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London Carbon Credit Company scammed people out of £1.7 million. Company director Young Erumuse disqualified for 15 years

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Earlier this month, the director of a carbon credit company was disqualified as a director by the High Court for 15 years. Young Erumuse was the director of the London Carbon Credit Company Limited, a company that sold carbon credits to retail investors.

Andrew Penman wrote about Erumuse’s carbon credits scam in the the Daily Mirror in August 2012. Penman told the story of how the London Carbon Credit Company had tricked Bob Wright into handing over a total of £7,900 for worthless carbon credits.

Wright had been trying to get his money back since April 2012, but the company stopped answering telephone calls and emails. Its London address was a virtual office.

Company claimed to be selling carbon credits from Clinton Foundation projects

On its website, Erumuse’s company claimed that,

London Carbon Credit Company is currently in advanced negotiations with the world renowned Clinton Foundation to be sole UK provider of carbon credits produced from the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Carbon Capture and Forestry projects.

And in a press release dated 16 October 2011, London Carbon Credit Company announced that the company,

will soon be able to offer its clients carbon credits from Bill Clinton’s Clinton Climate Initiative, part of the Clinton Foundation.

The company’s website included two Clinton Climate Initiative projects in its list of “our voluntary carbon offsetting projects”, one in Malawi and one in Tanzania.

At the time, there was no mention of the London Carbon Credit Company on the Clinton Climate Initiative website. So, on 13 September 2012, REDD-Monitor wrote to the Clinton Climate Initiative to ask them some questions about their relationship (if any) with the London Carbon Credit Company.

The following day, the Clinton Foundation Fraud Alert page was updated to include the London Carbon Credit Company as one of a list of scams claiming to be associated with the Clinton Foundation:

Claims made by the London Carbon Credit Company that it is and/or will be selling carbon credits from the Clinton Climate Initiative. The Clinton Foundation and its Clinton Climate Initiative are not working or otherwise affiliated with the London Carbon Credit Company. The Foundation is undertaking efforts to address this matter.

Five days later an email arrived from D. James Baker, Director of Global Carbon Measurement Program at the Clinton Foundation. “This matter is a known fraud,” he told me.

Baker did not reply to my question about whether it was possible that the London Carbon Credit Company had bought carbon credits from Clinton Foundation projects.

He also declined to tell me what precautions the Clinton Foundation takes to ensure that its name, reputation and its projects are not used to legitimise the fraudulent activities of companies like London Carbon Credit Company.

Wound up in the High Court

The London Carbon Credit Company was wound up in the High Court in March 2013.

In a 2013 press release, the Insolvency Service wrote that in two years, the London Carbon Credit Company had managed to scam £1.7 million from retail investors. David Hill, Investigations Officer at the Insolvency Service, said:

“It was clear that these companies could not provide a shred of evidence to support their exaggerated claims and that anyone who fell for their slick patter was likely to end up losing out.”

According to the Insolvency Service, London Carbon Credit Company managed to sell the carbon credits at an average price of £110.70, having bought them for around £3.50.

Paul Titherington, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:

“The London Carbon Credit Company Limited was involved in a scheme to deprive investors of their savings by persuading them to invest in a type of carbon credit which has no known resale market. The London Carbon Credit Company Limited purchased carbon credits for an average of £3.50 and charged its customers an average of £110.70 representing an average mark up of 3,163%. It was therefore LCCCL and not its customers, who profited from the VERs. Essentially, investors have lost their money.”

The sad story so far

From June 2011 to March 2013, the London Carbon Credit Company sold worthless carbon credits to retail investors. In August 2012, Andrew Penman exposed the London Carbon Credit Company’s dodgy operations. In March 2013, the company was wound up in the High Court.

The Clinton Foundation was unable to stop the company from claiming on its website that it was in “advanced negotiations with the world renowned Clinton Foundation”. (Here’s an archived copy of the London Carbon Credit Company dated 27 May 2013, eight months after the Clinton Foundation’s D. James Baker described the company as a “known fraud”.)

In September 2015, Young Erumuse, the director of the London Carbon Credit Company was disqualified as a director for 15 years. That seems like a pretty lenient punishment to me, given the £1.7 million that his company scammed from retail investors.
 

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52 Comments

  1. Great news. Any idea when or whether MH Carbon will get teir due deserts?

  2. Just had a call from an Alan Richards at Vanguard UK Trading Ltd claiming to be able to “liquidate” my carbon credts using a platform in Madagascar. Does anybody know anything about this company?
    The caller claimed that there is no up-front fee to be paid but used expressions and phrases that have been used by scammers in the past. Too good to be true?

  3. Yes I have also received a letter form UK Insolvency Office regarding disqualification of Charles Denbigh of New Frontier Advisory. But, is that it??? What happened to Abbot Fielding and Baker Tilly? I thought these companies were appointed to chase the assets of these crooks? Why is it taking so long to bankrupt them and sell the assets to return something to us? Anybody know what’s going on?

  4. @Scammed – There’s another comment about Vanguard, here. Vanguard is running a recovery room scam.

    First, the company cold called you – no legitimate company would do that. The only way that they could know your details (and the fact that you had been scammed into buying carbon credits) is because your name is on a “sucker list“.

    Second, Vangaurd claims to be able to sell your carbon credits. The unfortunate reality (and I’m sorry, I know this is bad news) is that your carbon credits are worthless. See this Guest Post from a commodities and financial market professional with 10 years experience in carbon markets:

    “In my professional opinion the credits sold to private individuals in the boiler room cases I have reviewed are worthless, I am not aware of a single individual in my 10 year career within the carbon markets that has sold on, for any economic worth, the VERs purchased from ‘boiler rooms’ as investments. Furthermore given the nature and mechanics of VER market I am unfortunately confident that any future outlook for these VERs will be negative and as such and paradoxically they become even more worthless as time moves on.”

  5. As expected. I have reported them to the FCA (they offer wealth management on their website but are not FCA regulated) and Action Fraud.
    They said they had got my details from the Carbon Credits Registry but I have not been able to find this.

  6. @XYZ – These are good questions. I’ve written to Baker Tilly to ask them what has happened in the year since they were appointed as liquidators, and what are the chances of people scammed by New Frontier Advisory getting their money back through the liquidation process. I’ll post the reply when it arrives.

  7. Any one know about Grant Thornton UKLLP recovery firm and liquidators?
    I have been approached by post and they are currently looking at HM Carbon liquidation and reporting back on its findings.
    Any advice would be most helpful.thanks

  8. Having been scammed into buying 1000 tons of Carbon Credits in 2012 and therefore being on the register, I have been contacted endlessly about get out schemes, though recently it had quietened down a little.
    But today 4 calls about selling my credits in China.
    A new opportunity to scam the scammed I fear.
    Anybody heard of Matt Tamara & Co.

  9. Regarding Vanguard Trading, I have been contacted by them yet again. However, this morning when I tried to access their website I found it had been suspended. Interestingly, the splash screen’s URL was http://just111.justhost.com/suspended.page/disabled.cgi/shieldcapitaltld.com, which links Vanguard to another company that has contacted me reently (by post by a letter in a layout style very similar to that used by Brookcourt Corporate Trading).

  10. i have been recently contacted by a Mark Cheesman of Matt Tamara and co they said that they could sell some carbon credits that i own for the sum of £28700.

    Today a Chester Cohen phoned me,and said that he works for Morgan Stanley of Cabot Square Canary wharf.

    He said that he was acting for Matt Tamara and he is taking over the transaction.
    I phoned Morgan Stanley and they said that they have no one of the name of Chester Cohen employed there.
    Chester Cohen gave me a phone number 08008021641.
    This is a with held number when i checked today 11/04/2015
    When he phoned he said that he will contact me tomorrow.

  11. @peter mole – Thanks for this. Matt Tamara is running a recovery room scam. The company is discussed in a comment thread here – click the link and read down for the responses.

    Please report the company to Action Fraud (0300 123 2404) and the FCA.

  12. My partner has been contacted by a company called Strategic Global Investment by Milena Beranova offering to buy his carbon credits. Their FCA number is 437483 & their phone number is the same as Matt Tamara.

  13. I too received a cold call from Vanguard Trading. The person who called was George Penney. Subsequently they sent me an offer to buy my carbon credits through a Corporate Re-Diversion, for an upfront fee of £5000. I said I would be willing to do this if they agreed to pay the price they were offering £119,000 into an escrow account held by a reputable firm of solicitors. I would also pay my £5,000 into an escrow account. I subsequently received a call from Nicholas Young who went into a long explanation about why they couldn’t do this, because they were intermediaries only for a pharmaceutical firm in Switzerland allegedly called Asio Capital (doesn’t exist) which wants to offset its carbon footprint. Regarding Vanguard Trading, he linked it with a company called Vanguard UK Trading (Company Number 08108533). Shan Wang is the director. Shan Wang signed the offer letter, titled “Guarantee of Services”.

  14. I too have been cold called by Strategic global investments. They are a clone firm to make themselves look legit, see FCA website.
    They have my details from a previous land banking scam.

    Hang up

  15. Vanguard Trading have surfaced again – I got call on my wife’s phone from a Ryan Cutler regarding Carbon Credits – he said did I know that my Carbon Credit Company had gone bust – he did not say which one but I said yes I had known for the last 18 months when the FCA told me ….then I hung up. He has not phoned back.

  16. Just been called by a Richard Lawrence from Vanguard Trading. He claimed they had liquidated Maple leaf Management and offered (for an upfront but refundable fee) to implement an exit for me to recover the funds I had lost to MLM. This is not the first time Vanguard have contacted me, I am suprised they are still in business.

  17. Vanguard Trading, here as well and when I suggested it was fraud there was a conversation full of very colorful language, it ended with him telling me that I was greedy and a fool for buying carbon credits in the first place.
    It is shocking that they still exist, and that Richard Lawrence was not put in prison.
    Though the individual I spoke to was called Ian.

  18. Chris
    With all these comments re Vanguard Trading, can you explain why the have not been investigated and their address tel no and website are still available. It is all very well these comments being made but there is never any proof that vanguard are actually’scamming’

  19. Chester Cohen is a crook and appears to be attached to other many Scams, I have been contacted by him over the last couple of days whereby he says he is the managing director of a Binary Options company called TB Option, a company that I invested with approximately 9 months ago, and yes, you’ve guessed it, they are a scam. He is offering me a chance to get my investment back from his company TB Option but first I have to pay $28000 into the account to get the balance of my funds ($25k) returned to me ? . . obviously I am not going to do this.
    I have an email for him at chestercohen@tb-options.com also a phone number 0203 198 8923.
    If this is the same Chester Cohen you have been contacted by he needs reporting to the Police.

  20. Reported my case to action fraud still waiting for a response does say 30 days. Had phone call recently sure it was same person involved with vanguard trading fishing for information ,when he asked me for response from action fraud I told him I can’t disclose that information to you line went dead.

  21. @Paul & Stephen Richards – I have been contacted by Chester Cohen 3rd March and asked for more money to enable me to withdraw my money. Now there is no one answer the phone and the website is under construction. I will report to Action Fraud.

  22. @Anonymous (#29) – Could you give us the phone number and the website address for Chester Cohen, please? Thanks!

  23. Hi Chris,
    The phone number is 0203 198 8923. When Chester Cohen called he always withheld the number and the number shows as “Private Number”. The website is https://tb-options.com/ which is now under construction. But the mobile platform is still running.

  24. @Jessica – Thanks for this. The website tb-options.com was registered on 24 July 2015 by Lee Denton.

    Companies House website shows that Denton is director of two companies: TB Management Limited, and TB Options Limited. Both were incorporated on 24 July 2015. In September 2015 TB Options’ office address moved to 107 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6DN.

    A search on google for the phone number suggests that TB Options should be avoided at all costs.

    The website has vanished, but parts of it are still in Google’s cache (click on the images for larger versions):

  25. @Chris Lang -Thanks. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do to get my money back. :(

  26. Hi Chris
    With regard to my carbon credits, I have been speaking to Harrison Puddick of Investor Protectors. Is it worthwhile me subscribing to their company, or would it be waste of another few hundred.
    Regards
    John

  27. @john arnold – How did you find Investor Protectors? Did Harrison Puddick cold call you?

    Investor Protectors has a certain whiff of rat about it.

    Bryan Hiscock asked about Investor Protectors in July 2015.

    My response was as follows: “Investor Protectors looks far too much like it’s collecting names for a sucker list, and asking £200 for the privilege of appearing on the list.”

    Investor Protectors replied and explained that they provide two services:

    1. preventing investors from sending money for bogus investments,

    2. successfully clawing back monies sent by investors to bogus investments.

    We only have the company’s word for this. I could find no news articles about Investor Protectors successfully getting money back after people have been scammed into buying carbon credits, wine, diamonds, land, storage space, or whatever. Which is odd. If they were successful at doing what they do, you’d think they’d put out the occasional press release about it.

    Investor Protectors also provides advice. “We find that people who subscribe to our services benefit in several ways, not least because 9 times out of 10, instead of sending of sending thousands of pounds in a follow up recovery room scam, they actually contact us first to validate the offer being made to them.”

    Here’s a simple rule: If someone cold calls you with investment advice, put the phone down. Then report them to Action Fraud.

    Investor Protectors is part of a company called Bein Global Ltd. Registered in the UK on 26 November 2013, Bein Global’s sole director is Roger Jones. Among Jones’ other directorships is a company called Prestige Jewels Limited. The company is now dissolved, but it sold diamonds to retail investors. Here’s an archived copy of the website:

    Recently, the Insolvency Service has closed down four companies that were selling diamonds as investments.

  28. A minor point – I think the date of registration of Bein Global is 2013.

  29. Chris have you or any of your members heard of the following names,
    ADAM CAPALDI
    MR T MICHAEL
    these men are asking a very old man for substantial amount of money telling him they have sold his vers carbon credits . And to get his monies released he has to pay . I cannot disclose how much he has already but it is a very large substantial amount and they are still asking for more . If it’s a SCAM please put this so I can show the old gentleman
    He thinks they are his friends and believes everything they are telling him I need to show him proof

  30. @Anonymous – Adam Capaldi’s name appeared in a comment on lovemoney.com, in relation to a scam company called MH Carbon. You can read more about MH Carbon here:

    MH Carbon: Another boiler room scam?

    And there’s a longer comment featuring Adam Capalid here.

    This post explains that the carbon credits are unfortunately worthless:

    Guest Post: The carbon credits sold to private individuals as investments are worthless

    If you could provide more information, such as which company Adam Capaldi is working for and the name of the company that he claims to have sold the carbon credits to, that would be useful.

    Please report this to Action Fraud.

  31. The T Michael is probably Theo Michael – a so called broker at GE Commodities – they or at least their website and phone lines have vanished.

  32. Had phone call today from Richard Spence Vanguard Trading he’s not very happy with these posts saying it’s ruining his reputation and alerting other victims of scams obviously these people are still active and he boasted that he would never be caught

  33. We too have been scammed by Vanguard trading by several people within the company offering to help get money back. We have paid out over £5,000 and they are still asking for more money. The company website does not exist and neither does the company address of where they are located. DONT BE FOOLED BY THIS COMPANY! Save your money and ignore what they say about how much they can get you back. I have reported this to Action Fraud today.

  34. James Francis Byrne was the man behind this company amongst others.
    He put Y.Erumuse up for the job of director to try and save himself.
    In June 2016 james Francis byrne, his father James Patrick Byrne, young Erunuse, max Jefferies, Samual henriot and Vladimir Rusaliychev were all found guilty to de-fraud at Southwark Crown Court.
    JF Byrne pleaded guilty to a charge of Fraud for Paramount Land also and received 11years in total for both crimes.
    You can write to James Francis Byrne at Wandsworth Prison and ask him about getting your money back – I’m sure he’d love the fan mail.

    James Francis Byrne
    A6768DT
    HMP Wandsworth
    London

  35. @Susan Patel – Thanks for this. Could you provide a link or two, please? I couldn’t find anything about a case involving James Byrne, London Carbon Credit Company, or Paramount Land at Southwark Crown Court.

    On 2 August 2016, James Byrne was disqualified as a director, for 15 years. He was disqualified for conduct while acting for London Carbon Credit Company.

    Since 2013, London Carbon Credit Company has been in liquidation. The most recent report from the liquidators, Grant Thornton, dated 8 July 2016 includes this progress report:

    3.1 I have undertaken a review of the Company’s assets, which comprise of cash at bank in the sum of £100,000 and have ascertained that the assets are subject to a Restraint Order (RO) issued against the director of the Company, which also includes the assets of the Company.

    3.2 As a result of the RO which was obtained by the police I am not permitted to deal with the assets of the Company. Therefore, my investigations are currently on hold pending the outcome of the police action or any potential variation or removal of the RO.

    3.3 The police are continuing to progress action in relation to the RO and have indicated that the RO will remain in place until such time as these investigations and potential criminal proceedings are concluded. I continue to liaise with the police to obtain regular updates in respect of their investigations.

    3.4 I have also sought legal advice in respect of actions that I may take to ensure the maximisation fo realisations in the liquidation estate and am continuing to liaise with my solicitors regarding the same.

  36. @Chris Lang.

    The trial started in Late April and after two months concluded on the 15th June @ 1130am.
    The second trial regarding this company LCCC is live at Southwark crown court now in court 12 case T20147595 and this is the second lot of employees to be tried for this case.

    I’m sorry I do not have any links etc as I’m Not savvy with a PC. However I’ve been. Following this company and people involved since my husband commuted Suicide following investing in there scams.

    James Francis byrne is a 30year man who in the judges own words “calculated this fraud and even sold his own family down the river in the process”.
    James Patrick byrne is his father.

    I hope they all rot. Utter scumbags

  37. @ChrisLang

    The City of London Police too LCCC to court. Operation Penco was launched headed by DC Mark Loftus.

  38. @Susan Patel – Thanks for your comments. I’m very sorry to hear about your husband.

    I’ll try getting in touch with DC Mark Loftus to see whether more information about Operation Penco is publicly available.

  39. FYI

    http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/latest_news/members_of_gbp_2_million_cold_call_gang_jailed/

    My father invested with these scumbags and James Francis byrne who called himself james mason got on the phone and convinced my father it was legit!! my father now drinks himself into a shadow of what he once was and my mother has a second job at 59!!

    Please please please, use your contacts and bring this man to justice. please i am begging you, he is the ringleader and he isn’t the main face shown ANYWHERE! This is such a kick in the teeth for all involved! Please shame this man just like he got up onto into the dock and tried to look my father in the eye after he had given evidence and call him a liar!!! It was disgraceful

    Susan…. I will write to you soon. Lets keep up the good work until JFB’s face is mud! What a evil man

    this is a good article as is shows ALL the faces!!! SCUMBAGS!!!!

    http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/last_two_east_london_gang_members_jailed_in_2_million_fraud_that_tricked_90_victims_1_4786554