MH Carbon was established in September 2010 and went into voluntary liquidation in May 2013. During this period, the company sold carbon credits to more than 500 people, at a total cost of £18.7 million.
The people who bought these voluntary carbon credits found that they are extremely difficult to sell. And 500 people now want to know what they can do in order to get their money back. Some of them have commented on REDD-Monitor asking this question.
Incidentally, MH Carbon managed to raise more than twice as much as Ian Macdonald and David Downes, who recently became the first people to be sentenced to prison for their role in a carbon credit boiler room scam.
MH Carbon appointed Parker Andrews, a company based in Norwich, to deal with the liquidation process. On 13 May 2013, REDD-Monitor wrote to Parker Andrews to ask what the implications of the liquidation are for people who bought carbon credits from MH Carbon. The company has not yet replied*, but on 15 May 2013, Parker Andrews posted some information on its website. (That’s where the figure of £18.7 million comes from. Where that money has gone or how MH Carbon managed to become insolvent remains a mystery.)
Parker Andrews has produced a “Frequently Asked Questions” information sheet. Parker Andrews recommends contacting them (write to Lawrence Williams – LW@parkerandrews.co.uk) if you believe you are the victim of mis-selling. Investopedia defines mis-selling as, “The ethically questionable practice of a salesperson misrepresenting or misleading an investor about the characteristics of a product or service.”
REDD-Monitor recommends that anyone who bought carbon credits from MH Carbon should contact Lawrence Williams at Parker Andrews. As Andrew Ager, ex-head of carbon and emissions at Bache Commodities put it in a presentation last year to the City of London Police:
“You would only buy voluntary carbon credits to offset your carbon foot print. There is no other economic reason…. No genuine company, none of the dozen or so companies that are involved in this market, would cold call individuals offering opportunities to invest in the voluntary market.”
Parker Andrews’ information sheet about MH Carbon is posted here in full:
MH CARBON LIMITED (“the Company”)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1 What is the position with the Company?
The Company has ceased trading and is insolvent. Parker Andrews will assist with placing the Company into liquidation and this is expected to happen by the end of May 2013. There are no known assets in the Company and so no dividend to creditors is expected.
2 I have invested in Carbon Credits. Will I get my money back?
As an investor, you will have purchased Carbon Credits and these credits are still yours to keep or trade. Consequently, you are not a creditor of the Company and so there is no recourse available to you to be refunded by the Company in the liquidation.
3 What happens to my Carbon Credits?
Your Carbon Credits will continue to be registered with the various Central Project databases worldwide. You have the right to sell your carbon credits through an alternative broker. If you do not know your Carbon Credit registration details, please fill out the form below and send your completed form to LW@parkerandrews.co.uk
4 I feel I am a victim of mis-selling. What can I do?
One of the duties of a Liquidator is to investigate the conduct of its directors and officers. If you feel you have been mis-sold Carbon Credits, please send an email to us, briefly setting out the circumstances of your experience with the Company and your purchase, including any guarantees offered by the Company. Parker Andrews already holds details of all customers, transactions and the salesperson who brokered each deal, and so these details need not be included. Please send your email to LW@parkerandrews.co.uk.
5 Can I submit a complaint to the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”)?
No. The FCA does not generally regulate carbon credit brokers and the majority of companies selling or promoting carbon credit trading will also not be regulated by any other body. Therefore, as the Company is not FCA authorised you do not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
6 Can I submit a complaint to Trading Standards?
Yes. If you wish to submit a complaint to Trading Standards, please visit their website: www.tradingstandards.gov.uk. However, please note that Trading Standards will not necessarily take your complaint any further as the Company is proposing to enter Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation and has already ceased to trade.
7 Where can I get more information? Who are Parker Andrews?
Further press releases will be available at: www.parkerandrews.co.uk/mhcarbon
Parker Andrews are a firm of licensed insolvency practitioners based in East Anglia and working across the UK. We have a track record in dealing with high-profile insolvencies with many consumer or public creditors. The liquidation of MH Carbon Ltd will be dealt with through our Norwich office, who may be contacted on 0845 118 0062 or by emailing Lawrence Williams on LW@parkerandrews.co.uk.
UPDATE – 16 May 2013: Jamie Playford of Parker Andrews replied today to tell me about the “Frequently Asked Questions” information sheet. He has also posted a comment here.
UPDATE – 22 July 2013: More than 500 people bought carbon credits from MH Carbon, not 5,000 as previously stated.