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Gavin Manerowski, ex-director of carbon credit investment scam company MH Carbon, is banned as director for 12 years

Between 2 May 2011 and 24 October 2012 a London-based company called MH Carbon sold more than four million carbon credits to members of the public as investments. The carbon credits were worthless and investors lost their money. The company took at least £14.3 million from retail investors.

In December 2016, Gavin Manerowski, director of MH Carbon from September 2010 to October 2012, was disqualified from being a director in the UK for 12 years.

Reporting on Manerowski’s ban, Tony Hetherington writes in the Financial Mail on Sunday:

Though the Insolvency Service found Manerowski responsible for misrepresenting the value of carbon credits, no further proceedings have been brought against him and it appears he will be allowed to keep the profits he made through MH Carbon.

REDD-Monitor first wrote about MH Carbon in January 2013:

MH Carbon was another investment scam that managed to convince the Financial Times’ blog FT Adviser to run stories by its employees.

In March 2012, Richard Clark, a senior consultant at MH Carbon, wrote a long piece for FT Adviser titled “Carbon investments: Would you credit it?”.

Clark’s article acknowledges that some “carbon brokers” are reading from scripts, but he attempts to make MH Carbon appear different. The article starts as follows:

Carbon credits are the new talk around the investment community, offering promises of huge returns along with the added bonus of saving the planet.

But, looking beyond the hubbub on the trading floors, is the carbon market an over inflated bubble or is this really the beginning of a new, stable market?

Contrary to the regurgitated scripts of some carbon brokers, there are no guarantees, there are risks and there are downsides. However, if done the right way, there is also the potential to make incredible returns.

In its case against Gavin Manerowski, the Insolvency Service points out that had Manerowski carried out research about the suitability of carbon credits as an investment he would have found that:

  • As early as 2010, it is apparent that HMRC [HM Revenue & Customs]; the FCA [Financial Conduct Authority]; the Registries and the carbon credit market’s own self-regulating authorities considered that there was no viable secondary market for VERs [voluntary carbon credits] and that, even if there was, members of the public had no access to it.
  • In the absence of a viable secondary market for VERs, investors were and are unable to sell their VERs, whether for a profit or at all, and will suffer financial loss as a consequence. He knew, or ought to have known, that this was the case.

Unfortunately, FT Adviser’s editors appear not to have carried out any research into the suitability of carbon credits as investments. Clarke wrote on the FT Adviser blog that,

The spot trading of voluntary carbon credits is now widespread and has become increasingly mainstream. Now, speculators are starting to reap the benefits as carbon brokers around the City begin to show profits. Profits are realised when the carbon broker sells the investor’s asset to a company that buys them at a higher price than that originally paid.

Clarke’s article has since been quietly removed from the FT Adviser website.

MH Carbon was part of a web of companies selling carbon credits as investments. In May 2014, the Insolvency Service announced that 13 of these companies were being shut down, including MH Carbon. Citadel Trustees was operating behind the scenes of this web of companies. Citadel Trustees has since been renamed as Highpoint Trustees and has recently gone into liquidation.

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  1. Glad to see one of these scoundrels is being punished but it seems pretty mild; this was fraud in my view and he should be in prison. I’m guessing he’s still rich and none of the investors got their money back?

  2. So given that the FCA & HMRC & their regulating authorities knew what they know about these worthless investments, why did they as regulators even allow for them to be marketed to retail investors? Why didn’t they ban their sale to retail investors?

    Why was is it that the trustees charged with providing governance for retail investors pensions schemes took on the management & administrations of these pension scheme investments, given that they too would have been informed by the FCA & HMRC of their worth?

    Just some of the questions investors like me who have lost their pensions have still yet to get a satisfactory answer to!!

  3. Surely there must be a way to retrieve the profits he has amassed and distributed to us mere mortals that have lost our money though HM Carbon scam, not only money but health, pension, etc.
    How can take up the challenge to get our money back?

  4. The sheer unjustice here is that he was allowed to keep the profits he made from robbing people.

  5. Cold comfort for investors. Does anyone know if these carbon credit crooks are being chased by the police? Will we get anything back? How long will it take?

  6. Gavin Manerowski is a complete CROOK! Always has been jumping from scam to scam, he moved on to Green Energy Commodities!! Investors should sue him!

  7. This was fraud, so why hasn’t the police got him under lock and key. The people involved in the same sort of scam from the London Carbon Credit Company were jailed back in November 2016, there is no difference between these companies, so why has Manerowski and his associates not been convicted and all his ill gotten assets seized to help pay back his victims?

  8. @john wilson – Thanks for this teaser. OK, I’ll rise to the bait with a few questions:

    1. When and from whom did you buy your carbon your carbon credits?

    2. How much did you pay per credit?

    3. When and to whom did you sell your credits?

    4. For how much did you sell them?

    5. How did you find the buyer?

    6. How did you convince them to pay for carbon credits that are worthless?

    7. Did you receive any advice or help in selling your credits, and if so, from whom?

  9. john wilson, prove it, because I think you probably have the same mindset as Gavin Manerowski not quite telling the truth.

  10. I sold them at a loss in part exchange for a property deal in Costa Rica the property agent I was dealing with introduced me to a bank manager where they trade carbon at spot price there only worthless if people were paying 7pounds and above

  11. @john wilson – Thanks for this. So you ended up handing over even more money in order to buy property in Costa Rica. Just out of curiousity, why would a bank manager trade carbon credits? I can’t be the only one who would like to know more details. How about starting with the name of the property agent?

  12. because there is a carbon exchange bank in costa Rica do some research I was buying a property anyway I got onto the conversation as In Costa Rica it’s quite normal I was told as the country be carbon neutral by 2020 I’m moving there permanently in June as my wife is from there.
    My agents name is Marco Gonzalez the contact at the bank is James guttuirez I bought from MH carbon credits situated in Peru

  13. I am interested to learn how John Wilson managed to actually go through the process of selling his cc’s. I spoke to the liquidator of Eco Synergies Nominees a few weeks ago who says the credits are in no-man’s land at the moment so cannot be traded as the registry they were on is closed and they are working to get them all put on to the main registry in due course.

  14. He was behind Eco as well! This guy will screw people over, even friends and work colleges. He’s behind a new scam, I’m sure of it…

  15. This chap, work for Marcello Developments. That’s gone wrong too