REDD-Monitor first wrote about Carbon Neutral Investments in November 2012, after Enviro Associates was caught by the BBC making misleading claims about carbon credits.
“We are a clearing member of Carbon Neutral Investments Limited (CNI),” Enviro Associates stated on its website. Enviro Associates is another of the 19 companies shut down by the High Court.
Paul Seakens was a director of both Enviro Associates and Carbon Neutral Investments.
The Insolvency Service’s investigation revealed that the companies were involved in selling well over 5 million carbon credits to retail investors, for more than £36 million.
The Insolvency Service found that nearly 90 broker companies were involved in the scheme, many of which have since been closed down. (The Insolvency Service doesn’t say whether the 90 companies were those on Carbon Neutral Investments’ list of clearing members, but most of the 19 companies shut down were on the list.)
The Insolvency Service comments as follows about CNI (UK) Ltd:
The company is shown to have taken over the carbon offsetting and consultancy business of a related company of similar name in or around April 2013, adopting a near identical website.
When I wrote about the links between CNI (UK) Ltd and Carbon Neutral Investments I received aletter from Thomas Eggar LLP, a UK-based firm of solicitors, acting on behalf of CNI (UK) Ltd. Thomas Eggar informed me that “any association with … the company Carbon Neutral Investments is false.” Oops.
In a press release, Chris Mayhew, Company Investigations Supervisor at the Insolvency Services, says:
“This stoke of boiler rooms was one giant scam emitting the now all too familiar hot air on an industrial scale, persuading ordinary people to part with their hard earned savings to invest in near worthless voluntary carbon credits which were aggressively peddled to them by these companies at significantly inflated prices.”
Here’s a list of the 19 companies that were shut down:
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