A company called Goldberg Management is cold calling people who have been scammed into buying carbon credits as investments. Goldberg Management claims to be able to sell these worthless carbon credits. The company asks for an advance fee (a “10% Surety Bond”). Needless to say, it’s a transparently obvious scam.
Goldberg Management is similar to other recovery room scams. These companies get contact details from lists of victims of fraudulent investment schemes. The scammers call these “sucker lists”. The recovery room scammers claim to be able to sell the investment, but first they need you to hand over an advance fee. After a few months, the company disappears, along with the money.
This post will take the example of Goldberg Management to help victims spot other recovery room scams.
1. If a company cold calls you about your investments in carbon credits, it is a scam.
The first indication that Goldberg Management is a scam is that it is cold calling people.
It doesn’t matter what the worthless investment is, it could be gold, silver, wine, rare earth metals, shares, land banking, teak plantations in Brazil, jatropha plantations in Cambodia, or whatever. The point is that no legitimate company would cold call you with advice about your investments.
2. There is no way of converting voluntary carbon credits into CERs.
Goldberg Management claims to be able convert voluntary carbon credits into Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs). That’s the second indication that Godberg Management is a scam.
Even if converting carbon credits from voluntary to compliance markets were possible, CERs are currently trading at €0.50, as this graph from carbon trading firm Vertis shows:
3. Do not hand over more money to companies who claim that they can sell your carbon credits
The next indication that Goldberg Management is a scam is that the company is asking for payment of an advance fee. That’s a pretty sure indication that Goldberg Management is running a recovery room scam.
Two years ago, I wrote a post with some suggestions about what to do if you’ve been scammed into buying carbon credits as investments. The last point on the list was “Do not hand over more money to companies who claim that they can sell your credits, no matter how convincing they sound. That is the Recovery Room part of the scam.”
4. Check the company’s record
Back in May 2015, “Mike Galloway” left a comment about Goldberg Management. He stated that the company, “is trading as Goldberg Trading and Management Ltd, based in Eastbourne with an office in London”.
UPDATE – 18 September 2015: See the response from Daniel Goldberg, below.
Goldberg Trading and Management Ltd’s registered address is 29 Gildredge Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4RU. It shares this address with 380 other companies.
Goldberg Trading and Management is not registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. But another one of Daniel Goldberg’s companies is registered with the FCA: Independent Derivative Traders Limited.
A company called Futex is a trading name of Independent Derivative Traders Limited. There are several companies registered at Companies House with the word “Futex” in their names, and all but one are registered at 29 Gildredge Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4RU.
Futex offers training programmes for people to become traders, for a fee of £5690. (You can read some reviews from trainees, here.)
Futex enjoyed some fame earlier this year, when one of its ex-traders, Navinder Singh Sarao, was accused of making US$40 million by manipulating US markets over a five year period. Sarao was arrested in April 2015, accused of triggering the 2010 “flash crash”, during which US shares and futures indices fell 6% in five minutes, but recovered by the end of the trading day. Sarao faces an extradition hearing to the US, where he is accused on 22 counts, from wire fraud to commodities manipulation, and if convicted could face 380 years in jail.
The Financial Times suggests that Sarao could be a scapegoat:
“The idea that a $1tn crash was caused by $200m of cancelled trades raises more questions than it answers,” said Ben Rose, a criminal defence lawyer at Hickman Rose in London.
Here’s an interview with Daniel Goldberg during which he talks about Sarao and Futex:
Goldberg Management’s website (www.goldbergmanagement.co.uk) diverts to another website (avivaexcessinsurance.com) which is currently unavailable. An archived copy of Goldberg Management’s website is available here.
The website provides little information about the company, or what it does. Here’s how Goldberg Management describes itself:
The “Contact Us” page gives an address in London: 2-8 Victoria Avenue, EC2M 4NS. And a phone number: 0800 471 4607.
A company called Goldberg Capital also shares this address and phone number. The company’s trading address is 29 Gildredge Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4RU. That’s Goldberg Trading and Management’s registered office.
On its website, Goldberg Capital claims to be a “leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm”. Of course, this is pure fantasy. Goldberg Capital’s website was registered (anonymously) on 26 August 2015.
The name under which the Goldberg Trading and Management Ltd was originally registered is perhaps a clue that this may not be a company that you should trust with your hard earned cash:
REDD-Monitor: Could you please comment on Goldberg Management and Goldberg Capital’s activities?
Daniel Goldberg: I have been made aware of these companies from other third parties who felt that it may be a scam. They have nothing to do with myself or my company and I do not condone their actions.
REDD-Monitor: Have you taken any action to prevent Goldberg Management from cloning your company?
Daniel Goldberg: I have tried to prevent them cloning my company and have taken steps to try and shut them down. They have been reported to the Fraud Office, the Fraud Department at Companies House as well as an independent agency that looks into these things and lastly the web hosts that they use.
REDD-Monitor: What does your company Goldberg Trading and Management actually do?
Daniel Goldberg: I am a Company Director with firms that specialise in Financial Futures Trading and Education. All regulated and highly legitimate.
REDD-Monitor: Before the name change, Goldberg Trading and Management was called Bandits Ltd. I know it was an off the shelf company, but could you comment on this?
Daniel Goldberg: It was an off-the-shelf purchase and has no relevance nor has it done for the last 20 or so years.