A London-based carbon credit dealer has been disqualified from acting as a director in the UK for 15 years for making sales by false representation and failing to maintain accounting records, Britain’s Insolvency Service said on Thursday.
Jason Pistolas, former director of Earnshaw Equities Limited, purported to invest in voluntary carbon credits for individuals in 2012-13, the agency said, adding that despite the firm advertising that it was a member of two emissions registries, it held no trading accounts.
The Insolvency Service said that, according to company statements, Earnshaw made at least £63,113 in sales during that period.
A total £177,497 was received into the firm’s bank account, of which three-quarters was withdrawn in cash, and most of the remainder spent via online payments, cheque, debit card and direct debits.
The agency said Earnshaw falsely claimed to have the ability to trade VCUs, the voluntary credits certified by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).
It added that the firm displayed the logos of two non-profit organisations on its sales literature without their permission, sold VCUs from a project that had not yet received credits, and sold VCUs that had invalid or duplicate serial numbers.
Pistolas declared voluntary liquidation in May 2013 and during a subsequent Insolvency Service investigation into the company, creditors came forward with claims of a total of £63,113 owed to them.
The agency said that by that point, Earnshaw had assets estimated at approximately £5,600 and liabilities of £8,051, resulting in an estimated overall shortfall of £2,451.
”Because Pistolas also failed to keep adequate financial records, it is not possible for further creditors to be identified,” the Insolvency Service added.
Pistolas has been disqualified from acting as a director in the UK for 15 years – the maximum period under the law – though it is unclear whether criminal or civil proceedings against him or Earnshaw are being pursued.