A company called Oakmount Management Partners Ltd is offering an exit strategy for people who have been scammed into buying carbon credits as investments. Of course there’s an advance fee involved. And of course it’s a scam.
But the scam doesn’t start (or end) with Oakmount Management Partners. There’s a series of companies involved. Let’s work our way through at least some of them and the man linking these companies: Glenn Jamie King. (There may be links to other companies and other people – I look forward to hearing about these in the comments.)
Oakmount Management Partners
Oakmount Management Partners’ website was registered (anonymously) in January 2015. The company doesn’t appear to be registered in the UK, although its address is 25 Canada Square, London. A search on Open Corprates for Oakmount Management Partners gives no results.
The website gives no information about who is behind the company.
Oakwood Financial Management
REDD-Monitor recently received a copy of a letter from a company called Oakwood Financial Management. The letter states that Oakwood Financial Management had been, “officially appointed the official liquidator of a number of companies that have been involved in the carbon credit market”.
The letter continues by explaining that Oakwood Financial Management’s task is to “liquidate the companies making sure if there are any assets, they are sold on their behalf so that compensation can be claimed”.
To reassure people that it isn’t a scam, Oakwood Financial Management warns about boiler room scams:
We are aware that clients may experience cold calls from third party organizations claiming to be in a position to sell your carbon emission units, advice we must give is that you DO NOT entertain these calls as the majority of them full [sic] under the bracket of a ‘Boiler Room Scam’.
Then Oakwood Financial Management outlines its own scam:
Oakwood Financial Management doesn’t give an address in its letter, just a phone number.
On 22 April 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority put out a warning about Oakwood Financial Management, which is a clone of an FCA authorised firm.
The original recipient of the letter got a phone call a couple of days later from a “dedicated account manager”, who gave a company registration number (07101464) and suggested looking it up on companycheck.co.uk. The number is for a company called Oakmount and Partners Ltd. (We’ll come back to Oakmount and Partners below).
Not long after the phone call, a “Contract of Sale” and an Invoice for “Corporate Re-Diversion” arrived in the post from a company called Oakmount Management Partners (see above). The invoice was due in three working days.
The “Contract of Sale” was signed by Glenn Jamie King, Director of Oakmount Partners.
Oakmount and Partners
We know that Oakmount Management Partners is a scam because it says so on the website of another firm, with the similar name: Oakmount and Partners. And we know that Oakmount and Partners can’t possibly be a scam because the company’s website features the words “Integrity – Trust – Reputation” in large letters.
Here’s a screenshot from Oakmount and Partners’ website:
That screenshot was taken from an archived copy of Oakmount and Partners’ website. It was archived on 20 April 2015. Three months later, the notice is still there, and Oakmount Management Partners is still running its recovery room scam.
Difficult to believe, isn’t it? Surely if Oakmount and Partners were a legitimate company that had taken “immediate legal and professional recourse” and told the Police, Banks, Financial Conduct Authority, and Action Fraud, Oakmount Management Partners’ transparently obvious scam would by now have been stopped? As far as I’m aware, the Financial Conduct Authority has not even put out a warning that Oakmount Management Partners is cloning Oakmount and Partners.
Predictably enough, a closer look at Oakmount and Partners suggests that the words “Integrity – Trust – Reputation” on the company’s website have nothing whatsoever to do with the way the company operates.
I first came across Oakmount and Partners in 2013, when I wrote about a scam company called Baron Traders. I received an email from James Richards, the director of Baron Traders, asking me to remove the article. The post about Baron Traders is still available on REDD-Monitor, as is Richards’ request that I remove the post.
At the bottom of Richards’ email was an email address: email@example.com. But clicking on that email address brought up an email address belonging to Oakmount and Partners: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2013, Oakmount and Partners’ website looked like this:
Oakmount and Partners had a link with Emerald Knight as this brochure for an investment in something called “Carbon Neutral Drilling” shows. Emerald Knight offered a monthly return of 8%. And needless to say it’s a transparently obvious scam.
Emerald Knight was a boiler room operation (its website has now gone, but an archive is available here). REDD-Monitor has reported on Emerald Knight’s role in selling the following dodgy investments to members of the public:
- REDD carbon credits from Brazil and Papua New Guinea for Industry RE (a company that was ordered into liquidation in September 2013);
- Investments in teak plantations in Brazil for Global Forestry Investments (earlier this year, the Serious Fraud Office opened a criminal investigation into GFI).
I wrote about Emerald Knight’s sales pitch, and how it succeeded in duping the Financial Times’ blog “FT Adviser”, here.
Oakmount Global Management
At the top of Oakmount and Partners’ website is an announcement explaining that “Our New and Innovative Websites are Currently Under Construction”. Two company names are listed: Oakmount and Partners Ltd, Est 2009 and Oakmount Global Management, Est 2011.
But here’s what Oakmount Global Management’s website looked like in November 2014, back when the company was selling near-worthless carbon credits as investments to members of the public:
Oakmount Global Management was one of the companies on a list of suppliers/custodians of carbon credits provided by MH Carbon Nominees in 2013, after scam company MH Carbon went into voluntary liquidation.
Like the other companies running this sort of scam, Oakmount Global Management’s website featured misleading statements about carbon markets. Like this one:
Carbon offsetting is in its early stages but market growth is being driven by legislation and the backing of almost every country in the world. A recent New York Times article described carbon trading as one of the fastest-growing specialities in financial services and companies are scrambling to get a slice of a market now worth about $130 billion with reports indicating it could grow to $1 trillion by 2020.
Oakmount Global Management refers to a New York Times article. It was written in 2007, and includes a quotation from Louis Renshaw, then-head of environmental markets at Barclays Capital:
“Carbon will be the world’s biggest commodity market, and it could become the world’s biggest market over all.”
Redshaw resigned from Barclays Capital in April 2013, and in March 2014 he set up his own consulting firm, Redshaw Advisors. He’s written an article responding to the fact that his quotation has been misused by scam companies:
Some of these companies have used the quote at the top of this page as a thin veil for worthless carbon credits that they attempt to offload to less experienced investors, this very fact is the motivation for writing this article. Investment in any carbon credits is speculative but unlike compliance driven carbon markets, where sensible supply and demand analysis can be done and a view taken, analysis and price views of the offset market are very unreliable. Couple this with there not being a liquid market to cash in an investment and ugly carbon markets are a very risky proposition. Private investment should be avoided.
Redshaw Advisors does not invest in unregulated carbon markets, despite the company’s many years of experience in the carbon market.
Glenn Jamie King
Oakmount Global Management was registered in 2011, and the director is Glenn Jamie King.
King is also director of Oakmount and Partners.
From May to September 2010, Glenn King was a director of a company called DMD Media. When he left, he was replaced by Michael Nascimento. Tony Hetherington wrote about Nascimento’s company Morgan Forbes and its dubious investment schemes in the Daily Mail in August 2011. Morgan Forbes was offering an investment in a hotel in Ponta do Pargo on Madeira. The company promised returns of 142% after five years. Another scam, obviously.
From his LinkedIn page, we learn that Glenn King sees himself as an,
Experienced professional with ability to manage portfolios, assess and manage portfolio risk exposures, and develop investment strategies and policy guidelines for the most sensitive client relationships.
King was a co-founder and partner of Centrium Capital Markets Ltd. The company, which was registered in April 2013 is currently dormant. The company’s website is behind a Disclaimer notice explaining that, “The investment opportunities on this website are only available to professional investors,” and that, “There are risks associated with the advice and investments that may be outlined in this website.”
By this stage, it is not reassuring that the words, “Trust, Integrity, Opportunity”, appear on the website.
Centrium Capital Markets is not registered with the FCA. Instead a note at the bottom of the website informs us that,
Centrium Capital Markets Limited (FRN: 648207) is an appointed representative of Kession Capital Limited (FRN: 582160) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
On its website, Kession tells that it provides “FCA Umbrella Services and Regulatory Hosting”. Here’s a screenshot:
Kession is registered with the FCA. The FCA apparently doesn’t mind that Kession is lending its FCA permissions to other companies. But at least some of these companies look as though the only sensible investment approach would involve the use of an extra long bargepole. Ethika Global Consulting, for example. In April 2015, Spain’s Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores warned that the company and its director Manuel Nogueron Resalt was not authorised to provide investment advice in Spain, despite a company address in Barcelona.
Finally (for now) we learn from his LinkedIn photograph that King seems to believe that the best way of demonstrating, “Integrity – Trust – Reputation”, is with a selfie taken in the gents: