A company called Koenig Rowe Campbell Alliance is cold calling people in several countries, claiming to be a wealth advisory firm established in 1978. KRC Alliance takes clients’ money and claims to invest it. The investment will need to be increased, for whatever made up reason, to reach a certain number of shares. Then, in order to receive a payout, clients have to pay a security bond. Then another. Then another.
Yesterday, the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Financial Corporation launched a US$152 million bond aimed at supporting REDD and carbon trading. The deal demonstrates just about everything that’s wrong with REDD.
On 12 July 2016, an application was commenced in Australia for the winding up of Conservation Central Network. A court hearing took place in the Federal Court in New South Wales on 12 August 2016, and on 22 August 2016 a court order to wind up the company and appoint a liquidator was issued.
A company called London Carbon Neutral Ltd and eight linked companies have been shut down in the High Court in London. The companies were shut down after “high pressure and intimidating sales people had targeted the elderly and vulnerable” to sell them carbon credits as investments.
The Court of Appeal has upheld a February 2014 High Court ruling in which the Financial Conduct Authority won their case against Capital Alternatives and other firms. The FCA accused the firms of “promoting and/or operating collective investment schemes (CISs) in the UK illegally and without our authorisation”.
“It was the generally accepted way for brokerage firms under regulatory heat to stay one step ahead — essentially, closing down and reopening under a different name, thereby starting the process of making money and fighting the regulators all over again. It was like stepping on a cockroach and squashing it, only to find ten new ones scurrying in all directions.”
In December 2014, three men were sentenced in Southwark Crown Court in the UK to a total of 28 years for their involvement in a £23 million biofuel investment fraud. While handing down the sentence, judge Martin Beddoe described the fraud as a “thickening quagmire of dishonesty”.
Investigative journalist Antonio Papaleo has produced a short film exposing Conservation Central Network’s “Social Network Marketing” scheme. The film was funded by some of the people who fell for CCN’s claim that the company was offering a way to save forests and make money.
Sovereign Green Global is, according to its website, running a REDD+ conservation project, “located primarily in the Milne bay province of Papua New Guinea”. The project covers “approximately 125,000 hectares of rainforest”. But details of the project are scant and the information that is available rings plenty alarm bells.
By the end of 2010, a small company in Australia called Shift2Neutral claimed to have set up REDD-type deals in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazil.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed international trade agreement, involving 12 countries and covering a range of topics including intellectual property, the environment and workers’ rights. The TPP has been negotiated in secret for almost four years.