, supposedly registered in Gibraltar (and so conveniently almost impossible to check out) offered to buy my carbon credits at £8-50 each, making me a profit. The catch? They want £1220 from me up front for “arbitrage”.
    On the basis that what looks too good to be true probably is and that I cannot check out Southwest Utilities I will have to assume this is a scam.

    On a separate note I have obtained a county court judgement against Harman Royce but do not think it is worth spending money to try to enforce it as the company almost certainly have no assets now. I have also filed a fraud report with action fraud against them, receiving the usual “thanks but nothing will happen” response.

  66. John Blade I have also been in contact with South west utilities, did you complete any transactions with them ?
    Or if anyone else has any information on them.
    I need to sell my credits urgently and do not want to be scammed.

  67. Got an email from Enviro headed Are you buying CERs? Goes on to say that their customers credits are held under Gemmax (i.e. CNI reconstituted). And that Gemmax are regulated by the FCA, though Voluntary Carbon Credits are not a regulated product.

    But CERs Are not Voluntary and they are regulated??

  68. And I can’t find Gemmax on the FCA regulated or authorised list of firms.

  69. @Tim – Thanks for the comment. From the website and the comments here, SouthWest Utilities looks a lot like a recovery room – a company that for a fee claims to offer assistance to people who are the victims of boiler room fraud. Unfortunately, the recovery room is the second part of the boiler room scam.

    The problem you are facing in trying to sell your carbon credits is that they are almost certainly worth a great deal less than you paid for them. Andrew Ager, ex-head of Carbon and Emissions at Bache Commodities, explains the scam in a presentation to the City of London police, here:

    Why you should not buy voluntary carbon credits as an investment: A carbon trader explains

  70. Should have read With regard to the impending legislation making voluntary credits worth only 20p. within two months ,if it were true I would have expected plenty of publicity. Second part of scam by William-
    Perkins ?

  71. Ref Junk. I had chat with a fraud officer on 29/7. Handed over all info I had (fotocopies of course). This apparently is fed into the national database.
    For obious reasons I cant disclose detail,but I get the feeling that the writing is on the wall for some of these guys!

  72. I have purchased over 20000 credits and also have difficulty off loading them
    I now have a broker Carbon Neutral Trading exchange who seem to be the only company that is able to transfer VER’s.
    Try contacting Paul Green on 02381157134

  73. @C J Cumming – You’ve commented a few times on REDD-Monitor about Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange:

    25 April 2013: “I have known Paul Green for some time now and am a client of his.
    I am satisfied that his intentions are entirely honourable and he is trying his best to exit his clients, however patience is a virtue, mine have not sold yet.”

    2 August 2013: “I was told by Mark Green that he had managed to sell 5000 of my credits in project 92 to a business, fine, that was 2 months ago since then there has been a serious of complications with the transfer.
    Paul did phone me last Friday and told me that he would send me some money at the beginning of this month.
    I have e mailed him 3 times this week and not had a reply, when I telephoned his office yesterday there was no reply.”

    Today you’re advertising Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange again. Could you make your mind up, please? In the meantime, see my response to your previous comments here.

  74. I find this last conversation very interesting I have been looking for a way to sell my carbon credits now for over two years and still yet to find a resolution…..! @C J Cumming in your last post you make a very valid point “Today you’re advertising Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange again. Could you make your mind up, please? In the meantime, see my response to your previous comments here”
    Believe me I have explored every possible avenue to sell these things from buying more to apparently qualify for an “exit” !! To diversifying into other types of credits to sell, All of which have turned out to be another string to a very elaborate scam.
    A few months ago I was contacted by another very convincing company EdgeBrooke, Who at first to my surprise were not asking for another initial investment to become a client etc, They expressed there need for my credits in order to fulfil there obligation to a company to which they had dealt with to sell them enough credits to meet there requirement. I was amazed at last a company that can help me all for the small one off admin fee of £900 !!! which in the scale of things was a drop in the ocean compared to the substantial amount I had already invested. WRONG…..yet again not a thing materialised from it. After Investigating I found Edgebrooke to be based in Spain, not Germay as advertised. This brings me back to Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange. Im guessing this service of them selling your carbon credits isnt Free ?? let me guess they make there money when sold (when you make money) ……… Chris Lang in an earlier post
    “I’m afraid you’ve slightly misunderstood the scam that these companies are running. The companies buy carbon credits very cheaply (around 50 pence in some cases) and then sell them for much more. Whether you can track down where your carbon credits are registered and whether they exist isn’t really the point. Your carbon credits are near-worthless, there is no secondary market and in any case no one wants to buy them.

    As CarbonTrick points out, “your credits are currently worthless and were worthless when they were sold to you”

    WHICH IS 100% TRUE. Yet in your most recent post……

    “I have known Paul Green for some time now and am a client of his.
    I am satisfied that his intentions are entirely honourable and he is trying his best to exit his clients, however patience is a virtue, mine have not sold yet.”

    Firstly companies or any third party can buy VER Carbon credits for as little as £0.70p which is FACT. Im guessing the completely creditable Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange are selling these for a far more attractive price which again let me guess is around £5.00!!! Im sure at some point before any funds are seen by you @C J Cumming or any of there clients you are required to pay them. At first glance this seems quite clever a small amount “admin fee” then times this by 10,000 customers and youve got a considerable amount of money.

    Chris Lang after your massive contradiction over this I hope your not affiliated with Mr Green as this would be very disappointing, It seems to me that you have gone from stating what we all know We have bought something that is worthless and it is impossible to sell it, to backing a company and scheme that doesnt hold up.

    I hope I am wrong and you manage to sell your Credits @C J Cumming please keep us informed

  75. @jvincent – I think you are mixing up @CJ Cumming’s comments with my comments. I don’t know Paul Green. I’m not his client. I’ve never bought carbon credits! And I am not advertising Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange. If you bought carbon credits as an investment at an inflated price from a dodgy company, the only way you can sell them at a profit is by fooling someone else into paying too much for them.

    In my comment I was quoting CJCummings’ previous comments to illustrate the fact that he seems to have difficulty making up his mind.

    Anyway, thanks for your comment – I hope you’ve reported all this to Action Fraud.

  76. Good morning
    Yesterday I received my 1st transfer document from CNTE, the sale is for 51 credits @ £9.50 each, I do not require to pay for this service, the cost of transfer is met by the buyer.
    I know that the amount sold is small beer, however it is a start and hopefully the end is in sight.
    Whilst I began to have my doubts I am very glad I stuck with Paul Green

  77. CJ Cumming. You will appreciate that EVERY offer from companies to sell investors credits has turned out to be a recovery scam, so that is going to be the default and not unreasonable assumption. There are many vulnerable people here so I’m not sure its a good idea to be promoting a company before you have substantial evidence that it works – after all you have clearly had doubts yourself.
    FYI I have had substantive communication with CNTE and what they sat about their dealings with the registries (amongst other things)is much more detailed and corresponds with my own research of how it all works. But it could just be a(more clever than most) recovery room tactic. So I would never promote them without having categorical evidence.

  78. Hi
    Did you receive the copy of the Transfer of Ownership that I sent you yesterday? if not let me know and I will resend it, as I said yesterday the money is in my bank Account.
    Paul Green has also indicated that another transfer is due shortly, this is in the region of £15000 worth of my credits.
    The evidence speaks for it’self, I have the money and more is promised shortly.

  79. @C J Cumming – Yes, I did get the Transfer of Ownership, thanks. I have two observations:

    First, I couldn’t find any trace of the company to which Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange claims to have sold the carbon credits.

    Second, I don’t know what vintage your credits are, but £9.50 is a very high price for a large-scale hydro project that generates more than one million credits per year.

  80. @C J Cumming – I would appreciate it if you could contact me directly (click on my photo for contact details) to discuss further.

  81. We were paid a small “dividend” prior to an “exit”, this of course corresponds to mikes comments. It is a small price to pay, in hundreds, if the thousands are pocketed! Then poof, the company vanishes. It is part of the scam, to allay fears of the poor punters. I ,of course ,am still thousands out of pocket!

  82. Hi adger
    Was the company you were dealing with Carbon Neutral Trading exchange, I received a Transfer of Ownership and Confirmation of Sale note which I was required to sign and have witnessed which was returned to CNTE thereafter the full amount was transfered into my bank account. This was not a dividend
    I have checked out the company who bought the credits and can verify that they did indeed make the purchase.
    If you were not dealing with CNTE I suggest that you contact them as they maybe able to help you

  83. Since I have exhausted every other avenue to try and off-load these credits I decided to try Southwest Utilities, even going as far as sending the ‘insurance’ money.

    I am fully aware that I have not only lost the credits, but the additional money – but I entered into it with my eyes open, expecting the worst (the money is already written off and my financial plans have been adjusted accordingly).

    The planned sales is supposed to occur on the 23rd September, with full payment to be received by me no later than 5 days from this time.

    Therefore, in the interests of warning other people, I will post an update in a months time to let you know what happened. There will be no need for anyone to guess whether they are a scam or not because I will be able to present the evidence either way.

    I would suggest anyone waiting to deal with Southwest Utilities hold off until I post my update.

    This has been a public service announcement. Even if I lose the lot, at least others will be warned and spared so a moral win (even if a financial loss).

    Wish me luck :)

  84. Good luck Gareth. I shall be watching this space with great interest.

    Nigel

  85. @Gareth – Thanks for this and good luck.

    Unfortunately, whether you are paid or not will not reveal whether Southwest Utilities is a scam or not. It would be perfectly possible for Southwest Utilities to pay you the money, as a one-off. Paying you would be a great advert for the company, wouldn’t it?

  86. Query to CJ Cumming

    Let me know when CNTE sells your remaining CCs. I note you say they sold 51 credits for no fee. That’s strange because this response contains a list of CNTE fees. Also you took a great leep of faith to assign even a small number of credits to someone else in the hope that they will deliver the goods – ie your money.

    So let’s see if they can honour their claim to sell your remaining credits.

  87. Hi
    !st I have no idea who I am communicating with, your name would be helpful ?
    I have known Paul Green for a number of years and he was aware of the credits that I hold. when he started the company he approached me in order to offer a solution to selling, it has turned into a simple solution for smaller companies to offset their carbon footprint, where else would they be able to buy very small quantities of credits like my 51 for which i received £9.50 pop ?
    Paul has told me that the next sale is to be made between the 9th and 12th of this month, which will return me around £3000.
    I have no doubt in my mind that CNTE will sell all of my credits.

  88. Roy James of South West Utilities rang me 2 weeks ago (after I registered on a website re carbon offsetting) – had convincing paperwork incl legal agreements etc. They said “As previously advised, there are no commissions, management fees or front end charges to be paid to Southwest. There are also not commission or fees to be paid from the proceeds (at point of sale you are paid direct from the buyer)” However, there was a fixed “tender security cost” fixed at £0.50/offset and of course, this IS up front. Said could sell at £7.75 per credit. I found they are based in Gibraltar and they were NOT willing to sell only part of my holding (to test it out), so very similar to other comments in string re South West Utilities – stay clear of them, anoher scam I fear.

  89. Small update re:Southwest Utilities.

    As per all the agreements, their compliance officer from accounts called me this evening to verify my details and that I was still going through with the sale. So far so good.

    However, he then springs a suprise ‘this is not a commission’ etc. etc. but if I paid them another £2k that the payment I would receive would be net of tax and would satisfy HMRC, but it has to be paid by the 20th Sep. When I mentioned that they could take the money from the previously paid ‘tender’ he said it had to be up-front, and that the tender is held until the completion of the sale.

    So, then I get an email supposedly confirming what he said on the phone, but now it says it has to be paid before the funds would be released (and a previous email had said that the funds would be sent direct from the buyer). It also contained details to pay into a Chinese bank and appeared to contain information belonging to someone else (some compliance officer).

    Don’t get me wrong, these guys appear very professional and speak quite properly etc. but it really does stink.

    I’ve sent him an email back querying these points and that all things considered I would take my chances with HMRC – so we will see what he comes back with.

    The Soap Opera continues.

  90. No replies to my emails yet, but another two emails demanding ‘final’ payment before the funds can be released.

    I also spoke to the company who hold my credits and whilst they won’t comment on a company one way or the other (even to say whether they have had legitimate dealings with them – they say that they can’t provide ‘advice’ – bastards).

    Anyway, they haven’t received anything from anyone regarding the sales of the credits supposedly on Monday, so pretty much a scam. From the sounds of it they were ringing a lot of people up the other day and many of them would be paying more ‘tax’/’final payment’ than I would have done to release their non-existent funds.

    So, now you know.

    Southwest Utilities = total scam – avoid and spread the word if you please.

  91. Great info. Thanks. I have been contacted now by Hamilton Carter, 1 Canada Sq, Canary Wharf – 0203 657 6517. Are they yet another scam? Just like Edgebrook, South West Utilities and EnviroAssociates who have called me in the last 6 months.
    Cheers. Mike

  92. I entered my name as required – don’t know why you can’t see it.

    Regarding your statement –
    ‘Paul has told me that the next sale is to be made between the 9th and 12th of this month, which will return me around £3000.’ – did this sale go through and did you get £3000? This is what I’d like to know? and do you still think that CNTE will sell all of your credits?
    M Clarkson

  93. Well, quelle suprise, the sale has not occurred, I did not receive any monies, have not had any correspondence from SW Utilities.

    100% Scam. I have create a negative entry on Web of Trust (wot) which helps people identify scam sites, but my report is the only one so it won’t show up unless there are others on there too.

    Spread the word far and wide.

    I will be collating all my correspondence with them and providing it to the SFO.

  94. Mike – the company that originally hoodwinked me into buying VER’s in the first place was based out of that very same building (Anthony James Hall) who are, unsurprisingly, no longer in business.

  95. I have just had my hopes dashed of getting out of a £22k position in VERs. Quickly reading through these pages I too was taken in by Roy James, Noel Murray, Jeff Bradshaw. Why didn’t I see the signs,the arbitrage fee plus the fee for releasing the funds…. I am down £2700 and god only knows if my credits are still actually still mine?? below is an e-mail response when I contacted them with my fears…

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the email. Rest assured, that you have NOT been scammed.

    I imagine that you have been called by yet another brokerage looking for you to invest further into the carbon market. We have not done this and you have contractually secured position in our corporate sale.

    I feel for you that you keep getting these types of calls- the nest thong you can do is not even take the calls the moment you know it is a carbon broker simply end the call.

    SouthWest will not be asking you to invest further and proving you allow the retirement of the offsets upon receiving the proceed from the sale, you will be refunded your tender insurance cost IN FULL.

    Hope this puts your mind at rest and enjoy your weekend.

    Kind regards,

    Roy

  96. Avid followers will note that the FCA are taking a number of firms selling Carbon Credits to court for illegally operating a Collective Investment Schemes without authorisation. A CIS is not precisely defined but it seems that if your investment is held in a bulk account without appropriate segregation that may constitute a CIS.

    Now while some firms (Carbon-ex) issue credit serial numbers on completion of contract, CNI/Gemmax have not done so. You will only be allocated serial numbers of you want to transfer your holding to another account. This strikes me as possibly tantamount to running a CIS.

    My suggestion to all investors, whether through CNI, MH Carbon or other to write to the account owner of your credits (usually a separate Nominee Company and should be on your contract)and ask them:

    – the registry on which your credits are held (this should be APX or Markit)
    – the account name on the registry in which your credits are held
    – the serial numbers of the credits held for you

    If they can’t give you serial numbers report this to the FCA and ask them is this constitutes running a CIS.

  97. To ritu kumar,i have 1370 gcers which i want to sell if you do become a broker please let me know.I speaking to alternative investment at the moment who have said they can sell them next year.

  98. Another company to be potentially aware of is SKJ Capital Partners. They have approached me to sell my VER Credits at several £ per credit – sounds good. They do require an NDA to be signed, and here is the catch in that there is the potential of an up-front Admin Charge or Surety Bond. Anyone else been approached or had experience of SKJ Capital Partners?

  99. “They have approached me to sell my VER Credits at several £ per credit – sounds good. They do require an NDA to be signed, and here is the catch in that there is the potential of an up-front Admin Charge or Surety Bond.”

    Sounds like an absurd price. Check out other Redd-monitor posts on Carbon Credit prices. The right prices are in pennies not pounds. This is a dead giveaway for a scam.

    Also, requiring you to sign an NDA makes no sense (have you been asked to sign an NDA when selling anything else, ever??), except as a means of keeping you quiet when they take your advance fee, or surety bond, and run.

    You might also want to talk to the FCA, so that they can get a warning out about SKJ (or someone impersonating SKJ):
    http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/consumer-helpline

  100. Richard thanks for the comment. I totally agree. I have already spoken with the FCA who think this could be a web site clone. I have no intention of parting with any money. I’ll see how this pans out and let you all know.

  101. Gareth
    I am in the same boat as yourself. Got contacted by SW Utilities, signed a contract of sale and paid insurance money – despite not normally throwing good money after bad. The contracted date of 23rd Sept has come and gone, and Mr Noel Murray is not replying to emails (neither is their legal or compliance department). The 0845 and Gibraltar contact numbers appear to be disconnected.

    They did try and get hold of me in August, presumably to ask for more money. Am now trying to trace if my credits are still intact. Not surprised if they aren’t.

    Will be setting my solicitor after them and also reporting to the police and SFO. I’d like to urge everyone else in the same boat to do the same before they can exist much longer.

    If anyone is considering dealing with SW Utilities – beware. They (Mr Murray) talk a very good talk, and don’t really come across as scamsters. I’m a pretty seasoned investor so did go in with my eyes wide open.

  102. See bbc,sky,& guardian web newssites 4/11,re carbon credits.seems 19 companies now shutdown.doesnt say if the ratbags involved got 20 yrs apiece.involves £24m & several thousand victims….if julie (april) has any names/addresses for LGF,givem 2 acionfraud.LGF are in liquidation,so any names are open season as far as I am concerned.

  103. Dear Chris Lang
    I was very interested to read this article and the comments left. My 79 year old father has fallen foul to being scammed numerous times, and carbon credits is one of them. Recently Stein House have contacted him about a diamond company, City Diamonds, through which he bought some diamonds that are worth a fraction of what he paid. Stein House also ‘introduced’ him to Africa New Energies, an oli and gas exploration company selling shares (my father has bought a few thousand pounds of those already). Correspondence is through Tricon Ventures (UK) Ltd. I am sure my intervention prevented him from buying a diamond for £97k, however he keeps buying Africa New Energy shares. I noticed these names in one of your responses. I have talked to Africa New Energies, they talk the talk. They say they don’t have to be registered with the FCA, and that they’ve stopped using Stein House as a broker when they found out they were ‘bogus’. Presumably Africa New Energies shouldn’t be trusted?
    Thanks, KTM

  104. KTM – On a quick look, the people behind Africa New Energies do appear to have some sort of pedigree in the oil industry. But even if it is genuine, that may not make much difference to the prospects for your father’s investment.

    Even if Africa New Energies are on the level, your father may have paid far too much for the shares, or it may be that they are difficult or impossible to sell again. That’s what you need to find out about.

    Also the FCA needs to hear about Stein House and Tricon Ventures. From your description of what they do, they look as if they ought to be FSA registered, but I couldn’t find them. That is a potential red flag for a scam.

    You could contact http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/consumer-helpline and just ask about Stein House and Tricon Ventures. They both have web sites (for the moment…).

    Ideally you also need as detailed a story as you can put together about how your father bought his shares, exactly who he bought them from (if it’s possible to tell), and where they are now (if he knows); and how much he paid.

    Chris Lang (http://www.redd-monitor.org/about/ for contact details) will send you my email if you want more help from me. Chris tends to specialize in carbon credit scams; I am more of a generalist.

  105. Just been catching up on comments. I am still wtg for these “platforms” to be set up for ver’s to be sold, Will be a long time off this mortal coil before this happens? In other words never! Will re-stress the warning I gave last year,if cold called, by all means take detail, then put the phone down and pass detail to FRAUD SQUAD immediately! DONT get involved.
    Regards.

  106. Hi Chris.
    No sign if my vers are on the move,in spite of brokers assurances.Anyone aware of these ‘trading’ platforms
    being set up in America & China? Looks like another
    part of the scam. Thnk i’ll b long gone if this ever happens.
    Rgards.

  107. Anyone heard of Sebastian Arkwright, of London. They have made off with 23K of my money supposedly to convert VER’s into CER’s. Company has stopped trading as of October 2013.

  108. Hi chris,did anyone see itv news fri,28/2 @ 18.30? Report on many people being rounded up in uk,europe & spain.all big dealers in boiler room scams,selling worthles shares,etc. The level of opulance, property,cars,etc was unbelievable. Lets hope that some of those rounded up were involved in the cabon credit disgrace, of which our rulers seemed to have washed their hands. Observations welcome.
    Adger

  109. More information on the City of London Police website:

    http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/news-and-appeals/international-police-operation-targets-suspected-boiler-room-masterminds/Pages/default.aspx

    Looks like the “investments” being sold were quite extensive:

    ​In 2012 the City of London Police and the Policía Nacional began forensically examining reports of investors worldwide being sold bogus shares in carbon credits, gold, renewable energy, forestry, eco projects, wine and land.

  110. I think this site is great and Chris does a great job. I also lost everything I had to thieves. Not Carbon credits but that doesn’t really matter. All the people here like myself have been preyed upon by THIEVES and our Govt has allowed it and is still allowing it. These so called companies are just plain thieves and nothing more. It is sickening for me to hear of another person losing all their savings. Prison time would be preferable than that pain. What do we do?

  111. I was sold 715 carbon credits in July 2012 at a cost of £5005 of my pension money/savings. The Company was called Carbon Credit Offsetting Ltd and the VCS project 766 Teesta V Hydro Power project in Sikkim in India. I never received my trading notification, log-in details etc. Now Gemmax Solutions Nominees Ltd are now the owners of the credits bought. I have written to both addresses to no avail. I believed that I was protected by the FSA / FCA but NO. I have not recovered emotionally from this despicable scam and probably never will. It is now in the hands of Fraud Dep’t. I hope what goes around will come around and they all suffer as we all have done. Prison would be too kind a punishment!

  112. “Mis-selling (or misrepresentation in law) is only a civil wrong” – actually it can be a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations enforced by Trading Standards, and can result in criminal prosecutions. Unfortunately TS have suffered over 40% cuts under the current Government and had their investigatory powers curtailed as Government policy is to stop regulation of businesses.

  113. Have recently communicated all my carbon credit data to city of london police money laundering section,apparently many of these scams involve this activity. Anyone who hasnt done so PLEASE do it now.
    The sooner this scum iis erased, the better!

  114. @adger – Thanks for this. Could you please provide contact details for the City of London Police money laundering section? Thanks!

  115. Hi Chris. The new no you asked for is below. This is the general no for these reports. 02076016758

  116. Hi Chris. I bought a total of £5485 in carbon credits. via Oswald Bradshaw [Ryan Barnes]in March and Sept 2012
    Payee name is CNI International House Mayfair WIJ7BU.
    Refers to VCR project id/439 Yingpeng, China.
    Absolutely nil communication since last purchase [even though I have an activation code]. Was I conned?

  117. After a year of seeing so many people being scammed by probably what is a few people fronting these scams, how is it that nothing seems to be done about it? It looks like many have reported them and filed statements with action fraud etc. Do you think we’ ever see the money or is it gone?

    I didn’t name these guys before but now why not. Jason Pennellier and Daniel Sterling. (If these are their names). DO NOT trust them.

  118. cold call in Jan 2012. Excellent chance to be in on a lucrative emerging market. Credits are £6.50 and in six months Government will pass legislation to make these £9.00 per credit due to forthcoming carbon emission regulations. Contacted soon after by Andrew Smith with bargain deal from client who needed to sell quickly due to family problems. between January and May I was contacted several times most significantly by one Sean Williams claiming to live in Oswestry who apparently was interested in all the pastimes that I pursued, mobile number was unobtainable. There was one transaction that I do not recall, for a Decomposition project in China but will check on this. Dave Henley from Blue Horizons gives me all kind of reasons (excuses) about not yet having an exit strategy but one will be in place early 2015. I am into this now for £57,000.00 and am going to Serious Fraud Office, advise you all to do the same. These ‘Credits’ are being kicked around to related companies who all disclaim responsibility. google Paul Seakens who according to Dave Henley of Blue Horizons is now a ”broken man” My credits have been passed between the following companies: Eco Synergies, Opus capital, C N Investments, Gemmax Solutions and who knows how many others. Make a fuss, contact you M P and ask what is being done to stop these firms exploiting folk who want to make Green investments and are the victims of blatant lies.

  119. Hi,

    I have a similar situation. Bought 10K of credits from Global Carbon Options in 2012. Payment made to CNI.

    Just been passed from pillar to post when making enquiries.

    Filed a complaint with action fraud a year ago but got no information back. Recently contacted them again but they gave me an email address for the police to check up on the case and said I may never get a reply.

    They just told me I have lost my money.

    I just want to move on and forget about my mistake and learn from it. However don’t want to leave any money on the table so to speak.

    What do you think?

    Will we ever get a situation in the future where we are asked to step forward to claim our money because the criminals are brought to justice and money has been recovered?

    Thanks for this post a clarification.

    Sunny Verma

  120. I have been approached by Opus Carbon Registry to sell my approx 2000 VER credits for some ludicrous price of £11.24 per credit once they are converted to CERs. They, of course, want an upfront payment of 10% to progress this. Has anyone else come across or been approached by Opus. I notice that one of the Directors is a Paul Seaken.

  121. Not by Opus,but I have had many calls from ‘brokers’ willing to sell my CCs for ‘good’ prices, but all of them have required and up front fee! When I ask them to email their terms etc, I never hear from them again, so I can’t report them to the fraud squad. Give all of them a wide berth!