in United Arab Emirates

Investors file formal complaint against Advanced Global Trading – could this raise questions for AGT’s partners the Lotus F1 Team?

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“Caring for the environment is something that Advanced Global Trading has been doing ever since they first opened their doors back in 2010.” That’s the opening sentence from a recent press release from Advanced Global Trading, a Dubai-based company that sells voluntary carbon credits as investments.

The press release explains that “The staff at Advanced Global Trading cares deeply about the wellbeing of the environment, which is why most of them started working for Advanced Global Trading in the first place.” Yet when Advanced Global Trading advertises for new Telesales Executives, it doesn’t mention the environment anywhere in its job adverts.

Working with Advanced Global Trading involves “approaching clients over the phone, selling the company’s core product”. Advanced Global Trading’s job advert explains the qualities that successful candidates will need:

You will need to be extremely motivated, confident with impeccable communication skills. Truly target driven, you will have need flair for sales and have an unrivalled determination make big money. The most important requirement is that you must have a desire and determination to succeed, we want strong confident individuals who will have the opportunity to make six figure commission levels which are being hit already.

Hardly the typical profile of someone that “cares deeply about the wellbeing of the environment”, is it?

Advanced Global Trading claims that the carbon credits it sells are a “smart” and “safe” alternative investment:

The stock market today is not what it used to be. Stock quotes are at historic lows, making it a risky time to jump into a large stock investment. Advanced Global Trading is giving people the opportunity to trade a smart, safe, alternative asset class via emissions trading permits. Emissions trading permits are a great way to trade because they benefit planet Earth in a big way.

But just a couple of days before Advanced Global Trading put out its “Caring for the environment” press release, an article in United Arab Emirates newspaper The Nation reported that, “A group of clients have filed formal complaints about a local company that sells carbon credits as a green investment.”

The article explained that “at least five” investors have filed complaints with Dubai Public Prosecution and the Dubai Department of Economic Development. Advanced Global Trading’s licence to trade carbon credits from the Department of Economic Development expired on 4 June 2013. The Nation reported that,

The investors who filed complaints were told by Ded staff that AGT’s licence only permitted them to sell carbon credits to institutions, not to individuals, they said.

The controversy surrounding Advanced Global Trading could raise questions for some of its partners. In 2012, Advanced Global Trading partnered with the Lotus Formula 1 Team. In the press release announcing the partnership, Lotus F1 Team’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Louis, said,

“Lotus F1 Team takes environmental concerns very seriously, and this has long been the case for teams based at Enstone. The site of the team headquarters is itself based in a former quarry with every effort made to limit the impact on the local environment. We are currently scrutinising every aspect of our business, so to have a new perspective from AGT who have the particular objective of minimising our environmental impact is invaluable.”

Advanced Global Trading is an “official team partner” and AGT’s logo appears on cars driven by Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean. Lotus F1 Team’s website announces that,

AGT’s platform delivers cutting-edge technology, sophisticated trading tools and the opportunity to monitor investments efficiently and cost-effectively at any time using its iPhone app, meaning AGT’s clients enjoy unrivalled high levels of liquidity and online access to their accounts.

REDD-Monitor has written to Lotus F1 Team to ask some questions about its relationship with Advanced Global Trading and looks forward to posting the response.
 

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161 Comments

  1. Does anyone know what the status of the complaint/investigation in Dubai is? And whether AGT are still trading as normal? Thanks

  2. Chris: Is there a reason why you haven’t published the questions you have posed to Lotus F1? Think it would be helpful if you did.

  3. I am one the investors that lost money in this issue. Can all the investors contact each other to form a group in order to submit our complain as a group rather than individuals this way we could have a good impact on AGT and the owners who took our money for their life style.

  4. It’s a ponzi fund.

    Not dissimilar to a Ponzi scheme in which investors are paid returns from new clients capital but with the added twist of potentially legitimising itself through successful investment of investors funds in other outside legitimate projects.

    This is made possible because the company selling the offsets (Agt) will purchase offsets from project providers for around 50p per offset and then sell to investors at upward of £7. Leaving them with a £6.50 theoretical profit. Though to ligitimise the company or to appear more legitimate adds to company overheads and without a substantial increase in new client funds their attempt to legitimise their company usually fails. This is not illegal because they have sold investors a product. They need no more regulation than a shop owner selling chocolate bars. Though it is largely immoral and it’s impact on the victims of this type of scheme is appalling.

  5. OK Now the Economic Department is not renewing AGT license BUT is Economic Department actually Helping AGT to pack up and go? and AGT tell us well since Economic Department is not renewing my license then I have no option but to pack up and go!. This way they can not even rent a office in Dubai so they have a cart blanc to just leave Dubai!!!!. IF they have done something wrong then Economic Department should issue an arrest warrant for the owners and catch them through Interpol OR if they haven’t done anything wrong then re issue their license and let them get on as before . There is something going on that I don’t fully understand.

  6. For the lack of better term I’ll call it money management licence. If they are taking money from public then they need a licence that allows that which usually has higher security deposit. So if they just had the trading licence they can’t sell to public. For example, any company handling money with the public investors for securities need to deposit AED 50million. That is just one example, and I don’t know about carbon credits. The amount of security deposit depends on the market sector.

    As for your money, file a police complaint and go see a lawyer that is the only way to get your money back. You won’t get all but you might get some. Talk with a lawyer who you can trust and discuss your prospects.

  7. I’m another victim of this controversy.
    I invested one year back with a promise (by AGT) of very good ROI.
    When I decided to sell my credits back, I was informed by AGT about the licence problem… and that I have to wait (undefined time) to solve the issue.
    I’m with Richard’s suggestion posted on 6th Aug:
    (Richard (#3) 6 August 2013 at 11:25 am
    I am one the investors that lost money in this issue. Can all the investors contact each other to form a group in order to submit our complain as a group rather than individuals).
    Is there any hub or any media to contact each other?
    I’m ready to join the group.

  8. @ ELM
    Thanks for the response yes I agree with you we should form a group and I hope more investors join in to submit our complaint as a group. I contacted Dubai Economic department earlier and they advised me to contact ” Financial Criminal Police” at CID HQ. I called them many times but no answer by phone. I sent an email to the police official web site but until now no answer. Dubai economic department was very quick responding but Police not heard so far. I am out of the country right now when I am back I will contact you again.

    Cheers

  9. I’m another victim of this controversy too & i want also to be part athe group. I invested beginningf of the year and i’m ready to join the group too. Actually I’m out of the country returning 23rd ofd sept to Dubai.
    Thanks
    Philippe

  10. Here are 2 additional investors willing to join the group to find out more about the actions taken

  11. Same thing happened to me, I’ve been trying to sell my credits for nearly a year now wit AGT. I phoned an actual well known broker in the UK who is registered with the FSA and trades stocks, shares, OTC products plus carbon credit and he said you’ll be lucky to get $0.25 per credit and then only if it’s an exciting project attractive as a new green initiative. Basically he said the type of credits you’ve bought are worthless and are purchased for companies to retire and make themselves carbon neutral. He said you’ve effectively been conned. I only did it because a mate got a job a AGT and I trusted him. How can I contact the others in this thread so I can join the claim? I can’t see a way to email people from the site.

  12. Any response from Lotus?

    It is very small logo probably they offered free carbon credits to get that logo.

  13. Me too.I have also invested with AGT and I tried to reach AGT and there was no proper response.The call was not even moved beyond the receptionist. I am ready to join this group and we can take action together.

  14. Hi Philippe, KS, David, ELM, this is my email agtcomplain@gmail.com please contact me to form a group and please introduce any one you know who lost money. we better form a group and hire a lawyer and see what we can do. BUT this case is going to be international and I hope we can get help from any one to catch the guys who ran away. REDD Monitor can you help? Can any one HELP ?
    PLEASE ANY ONE CAN YOU HELP WE LOST A LOT OF MONEY !!!

  15. Guys there is already a group with more than 30 people that is planning actions on several fronts.
    send your emails addresses in response to this post and will connect you.

  16. @KS my email is avionics&#64eim.ae
    Please let me to get connected to them

    Cheers

  17. Hi to everyone, I’m one of the cheated client of Agt.
    Please consider even me in whatever action you’ are going to start please

  18. Please add me to your group; I am in a similar position to all others from the above messages, but am still trying to contact AGT in Dubai, although their offices seem to be closed. Reading the above suggests that I may be wasting my time.

  19. I am another victim of AGT, can you please include me to your list, my email is mehdi.lak@hotmail.fr

  20. Plese include me in your list. I am also another victim of AGT
    gumoser@hotmail.com

  21. Hello! I am another victim of AGT; this is my e.mail: polistb63@yahoo.it.
    Can someone please contact me and include me to the list of complaiants?

  22. I also and also my brother in-law have been victims of agt, been trying to sell our credits for well over twelve months now & nothing, both of us invested a lot of money so we will definitely join a group .

  23. Hi, I am also a victim of this agt scam, I invested a large amount of money & have also waited over twelve months for a return after selling my credits, I will join a group so include me to the long list please, email @ admands@aol.com

  24. @KS

    Please add me too. My email is: Hasan.Nasr@gmail.com.

    I’m not in dubai. Can someone from the guys above GO to this Financial Police and discuss this matter with them and file an official complaint; Also we can pursue AGT in UK (I think)…Right?

    Thanks.

  25. I am also a victim. Please add me to the group

    matbrs@gmail.com

    Thanks

  26. hello, i have also been a victim. If you could kindly add myself to the group. pthomo02@gmail.com

    much appreciated.

    Peter

  27. I am also invested with AGT and want to be part of the group armstrong_gunda@yahoo.com

  28. Now no one is answering calls at AGT.
    IS there a group thats filing a cause & fighting it out? I too have been conned!
    Please add me.

  29. Hi KS, please add me to the group and inform me about the actions you are taking. I have a significant amount invested with AGT and would like to start taking more actions.

  30. AGT claims that Dubai economic depatrment does not renew their license. OK how about their other offices in Doha, Manama, South Africa etc why they are not ooerating from these offices then???

  31. I posted a previous comment on 18 October 2013. At that time I visited AGT’s office in Dubai and found one person there but could get no information.
    I have not had any feedback but reading the above shows that many people have problems with AGT. Can anyone update me?

  32. KS,
    could you please send me an update too, my mail is on the above post..
    thanks,

  33. To Answer your question Reza…

    My question to Tom Dickson from AGT in August 2013:
    We are aware that AGT have registered offices in South Africa – Melrose Arch. Is it not possible to have shares transferred there where their valid lisence will enable the “selling” of shares and deposit to local South African account and or Offshore UAE account?

    Answer:
    That’s a good question, as well as one that I asked myself. Unfortunately, I am told that this isn’t possible due to Dubai being the head office and things routing through here.

  34. Does anybody have any news about the current status? Below is the last reply I received from them in November (last year):

    Kindly see the following company statement for an explanation as to why you are receiving a reply from supportservices@advancedglobaltrading.com:

    As a result of recent action instigated by a very small minority of our valued customer base, individual staff members of AGT have been targeted and subjected to personal allegations and in some instances inappropriate language, behaviour and personal threats which are currently being handled by our legal counsel where appropriate. AGT has always acted professionally and with common courtesy and respect to all of its clients and will not tolerate the above noted actions and behaviour towards any of its personnel. Therefore, all correspondence will now be dealt with via email (supportservices@advancedglobaltrading.com) and will be addressed directly from the company (AGT) as a company approved response for and on behalf of AGT. Please be assured that your enquiry will be processed and responded to as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you.
    As to your question, we have not closed – although we have significantly downscaled in order to survive the current situation; i.e. until the license is renewed, there are only costs and no income.

    With regards to the license, our directors and legal counsel are optimistic of its renewal shortly and, as soon as we have any news we will be communicating it.

    Best Regards,

    Support Services

  35. KS please add me to your group I have just come back from working abroad to find all these articles on AGT any information would be appreciated

  36. Me too, I’m from South Africa and the office here has closed down. I only found today that there is a problem. Who is coordinating this group action? Can I be included as well please?

  37. Could you please also add me to the group. pjb@loungecafe.ae

    AGT are still communicating via their support email as though nothing is wrong

  38. Hello Victim team,
    I have invested with AGT in Carbon Credits, kindly add me to the list.
    have any one in the group raised complain to DIFC, against AGT, or against the Managing director Chris Middleton personally being partner in AGT

  39. Please add me to the group ,as i too have had money invested in AGT,

    Thanks & Regards,

    Stephen Northey

  40. Please include me in the group. I have some legal leads on the topic.

  41. Hi,
    Is there anything happening with AGT?
    Is there anything which we can initiate?

    Please tell me

    Regards,

    Natrajan

  42. would you add me as well.
    what is update regarding AGT ?

  43. any update from anyone ?
    anyone knows other company that we shift our credit and sell ?

    blessings,
    alio

  44. Please add me to the group;
    voram@gwbrg.com

    If there is any update, please do let me know where the posts are being made.

  45. Message for Chris Lang,
    Chris would you know how to go about moving VER credits from the closed CDC exchange to the NYSE Blue exchange ? Or if I can retire my credits from the CDC.
    As an AGT casualty I am looking to move credits out of AGT and the CDC to another active exchange where at least I have the possible option to retire and get a little money back.
    Also have you any comments on the CTX ?

  46. I’d like to add myself to this list, but there only seem to be joiners, not information-providers. Is there any news of a combined action and any hope of some restitution?
    thanks

  47. Hi,
    I have called the dubai office there is no response of AGT.even their sa number changed.
    Is there anything happening with AGT?
    Is there anything which we can initiate?
    Their registered license in dubai was 654767

    Please tell me if anyone found them

    Regards,

    M Sadiq

  48. Many have written and ask to join the group taken action against AGT. For those interested the case is in the hands of Tasweeya. Right directly to Raja at to provide your contacts and th details of your case. KS

  49. Can you please provide e-mail address?
    of Raja, I mean?
    Thanks

  50. Dear Raja,
    Kindly provide your contact details. I would like to get in touch with you

    Regards,

    Nats

  51. readers of this thread will be interested to know that there is a company called Sterling and Bond who is cold clling agt clients. essentially this company is staffed by former Capital Alternatives and AGT people. see this post for more info: http://www.redd-monitor.org/2013/12/19/financial-advisors-online-is-running-a-carbon-credit-recovery-room-scam/#comment-1008327

    In addition, it appears that Ryan Smith (or Ryan Singlehurst), apparently a former director of agt, is now working for Pegasus Agritech with Amine Benkaddour. see the link above for more information.

    (their office is in business bay, Dubai)

  52. a guy named Nick Start is trying to get in touch with me ref the VER claiming he can get me out of it. He says he works for a company called Sterling and Bond.

    I told him not to contact me again.

  53. what is this Pegasus Agritech anyway? all I can find online is stuff they have made themselves. just like agt.

    looks to me like Amine Benkaddour has moved from manure to fertilizer.

    does anyone know if the authorities have been alerted to there practices?

  54. so more info on former AGT Dubai staff at Pegasus Agritech.

    if anyone has spoken with

    Ryan Smith
    Amine Benkaddour
    Mark McGairey
    Luke Britain
    Nav Hussain

    they are all at Pegasus Agritech

    is anyone on this message board interested in this news?

    Pegasus Agritech is seeming more and more like a reincarnation of AGT – carbon traders now trading in hydrophonic A-Frames.

  55. I have asked AGT if they do have any news, I received the below:
    “Thank you for your email.

    AGT has co-operated with all relevant UAE authorities whenever it has been requested. All court cases, against civil or even criminal charges, have been ruled in AGT’s favour.

    Our legal team inform us that a final resolution is expected within the next few weeks.

    We appreciate the stress that this situation has caused you and, indeed, all of AGT’s stakeholders however, as previously promised, when we have news it will be communicated to you.

    Best Regards,

    Support Services”

  56. hi guys, to all the people are in dubai and have been conned by AGT, we should meet together share all the info we have about, and if some of the people of agt still in dubai catch them. they can not still live a good life we our money.

  57. Hi guys,
    did anybody of you buy their SEM baskets? I have some of them and not sure if they are worth anything and what I can do with them.
    Thanks

  58. I am another victim of the same company , please add me and let me know what we can do ?

  59. Spoke to Taswiyeh (tel # 04-3312222) and met them @ their shk zayed rd. office.

    case is being handled by Mr. Amr, mob # 050-8914664, email: amr@taswiyeh.com

    Good luck to all.
    Jay

  60. I approached Taswiyeh also. Amr looks working on it but somehow taking him longer gathering more people in the case. as I have been told we should know something this week or next.

  61. Guys, pls contact Taswiyeh ASAP, we need as many people as possible to cooperate and put efforts together so we reach a positive result on this.

  62. Hi guys, I have emailed Amr from Taswiyeh over a week ago, no answer… Does anyone have any update?

  63. I m one of the victim plz add me to the group

  64. There is no group to be added for…

    You just need to contact the above mentioned law firm and proceed with their formalities againest AGT…

  65. Hi Jihad,

    Do you, yourself have any update on the case? Do you know what are the law firm formalities and what payment will they require?

    Many thanks.

  66. No not really I dont have much of info.

    I guess u need to authorize Taswiyeh and pay them certain percentage so that they do the court formalities…

  67. Hello everyone,

    Been contacted recently by some one by the name of James Deacon claiming to be from a company called Grayson Wealth offering me a way out of those carbon credits in exchange for stocks in a new company.

    Has anyone else been contacted by them ?

  68. Hi, I have not heard of Grayson Wealth but was contacted by Bradley Morrison (+447512079368) of Portland Blackwood claiming they had a buyer for my VER’s that was willing to pay $21.50. He sent a formal offer by email but when I suggested we meet at his office in London to settle payment I got no reply on email and his mobile was going to answerphone. I’m sure it’s another scam. Did anybody else talk to him?

  69. Please add me to the group and any updates with regards to how to recover AGT investment

  70. Does anyone have any update on this?
    Guys, please, we need to take more actions on this, not to have it forgotten! Any suggestion?

  71. hi have been told that some of the guys of AGT still in dubai working in other company.
    I shoild be in dubai in jan, I wanna meet all of the agt people are in dubai. if anybody wanna join just drop an e-mail

  72. Hello kindly update me once you are meeting him. Iam in Africa at the moment.

  73. Gents, I have just read this and I am one of the victims as well. any update in the last 2 months?

  74. Dear All,

    Do we have any update on what is happening with AGT. Do we have any a possibility of getting our credits sold and encashed?

    If you have any detail, kindly provide the same.

    Natrajan

  75. Does anyone have any update on this? We need to get organized and come up with some actions… Any suggestion?

  76. I thought that AGT are not operating in the UAE market anymore, are they in again? the press will only publish this statement if AGT are in operation again, this is interesting, will keep an eye open for that.

  77. Hi,
    Can someone please confirm if they have dealt with Pegasus Agriculture (pegasusagriculturegroup.com) and if it is a genuine company?

  78. Yes Anyway I have good experience with Pegasus agriculture (www.pegasusagriculturegroup.com)I have invested with Pegasus last 4 years still I am happy with Pegasus so my suggestion and opinion Pegasus is good platform for investment and asset management.

  79. BEWARE. Same scammers as AGT. They hired ex-AGT minions to do the same dirty work as before.

  80. I have been investing with Pegasus for 2 years and have visited the offices on numerous occasions – very professional team and excellent returns!

  81. Also, I have just exited from one of my frames and there was no hassle at all. They were very accommodating.

  82. So you’ve got some of the ex-AGT scammers now seemingly working for Pegasus Agri.

    Pegasus is a non-Regulated company selling investment products meaning investors have ZERO PROTECTION should anything go wrong. Investors will also probably be sending money to an offshore account which is just how these firms like it.

    Pegasus is selling investments in a very opaque product, one which to their great advantage none of their clients will know anything about (how will the clients know what they’re being told is true and correct, they won’t). That means the clients are at a big disadvantage as they’ll be breaking probably the number one rule of investment – DO NOT INVEST IN THINGS YOU DO NOT PROPERLY UNDERSTAND.

    Pegasus also seems to indicate that annual returns are in the 20% region when interest rates are basically zero. Why then are they being so nice and offering small retail traders such fantastic deals? Why don’t they want to make the big money themselves via either bank financing (not hard with a proper business/plan) or selling the deal directing to one or 2 large investors (who would salivate at such returns)?

    Then you have a few posters suddenly pop up and say the firm is great, they’re legit, very professional and they pay out profits.

    Investment is as much about probabilities as anything else and if you look at the probabilities of Pegasus and defiantly the product they’re selling you have to say the probabilities are certainly not on the side of investors.

    If/when investors lose money they will only have themselves to blame.

    If you want to know what happens the majority of the time to investors who invest in opaque products they don’t understand via a non-regulated firm, look at what happened to everyone who invested in Carbon Credits with AGT – Every one of them lost every penny invested. Do you think everyone at AGT lost money? No, chances are they all made a fortune. Anybody spot a pattern – one side loses at the same time the other side wins big.

    One thing for potential investors to think about is the CEO says he founded Pegasus Agri 4 years ago, and in a comment above ‘Mike Lawson’ says he’s been an investor for 4 years. However, the domain http://www.pegasusagriculturegroup.com has only been registered for a year (Aug 2015). Doesn’t make sense does it because these days no business waits 3 years before spending $10 a year for their domain name. If the firm has been in operation for 4 years potential investors should ask to see 4 years of their AUDITED accounts signed by the company’s auditor to check on the firm. If they can’t provide this information or balk at supplying it that will tell you all you need to know because every proper investor will always check the finances of a firm they’re going to be dealing with before dealing with them. if the firm can’t or won’t supply the information then one would be certified mad to send them even £0.01.

  83. Pegasus, It’s the same guys; this ponzi scheme hasn’t been broken up yet…be careful.

    Any update on AGT?

  84. So the CEO of Exential Group has been arrested in Dubai.

    How did they manage to arrest this scammer, but not a finger has been laid on AGT management or staff ??

    Any recent news on AGT ?

  85. any idea how to get carbon credit! invested funds back from AGT ?
    is there a chance ?

  86. does any one has AGT/s Trade license copy and the names ?
    I start process directly to Dubai Court if any one interested to provide their details.

    as far as I checked there is no case in the court.
    or you all already give up !

  87. Hi,

    The below is from their contract form:

    Advanced Global Trading LLC Co Reg No:654767

    MENA Head Office: Office 7c, Barclays Building Burj Square, Downtown Burj Khalifa Dubai, United Arab Emirates PO Box 283487
    Telephone: +971 (0) 4384 5700 Fax: +971 (0) 4384 5700

    Thanks.

  88. Also, is it possible to file on behalf of more than one person?

  89. ALi;

    I think most have given up, the company or persons do not exist any more, so how do we claim? please correct me if I am wrong.

  90. Thank you to Hasan, Ali
    if there will be update from the court , i keep post every one.
    I know what I am doing!

    if you have any full name and detail of people in the company to trace please share.

    we can have wtsup group to be connected if people are interested

  91. thanks for the updates Ali. I am in, let me know what needs to be done?

  92. Ali, so are you pursuing the case? Let us know how things are going.