Unlucky investors who took up an opportunity to ‘recover’ investments lost in carbon credit and rare earth metal scams fell victim to fraudsters twice.
Not only was the original investment a con, but the white knights who claimed they could rescue the victims were also fraudsters.
Now, the six companies targetting scammed investors have been shut down by the High Court, London by the UK government’s Insolvency Service.
The court heard that the companies had swindled investors out of £350,000 by charging them to help recover their losses from the previous scam.
They demanded upfront fees to help investors, which were advertised as refundable and one company lied to consumers by stating their guarantee was underwritten by insurance giant Axa.
The six companies all operated from upmarket addresses in the City of London. Five were found to have business connections. Between them, they scammed consumers out of around £300,000. They were:
- Claremont Partnerships Limited
- Brookepoint Limited
- Brookcourt Trading Limited
- Cotexx Trading Limited
- Manor Trade Limited
The sixth company Etonstanley Ltd focussed on elderly and other vulnerable investors who had already bought worthless carbon credits from other companies wound up by the Insolvency Service.
The crooks behind the scam covered their tracks by failing to provide information about registered offices for the companies or the details of directors. Bank accounts were held by people who appeared to have no connection with the companies, said insolvency investigators.
“This was a ruthless scam perpetrated against people who had already lost money to fraudsters,” said David Hill, the Insolvency service’s chief investigator.
“No one ever had any prospect of recovering their losses and this were just boiler rooms designed to soak their victims of even more cash.”
Carbon credits are real investment, but only have value to companies rather than individuals because of the volume of credits needed to access trading platforms.
A carbon credit is cash paid by a company to offset business activities generating carbon monoxide into the environment.
Rare earths are mineral deposits mainly used in manufacturing electronic gadgets. They are not rare nor valuable, explained the Insolvency Service.
Diamond firm under scrutiny
A secret inquiry into a company selling coloured diamonds to investors has led to the High Court ordering the Official Receiver to take over the running of the business.
Heritage FA Ltd, based in London, traded through four web sites:
The Insolvency Service declined to give any further information about the company as the receiver’s investigation is ongoing.