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UK High Court shuts down “web” of carbon credit boiler rooms – £19 million scam with Eco-Synergies at the centre

Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, 13 companies that sold carbon credits as investments have been wound up in the UK’s High Court on the grounds of public interest. The companies had scammed people out of more than £19 million.

The Insolvency Service describes the companies as a “web”, with Eco-Synergies Ltd at the centre. Eco-Synergies was a wholesaler of voluntary carbon credits (VERs), which it sold to other, often related, companies to sell to the public as investments.

Eco-Synergies bought the credits for an average of 65 pence per credit. The web of companies selling the credits to the public inflated the price by up to 869%. The company’s website has now disappeared, but here’s an archive copy. Eco-Synergies sketches the outline of the scam:

We are the largest wholesale supplier of Carbon Credits in this market and currently have over 25 active trading agents, we also take on between 2-5 new agents a month and this culminates to us settling between 1-2 million credits per month.

In ordering the 13 companies into liquidation in the High Court, registrar Clive Hugh Jones said,

I am satisfied on the basis of the evidence before me that the sale of VER carbon credits to the public on the basis that the credits will increase significantly in value would be a sale based on a fraudulent misrepresentation.
It is plain that the companies were trading VER carbon credits as investments which is wholly incorrect and misleading.

So these companies (and presumably all the others that sold carbon credits to the public as investments) did so based on “fraudulent misrepresentation”. But what happens next? Will the police soon be knocking on the doors of the directors of these companies? Will the people scammed into handing over a total of £19 million be able to get any of their money back? Chris Mayhew, Company Investigations Supervisor at the Insolvency Service, suggests not:

“Essentially investors including vulnerable individuals and often repeat victims who were urged to buy more and more credits have lost their money.”

Here’s the list of companies wound up in the High Court – the summary of information on each company comes from the Insolvency Service’s website:

  1. Eco-Synergies Ltd was set up on 1 March 2011. Its first director was Simon Barr who was replaced on 25 October 2012 by Nicolas Towers. Richard Beese, David White and Gavin Manerowski were former shareholders. The company went into voluntary liquidation on 6 February 2013. The company was dissolved on 5 March 2014. On 1 May 2014 the High Court ordered the company to be restored to the register and to be wound up compulsorily in the public interest.
  2. Eco-Synergies Nominees Ltd was set up on 23 March 2011. Its first director was Simon Barr who retired as director on 1 October 2011. On 1 February 2012, Anna Rickard, Citadel Nominees Limited and Citadel Secretarial Services Limited became directors. Shareholders are Citadel Nominees Limited and Citadel Secretarial Services Limited. Richard Beese, David White, Gavin Manerowski and Jonathan Cocks were former shareholders.
  3. Alternative Capital Limited was set up on 9 September 2011. The first director was George Andreetti who retired as director on 22 August 2012. Lewis Tweed was director from 3 April 2012. On 9 April 2013 the company went into voluntary liquidation.
  4. Beta Commodities Limited was set up on 5 October 2011. For the first day of the company, the director was Yomtov Jacobs, after which James Cable took over as director. The company traded as Alpha Commodities.
  5. Capital Acquisitions Ltd was set up on 5 March 2010 under the name Capital Marketing Solutions Limited. The company’s sole director was William Strutt. On 17 June 2013, the company went into voluntary liquidation.
  6. City Asset Partnership Ltd was set up on 15 November 2011. The sole director was William Strutt. On 17 June 2013, the company went into voluntary liquidation. I wrote about City Asset Partnership in May 2013.
  7. Cleartrade Limited was set up on 19 October 2011. Graham Hawrysh was director until 20 October 2012. Carl Thornton and Marcel McKeigue became directors on 27 October 2011.
  8. C T Carbon Limited was set up on 28 July 2011. The sole director was Christopher Thompson. On 4 December 2012, City of London Police arrested eleven people after the police found “evidence linking them to fraudulent companies Hudson Forbes, CT Carbon and Burlington Energy Markets”. On 1 November 2013, the company went into voluntary liquidation.
  9. MH Carbon Limited was set up on 27 September 2010. The directors were Gavin Manerowski (until 24 October 2012) and Jonathan Cocks (until 1 July 2011). Jeffrey Razaq became a director on 24 October 2012. On 31 May 2013, the company went into voluntary liquidation. I wrote about MH Carbon in January 2013, and twice in May 2013.
  10. New Frontier Advisory Ltd was set up on 16 August 2010. The sole director was Charles Denbigh.
  11. Wealth Capital Ltd was set up on 30 May 2012. the sole director was Darren Bartlett.
  12. World Commodity Trading Limited was set up on 14 May 2012. The directors were Mark Griffiths and Rebecca Pate (from 27 March 2014 to 29 March 2014). On 28 March 2014, the company went into voluntary liquidation.
  13. Worldwide Commodity Partners Limited was set up on 25 May 2011 under the name World Carbon Limited. Keith Lane was director, until 9 June 2011, when Lee Thompson took over as director. I wrote about Worldwide Commodity Partners in July 2012.

Eco-Synergies was the exclusive supplier of carbon credits to MH Carbon, which sold carbon credits to retail investors. Gavin Manerowski was an initial shareholder in Eco-Synergies and Eco-Synergies Nominees. He was also a director of MH Carbon. Jonathan Cocks was a shareholder of Eco-Synergies Nominees and a director of MH Carbon. In May 2013, Tony Hetherington at the Daily Mail described Manerowski and Cocks’ interesting pasts:

Cocks had been connected to Montague Pitman Stockbrokers, whose mis-selling to investors would have cost it a fine of £240,000 but for the fact that it collapsed into administration.
Manerowski worked for Wills & Co Stockbrokers, which also collapsed in the face of fines and censures as a result of its massive mis-selling.

Montague Pitman was founded by Richard Beese, David White and Thomas Knifton. Beese and White were also shareholders in Eco-Synergies and Eco-Synergies Nominees.

An archive of Carbon Neutral Investment’s website (another company that sold carbon credits to retail investors) reveals that in 2012, Thomas Knifton was one of Carbon Neutral Investment’s three principal partners (along with Paul Seakens and James Brown).

Another company lurking in the shadows of these carbon credit scams is Citadel Trustees – a company registered by the Financial Conduct Authority. On its website Eco-Synergies stated that, “Credits are held with a regulated trust company”.

The directors of Eco-Synergies Nominees were Anna Rickard, Citadel Nominees Limited and Citadel Secretarial Services Limited. Anna Rickard is a director of Citadel Trustees, Citadel Nominees Limited and Citadel Secretarial Services Limited.

Citadel Trustees is a subsidiary of Hutchinson & Co Trust Company Limited. Peter Hutchinson, the founder of Hutchinson is a director of Citadel Trustees. Anna Rickard is also a director of Hutchinson. Between 1 February 2012 and 24 October 2012 she was a director of MH Carbon Nominees (as were Citadel Nominees Limited and Citadel Secretarial Services Limited).

Back in March 2012, the Daily Mail‘s Hetherington wrote about Citadel Trustees in an article about World Carbon Limited (which changed its name shortly before the article went to press to Worldwide Commodity Partners Limited):

So what does Citadel do? Apparently, it simply holds the carbon credits for both World Carbon and its clients. And that’s it. But this leaves Citadel in an odd position.
It is licensed by the FSA, which has issued a strong warning about carbon credits. Not every scheme is a scam, it says, but investors may not be able to sell their credits at any price.
So should Citadel be involved at all? Director Anna Rickard told me: ‘It would only be unethical for Citadel Trustees to knowingly and intentionally involve itself in a scam.’
However, this is not quite the FSA view. The City watchdog said: ‘Firms should be aware that there are some unscrupulous unauthorised investment firms that will try to get advertising or other promotional material approved by authorised firms to appear more legitimate.’
Of course, the FSA is not saying that World Carbon is unscrupulous. But it is saying that Citadel cannot sit back and close its eyes and ears.

Citadel’s role doesn’t finish once the carbon credits are sold. Several people who have been scammed into buying carbon credits have commented on REDD-Monitor about bills received from Citadel asking for payments for Citadel’s service: holding the carbon credits. Citadel explains that it was appointed by Eco-Synergies to provide “custodian and escrow services in respect of the sales of carbon credits”. This is how Citadel explained its charges to one “investor”:

We charge £0.015 per carbon credit. The payment of our annual fees contribute to the costs in retaining the non-trading holding company we administer, Eco-Synergies Nominees Ltd. This company is the entity which holds the carbon credits. In addition, we maintain an electronic record of all carbon credits purchased by investors and attend to various administrative duties.

Citadel explains that its role is necessary, because “we were advised that it was not possible for the credits to be registered in the name of private individuals on the carbon registries”. The credits are owned by Eco-Synergies Nominees. The fees are to cover Citadel’s costs producing annual reports and accounts, and providing directors and shareholders for Eco-Synergies Nominees. And “maintaining a database of owners and responding to client enquiries”.

“If payment is not forthcoming,” Citadel continues, Citadel “could apply interest of 2% per annum above the London Interbank Offered Rate during the period of default”. If no payment is received within 30 days, Citadel “may suspend your ownership of the credits” and try to sell them.

The Insolvency Service reports that Eco-Synergies Nominees Ltd did not oppose the winding up action and that “the professional director” of the company (Anna Rickard, Citadel Nominees Limited and Citadel Secretarial Services Limited are directors) and the secretary (Citadel Secretarial Services Limited) would resign their appointments.

The Insolvency Service adds,

Custodian and trust services were provided to the scheme by an FCA authorised trust company that shortly before the winding up hearing wrote to investors informing them of the winding up petition issued against Eco-Synergies Nominees Ltd that was not being opposed.

On 1 April 2014, Citadel Trustees changed its name to Highpoint Trustees. The company’s website currently looks like this:


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  1. Well done redd-monitor a result !! now let’s get these bastards into court take their assets ban them for life and have “thief”tattooed on their foreheads – just for starters ?

  2. OK, finally they are looking at Eco-Synergies. This is the company (along with its marketing agent New Frontier Advisory) that ripped me off of Pounds 200,000. Do you think there will be a court case like Capital Alternatives?

  3. Isn’t this somewhat akin to shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted? Doesn’t the fact that there appear to be no prosecutions pending seen a message that if you are involved in this kind of fraud you might be closed down eventually but the authorities aren’t going to come after you?

  4. I was unfortunate to be caught up with HMCarbon and have some 15 thousand pounds tied up in Vers which nobody seems to be able to sell for me. Should I make representation to some one so that in the event of funds being made available from the official closure of the company? Please advise to whom I should contact.
    I also have been caught by 360 carbon and Hamilton Coopers. Any further advice gladly received.
    Thank you

  5. Does anyone knows What happens with African Rice and palm oil? Are we losing our money from them too?

  6. Can’t the courts force these people to return the monies they got from us on a fraudulent basis? If the fraudsters have used it to purchase assets they should be forced to sell them. If the monies have been sent overseas there should be a paper trail, bank records, etc.

    I urge the UK authorities to DO THE RIGHT THING on behalf of those who put large amounts of their life savings into these firms.

    My funds went into Eco Securities via no. 10 on your list above – New Frontier Advisory Ltd – Can I assume that the authorities would have all the records from this company and be aware of my name, address and the amount of money “invested”?

    Thanks for this excellent website.

  7. Who now knows who or where our Credits are recorded; where is the database that Citadel, now Highpoint, maintained for Eco-Synergies Nominees.
    Or has it been assumed that as the court has decided it was a scam, they are worthless, so we do not need them any more. Surely, ownership, even worthless, is the first line of evidence that there was a scam, and any action against the scammers will need that evidence.

  8. The scum in the City of London needs to be eradicated. It gives the legitimate a bad name. Many are still ‘at it’ with various commodities or offering schemes to sell my credits – all cost something, all are crap! Many of those cold callers, that contact me have no viable exit strategies, other than new clients – I thought that was called a Ponzi? They are clearly interested only in their profit, caring nothing about our hard earned cash. How do they get away with it just because they wind up the business? They should all be stripped of assets and us repaid. Any part of my 60k in this Carbon lie alone, would be welcomed. They can start again in McDonalds or better, the gutter! (no comparison intended). There has to be a way our legal system can help ‘investors…..?

  9. As the Secretary of State / UK High Court has ordered the winding up of Eco-Synergies, because ‘the sale of VER carbon credits to the public.. (is) a fraudulent misrepresentation’ then there is every reason to seize the assets and repay the misled investors.

    What’s the next step?

  10. Few will realise that hardly a single cent of VER sales has found it’s way into supporting projects. Aside direct government funding this is the case when considering UNFCCC accredited projects. Essentially the complete carbon credited ideology is established upon explicitly fraudulent intentions. There will never be a way for investors in VER’s to realise any returns from their investments or recoup funds from insolvencies.

  11. That is not strictly true if Baker Tilley’s investigators with international connections track down the fraudsters and their funds. Once convicted, their funds may be used to compensate creditors. There is no guarantee here, but the sum outstanding is in the order or £20million. Do not hold your breath, but give BT and their joint liquidator Abbot Fielding, your full support; If they have not contacted you already, they will do so soon. However, if you have had any dealings with World Carbon, Worldwide Commodity Partners, Eco-Synergies, or any of their associated companies, you should immediately contact Baker Tilley or Abbot Fielding.

  12. I can’t stand it. I JUST WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!!!

  13. There appears to be no mention of Beta Commodities (trading as Alpha Commodities) selling massively overvalued diamonds (a.k.a. CARBON)with impunity.

    Whilst the authorities take no apparent action in criminalising these THIEVES and seizing assets, these scam practices will continue ad infinitum.

  14. @HangEmHighButSeizeAssetsFirst – Beta Commodities sold “fine diamonds”, “precious and tradable metals”, and “fine art”. There are hundreds of boiler rooms selling all sorts of phony investments out there. I agree, the authorities need to take some action – more than just closing the companies down but doing nothing to prevent the directors from moving on to the next scam.

  15. Hi
    Is this Charles Denbeigh mentioned above as the director of New Frontier Advisory Ltd
    the same Charles Denbeigh who was involved with 360 invest and the Ukrainian land lease deal.
    If it is what is he up to now.

  16. John. Would that be the Ukraine farming land deal, which was supposed to be floated in Germany following our agreeing to exchange our rights for shares?
    That’s a $38,000 brick wall – very smart operation I’d say. A certain Steve Shelley at then Mason Hyde? brokered that one for me as I recall. He was also trying to sell me carbon credits of one sort or another. Monies went via Aston Lloyd.

  17. It seems to have gone very quiet with regards to CAPITAL ALTERNATIVES LTD/CITOLA recently. Are they anything to do with ALTERNATIVE CAPITAL ? I understand that the High Court appeal from Capital Alternatives Ltd is still to be heard? Can anyone enlighten me please ?

  18. Don’t quite understand. Has Denbigh been arrested? Does that mean the authorities are tracking what happened to the 19 million?

  19. Hi Guys

    Does anyone know what has happened or will be happening in regards to Aston Lloyd, its directors, 360 invest and Charles Denbigh,

  20. Bob Sorry only saw your post. Yes the very same option, take it you lose/ don’t take it you lose.

  21. Don’t understand how City of London can allow these people to trade and scam, whilst purporting to be genuine brokers. Some examples need to be made, very publicly. Last I heard on the Agro Holdings (initially brokered via Aston Lloyd)The ‘Solicitor was asking for more money in order to continue pushing the issue, good money after bad again. Anyone got information on this subject?

  22. So the Insolvency Office has closed them down. Is that the end of it? What is the role of Baker Tilly and Abbott Fielding? Are they chasing the directors, e.g. Charles Denbigh? Is it just a commercial liquidation or are they now classified as criminals? Will the police assist the liquidators to track the crooks?

  23. How to contact Abbot Fielding & Baker Tilley, BobT? Im Duncan, one of the scam victim for Alpha commodities.

  24. They should have contacted you if you are on the database of the creditors/owners of credits. Contact Jaspal Thind at;
    Baker Tilley, Salisbury Hs, 31 Finsbury Circus, London, EC2M 5SQ.
    T; 020 7628 2040.
    also Stuart Tatham of Official Receivers Public Interest Unit;

  25. At last an exit strategy from Fidelity Capital- I had a letter from Steven Haunton Head of Managment who’s advisors are fully regulated (by whom!)
    This looks totally fishy to me they are based in London at 16 Hanover Square W15 1HT

    I smell a Rat !! They state that 23% of private clients have been traded out successfully (doubt it ) they state that they have been granted full authority to aid clients to trade out of their assets by UNFCC ???

    Scam Scam Scam beware

  26. Are you saying that the Investigation is complete? How much will we get back? I have not received any communication from the Insolvency Office? Thanks.

  27. Fidelity Capital are a Clone Company and there is a warning on the FCA Website to this effect. I emailed the FCA complaining that having these warnings is all well and good but what action is being taken against them to stop unsuspecting Clienst of being robbed of their money. I also lodged a Action Fraud Report asking the same questions. Seems to me that London has become the Scam Capital of Europe instead of the Financial Capital.

  28. I am a widow, i thought i was investing wisely for my kids future .George Banks as he called himself at Alternative Capital promised an 8 week return. He pressurised me into more money and now I’ve lost £7,250 . Every month i am now in debt and i can’t clear it all because of this scum . The Liquidator of Alternative Capital is Grant Thornton UK LLP 30 Finsbury Square London EC2P 2YV Tel 0207 383 5100 ask to speak to Alex Taylor.I want my money back and jail sentences handed out .

  29. Anita (and so many others).

    We all genuinely empathize with your plight.

    There appear to be a massive number of victims of this and many other scams who have been and continue to be defrauded by these thieving scum, apparently, daily and with impunity.

    Unfortunately, by the time, if at all, these pieces of excrement are brought to book, the money has long since gone and the authorities appear unwilling or unable to deal with the problems that abound and the spiral of lies, deceit and deception continue.

    Until ALL fraudsters are dealt with in a way which ensures non-participation and the activities of the scum who are the perpetrators are seriously limited and curtailed, these stories will abound and the misery you and others like you have and continue to suffer, will be perpetuated.

    We hope you get some sort of satisfactory conclusion and are only able to say that if you haven’t already done so, approach ActionFraud with full details and speak to the police to see what action is being taken.

    If you do not believe enough is being done, then keep complaining until you reach someone senior enough in the system who appears to be taking their responsibilities seriously and who isn’t just “ticking boxes” whilst the UK continues to become a “thieves paradise”.

    It may also be a good idea to approach your MP to see what can be done at a much more senior level to alleviate the suffering of so many hard working honest people at the hands of downright dishonesty.

    It seems that a lack of serious regulation and policing will only serve to promote the ongoing activities of this henious, evil and detestable and contemptible villainy.


  30. Does anyone have any knowledge about the investigations into these carbon trading scams? I have lost money to Capital Alternatives and New Frontier Advisory. I have sent information to Baker Tilly and The UK insolvency Office, but not a word from either of them as to whether any of the perpetrators have been arrested, assets seized, etc. Anyone “in the know” have any idea how much we might get back and when???

  31. A lot of people are in the same position as yourself – mugged – you just have to live with it – accept your losses and move on !

    Nobody cares out there Polititions Police Government advisory services no one! – absolutely no one. So face up to it and move on- you made a mistake (like me)

    Nobody is going to catch or prosecute these Bastards – they will just move on and look for their next victim – nobody is interested !!

  32. XYZ (and others),

    Without wishing to sound overly negative, you’ll be lucky to see anything other than only possible convictions in the distant future but only if sufficient victims come forward and report all wrongdoing to ACTIONFRAUD and ensure the police and insolvency service and liquidators are approached regularly and “forced” to ensure action is being taken.

    Without wishing to advocate wasting time of the above, if insufficient reports of criminal activity are chased up, NO action or resource is likely to be channeled to bring the THIEVES to account and no change in legislation effected.

    On this subject, intervention at a more senior level needs to happen to ensure that the ease with which this sort of activity takes place, is dealt with appropriately.

    As I understand, only a fraction of dodgy “directors” are even reprimanded with “toothless” bans but by the time the damage is done, it is invariably too late.

    So far as financial recompense is concerned, the liquidators get paid first and their usually huge fees, swallow whatever cash can be “found” and if matters go to court, and assets seized, the crown/court system paid first.

    Perhaps a workable financial compensation scheme that is all encompassing based on the reasonable expectation and moral responsibility of government instigating some form of viable regulatory control should be introduced. After all, it’s the system that allows unregulated activity and limited liability “companies” to operate for up to 2 years before any figures, however, “doctored” are submitted and only then in limited detail when turnover is less than about £6 million.

    Or am I just being unreasonably utopian in thinking that the huge amount of money extorted and misery heaped on hard workers, seen as “fair game” by the thieving, low-life scum, is unacceptable and MUST be dealt with by the people who have the power and resource to sort this mess out.

  33. My intro to this debacle was via an ex pupil to the AIM share market. Naively, I understood too late. Fortunately didn’t lose loads that time but.. Following the subsequent collapse of the ‘touting company’ – about 2yrs coincidentally, my number was passed prolifically, many of you too I guess..!
    ‘They’ were VERY GOOD, it taking too long for me to realise the reason for all calls was never about ‘my portfolio’ growth/regaining losses, via the new very friendly, empathetic ‘broker’! Rather, despite the ‘0% commission up front’ it was to lighten my account! Hopefully, empty it! (they did not)
    I have some recordings of conversations. Some are unbelievably callous, lying, conniving attempts at extorting even more money by fear of loss, for the sole purpose of personal gain! Read Theft..
    You are indeed correct HangEm, I am certain our HARD EARNED savings are viewed ‘fair game’! My issue is that it appears legal to start a business which strips individual’s assets under guise of investment, knowing at inception there’s NO POSSIBILITY OR INTENTION of reimbursement, let alone a realised investment!
    I’m not remotely suggesting this course of action but I’m sure people have made intimate contributions to building foundations for far less! There is little punishment or recourse for these structured blatant frauds, so who can blame such thoughts crossing the mind of victims? Some folk have been left in dire straits, some indeed bereft…
    Who gets compensation? – The Liquidators! WITH OUR MONEY if they find some. Frankly that’s wrong in such cases. They are winding down a scam not a genuine business that failed..
    Meanwhile.. The Clowns are ‘STILL AT IT’ Cold call today. I DON’T MIND A CONVERSATION, SO IT WENT ON A BIT..  after a while when Jeremy Clown had tried his last lie to convince me we had spoken last year – ME – “See Jeremy, we have never spoken!” I laughed down the phone and cut him off as he blubbered,knowing he’d failed. Do the same to all of them, if you have time waste theirs, it’s the least you can do!
    The System needs change of legislation but meanwhile, everyone needs to know this:
    SORRY our money is gone and I believe, nobody that could effectively help really cares…

  34. Bob.

    I find myself agreeing with all your comments, although in one instance, the “honest brokers” did return a 3 figure deposit for what has proven to be massively overpriced diamonds, presumably to lend credibility to their activities and further their ultimate ambition of extracting every last penny from their “victims”.

    Subsequent purchases made from the same company of the same/similar items, which could never be described in any disposal scenario to be an “investment”, are worth SIGNIFICANTLY less than the purchase cost, leaving the purchaser with little recourse and an inability to even offset the loss of capital against taxed pension payments due partly to apparent/alleged fraud.

    A REINFORCED CAUTIONARY TALE to all affected……..To all who are already embroiled or THINKING of “investing”, the pond-life that are involved are only interested in emptying your savings account/current account/pension pot/proceeds of Premium Bond sale/children’s savings account/bottom drawer full of cash/dying elderly relatives nestegg etc. for THEIR benefit.

    They care not a jot about anybody other than themselves and their only interest is the maintenance of their “Emperor’s Clothes” lifestyle and where the next Rolex cost comes (read…CONS) from.

    In short, there are two options.

    Either accept that you have lost out with no prospect of recovery or do everything in your power to “rattle the cages” of the officials/authorities to invoke some change and possibly prompt those who can to deal with the problems to do something other than make the right noises.

    ONE THING IS CERTAIN……..If you do nothing……NOTHING will happen and crying about it will not help….


  35. Re Fidelity Capital, I had a call from a William Howarth claiming to be from Portcliffe Group. He said they were an escrow and had funds due to me from Fidelity amounting to about £58,000 but a non-refundable release fee of about £4600 was required. (Fidelity are connected to Brookcourt who I believe have scammed me out of more than £60,000)
    Portcliffe give their address as 73 Watling Street, EC4M 9BJ, so as I was in London I decided to pay them a visit. No sign of them at that address and the receptionist there was most surprised when she checked Portcliffe’s website for me ( Looks like my name is on a “suckers” list.

  36. Interesting to see that Citadel Trustees who banked my money on a so-called agarwood Fiji deal run by World Forestry Monaco turned into Highpoint who later acted for Ecoplanet Bamboo promoted by Property Frontiers, oXFORD. My investment in a fixed interest 10 year bond from Ecoplanet Bamboo was redeemed after about a year or so and the reimbursement was made by Highpoint. Thank God for small mercies though to be fair, Ecoplanet Bamboo is run by an Illinois – based philanthropist and I could never imagine HIM cheating – unlike some of the indirect parties who get involved.
    If there’s anybody out there who has also fallen foul of investments promoted by Property Frontiers, you’re not alone. Please post a reply and, if you wish, a contact number and I’ll call you.


  37. @adrian simmonds – Thanks for this comment. But rather than asking people to leave their contact details (where they can also be used by scammers – particularly those offering recovery room or advance fee scams) it would be better if you left your email address and people can then get in touch with you (bearing in mind that scammers can then use your email address to offer their transparently obvious scams).

  38. I bought VER’s through MH Carbon in good faith. Are these genuine credits and is it unlikely i will ever be able to trade them?

  39. Carbon Expert, based in Marbella, used Ecosynergies (along with Carbonex) as their wholesaler of carbon credits but appear to have escaped censure. The Managing Director of Carbon Expert, David Martin, has subsquently set up a new company, The Wealth Advisory, who at one point were offering to sell investors’ carbon credits in return for investing in a film scheme.

  40. these con men should be made to pay back all money they took plus interest from their investors .I hope the Government will also rally round to stop these scam from ever happening again .

  41. The only department interested to help is the FCA in London:
    free call 08001116768.

  42. I, along with many others “invested” with Capital Alternatives. CA was taken to court and found guilty of improper trading and the Supreme Court has finally quashed the inevitable appeal.
    The FCA has recently sent me a letter confirming the above & will now attempt to retrieve monies for the investors…..but don’t hold your breath !

  43. You can find out if you ask them.
    I know that they investigate and they will prosecute C.A. when the time comes.

  44. I was also burnt by these Carbon Credit scams.

    I was approached by Frontier Advisory and one if its ‘Agents’ Luke Dornan or Lucas Dornan who was beating on about how celebrities like Callum Best had seen returns??!! I also believe some of these ‘Celebrities’ had appeared on the Frontier Advisory twitter feed confirming this??!!

    The individuals should be banned from any such business and certainly be added to the blacklist of con men in the industry.

    God knows what these people are doing now I had heard that these con men had moved into Diamonds?! Probably ripping more people off with similar scams

    Steer very clear if you come across these people selling these too good to be true products like the plague!!

  45. To everyone .
    Please Be AWARE of a scam by a company going by the names of world forestry Monaco and world forestry Fiji .
    I’m sure there names will be pooping up very soon in the courts .
    It’s a shame the government does not step in now and close them down before any more people lose there money .

  46. I presume that people that call me saying they can get £12.70 for my credits and are FCA approved and all they will need is a fee of 10% which will go into escrow and be repaid following the sale of my credits are probably the same scammers coming back for a second bite?

  47. @andyc – It may not be the same scammers, but it is definitely part of the same scam. Once you’ve been scammed your name and details appear on what the scammers call a “sucker list”. These lists are traded between boiler room operations. People who have been scammed are more likely to fall for another scam. The recovery room (or advanced fee) scam involves exactly the type of phone call that you’ve received.

    There’s more information about the recovery room part of the scam here:

    Sucker lists, recovery room scams, and why victims of scams become more trusting, not less

  48. There are a few scams now revolving around forestry,mainly Agarwood .
    The returns are bogus .One company was called Oxigen which was shut down by Virgin cos they were saying Virgin was there partner is now called world forestry Monaco and world forestry Fiji .
    Please ,if you come across this people trying to get your money ,give them a left hook from me .

  49. Tony Hetherington writes in the Daily Mail, 12 December 2015:

    The boss of a corrupt carbon credits investment company has been banned from acting as a company director for eight years, after investigators from the Government-run Insolvency Service found he was not even familiar with the business and was fronting for its real controllers.

    Nicolas Whitfield Towers, 54, from Enfield in North London, was the sole director of Eco-Synergies Limited. The High Court ordered the closure of the company last May, along with a dozen connected firms.

    I warned in 2013 against the three former City brokers who set it up and were at the heart of a network of carbon credit rip-offs that raked in more than £19 million from victims. A key part of the scam was that the sales companies told investors their carbon credits would be held in safe keeping by Highpoint Trustees, which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Highpoint director Anna Rickard even acted as director of one of the 13 companies closed by the court – though neither she nor Highpoint took part in the sales process. In 2013 the City watchdog declared that it was Highpoint’s duty to satisfy itself that investors were not misled. Now that it is clear investors were deceived, the regulator is refusing to comment.

    Highpoint told me a few days ago it had informed all carbon credit salesmen that they were not to use Highpoint’s regulatory status as a marketing tool. When it found they were doing exactly this, it told them to stop it. The company, which has acted in a similar trustee role for other scam investment schemes, added that nobody should rely on it for investor protection.

  50. Hi Chris and all,

    Do you have any update on the investigations into these fraudsters in general? Is anyone, e.g. the UK police, going after these individuals to seize assets, and reimburse scammed investors like myself? Has anyone been jailed yet?



  51. Has anyone information about what is happening with the Ecoplanet bond redemption programme? This should have been completed by the end of 2015 via Highpoint as trustees. Correspondence suggests a ‘liquidty’ problem.

  52. XYX & others,

    Don’t hold your breath!


  53. AllatC I too am awaiting answers from Ecoplanet and Highpoint regarding my bond redemption. It seems some people have had their money back adriansimmonds but I’ve not had any answers as to what is happening with my bonds!

  54. @AliatC
    Glad you’re on this forum. You should have got by now a mail from HighPoint dated 12th Aug 2016. We should gather as many Ecoplanet Bamboo Bond investors as possible to form a private discussion forum.

  55. @Unicom@AllatC@adriansimmonds I have had an email from Highpoint regarding forcing administration? has anyone else has this?

  56. Hi. HightPoint are also involved in another ECO SCAM related to bamboo investment from EcoPlanet.

  57. Hi, Yes HP have sent letters to bomboo bond investors asking us if we were willing to accept liquidation of Ecoplanet Bamboo.

  58. It was not just Emerald Knight who sold bamboo bonds. Property Frontiers whose CEO is Ray Withers, sold bonds to the majority of investors.
    Ray Withers was also an executive of Ecoplanet at the beginning.

  59. David Terry Cox was also one of the original directors of Bacolet Bay Resort, a Grenada resort project that began selling in around 2008, mostly to SIPPs and small investors, and has still not even commenced construction. Property Frontiers are STILL advertising it on their website.

  60. Steve Shelley from Albert Holmes scammed my Mum from £45,000. He contributed to her death and should spend 30 years in prison. I have a crime reference number with all details. You robbed from my Mum and she lived a frugal life. Go to Hell Steve Shelley. You’ve ruined our lives .

  61. New to this site, I have been reading about eco synergies. My husband also lost a great deal of money to this scam. I was contacted by Grant Thornton some time ago but wonder if it is worth contacting them again. He also invested in Capital Alternatives and fortunately the people have been bought to account and we should be having compensation next year. Any thought anyone??