The UK High Court has ordered three more companies into liquidation for using false and misleading information to sell carbon credits to investors, the government’s Involvency Service said on Friday.
Windward Capital Limited and related companies Met-X Corp. Ltd and Imarc Limited were shut down by the court in the public interest after Windward was found have sold thousands of illiquid carbon credits to investors at highly-inflated prices of up to £8.50 ($13.15) each.
The company also offered the public the opportunity to invest in diamonds and gold, promising hefty returns, the Insolvency Service said in a press release.
“The Court heard that Windward Capital Limited was ostensibly run by Charles Amaning, who described his directorship to investigators as ‘work experience’ and that the company’s stewardship was actually controlled by its sales floor managers whose names he could not fully recall,” the agency added.
Amaning was shown in company documents to have been the company’s sole director and shareholder since 2012.
The Insolvency Service added that at least £900,000 was raised from investors, out of which some £682,000 was paid out as sales commissions to staff.
“One investor was told that Windward Capital Limited was backed by a German bank, another that the floor price of the credits would rise to £16 each by 2016, and another that within 6 months a national haulage company would be buying each credit for £13 to offset its own emissions, thereby delivering the promised investment gains,” Chris Mayhew, company investigations supervisor with the Insolvency Service.
The carbon credits sold by Windward were acquired from Met-X for £84,275, with Imarc providing marketing services. It was not stated what types of credits they were or from where they originated.
Upwards of 50 companies have been ordered into liquidation by British courts since 2012 over claims the firms collectively made in excess of 50 million pounds by using high-pressure techniques to sell illiquid and over-priced carbon credits to vulnerable investors.
The Financial Conduct Authority, Britain’s financial watchdog, conducted a survey two years ago and could not find any private investors that had profited from investing in carbon credits.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org