The High Court has ordered three companies involved in a £3.2m scam selling carbon credits to investors at inflated prices into liquidation following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Global Carbon Broking supplied carbon credits to Global Neutral which then marketed them to the public at very high prices.
Both companies had earlier been ordered into provisional liquidation on 19 September 2012 and 8 November 2012 respectively. A third carbon credit supplier, Future Carbon, was additionally wound up on grounds of public interest.
All three companies were inextricably linked with World Future, a company that raised some £2.5m by selling carbon credits in the same misleading way to the public.
World Future and two other connected companies, Capital Wealth and Fourteenforty, were ordered into liquidation by High Court judges on grounds of public interest on 6 March 2013.
Global Carbon Broking had initially supplied carbon credits to World Future and together with Future Carbon (and Fourteenforty) had been used to shield the selling practices of World Future from the ultimate source of the credits who otherwise would not have supplied them, the Insolvency Service said.
Following the appointment of the provisional liquidator of Global Carbon Broking, documentary evidence was removed from its premises to frustrate the investigation, according to the Insolvency Service.
Global Neutral continued selling carbon credits to the public and raised a further £668,000 until that company was also ordered to close.
Following the court's judgements, the Insolvency Services' Company Investigations supervisor, Chris Mayhew said: "This blow formally brings to an end a thoroughly disreputable group of companies selling carbon credits to the public by false and misleading statements.
"Investors should not respond to cold calling investment sharks, or to others who claim to be able to recover money already lost as they will gain nothing but risk losing everything.
"The Insolvency Service will not allow rogue companies to rip off vulnerable and honest people and will investigate them and shut them down."
Q2 net sales dropped almost 50%
‘Important to have an anchor’
Lack of innovation for solutions
Some 2,000 consumers affected