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Beware of the Murdoch & Chase boiler room and recovery room scam

Murdoch & Chase Asset Management is an “alternative investment brokerage based in the heart of the City of London”. It offers a series of “Services”: Fine Wine, Properties in Brazil, Rare Earth Commodities, Real Estate, Stagnant Asset Release, and Due Dilligence.

A quick look on the Financial Conduct Authorities website reveals that the FCA has put out warnings about investing in several of these commodities. Here’s what the FCA says in its warning about investing in rare earth metals:

We believe the firms promoting investments in rare earth metals have previously been involved in selling other high risk and unregulated products such as carbon credits, fine wines, land without planning permission and overseas land and crops.
There is a strong possibility of fraud with each of these products, including rare earth metals, because they are unregulated and it is difficult to confirm that the product or scheme exists, especially when it is said to be based abroad. It seems unscrupulous brokers attempt to take advantage of this uncertainty to get people to invest.

A more accurate description of Murdoch & Chase’s “Stagnant Asset Release” service would be “Recovery Room Scam”. “Sometimes [sic] we often fall into investment traps, scams or invest into companies that later fall into liquidation,” the company explains.

Murdoch & Chase offers help selling carbon credits, as well as other dodgy looking investments:

At Murdoch & Chase Asset Management we are able to assist you in releasing your stagnant assets within companies who are no longer trading. Or even better trade your stagnant assets out of the market using our exit strategies, which will in-turn allow you to take proceeds of your invested capital.

Murdoch & Chase cold calls people and offers to sell their carbon credits for a fee – see the comments on REDD-Monitor, here, here, and here. Here’s one of the comments:

Murdoch & Chase initially offered me £19.00 per credit 3 weeks ago, which I declined, and yesterday the guy offered me £17.69 per credit IF I paid him £4,100, less a discount of £1,800 = £2,300, to convert my VERs to CERs with an exit in February. The lower value of the credits he explained was because the market was contacting and this deal was with a different Corporate Client. He mentioned the name of a very large conglomerate.

On its website, Murdoch & Chase claims to “liase closely” with the following companies: Carbon Neutral Institute; London City Bond; Octavian Vaults; Asset Release Brokers; Fine Wine Negotiants; and Senior Commodity Brokers. Let’s look at each of these companies in turn and see how they might be able to help you exit your carbon credits:

  • A search on Open Corporates reveals that there is no company called the Carbon Neutral Institute registered anywhere in the world. Neither does “Senior Commodity Brokers” appear on Open Corporates.
  • London City Bond is a UK-based warehousing company. Octavian Vaults offers storage for wine.
  • A search for “Asset Release Brokers” on google reveals that the company appears to exist only in the imagination of Murdoch & Chase. The same is true of “Fine Wine Negotiants”. Both companies have no websites of their own, and appear only on Murdoch & Chase’s website.

None of these companies are going to be any help, then, in selling your near-worthless carbon credits.

Murdoch & Chase was registered in May 2013, by Nathan Sands. Two months later he retired and John Murdoch took over. The company’s website was registered in May 2013, by a website design company.

The company’s address is Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HN. That’s the second tallest building in the City of London – it used to be called the National Westminster Tower. Wikipedia gives a list of the companies in the building. The list doesn’t include Murdoch & Chase but does include Regus, a company offering virtual office services.

Murdoch & Chase’s website includes a page about “Our People”. It includes no names of anyone working at the company and two stock photographs.

Last week, Paul Murphy wrote about boiler rooms in the City of London on the Financial Times blog FTAlphaville. “The City of London is cram-packed with boiler room-type operations,” he writes, “where high pressure sales staff press everything from bamboo to carbon credits on mug punters.” He points out that the FCA’s regulatory remit “does not allow it to clear out this scum that’s accumulated along the streets of what would like to be seen as the global centre of finance”. Surely it’s time for the British government to change the FCA’s remit.

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  1. Does anyone know anything about a company called CPO (Commercial Property Options, I think) offering to purchase carbon credits?

  2. anyone know anything about green biomass and energy ltd or igc ltd based in essex

  3. @Anonymous (#2) – Green Biomass and Energy Ltd was dissolved on 13 September 2013. I can’t find anything about IGC Ltd – do you have a website url or any other details about the company?

    Why are you asking about these companies? Did they contact you?