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MH Carbon in liquidation: What to do if you bought carbon credits from MH Carbon

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MH Carbon was established in September 2010 and went into voluntary liquidation in May 2013. During this period, the company sold carbon credits to more than 500 people, at a total cost of £18.7 million.

The people who bought these voluntary carbon credits found that they are extremely difficult to sell. And 500 people now want to know what they can do in order to get their money back. Some of them have commented on REDD-Monitor asking this question.

Incidentally, MH Carbon managed to raise more than twice as much as Ian Macdonald and David Downes, who recently became the first people to be sentenced to prison for their role in a carbon credit boiler room scam.

MH Carbon appointed Parker Andrews, a company based in Norwich, to deal with the liquidation process. On 13 May 2013, REDD-Monitor wrote to Parker Andrews to ask what the implications of the liquidation are for people who bought carbon credits from MH Carbon. The company has not yet replied*, but on 15 May 2013, Parker Andrews posted some information on its website. (That’s where the figure of £18.7 million comes from. Where that money has gone or how MH Carbon managed to become insolvent remains a mystery.)

Parker Andrews has produced a “Frequently Asked Questions” information sheet. Parker Andrews recommends contacting them (write to Lawrence Williams – LW@parkerandrews.co.uk) if you believe you are the victim of mis-selling. Investopedia defines mis-selling as, “The ethically questionable practice of a salesperson misrepresenting or misleading an investor about the characteristics of a product or service.”

REDD-Monitor recommends that anyone who bought carbon credits from MH Carbon should contact Lawrence Williams at Parker Andrews. As Andrew Ager, ex-head of carbon and emissions at Bache Commodities put it in a presentation last year to the City of London Police:

“You would only buy voluntary carbon credits to offset your carbon foot print. There is no other economic reason…. No genuine company, none of the dozen or so companies that are involved in this market, would cold call individuals offering opportunities to invest in the voluntary market.”

REDD-Monitor also recommends that anyone who bought carbon credits from MH Carbon should contact Action Fraud (via the website or by phone: 0300 123 2040) and submit a complaint to Trading Standards.

Parker Andrews’ information sheet about MH Carbon is posted here in full:

MH CARBON LIMITED (“the Company”)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 
1 What is the position with the Company?
 
The Company has ceased trading and is insolvent. Parker Andrews will assist with placing the Company into liquidation and this is expected to happen by the end of May 2013. There are no known assets in the Company and so no dividend to creditors is expected.
 
2 I have invested in Carbon Credits. Will I get my money back?
 
As an investor, you will have purchased Carbon Credits and these credits are still yours to keep or trade. Consequently, you are not a creditor of the Company and so there is no recourse available to you to be refunded by the Company in the liquidation.
 
3 What happens to my Carbon Credits?
 
Your Carbon Credits will continue to be registered with the various Central Project databases worldwide. You have the right to sell your carbon credits through an alternative broker. If you do not know your Carbon Credit registration details, please fill out the form below and send your completed form to LW@parkerandrews.co.uk
 
4 I feel I am a victim of mis-selling. What can I do?
 
One of the duties of a Liquidator is to investigate the conduct of its directors and officers. If you feel you have been mis-sold Carbon Credits, please send an email to us, briefly setting out the circumstances of your experience with the Company and your purchase, including any guarantees offered by the Company. Parker Andrews already holds details of all customers, transactions and the salesperson who brokered each deal, and so these details need not be included. Please send your email to LW@parkerandrews.co.uk.
 
5 Can I submit a complaint to the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”)?
 
No. The FCA does not generally regulate carbon credit brokers and the majority of companies selling or promoting carbon credit trading will also not be regulated by any other body. Therefore, as the Company is not FCA authorised you do not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
 
6 Can I submit a complaint to Trading Standards?
 
Yes. If you wish to submit a complaint to Trading Standards, please visit their website: www.tradingstandards.gov.uk. However, please note that Trading Standards will not necessarily take your complaint any further as the Company is proposing to enter Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation and has already ceased to trade.
 
7 Where can I get more information? Who are Parker Andrews?
 
Further press releases will be available at: www.parkerandrews.co.uk/mhcarbon
 
Parker Andrews are a firm of licensed insolvency practitioners based in East Anglia and working across the UK. We have a track record in dealing with high-profile insolvencies with many consumer or public creditors. The liquidation of MH Carbon Ltd will be dealt with through our Norwich office, who may be contacted on 0845 118 0062 or by emailing Lawrence Williams on LW@parkerandrews.co.uk.


UPDATE – 16 May 2013: Jamie Playford of Parker Andrews replied today to tell me about the “Frequently Asked Questions” information sheet. He has also posted a comment here.

UPDATE – 22 July 2013: More than 500 people bought carbon credits from MH Carbon, not 5,000 as previously stated.
 

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162 Comments

  1. Well done @Chris Lang, as always a very well written and published piece. MH Carbon have been around for some considerable time and to my knowledge one of the longer operating boiler rooms. I agree that any victims should contact the NFIB (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau) as soon as possible, providing as much information as they can, this is a boiler room and you have been conned. There is no secondary market for VERs, boiler rooms have convinced tens of thousands of people that there is and consequently left holding worthless certificates that they will never be able to sell for any monetary value.

    I am also writing this article to warn holders of certificates that you WILL receive an email and/or call from a recovery boiler room who will pretend to be able to help you sell your credits for an up front fee. This is just another way to squeeze out even more money from victims. Boiler rooms will sell their client/victims details, it is all part of how this scam works. Do not be surprised if you receive calls or emails relating to other wonderful offers such as fine wines, rare earth metals, coloured diamonds, teak tree plantations and the list goes one. Once you have been scammed by these guys you are on what is know to them as a ‘mug list’ which is sold on to other scams.

    A colleague of mine forwarded an email he received from Carbon Neutral Trading Exchange, which is a recovery boiler room (previously commented on this site). A part from the factual content of the email being practically zero and being written by someone who failed to get a GCSE in English Grammar, you will notice that the previously booming VER market is not expected to fall, so now is the time to sell!!

    Please please make sure you are not conned again, the ‘warm leads’ talked about are absolute rubbish, no self respecting company would every deal with such company when there are well established professional off-set companies out there. Companies that do choose to off-set their carbon foot print have a vast choice of VERs to choose from, there is a greater supply than any demand, they do not and will not buy second hand off-sets.

    A simple look at the VCS website will show you that the number of off-sets registered with them is far greater than those that have been issued ie there are millions and millions of un-issued VCS VERs.

    The current real market offer price for VERs from Indian Large Hydro and Wind Farm projects is at an all time low, you can if you wish pick them up for a matter of pence. Any thought of selling them for £7.50 is just pure fantasy.

    Many people don’t come forward or contact The Police as they feel foolish, believe you me the boiler rooms are banking on this literally. Contact the NFIB you are not alone, the number of victims of this type of scam is in the tens of thousands.

    (Copy and Past of email received from friend below)

    Good Afternoon,

    You may have been approached by numerous brokers or read about EUA’s and ERU’s as the new big thing or be advised you cant sell your VER with us or any other platform, well this is not the case but if you own VER carbon credits now is the time to look to sell. Prices have dropped 20% already and if the brokers are trying to sell you something new they must no something you don’t as prices are predicted to drop further within the market in the up and coming year. The VER market is a specialist market that deals with the voluntary trading of carbon credits for the goal of companies voluntarily becoming carbon neutral. This market has had its ups and downs but people are making profits from exiting it now and as the future is still uncertain now is a good time to consider your positioning and look at the options to see some returns before the market drops further. We are not a broker and we do not sell carbon credits we specifically cater a platform to show you an exit strategy to sell your VER carbon credits. We buy in data and run on line marketing campaigns for companies that are looking into becoming carbon neutral and we help establish the costing to do so and will offer your credits to achieve this goal. This not only offers liquidity into the market but exits you as an investor and helps achieve the credits final goal and make a company carbon neutral. Surprisingly many brokers believe that exiting the market is an impossible task and that offering credits in this manner would not be a feasible approach to the market but yet they are still persistent enough to keep selling you credits on the illusion of profits down the line. Well profits are achievable now and why wait for an uncertain future to see returns when this can be achieved now? The VER carbon credits initial goal was created to offer the small to medium company sector and opportunity to meet demand of carbon neutrality through public awareness before any regulation came into play and that is what we are aiding the market in doing. Please feel free to visit our website or request further information on how we can help exit you from the market right now.

    Regarding EUA’s and ERU’s don’t panic your VER are still a good investment and many companies are very keen in carbon neutrality but many brokers are trying to again profit from your good nature, the EUA’s credits are European Union Allowances and are national allowances issued to power plants only and therefore makes it a very small sector to actually be able to sell on. The ERU credits are lower cost credits and have been placed around Eastern European companies where the cost of reducing emissions is considered lower and again do not have as much clarity as a VER and again only cover a small market share and are lower profit credits from the outset. With the talk of new credits and the drop in prices starting to cause a stir in the market place delays in us achieving our goals is expected but rest assured we make every effort to be as transparent as we can in our business model and in no way do we work as a broker or intend to be affiliated to any brokers and make a conceited effort to confirm we do not sell carbon credits, we work for the success of our clients, our climate, our company.

  2. I might find this useful in order to exit my carbon credits. Where do I go for more information on how I would go about it?

  3. @Maureen Fitzgerald (#2) – If MH Carbon sold you the carbon credits, there are two pieces of advice in the post above:

    1. REDD-Monitor recommends that anyone who bought carbon credits from MH Carbon should contact Lawrence Williams at Parker Andrews.

    2. REDD-Monitor also recommends that anyone who bought carbon credits from MH Carbon should contact Action Fraud (via the website or by phone: 0300 123 2040) and submit a complaint to Trading Standards.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there are two problems with trying to sell your carbon credits. First, you almost certainly paid far more than they actually worth when you bought them. Second, there is no secondary market for voluntary carbon credits.

    See today’s post about a carbon credit boiler room company called Hildon Green Energy Markets, which has been forced into liquidation after an investigation by the Insolvency Service. In the judgement in the High Court, Mr Registrar Jones said that selling carbon credits as an investment is “like selling a performance motor vehicle for driving but only providing a shell of a vehicle without an engine”.

    Hildon Green Energy Markets: Another carbon credit boiler room scam bites the dust

  4. I have been contacted by a posh sounding git from James Eden who offered to part exchange my carbon credits for some Californian carbon credits. Of course I told him to stuff it.

  5. I have credits purchased through MH Carbon. Does anybody know the registry where the credits are held. I was told it was CDC and Reco by Razaq earlier this year. I think at this stage it is vital for every investor who purchase credits through MH Carbon to at least ensure they are registered. PS

  6. @PS (#5) – Please contact Lawrence Williams at Parker Andrews. There is a note on Parker Andrews’ website that states,

    “If you require your carbon credit certificate registration details, please send an email to LW@parkerandrews.co.uk with your name, full address, telephone number and email address, and your registration details and certificates will be emailed to you as soon as possible.”

  7. Thanks Chris. Will advise when I receive a reply

  8. I’ve had the lot since buying some of these credits. Part exchange, up front fees (my lawyer said the contract/deal looked like a timeshare scam his mother had problems with), diamonds (which if you read the small print says you are not allowed to open the packaging they come in due the delicate nature of the goods!!!!).

    Fortunatly I didn’t spend alot of money initially and have ignore these follow up scams and can write it off.

    Today I’ve just had another call today offering to swap these pointless VERs into CERs, at $2 a credit I think – sounds like more snake oil!

  9. Snake oil it is my friend. With the EU ban on CERs from certain projects coming in to force there are literally 100 million tonnes of what are known as ‘grey’ CERs still out there. The Grey CER contract on ICE saw these puppies trade down to zero. Even CERs that can be used for compliance are trading at a matter of a few € cent.
    The outlook is not too great either for CERs as the whole market is oversupplied until 2020 with EUAs, which are permits to pollute. If you are sold a 2$ CER it is either worthless or worth a few cent.
    These boiler rooms will continue with coloured diamonds, rare earth metals, fine wine, teak tree plantations, student property investments, shipping permits, land banking and the list goes on. They all have one thing in common, you will lose all your money.

  10. Given that as Chris states in his intro, as investors you are not creditors of the company and so cannot claim your money back on liquidation you may wonder what the point is of contacting the liquidators.

    1. The liquidator may refer the conduct of the firm to the Insolvency Service or the Police if it suspects criminal activity has occurred.

    2. A Limited Company usually protects its directors and shareholders from liability. However if fraudulent trading is shown the ‘veil of incorporation’ may be lifted, thus making the directors personally liable. So: if the liquidators (and subsequently the authorities) find this has occurred you can sue the directors.

  11. MH CARBON CLIENTS BE WARNED !!!!

    (THE OTC REGISTRY) IS COLD CALLING MH CARBON CLIENTS, THEY HAVE OUR NAMES AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS MAY BE MORE……

    (The OTC Registry) is compiling a register of unfortunates that have been mis-sold Carbon, Land, Wine, Rare earth metals (whatever they are?) and so on. They charge you £249.99 for the pleasure of registering, however you may qualify for a massive £49.99 discount. They profess to having buyers for all your assets (including Rare earth metals?), but they dont, they are advertising on the net for people to buy credits.

    I am personally keeping my credits, they are currently worth so little to what I paid as I note that specialists in the Carbon world are currently advising ‘hold’ them, so I am.

    Thanks for your post, I have been wanting this to come to the surface.

    I am alerting the Administrators for MH Carbon to the existence and practices of The OTC Registry as no doubt the Administrators will like to know how The OTC Registry have access to MH Carbon client lists which is not only a breach of client confidentiality (a breach of law) but also may boarder on a wider fraud to further deceive MH Carbon clients into losing more money. I shall remind the Administrators they have duty of care to us clients, those (mh carbon) people must have made millions, they took £18 million pounds of our money, now we have round two with these OTC Registry people, they are probably the same people.

    I have personally lost a lot of money to MH Carbon, I know others may have lost more, however I am going to keep digging till I find the truth about this Carbon scam operation and expose it for what it is.

    DO NOT FALL FOR THIS AGAIN WITH (THE OTC REGISTRY) . Mary

  12. Has anyone heard back from Parker Andrews?
    I’ve contacted the Police, Action Fraud, Trading standards, the media. I have spoken to a broker who said that he might be able to sell CERs and VERs via Bloomberg. A platform for trading VERs might be available later on in the year. Currently a secondary VER market doesn’t exist but apparently a number of airlines are interested in purchasing them.

  13. help bought ver credits from londongreenfinancial 20k
    and rare earth metals ,cer carbon credits lakewood asset management
    londongreen now liquidated cni say i must log on through the broker
    who sold my credits doh!
    how can i find if my credits are real

  14. jameseden.co.uk seem to be scammers as they will not answer phone or answer mail

  15. Has anyone got any further with selling credits

  16. Added up all the Carbon Credits that I have purchased over the years from MH Carbon, ForEco, etc and it is frightening. Now seem to be in phase 2 of scams with several firms (William Perkins, Carbon Neutral Investments)offering to buy VERs as long as I buy come CERs. Must make quick decision as the VER market is about to close – sounds just like those old scams. Very disillusioned and is there any exit strategy left to us honest but naive investors!

  17. hi i received a call from a company called dresden investments their answer to our problems
    1 they will set up a corporate company in my name
    2 they will connect my company with another corporate that will use my carbon credits to offset any profits from their company .
    3 i will be paid ? pennies in the pound for my credits .
    4 once the credits have been used they will dissolve my company
    5 dresden will also that 3% for their troubles.
    it sounds good on paper but i spoke to a lawyer and most importantly an accountant

    not surprisingly he told me he cant do that .
    the annual profits made by a company can not be offset by any losses in investments
    the only way to offset any loss through investments is through capital gains tax
    if you sell your business house etc and you incur capital gains tax then you can use your carbon credits showing them as a loss in investment to offset any gains tax . if you know someone in business that can use your credits in this way you have a better chance of seeing some of your money back .you probably won’t get 100% of your investment back but its better than nothing . it would benefit both parties . please get legal advice and due diligent before taking any action . good luck.

  18. Akbar. I it may be that carbon credits retired by a company can be treated as a legitimate business expense and thus reduce corporation tax by the rate applicable.

  19. Any info on William Perkins who claim they can sell VERs for £8.01!! I have seen the name on the blogs but no details about who or what they are.

    Any commentators out there?

    Cheers,

    JR

  20. Two other companies who are claiming to be able to exit investors VER’s
    are Demmore Ltd and also Specer & Elstein Both require an initial
    cash investment and both companies deal in Gold Bullion. The latter claim an exit price of £8.10 and reqire a minimum of £2000 , They claim to have some sort of agreement with the authorities to “swap assets”.
    Demmore are Gold leasing experts and expect an investment of the order of £2500 into this side of their businesss before dealing with a clients VER’s, Both of these companies have cotacted me within the last two weeks. Are there any trustworthy companies who can be used to exit VER’s?.Needless to say I have been contacted by SouthWest Utilities and William Perkins.

  21. I have also been contacted by SOUTHWEST UTILITIES who claim to be a Corporate Offsetter and that they have been around since 2006. They require a performance bond of £2775.00 to be paid to a UK clearing house,who will then hold the money until I have received the proceeds for the sale of my credits in to my bank account. I will then according to their representative, receive a phone call from a compliance officer, on a recorded line in order to gain my verbal authorisation to retire my credits. Once my credits are retired, I will then receive back the full amount of the bond. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

    I have checked out the company to whom I am being asked to send the money,which is not SOUTHWEST UTILITIES, and according to Companies House they do not exist, so what is Nat West Bank doing opening a company account for a company that is not registered, and just what Money Laundering checks have they carried out on the people who have opened the account? Have they in fact carried out a personal interview, or is this something else all handled over the internet.

    My conclusion is that this is just another Boiler Room Recovery scam. It all sounds very plausable, but none of these companies are regulated. The setting up of a Limited Company is far too easy, and £100 paid up share capital is a joke. It should be a minimum of £5,000.00 to set up a LTD. company, the directors should have to undergo a “Fitness and Properness Check” and they should have to show evidence of trading successfully as a sole proprieter or partnership for at least 12 months before being eligble to apply for Ltd. company status.

    We have to raise the level of integrity within our business practices in this country in order to eradicate these leaches who are sucking the wealth out of hard working peoples savings, and in most cases salting the money away offshore, so the whole country is suffering, it is taking money out of circulation, and these people are in any case outside of the tax net. SOUTHWEST UTILITIES for example are based in Gibraltar.

    I have also lost a substantial amount of money through an investment in CRTs with Taylor and Mills, who were based in the city of London, Has anyone else lost money at the hands of these people? We need to form an action group in order to push the investigation of these crimes, the Fraud Squad already have these details, but are just soft pedaling at the moment. Please reply with your details if you wish to join a group for action against Taylor and Mills or MH Carbon.

  22. I have also been mugged by MH Carbon but being in Nigeria until recently missed this wonderful news!! I should have guessed something was wrong as the phone stopped ringing every few weeks trying to sell me more VER’s. Am I too late to report my losses etc??

    Thanks for any good info.

  23. I would like to be included in any MH Carbons action group. Currently being hounded by Global Diamond Index who claim if I buy a diamond they will sell it and my carbon credits for a potential small profit.

  24. Hi has anyone got any where with parker Andrews, do they help getting anything back for you from mh carbon ? does anybody? very disillusioned. not heard from action fraud either not sure what to do.

  25. Hi all,
    I contracted with MH-Carbon and also initially with Carbon-Ex in Luxembourg. Regarding Carbon-Ex, In 2011 I paid and sent my signed copy of the contact to UK solicitors Colemans CTTs in Kingston, I have contacted Colemans and awaiting their call. I also contaced Action Fraud and the FSA. Both these organisations were keen to take details which made me feel more than just a statistic in an unregulated market.

  26. Robich, did you take up Demmore’s offer. The gold investment they offer sounds good in its own right. Anybody any experience of this company please?

  27. @Robbich – How did Demmore Ltd get your contact details? Why do they need a payment upfront? Did you see a copy of the “agreement with the authorities to ‘swap assets’”? Which authorities would issue that sort of agreement?

    @Snowman – Demmore Ltd seems to have all the hallmarks of a recovery room (contact out of the blue, payment upfront requested, spurious claims of agreement with authorities).

  28. Just had a call from Sachs Trust in Switzerland (http://www.sachstrust.com/). They say my name has been sold to them by some Carbon Offset Body and they will sell my VERs for me. Yet another to add to the list?

  29. I have taken up Demmore Ltd offer for the simple reason that their Gold leasing terms seem a very good short term hold with a guaranteed exit in six monhs time. I have simply no idea whether or not they will be able to get rid of all or some of my VERs. The thing makes me think that all of these offers for exiting investors out of the carbon Market are very dubious is that they ALL say that whatever details they are given they claim to have been checked (against what???) by their team and all is well. Demmore have not queried any of my details (about Carbon Credit) holdings but have given me a latest date of March 1st. 2014 for the sale. TIME WILL TELL. I will tell this board if any positive results are won.

  30. I had a long chat with someone from the FCA on this topic. He seemed to know more than his other colleagues. He says that although it is potentially legitimate that you might have to put an upfront fee in order to convert your VERs to something tradeable, you need to be very careful. He also thinks that a large proportion of the people contacting us, wanting up front fees are also scammers. He suggested that I should find someone to trade them that was approved be EIRIS (which is an ethical investment body), or someone that was regulated by the FCA in another part of their business (as they don’t regulate commodity traders). He strongly advised me against paying upfront fees to anyone else as there’s a high risk you are being scammed yet again. The reason these client lists are sold (probably for a lot of money each from all those companies) is that it is a list of people that have sufficient financial credulity that you’ve been taken in one time. So beware.
    He also said it’s not enough that a company is not on the FCA “black list” as they may simply not have been reported yet!

    Let us know if anyone ever manages to sell any!

    Alicia

  31. This is excellent 100% fact for sure, thank you for for this solid advice and information. All I need to know now is what company I can trust to sell my credits without me having to pay up front or buy into another commodity. I am happy to pay a reasonable agency fee. I had also spoken to the FSA who wants me to send any paperwork, and I had have also had communication with Carbon-Ex who wholesaled credits to MH Carbons. Carbon-Ex are still in business and have been quick to resopnd to questions. They are unable to buy back the credits though and did suggest one “retailer” which I am loath to pass on,
    Regards.

  32. @Alicia

    I am sorry to say that the probability of anyone selling on VERs they have been sold by boiler rooms is zero.
    I have spoken to two genuine project developers this week, who are holding millions of tonnes of VERs that are superior in quality to those I have seen sold by boiler rooms. These genuine primary sellers have been looking for buyers for over a year. These guys would be overjoyed to sell the lot at anything close to €0.30 per tonne.
    There is a massive oversupply of VERs relative to any voluntary demand particularly for the low cost if not worthless VERs sold by boiler rooms.
    There is no demand in the primary market and there is NO genuine secondary market for this reason.

    Derek

  33. Ken. Can you let us know how you made contact with Carbon-ex. Their website is up-and-down, the contact numbers don’t contact and many have had no response to letters and emails

  34. Absolutely, I have an email train starting with the original UK solicitor who took my funds. Please advise best way for me
    to forward the emails to you an contact details ? You can phone or email me if you wish.
    Regards
    Ken

  35. I have some MH Carbon VER’s and contacted Parker Andrews a while ago who wrote back and said that they could not trace registration of my VER’s and that they essentially concentrating on the liquidation of MH carbon and not the location of my VER’s.
    I have also been told from various sorces that my VER’s will be safe as they will be in my name but how do I find out where they are registered. I have alos been told that they are likely to be pooled together in a nominee account.
    Any help in tracing them would be appreciated.

  36. Doug I can’t tell you where exactly to find your VERs but I can give you a clue. There’s an interesting thing that all the people that have contacted my dad wanting to sell them for him, say that they can “see” that he has them. I don’t believe this is the case but if people do contact you insist on seeing proof that you do actually have them before you part with any money. My father has yet to find anyone that can do this (they are contacting him because they bought the client list of MH Carbon and hope to rip off people that are proven rip-offable). I have gone through a lengthy process myself to try and find them, through registrars and all sorts, even calling New York, and I can find no evidence that they were ever registered in his name. To cut a very long story short, the only place that I’ve finally come down to is that there is a company called MH Carbon Nominees Limited. It should hold everyone’s VERs if it’s not crooked. It is not in liquidation. However, the directors are the same as those of MH Carbon and I’ve not even bothered writing to them as I can’t see they’re likely to answer. But that’s probably where your VERs are if they’re even worth finding (I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re not). Interestingly the liquidators of MH Carbon only found out it existed last month after what, 6 months of “work”? It took me a day. Let me know how you get on. Alicia

  37. Chris, thanks for that link. I found reference to my father’s shares being registered under the name MH Carbon Nominees Limited (some statement or other; apparently he had a sub-account). So it’s not just that there is a similar named company with similar directors, it’s actually that that appears to have been the holding company for the VERS.
    Plus, in your article you refer to Citadel Trustees. I seem to recall from my research that it was Citadel Nominees, not Trustees. These are 2 different companies and Citadel Trustees were shocked to realise that there was a sort of imposter using their name (I spoke to them). Citadel Nominees is clearly closely associated with this whole scam, from what I could ascertain Citadel Trustees are a legit company.
    Not sure if this helps anyone but at least it puts all this out in the public domain so you don’t have to replicate it all.
    Alicia

  38. @Alicia – Thanks for this. I referred to Citadel Trustees, because Anna Rickard (a director at Citadel Trustees) was also a director at MH Carbon Nominees.

    However, I’m surprised that Citadel Trustees seems to think Citadel Nominees is an “imposter” – Anna Rickard is also a director of Citadel Nominees.

  39. Alicia,

    I have done a lot of research into finding out as to where the VERs sold by MH Carbon are held. CDC was the last registry to hold the VERs but the problem is complicated for the following reasons.

    1 CDC refused to deal with me or give me any information regarding the Credits. To be honest they were quite rude and dismissive.

    2 As CDC ceased to be hold VER’s as a registry last December , where did they transfer them.? With no information from CDC what can be done.?

    3. As the Credits are held ( or supposed to be held)in the name of MH Carbon Nominees, how can any investor identify his/her particular VER,s.The only way this can be done is through MH Carbon Nominees. In this area the liquidators have not been helpful and recently they told me that they would not deal with investors moving forward but told me to contact the registries.

    I really don’t know where to go at this stage. One thing I do know is that there is a significant amount on money tied up in this scam.

    Does anybody know if there is group set up to see what can be done. MH Carbon had over 600 investors. 25% would be a strong lobby group

  40. Dear Paul, I guess my problem is that I’m not entirely convinced at this point that they’re worth anything, and I’d guess I’m not the only one. If people thought that they might be worth anything if they could find them, then you’d probably be able to get a quorum. Are you convinced they’re worth finding?
    Alicia

  41. When CDC ceased to act as a registry, account holders and projects had the option of transferring to another registry connected to the VCS (APX or Markit). The projects themselves almost certainly would have done, otherwise they couldn’t continue to issue credits (if you look on the vcs registry) you can find which of APX or Markit they are with.

    But other account holders may not have bothered. If you have the serial numbers of your credits you can look these up on the vcs-registry to at least validate they were issued. But regardless, since ownership is no longer recorded electronically, it would be very difficult to establish proof of ownership in the unlikely event you could actually sell them.

    I don’t know if anyone has written to MH Carbon Nominees or the liquidator asking for serial numbers. If you haven’t been issued with serial numbers, this is akin to running a Collective Investment Scheme, which (unless authorised) would have been illegal for MH Carbon to do.

  42. I believe MH carbon investors are being let down by a number of parties including the liquidators as nobody seems willing to provide any help or support. Between my wife and myself we have approx £13K tied up with MH carbon. Although they may be worthless now there are likely to be opportunities on various markets to sell these within the next year or two so I do not want to just accept that we have lost our money.
    I have a similar problem with another VER broker (who has gone into liquidation) and sadly there is nobody out there to help. The FCA are not providing any guidance on how to track them other than advising against dealing with VER’s. I feel badly let down with nowhere to go and as a minimum I would like to find out where my VER’s are held. I am making enquiries with various Carbon registries but as yet no luck.
    MH carbon nominees appear to be trading but does anyone have a phone or email contact? Surely if they are trading then the Fraud Squad should be able to do something.
    I will not give up.

  43. My father contacted Markit in New York and he was told his VERs were not listed on the exchange. Apparently MH Carbon Nominees had an account with them and they closed it about a year ago. So where those VERs have now gone is anyone’s guess.

    I asked the liquidator for the contact details of the bloke who’s a director of MH Carbon and MH Carbon nominees. They wouldn’t give it to me. There’s an address you can look it up on the web although I don’t know what you’ll find if you go there.

    Mike I think your last comment about the collective investment scheme being illegal is interesting. The documentation my father was provided about his VERs was wholly inadequate – account was MH Carbon Nominees sub account Mr. Weston – like there might not be more than one Mr. Weston – and no serial numbers. Do you think we can pursue this further?

  44. Doug, you are right that carbon investors are being let down. It is unlikely that MH Carbon Nominees Ltd have a phone number (or any employees) so I would recommend writing to them at their registered address which is: 24E Norwich Street, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 1BX asking for details of your serial numbers, registry and account in which they are held. If you don’t get a satisfactory (or any) response you should claim that you did not receive the goods purchased and can make a claim to be a creditor – complete a Proof of Debt form and send it to the liquidator. They are obliged to respond, even if they reject your claim. Also write to the bank who you paid the money into and tell them you believe you have been subject to fraud. Its only by enough people writing that anyone will take notive.

  45. Alicia, the registries are against individuals holding credits, so it may be that when MH Carbon started opening up lots of sub-accounts in people’s names they put a stop to it and MH Carbon closed the whole account. Like the credits that used to be on CDC, ownership is not now recorded on any recognised registry, hence very difficult to prove. Hence my suggested steps.

    You can also contact the FCA (as it is they that have determined that running an (unauthorised) CIS is illegal) and Action Fraud. Write to your MP. At the end of the day it is only the authorities that can bring an action.

  46. This also brings into question Parker Andrews responses to FAQs.

    ‘As an investor, you will have purchased Carbon Credits and these credits are still yours to keep or trade.’ Well if you have reasonable no proof of ownership this is not true.

    ‘Your Carbon Credits will continue to be registered with the various Central Project databases worldwide.’ Well it seems that at least some of them are not.

    Write again to them, don’t let them off the hook.

  47. Hi Mike,
    Do you recommend a collective letter to all parties, e.g. Action Fraud, MH Carbon Nominees, the Liquidator etc ? Perhaps more weight will give a heavier push with more profile. Copies of the communications to be sent to MPs,the FSA, Watchdog and so on.
    Regards,
    Ken

  48. Ken. I can’t really say. I’m not actually an MH Carbon investor but have similar issues with my broker. What I have found is that trying to organise collective action is very difficult. I’ve written my own letters and simply tried to persuade others to do the same.

  49. Hi all,
    Parker Andrews may not want to talk to MH Carbon investors any more, but they have spoken to Tony Hetherington of the Daily Mail recently.

  50. @Mark A. – Thanks for this – here’s Tony Hetherington on MH Carbon and Parker Andrews:

    No cash for carbon credit victims

    There is bad news for investors who trusted carbon credit dealer MH Carbon. Priya Nathwani of liquidator Parker Andrews tells me there is no money to meet claims from people who lost their savings.

    She said: ‘I confirm there are no funds in the case and therefore a distribution cannot be made to creditors.’

    I warned in February that MH Carbon was falsely claiming that the value of carbon credits would triple and that the Government planned to force businesses to buy them and drive the price up. The firm collapsed at the end of May. The mystery is the question of who pocketed the £18.7 million that it raked in from hundreds of investors.

    Nathwani said: ‘We are continuing to liaise with Revenue & Customs regarding the investigations into the company.’

    The liquidator has been coy about whether it would regard victims of mis-selling as potential creditors should any funds be found, but Nathwani added: ‘Any clients may send us details of their claim against the company.’

    However, there is no mention of any criminal investigation into this rip-off and still no action yet from the Treasury, which said months ago it was in talks to regulate the carbon credit market.

  51. HI Chris,
    Probably just for statistics sake, is there any formality in making a claim against MH Carbons ? And would it be worthwhile in making a claim against the wholesaler, Carbon-ex, or indeed the UK solicitor who took my funds cheque ?
    Cheers
    Ken

  52. @Ken Major – I have no idea why the authorities don’t seem to think that a £18.7 million fraud isn’t worthy of criminal investigation. But I’m not a legal expert. I would suggest asking Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority for their advice.

  53. Ken, if your contract was with Carbon-ex you must have been an early client of MH Carbon (they later sourced credits themselves wholesale). In that case, yes, Carbon-ex are liable as you have your contract with them. Also you can complain about the solicitors Colemans, who dealt with your funds. Do this initially through the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, then to the Legal Ombudsman.

  54. Thanks Mike, nice advice.
    Yes I have one contact through Colemans and Carbon-exe and snd the other with MH Carbons direct. I’ll let you know how I get on,
    Cheers
    Ken

  55. I was recently approached by First Administration based in Malta who said that they could sell the VERs I have. In their paperwork they said that “the buyer has requested a refundable insurance cost of x per offset”, which would be held by First Administration until sale date. This is an insurance deposit and not a charge or commission”. At the same time I was told that I would receive nearly £8 per credit which I thought was incredibly high. I didn’t proceed as I thought i’d lose the insurance fee. Has anyone dealt with them and had a good experience?

  56. I’ve today been contacted by Financial Advisors Online, based in Belgium about possibly being able to sell my VER’s bought through MH Carbon. The contact today was just a “this is who we are” call, but they did say they do not expect clients to purchase further credits before being able to sell any existing VER’s. When asked how they obtained my contact details they responded that this was due to being able to see my details on the register. Other contributors to this site have stated this is not possible due to the way MH Carbon Nominees was set up, so I’m not sure about this claim. My question to start with is has anyone heard of this outfit? Is this a further variant on the same old scam?

    Any news welcome.

  57. @Mike,

    What you say about Collective Investment Schemes sounds right to me, but I have just got this from Gemmax Solutions in a reply to a request for serial numbers:


    The serial numbers for the credits are not currently available.

    Credits are delivered into registry accounts in large tranches, and holdings for individuals are allocated as a portion of a particular tranche, effectively in an omnibus fashion.

    As such, serial numbers for the credits would only be realised once these particular credits were transferred outwards from this account.

    …which seems like a refusal.

    They don’t seem very worried about the FCA at the moment.

    It seems I now have two options: start complaining to the FCA, or make them transfer the credits somewhere else.

    Mark.

  58. Peter and everyone else, The first question you should ask anyone who said they can see your details on a register is tell them that’s great, you’d really like proof your VERs are registered on a register, can they provide you that information please or show you where to look it up? I think 100% cannot but if they can, hey, you’re away. So asking that question should sort out the men from boys (or scammers)

    Alicia

  59. Hi Chris/Mike,
    I am not sure if I sent you the below email. Regarding the contact I have with Carbon-ex is there anything you can suggest before I contact them and instruct to exit ? I just have this feeling I should not hold my breath !
    Thanks
    Ken

    Dear Mr Kenneth Major,

    Carbon-Ex SarL is a wholesaler of voluntary and compliance carbon credits.

    The Company takes orders from its introducers on behalf of their clients. Our Terms of Business state the relationship between client and Carbon-Ex who acts as principal.

    Instructions can be made to Carbon-Ex by email to transfer, assign or retire holdings. Instructions or enquiries about the re-sale or exit of your holdings should be made to your introducer. Your introducer, and not Carbon-Ex assumes responsibility for the sales and re-sales relationship. In your case, MH Carbon Ltd is in liquidation and there is now not an opportunity for you to pursue any potential exits with MH Carbon Ltd, although your holdings with Carbon-Ex are held by Carbon-Ex Nominees and is not affected by the liquidation.

    With regards to exiting through MH Carbon Ltd we suggest you make contact with other introducers or brokerages which deal with the purchase and resale of credits. Carbon-Ex SarL can take instruction from you to transfer your holdings to another introducer or brokerage should you initiate a relationship with one.

    Regards

    Customer Support

    Carbonex SARL
    13, Rue de la Fonderie
    L-1531 Luxembourg

    Website. http://www.carbon-ex.lu

    Email. customersupport@carbon-ex.lu

  60. Mark A. I am not surprised by your reply from Gemmax. The question is does that represent running a CIS? Only the FCA (possibly through the courts) can determine this. When I spoke to the FCA they indicated that it did seem like an CIS.

    If you buy quoted shares through a brokers they will be held in Crest account at the Stock Exchange – like an Omnibus account. But this is acceptable as all Ord shares are identical and they do no have individual ids or serial numbers. The question is, are all Carbon Credits (from the same project) identical? My argument is that they are not as they have different vintages (year of issue) and this affects their desirability and even when they may be automatically retired.

    So call the FCA and make this point.

  61. @Peter,
    Chris Lang is right, of course. But here’s some evidence…

    Financial Advisors Online made contact by phone and email and asked for a list of my credit purchases, including the prices paid. I sent the guy my usual spreadsheet of holdings. Today he called to say they had verified that all the credits were registered in my name and to lay out the offer from the un-named ‘buyer’.

    The offer was to get my money back (with perhaps a small profit), in exchange for a refundable fee of £3,000 (demanded by the buyer, he said). I could exit this market, what a relief!

    But it was all lies.

    As Alicia says, they usually cannot find your credits on the registries in your name – they will be registered to a holding company.

    Adding to this, one of my holdings was bogus. Made-up.

    They never spotted this. They had checked NOTHING about the MH Carbon credits.

    All they will do is repeat back to you the information you gave to them. They want to know how much money you have sunk into this market, to guess how much they can extract from you. Why else would they care how much you paid for the credits?

    Hope this helps,
    Mark.

  62. Several companies have approached me with exactly the same offer, nice one regarding the bogus credits, although all has been quiet over the last few weeks. The last call was an American company trying to sell me “Forex” but mo mention of carbon credits.
    The frightening thing is how pursuasive these scammers are, could be our next generation of politicians. I have no doubt our money is lost with the MH Carbons scam, but there should be concentration to bring the directors and staff to justice.
    Regards,
    Ken

  63. I have contacted Parker Andrews again and they have again confirmed that they do not have information regarding where my Carbon Credits are held.
    I have contacted MH carbon nominees by email and they have not replied (or even opened my mail) so are they still trading??
    Parker Andrews suggested they may be held with Citadel Trustees but they have confirmed that they are not and have suggested MH carbon nominees again.
    I have contacted all the major registries but they are very slow to respond if at all.
    Where do we go from here?
    Has the money really gone missing or just difficult to trace?
    I will now report to Fraud squad and make FCA aware of the situation as I have exhausted all options.

  64. @Doug Lee,

    I sent MH Carbon Nominees a letter, enclosing a list of my holdings, last week and got an email in response from the “Administration Team”, saying:

    Thank you for your letter. We are working through the files to establish each person’s holdings. Thank you very much for the information, we will get back to you as soon as we can.

    It might be worth you doing the same, and/or emailing them at info@mhcarbonnominees.com which seems to be their current address.

    So, in summary: they still exist, and apparently so do the credits.

    Mark.

  65. I see Akbar was contacted by Dresden investments, which I also have been approached by.

    Again they are asking for a deposit of 20% of the amount they think they can sell my credits for. James Wright is the broker and sounds ok, compared to some others that have been very pushy.

    The deposit, is suppose to go into a a Barclays Trust fund account, so that it will be returned if the sale doesn’t go through. I am very skeptical, I did ask if it is a trust fund than if I contact barclays to can they let me know that my money is held in trust.

    James said he couldnt divulge this information..(Of course!)

    I haven’t seen any paperwork, they are not regulated in the Uk but do not come up with any risk warnings on the FCA website.

    They are supposidly regulated in Germany and have been around since 1990.

    Has anyone sold their credits to Dresden and seen a return?

    I will ask the questions Alicia posted about seeing where they are registered…i think the bogus info is a great idea…which I gave him that information.!

  66. @Glenn – Dresden Investments is a Recovery Room scam. I know this because no reputable company would contact you out of the blue and because they are asking for money upfront.

    Dresden Investments doesn’t show up in the BaFIN (the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority) database. Or on Open Corporates. The website was registered anonymously. See this comment for details.

  67. guys, my father just received a letter from MH Carbon Nominees saying they have his credits and are looking after them. Apparently they are under going audit and will be transferred to a mainstream registry perhaps. I am not quite sure what prompted this surprise letter although I did tell him to write to them and enquire. I will let you know when I find out.

  68. Following my posting yesterday I received a letter from MH carbon nominees (this was co-incidental) providing details of where the MH carbon credits are being held with supporting information from all of their projects. This is very positive and at least I now have confidence that they are all traceable although I still have to make a few more enquiries.
    MH carbon nominees are trading and seem to be keen to clarify their position on where the MH carbon credits are being held.
    At least there is no some light at the end of the tunnel but why has it taken them so long to contact MH carbon investors.

  69. I have had an offer from Financial Advisors Online today. No Fee, no Commission – oh just a refundable £0.40 per unit “Fixed Tender Offset Cost (Insurance)” payable up front but of course will be paid back when the sale is made or not made. This is paid into a NatWest holding account so my money is perfectly safe!!! LOL. A very trustworthy sounding mature Scottish James Alexander was trying to lure me with a proposed sale date of 18 December – or if I did not act now it might be another 3 months. I do not think so.

  70. Good news – I’ve also received a letter from MH Carbon Nominees Ltd confirming existence of my credits and location of those bought through Eco Synergies (Citadel Trustees). Bad news – also received invoice from Citadel demanding custodian fee per annum of £0.015 + VAT per credit. On the face of it 1.5p doesn’t sound too bad, however, multiplied by total credits held this becomes a serious annual charge to store seemingly worthless credits. Assuming MH Carbon Nominees have comparable fees (highly likely) total yearly cost to store my credits – £432.00. So the dilemma – throw a further £432 in the pot in the hope investment eventually comes good or face reality – refuse to pay storage and write off the investment!!

    Personally, I think fees are excessive. Attached to MH Carbon Nominees’ letter was also statement from CDC Climate confirming as of 30/11/2012 it held 4,260,458 credits on behalf of MH Carbon Nominees. If MH Carbon’s fee is same as Citadel’s that equates to fees totalling £64,000 + VAT – nice work for doing nothing!! (Annual fees charged by online stockbrokers for nominee accounts is around £45 per annum regardless of number of shares held.)

    As an aside – assuming average retail price per credit of £3.40 total sum creamed off by MH Carbon up to Nov 2012 – £14.5 million!!! But what to date total if sums obtained by other carbon credit scammers are added in – £25 million? £30 million? But what are our illustrious leaders actually doing about this fraud – precious little.

  71. I also have a lot of credits and received a letter from MH C Nominees. On Wednesday I received a phone call from a lady calling herself Caroline Wendy Bosch. She was Dutch and can be looked up on the FCA website – she is inactive and has no known complaints against her etc. She said she was employed by Hulsmann Miller in Madrid (www.hulsmannmiller.com) and that they were trying to trace owners of carbon credits who had been mis-sold such things. She correctly identified my purchases early this year. She also said that her company was acting on behalf of the court who had remanded one of the directors of MH Carbon. He had informed the court of offshore bank accounts where funds were held, apparently to avoid a long jail sentence. I agreed to send the complete list of my holdings and she subsequently told me that she could return my funds by order of the court, within 60 days. However, I would be required to sign an indemnity and put up a deposit to ensure that I would sign once the money was returned to my bank account. I had to discuss the amount of insurance which ended at £2,000. I asked if they could send me some details from the court judgement. They were supposed to be sent this morning but nothing received yet (It is past midday in Madrid).

    It looks like this is another scam – the Hulsmann website is very simple and has no registered business number to chase up. Also, the logo for the law society is in English not Spanish and I cannot find another logo like it on Spanish legal firm websites.

    Sounds like another scam?

  72. @Nigel S – Hulsmann & Miller is running a Recovery Room scam. Here’s how I know:

    1. No reputable company would call you out of the blue.

    2. The fact that someone called Caroline Wendy Bosch appears on the FCA website only tells you that whoever rang you up has looked up that name for themselves on the FCA website.

    3. Hulsmann & Miller are asking for money upfront – it’s not a deposit, you would never see the money again.

    4. Hulsmann & Miller does not appear to be registered anywhere, according to a search on Open Corporates:

    5. Hulsmann & Miller’s website was registered just over one week ago (on 16 November 2013).

    6. The website is in English, although it’s supposed to be a Madrid-based law firm. The website boasts that, “Hulsmann & Miller is not like every other law firm in Madrid.” You can say that again.

    7. No names of any solicitors are given on Hulsmann & Miller’s website. There is a photograph, with the caption “Hulsmann & Miller 2012”. Of course it’s not of Hulsmann and Miller. It’s Fernando Vives, a managing partner at Garrigues (he’s the one on the left), picking up the ‘Client Trust Award’ from the journal Iberian Lawyer in December 2012.

  73. Yet another name to add to growing list of firms with dubious exit offers – “Tower Trade” The deal – buy CER equivalent to 25% holding in VCR’s (in my case £19,000), which will be bundled up and sold sometime in 2014. No guarantee of an exit, but a warning our illustrious leaders intend cancelling all VCR’s in 2015 – no pressure then!

    Check of Companies House reveals Tower Trade has only been trading about 6 months.

    A twist on the usual theme – weren’t cold-called by Tower Trade, but by an outfit calling themselves “Investor Compare” who recommended T.T. as experts in getting retail investors out of VCR’s. Plenty of internet stuff on Tower Trade, but no Investor Compare that I could find.

    The problem is, one of the days someone will come along with genuine offer, by which time I’ll be so sick of the whole sorry business will tell them to take a running jump!

  74. I’ve only just discovered this link and wish to pass on my sincere thanks to Chris Lang and all other contributors for their eye opening details of all these boiler room scams. Personally, I invested £54k in Carbon Credits with Eco Global and MH Carbon, both of whom have gone into liquidation this year.
    For an additional cost of £15k, Eco Global supposedly converted my original purchase of VER units into ODS units (Project CAR691) based in California, although I was never sent a certificate to support this new purchase!
    MH Carbon took over my VER units I had originally purchased through Eco Synergies/World Carbon and promised me that if I added another £11k to my original ££12k (invested with Eco Synergies), they had just signed an agreement with another company, who would pay me £33k for my new CRT units in Project CAR502. Needless to say, but that so called ‘agreement’ fell through and soon afterwards MH Carbon went into liquidation! Although I do have a genuine certificate of ownership for these units, I have been advised (by ‘Yankee Carbon’ – based in Weybridge) that the they are hardly worth anything just now, but should appreciate in value over the next few years.
    Meanwhile, I have recently been approached by Dresden Investments and Hulsman Miller, both companies wanting a (supposedly repayable!) upfront fee before a quick repayment of virtually my total outlays on purchasing carbon credits….just too good to be true!! I have emailed both companies declining their offers and suggesting that they are operating boiler room recovery scams! I have also been in touch with ‘Parker Andrews’ regarding MH Carbon and they have recently issued an update regarding enquiries from Hulsman Miller. I also intend to call ‘Action Fraud’ about my purchases and fraudulent offers of redemption!!

  75. Hi Chris, Nigel and others : I was also contacted by Hulsmann and Miller by Anna Whitingham who gave me the same story and followed up with a weak email. The coat of arms is the Spanish one…..
    Should the Spanish authorities be informed ?

  76. Has anyone been contacted by Clearspring Capital? The guy claimed Russian, Chinese and South Korean VCR’s aren’t worthless. He reckoned once the Chinese set up their own market, provided they copied the Japs and restricted trade to credits generated from their own projects the price should rise substantially circa 2015/16. Same applies to South Korea and Russia. According him Japanese credits trade at about $140.
    “Yeh! Yeh! I retorted “But you will be asking for upfront fee or insurance and that’s where the scam comes in.”
    “No” he replied “They are a medium term investment – nothing can be done with them until 2015 at the earliest. In any case, any outfit asking for upfront money regardless of guise is talking rubbish.”
    A check at Companies House reveals Clearspring Capital has only been trading 6 months, but chap did seem to know what he was talking about.

  77. @Max – Of course the chap from Clearspring Capital seemed to know what he was talking about. He was reading from a script.

    Here’s a post about how much carbon credits are worth:

    How much does a carbon credit cost? “There is no such thing as a generic price,” says ClimateCare’s Edward Hanrahan

    China has set up pilot carbon trading schemes in five cities and provinces. This report suggests that China could face a surplus of permits.

    In any case, offsets are not included in the Chinese market. CERs may be included at some point in the future, but it’s very unlikely that voluntary carbon credits will be included. See this comment from December 2013.

    There’s some information about Japan’s carbon markets here (produced by the Australian government). Japan’s carbon markets are of permits handed out for free to companies. Offsets are not included.

    Clearspring Capital is a four-month-old company. No reputable company would cold call you (it’s against FCA rules to do so). Here’s what Tony Levene, writing in the Guardian, has to say:

    “The simplest advice is just to slam down the phone on anyone who calls you to sell an investment. That’s it. Simple and to the point. After all, no legitimate investment company ever cold calls for potential customers.”

    Clearspring Capital is not registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. One of the “investments” that the company offers is in graphene. Here’s the FCA’s warning about companies offering graphene as an investment to retail investors.

  78. I would be cautious of any ‘firm’ in the EC1 and EC2 postcode area. Many of the scams are based there.

  79. @Lu – Thanks for this, but the postcode area is the least of the worries. There must be lots of legitimate companies in those postcode areas. And lots of scam companies not in those postcode areas.

    But when we’re looking at a company that has only been around a few months, cold calls people with tales about carbon markets in China and Japan, sells graphene as an investment, registered its website anonymously, and stole its name from another company, the postcode is the last straw.

  80. anyone with knowledge of the wealth advisory – sister company of carbon-experts – they want £5 k min to deal with my carbon credits
    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO I CAN TRUST TO DEAL WITH MY CARBON CREDITS – OR IS THAT A SILLY QUESTION ? ? ?

  81. I Invested with ASJ International Dec 2012
    and now cannot get hold of them.
    Any news?

  82. @john arnold – Thanks for this, but could you provide a link or other information to back up your statement that “ASJ International were taken over by Towertrade Commodities”. I couldn’t find anything.

  83. I have a letter from Towertrade explaining their acquisition of ASJ and their holdings
    email info@towertrade.co.uk
    Tel 0203 006 5043
    Have had no reply from email sent on 7/01/14

  84. Have been contacted by Simon Carter of Delemont Group who says he is an freelance exit stategist and will do the following:
    Have a legal team establish my ownership of carbon credits.
    Amass my credits with other investors and approach institutions to offer a purchase price.
    If acceptable to me, I open up a corporate Crest Account and deposit 10-20% worth of my holdings.

    This is fully returnable upon sale of my credits with whatever they get for them.(He has indicated about 70%.
    They then take 2.8%

    ????????????

    See delemontgroup.com

  85. Hi Douglas – This is a recovery scam. Their website was registered 15th Jan 2014 for one year only, so they do not plan to be around for long. No evidence of being a registered company either. False testamonials – apparently James and his wife in London have used them for over 30 years!

    They are clearly “offering financial advice” and are not FCA approved, and should be approved in Switzerland but they won’t be. I suspect this is the same people operating under many other company names including Clark Carbon Capital and they had similar types of false office addresses with so called head quarters in Switzerland. They were not registered to sell financial services there.

    If they trouble you again ask if they are registered to sell financial services and see what excuse they dream up. (Possibly why “Simon” is “freelance”??) Have they given you a telephone number to ring other than the one on their website? Their website says you get a dedicated broker etc with phone number. Get info from them to share with others but I would not give them money or sign anything…or give them details of your carbon credits for that matter.

    Tower Trade who took over ASJ are now in voluntary liquidation if you check them out (27th Feb applied for).

  86. Many thanks – I did give them my carbon credit details then became suspicious – could this be a problem?

  87. Hi Douglas,
    I just feel the less they know about you, and what you bought, the price you paid etc the better – did you give them serial numbers and/or who is the custodian of them?

  88. Hi Billie,
    Yes they got all the details. My situation is a purchase of £6k with World Wide Commodities(MH carbon)
    of carbon credits,and a purchase of EUR15k with ASJ international,(Tower Trade)of green CERs

  89. I trust everyone involved / scammed by these low life have reprted to the Fraud police etc., If enough do then maybe they will investigate.

  90. Hi Douglas
    What do you propose re your CER’s with Towertrade now they have gone into liquidation I have 3400 bought from ASJ and I believe Towertrade only found half of them

  91. Hi Douglas & John – Your CER’s will be held by a custodian company as detailed on the certificate you received from ASJ. Contact that company if there is a problem with the amount of credits you have. You should have had a covering email from your ASJ broker explaining all this with the certificate?

  92. Hi Billie/John,
    My ASJ cers are held on the ASJ account within Deutche Bank, London. I phoned them 2 weeks ago and got nowhere.
    I may have to post all the details to them.
    As I stay near Edinburgh, I wonder if going to see a proper broker there would sort things out.
    Delemont Group phoned today with an amazing offer!!

  93. Hi Douglas,
    They should be held by an independent registered custodian. Who was your broker at ASJ?

  94. Hello Billie,
    It is Ken Daniels – I spoke to him on Monday to tell him to cash in my investments.I will be trying again today.

  95. Hi Douglas – I’ve done some research for you (google deutche bank carbon credits): there is some interesting reading!
    Deutsche Bank announces custody, clearing and settlement service for carbon credits https://www.db.com/medien/en/content/press_releases_2008_3759.htm, so they were able to act as custodians for your credits assuming ASJ had an arrangement with them….presumably you have some info on this when you did the transaction? However Deutsche Bank stopped trading carbon credits since then due to staff and fraud!! So if you do give them your full info you should hopefully find out where your credits are now held. Also read http://rwer.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/deutsche-bank-fifty-shades-of-fraud/ Not pleasant to read that such stuff goes on.
    However I hope this helps you find where your credits are.

  96. Hi Billie,
    Many thanks indeed!
    Assuming I do find where the credits are held,
    do you or anyone on the forum know what the next stages are for recovery?

  97. Have been in touch with Deutsche Bank who say to contact the liquidators – how do you find out who they are? Web sites/phone numbers not working.

  98. @Billie – Thanks for this, but I think Douglas Smith is referring to the liquidators of Tower Trade Ltd.

    Here’s a recap of his story so far (from the comments above):

    ASJ International conned him into spending €15,000 on carbon credits and Worldwide Commodity Partners conned him into handing over £6,000 for near-worthless carbon credits.

    On 14 January 2013, Worldwide Commodities’ Managing Director Lee Thompson wrote to clients explaining that: “As part of the negotiations between our companies it has been agreed that MH-Carbon will take over our portfolio in full.”

    According to john arnold (who ASJ International conned into spending £3,400 on near-worthless carbon credits), ASJ International has been taken over by Tower Trade Commodities.

    Douglas Smith is on a “suckers list”, so he’s now being cold called by companies like Delemont Group, which as Billie points out is a recovery room scam. This probably won’t be the last time he’s contacted by a company running a recovery room scam.

    ASJ International told Douglas Smith that his CERs are held on ASJ’s account with Deutsche Bank, London. When he contacted Deutsche Bank, they suggested contacting the liquidators.

    I don’t know how to find out who the liquidators are (and a Google search for Tower Trade in liquidation didn’t help). I’ve asked the Insolvency Service – anyone got any other suggestions?

    I wrote a post on what to do if you’ve been scammed into buying carbon credits:

    What to do if you’ve been scammed into buying carbon credits as an investment

    Please work through the list of suggestions there.

  99. I can see on Duedil that a previous director Stephen Barber of Tower Trade Ltd went on to also be a director at Wade & Vere Ltd for a short time, so maybe if you phone them someone will know something or at least be able to give you a contact to help you to find out? http://www.wadeandvere.com Good luck!

  100. @douglas smith and john arnold and Billie – On 18 February 2014, Tower Trade Limited filed a “striking off application” with companies house. This means the company is not in liquidation but has applied to be struck off the register at Companies House. In three months time, unless anyone objects, the company will cease to exist.

    Objections can be made in writing to Tim Moss, the Registrar of Companies, Companies House, Cardiff CF14 3UZ (Fax 029 20 380900). Possible reasons for objecting include any of the following:

    1) The company has broken any of the conditions of its application (for example, it has traded, changed its name or become subject to insolvency proceedings) during the three-month period before the application, or afterwards.

    2) The directors have not informed interested parties.

    3) Any of the declarations on the form are false.

    4) Some form of action is being taken, or is pending, to recover any money owed (such as a winding-up petition or action in a small claims court).

    5) Other legal action is being taken against the company.

    6) The directors have wrongfully traded or committed a tax fraud or some other offence.

    Companies House has produced a guide, “Strike off, Dissolution & Restoration”, available on its website. The guide includes information about objecting to a strike off.

  101. Douglas
    The liquidators for MH carbon are Parker Andrews (Priya Nathwani) email :- pn@parkerandrews.co.uk
    Tel No 01603 284 284
    However they have said they will not respond to individual investors
    Best of luck

  102. Hi Douglas, Just wondering how you are getting on regarding Tower Trade and if the link to Wade & Vere was useful at all?

  103. Hi Billie,
    I am still trying to get somewhere with Deutsche Bank.
    If this goes nowhere I will try to find out who is winding up Tower Trade as there must be an accountancy firm involved.Companies House might help?

  104. @douglas smith – Please read this comment. No one is winding up Tower Trade, apart from the company itself. The company filed a “striking off application” with Companies House. If no one objects, the company will cease to exist. Yes, contacting Companies House might help – see above.

  105. @douglas smith – Also please contact your bank as well as Deutsche Bank. Tell both banks that you believe you are the victim of a fraud. Ask them whether they will submit a Suspicious Activity Report to the National Crime Agency.

  106. Does anyone have any news on how MH Carbon nominees are dealing with the VERs held in trust. I contacted them by email 2 weeks ago asking for an update from previous leeter in April 2014 but they have not responded. Are VER’s held with MH Carbon nominees still safe (even though pretty worthless)

  107. As someone who was pressured into buying VERs from MHCarbon, I have just received a letter from the Insolvency Service. It states that a winding up order was made on the 1st May 2014, and that the Official Receiver has decided NOT to summon a meeting of creditors. He als states that one quarter in value of creditors can require him to appoint an alternative liquidator. A General Meeting of Creditors will only be called if a nominated liquidator does not obtain in excess of 50% support in value from investors and creditors within 21 days.

    The Official Receiver has also included a form entitled ‘Proof of Debt’, and another to provide full details of my dealings with MHCarbon. I intend to complete and return these, although very little money is likely to be left in their accounts to pay us off (I have worked it out as less than 0.4% of what I have paid out, assuming that all creditors make a claim).
    I don’t know whether it would be good to force a change of liquidator (currently Jamie Playford of Parker Andrews), since information from him has been hard to come by, and I think a creditors’ meeting would be valuable to us all.

  108. Just received a letter from ‘G2G Investments Ltd’ stating that it is now possible to sell VCS/VER Carbon Credits on the Chinese Emissions Exchange (open in Shenzhen since 16 June 2014) and that the current spot price is between £6 and £9 a share/unit. G2G charge 8.5% commission ONLY AFTER SALE. Has anybody else heard about this offer? The G2G website is quite sparse but (so far!) I cannot find any negative comments about this company.

  109. @Philip – Could you scan the letter and send it to me, please? (Click on “Contact” for contact details.)

    Did G2G Investments provide any source for their statement that voluntary carbon credits can be traded on the Shenzhen Chinese Emissions Exchange? Did they explain why the Chinese would pay up to £9 for something that it worth far less?

    How did G2G Investments get your address?

    The company was registered in December 2012. It has one director, Rozenna Yousuf, who appears to have no experience in carbon trading.

    The website (registered May 2013) isn’t exactly reassuring, is it? Products include gold, silver, palladium, platinum, loose diamonds… I would suggest reporting G2G Investments to Action Fraud (0300 123 2040).

  110. I foolishly purchased 3000 vcs credits through MH carbon a few years ago. I was recently contacted by David Lang working from a company based in Phillipenes called Fredrick Formby? The chap was very polite and suggested that i could sell my credits through them as they have a good relationship with some airlines? He told me he worked in the industry and pointed me to this blog as proof of their experience in this market.
    David told me he was related to Chris Lang who has personaly represented the projects.I was very interested and he told me i could upgrade my portfoilio by investing another £18,000 which would get me a better price when i sell. I sent the money away to phillipene national bank on 20th june and am waiting to hear back. I dont have a working telephone number for them as all i get is a foreign voice. I am waiting to hear from either David or Chris to confirm the sale. I’m a bit worried.Has anyone else had any luck contacting Fredrick Formby?

  111. @roger williams – Unfortunately, Fredrick Formby is running a Recovery Room scam. I have no relatives called David Lang. I have never “personally represented” any carbon trading projects and I will never do so.

  112. Thanks chris i have contacted my local police who took some details. However they told me action fraud probably couldnt do much as they were being restructured in a few months. They advised me to get as much detail as i could and someone would contact me. I have provided them with Frederick Formbys name and your blogs details. Is there a number for your website? They told me a lot of these dubious companies dont have incoming lines. I am expecting to hear back from David Lang this week. Fingers crossed.

  113. @roger r williams – In another comment, posted yesterday you said you’d lost £14,000.

    Action Fraud was restructured a few months ago, after the National Fraud Authority, which set up Action Fraud, was closed down. On 1 April 2014, the City of London Police took over responsibility for Action Fraud.

    If your local police want to contact me, they are welcome to do so by email.

  114. In total i have sent 18,065. I first paid the vat due of £4000 and then was asked to increase my holdings with them. It seemed a good idea because as i understand Ryanair are buying lots of these credits cheaply because mr Oleary wants to cut costs at the company. I was told by kent police an officer will visit me next week so i will try and give as much detail as i can but i think this is linked to the credits i bought 2 years ago because they had my post code slightly wrong which was the same as the original paperwork

  115. @roger r williams – Ryanair is not buying carbon credits – at least not the near-worthless carbon credits that you and others have been conned into buying. If Ryanair did want to buy carbon credits, the current price of CERs on EEX is €0.18 each.

  116. I have been in so many scams over the last 3 years,and I have yet to find a honest person out there.Do not spend another penny to get out.Put it all behind you and enjoy Life. I have 7 action Frauds

  117. From the dates of the last posts this may have gone cold but I wanted to add what I know. I invested in CCs via a brokers called Mason Warburg Ltd, who have now also vanished. My knowledge of the case:
    1. In September of 2012, I found out (after investing) from information in Companies House that the director of Mason Warburg had been the director of Tullet Brown – also brokers of CCs. In Feb of 2012 Tullet Brown was forced into liquidation in the public interest and in March 2012 the same director of Tullet Brown set up Mason Warburg and just continued with his fraud.
    2. I contacted the then FSA to report all I had found and express my concerns but I go nowhere with them. I also spoke to David Conran at Mason Warburg but he reassured me that all was above board.
    3. I have just found out that Eco Synergies Nominees Ltd, the “custodian” that Mason Warburg used for investors’ credits has gone into liquidation and, of course, Mason Warburg have vanished.
    4. Eco Synergies Nominees Ltd was a company set up by Citadel Trustees Ltd with the sole purpose, it seems, of perpetrating this fraud. Citadel Trustees Ltd (now Hightpoint Trustees Ltd) were and still are FSA regulated, which gave credibility to the investment but it turns out that Eco Synergies was not. However, I was made to believe that Citadel was the custodian and Eco Synergies Nominess Ltd was a trading name. The FSA did nothing about investigating Citadel when I flagged this up in September 2012. Citadel have to be involved in the fraud, unquestionably, but they are still operating (now as Highpoint Trustees Ltd). I have reported them again to the now FCA.
    5. The official receiver for Eco Synergies Nominees Ltd is Phil Amatt who can be contacted at phil.amatt@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk I have written but have not yet received a reply.
    6. The fraudulent brokers I dealt with at Mason Warburg gave their names as Alex Savage and David Conran, but who knows if those are their real names. I met in person with David Conran at Mason Warburg’s offices in London (27-28 Clements Lane, London EC4N 7AE) but these were just “virtual” offices that can be rented by anyone to present a facade. The receptionist at this office complex was very cagy about talking to me about Mason Warburg.
    My opinions on all of this:
    1. If the FCA was more responsive, a lot of people could be saved from falling into these frauds.
    2. If virtual office complexes practised due dilligence these fraudsters would not be able to present well to the public (I found out about the frauds of the director of Mason Warburg with a search on the internet).
    3. Citadel Trustees, now Highpoint Trustees Ltd, are involved in this fraud up to their necks but have come out squeaky clean and are still trading. They may well help perpetrate similar frauds in the future using the same model explained above.
    4. The resolution of cases of fraudulent brokers such as these is conducted only at a high level (court rulings, receivership, etc). The actual investors are not involved and do not receive any compensation.
    5. Fraudsters are free to immediately set up new companies and continute perpetrating the same frauds and ruining the lives of many people.

  118. I cant believe all that I have just read. I was scammed over 1 year ago and still with all the information that has been given to the police, the FCA, The Daily mail, The broadcasting industry about carbon credit scams people are still being scammed.
    Some of the names connected with these companies have repeatedly been mentioned yet the power stays with the fraudsters. Why? does anybody have an answer.

  119. I have just received a letter from Claremont Partnership Ltd offering to exit my holdings of CER’s & VCU’s. In their letter they stated that they were now presenting all effected parties who were sold carbon credits by Pine Commodities Ltd (Wealth Capital). I phoned them and was told that the could exit me out of all my credits, which included credits bought through Tullet Brown, but would have to pay £1700 to convert the VCU’s. Has anyone else had contact with this company?

  120. I too was contacted by Claremont, alleging that they could convert my VERs to CERs for a payment of £4950 and thereby exit my “holding”!

  121. @H S Keatings – As I’m sure you are aware, Claremont Partnerships is running a recovery room scam. They contacted you. They asked for an upfront fee. And there is no way of “converting” VERs to CERs.

    Oh, and the current price of CERs on the ETS is €0.09:

  122. Beware callers telling you they represent OCB Corporation, OCBC as it were, who are allegedly wanting to buy up VERs at around £6each…. oddly enough, once you have paid out 10-20% as a “Surety Bond” to guarantee full payment. I checked with OCBC and they are not in the business of doing this: this is a another recovery scam. AVOID!

  123. Chris,
    The emails you receive regarding carbon credits is incredible, it appears that half the population is trying to con the other half. I myself fell foul of these creatures over two years ago being persuaded into buying into carbon credit, needless to say the company concerned went into liquidation some months later.

    Since that time I have received a number of calls of from companies that claim they can convert the voluntary credits to certified credits and sell them at a good profit, of course there is always the requirement to make a payment up front. when I suggest that they purchase my credits at the price I paid for them and they could reap the tremendous profit they claim could be made they don’t appear to be interested.

    A new company to me that follows the trend is Oakmount Management Partners who contacted me last week again with a prestige’s London address, they would double my investment converting the credits to certified credits and selling to their client in Sweden at £9.44 per credit but of course they required an upfront payment of over £2,000.00 with a guarantee that they would repay the deposit and the funds by April, is that not all fools day.

    to be scammed once is painful and embarrassing, to do it a second time is rely foolish.

  124. Any one who bought Carbon Credits through Carlton Chase ltd and have been unable to locate them as Carlton Chase are no longer trading Pleas contact Intelligence Insolvency on Tel NO 0845 6029848

  125. Hi Tom : I had the same approach but the “company” had a different name . I reported them to FCA and suggest you do the same as they are building a file on these guys. My latest approach was from people using a legitimate 60 year old UK company as cover and requesting a £4000 bond for the sale of the VCRs. I am waiting for them to send me the details of their bank account so that I can report this to Fraud squad/FCA and hopefully they can trace them through the bank. If anyone wants more details – let me know and I can send them to you.
    Best wishes

  126. @Jeremy – Thanks for this. It would be great if everyone who got scam company bank details reported the information to the police – rather than handing over their money!

  127. I purchased MH Carbon Credits more than 10 years ago. I heard that the company went into Liquidation and further investigation was carried out. Two weeks ago I received a phone call out of blue, that if I want to Exit from MH Carbon Credits, By Mr. James Shaw of Goldberg Management, City Address. They sent me all the paperwork. To Exit I must pay £1940. ,upfront to receive by 18th Sept.2015 sum of £9,640 plus a refund of my fees about£1500. I received all the paperwork several times and several phone calls from Mr. James Shaw in this matter. He also gave me Free phone number to contact him at any time.He also gave me the Bank details to transfer the upfront fee. I said to him that I will contact my Financial Advisor and let him know. He was very cool and polite. Please make a note of this name and the company name. Is this another scam.

  128. @Harry – To answer your question at the end of your comment, yes Goldberg Management is a scam. They cold called you. No legitimate company would do that. They want an upfront fee. And they claim they can sell your carbon credits, which are worthless.

    A while ago I wrote a post about what you can do if you’ve been scammed into buying carbon credits as an investment.

    Following that post, there’s a discussion about Goldberg Management, with my explanation of why it’s a scam, here.

  129. Just to let you know some firms are actually posing as the financial regulator, the FCA, and pretending to endorse themselves as the solution to your problem. Both on the phone and by letter. Beware, this is rubbish

  130. Also some companies say they are associated with a company that is FCA registered OR they have a member of their team who is FCA registered. You will find his name on the FCA register : However when you check on him you find that he is 1. dead, 2. retired, 3.not working for that firm but for another one.

  131. Did Mr. James Shaw ave a refined Scottush accent by any chance?? If so it is the same people at it again. Please contact the fraud section of the police asap

  132. Opus capital or OPUS CARBON REGISTRY as they are now called have phoned offering an exit for carbon credits. Money up front, of course, for ‘Corporate Re-diversion’ They seem to be using a legitimate firm of solicitors, Alexander Forbes, as escrew? agents. Has anyone out there anything favourable to say about this lot??

  133. Hi Dave,
    Yes, had correspondence from Opus on paper as thick as card.
    All sounded rather dubious so when asked how would I make payment responded by saying I would pay by cheque at their office. This suggestion went down like the proverbial lead balloon!! I then suggested I could pay by debit card at their front desk. No, he would’nt be able to leave the dealing floor to met me! – and for £2700!! Some dealing floor! I cannot figure the presence of Alexander Forbes International – any ideas?

  134. I purchased 60k worth of gold standard carbon vers from Carlton Chase Ltd they have gone into ceased trading can anyone help tracking them down? can anyone help or are they just completely worthless

  135. I have 7 action Fraud cases reported , but a Policeman told me it takes 2 years to investigate one
    case. So what chance have we all got .
    I had 3 men who were sent to prison in America for a gold fraud I had with World Group.
    I have been awarded $3,800 dollars, but I will never see it.
    My advice is get on with your lives and put it all behind you.

  136. The liquidators for MH Carbon ( and others: Eco-synergies and RECO) have instructed solicitors to sell the VCUs on the APX registry purchased thru these companies. I suggest holders of VCUs contact their liquidators for further info or contact the solicitors Gowling WLG LLP : gowlingwlg.com.
    I am not expecting much return as the market price is low and the lawyers/liquidators will all take their cut . DO NOT be tempted by “traders” charging a fee to secure a better price.

  137. Is the selling on VCUs through the ASX by the liquidators legitimate? Ive read the letter several times and cant see any scam but bit wary given the history here!

  138. Yes : right to be wary. I don’t know what the legal situation is and you would have to contact the lawyers or liquidators to find out. I guess if enough people said “don’t sell” then they may not . However the job of the liquidators is to try to recover some money and this may be the only option. However I know a firm called Boiler-Room Ltd ( FCA Listed ) who will sell at a good price for an advance of £1 per VCU ……….
    Best wishes