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Claremont Partnerships is running a recovery room scam

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A company called Claremont Partnerships is cold calling people who have been scammed into buying carbon credits as an investment. The company claims it can sell their carbon credits, provided an upfront fee is paid. It’s a scam, of course.

Claremont Partnerships’ salesmen explain that they will convert voluntary carbon credits (VERs) to compliance carbon credits (CERs). The company explains this on its website:

VERs are sold for fewer, but more valuable CERs, prior to the ultimate sale which subsequently releases the capital.

And the company promises to sell the carbon credits in a few months’ time. One person contacted by Claremont Partnerships explained in a comment on REDD-Monitor that the company claimed it would be able to sell the carbon credits in February 2015, at a price of £12 per credit.

There is a very obvious problem with all this. While there is a secondary market for CERs, they are not “more valuable” than VERs.

CERs can be traded on the EU Emissions Trading System. The problem, that Claremont Partnerships seems to be hoping its potential clients/suckers won’t notice, is that the current price per credit is €0.08.

Here’s how the price of CERs has fallen since July 2011, (from the carbon trading company Vertis):

In a variation of the scam, the salesman explains that “the carbon credit registry” has appointed Claremont Partnerships as third party management and escrow agency for clients of Pine commodities Ltd, a company that was shut down by the High Court in July 2014.

Claremont Partnerships’ website looks impressive (but provides no information about who is behind the company):

The website bears more than a passing resemblance to that of a company called Aldershire Capital:

Both websites include a series of logos: London Metal Exchange; Metalor; The Royal Mint; DueDil; and the World Gold Council. As did the website of another scam company: Bradlodge Corporate Trading.

Aldershire Capital and Bradlodge Corporate Trading were both registered by Ceri John (who has a lot of directorships, 70 of which are active, 13 closed, and 925 retired).

Claremont Partnerships was registered in May 2013, under the name Grovebank Ltd. The company’s sole director from May 2013 to January 2014 was Darren Symes (who also has a lot of directorships, 161 active, 59 closed, and 604 retired).

Since August 2014, Claremont Partnerships’ sole director has been Christopher Hives. The company’s website was registered on 6 August 2014, two days after Hives became director.

Claremont Partnerships is 100% owned by a company called Paramount Properties (UK) Ltd. Paramount Properties (UK) has 284 subsidiaries. Paramount Properties (UK) was registered in 1981. Its director is Neil Cohen.

Cohen is also director of a company called Paramount Company Formations Ltd.

For £24.99 (plus VAT) Paramount Company Formations will set up a company in five hours. They’ll do it even faster if you pay more.

They also offer a nominee shareholder service. Here’s how the company explains this service on its website:

Our nominee shareholder service offer is structured to keep your personal information off the public record while ensuring full legality.
 
Therefore only by using our nominee shareholder service can your anonymity and confidentiality be ensured.
 
A specific contract will be put in place to confirm that the shares are held in trust on behalf of you the beneficiary.

Paramount Properties (UK) and Paramount Company Formations share the same trading address in north London. That’s a screenshot from Google maps on the right.

There are more than 500 companies registered at this address.

There’s probably nothing illegal about that. It must get pretty crowded in the driveway during rush hour though.

If you have been contacted by Claremont Partnerships with offers of selling your carbon credits, or if you have handed over any money to Claremont Partnerships, REDD-Monitor’s advice is to contact Action Fraud:


 

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  1. Claremont Partnerships are obviously spreading their wings. They called me a couple of days ago saying they were acting on behalf of the liquidator of a company who sold me Rare Earth Metals and were offering to buy my metals. I didn’t get the full details of their offer because I knew immediately that they were a scam and they quickly hung up.

  2. Are Brookcourt Trading also owned by Paramount Holdings?

    There was an earlier reference to Pine Commodities, now closed down. Are Maple Leaf Investments connected in any way?

  3. I have received a letter dated 17/12/14 from this company in which they state they are working with three companies in China with a view to purchasing large quantities of Carbon Credits.The letter lists six types that are wanted with exit strategies in 2015.This is the second time this Company has approached me.The last time I advised them I was not prepared to pay upfront fees.I advised them that the correct pro endure as far as I was concerned was that they do the deal and take their fees off the back end.

  4. Claremont Partnership / tel: 02034880349
    I was called by an individual named James White saying his firm were acting for buyers of Rare Earth Metals and he is aware I hold the in Codogan Tate’s London bonded warehouse.
    The company who sold me the metal oxide, Denver Trading are in liquidation.
    I made it clear to Mr White l will not deal with people l do not know.
    He was very persistent,asking me to say the quantity I owned and how much I paid for them.
    I made it clear this is confidential information and would not disclose this to him – Being that l had been
    Boiler Room scammed by another clone company named morganstanley@consultants.com whose employee James White
    who out of the blue said they had a buyer for my metals for x sum of money.
    To cut the long story short, l contacted Morgan Stanley security of London who put me through to an employee James White who said he had no knowledge of REMs and then had me transferred to their USA office where another James White was employed. He too disclaimed any
    knowledge of the REM business.
    Morgan Stanley said the true email address of the company always ended with the company name and therefore l was negotiating with clone and should report it to the Fraud directorate.
    All of the paperwork raised by the clone company to entice me to invest in a Morgan Stanley, Beijing Technology development via a Hong Kong bank address was I later found out,based on a genuine MS investment deal.
    The mug – such as I was – was enticed to believe the sale money alleged to have been paid for my metals had been transferred to the MS fund and that as the minimum for the fund best return should be 100,000 pounds sterling it was vital for me to add a further 55,000 paid to the Hong Kong holding company.
    Having smelt a rat, I made it clear to this Mr James White of Claremont that I was having all of this looked into and that I suspected what he was up to. At this point he slammed the phone down.

  5. I have also been approached By James White of The Claremont Partnership, to sell my holding of VCR’s, and wanting £750 up front to go towards a bond that was apparently required before the VCR’s could be converted to CER’s and sold to a Finnish Company.I am very relieved to have read the comments on your website before going any further.

  6. I believe I have been scammed by a company called Maple Leaf Management Ltd. Their deal was to accept carbon credits in part payment for gold that was bought at a discount. This was then sold at or near spot price with a resulting profit. Too good to be true – of course it was with hindsight. The clever part was that after saying that all the credits were OK they found there was “an issue with custodianship” and that to expedite the sale of the gold it would be best to pay Maple Leaf what they had allowed for the credits. Foolishly I did and was rewarded with a loss of several tens of thousands of pounds.
    Still got the credits, though!

  7. I have just been looking at an “investment company” offering high rates of interest so have done a bit of digging. It’s called Brook Trade Ltd, CEO is Darren Symes and address is same postcode as Paramount Properties. Says it has FSCS protection but can’t find it listed on FSCS scheme list or on FCA search. I think it might be a scam. I think it needs investigating and taking down if necessary.