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Carbon credit scammer Sami Raja sentenced to eight years in prison

On 18 January 2019, Sami Raja was sentenced to eight years in prison at Southwark Crown Court. He was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. Four other men were sentenced in September 2018. Between January 2012 and August 2013, they miss-sold carbon credits to retail investors through two companies, Harman Royce Ltd and Kendrick Zale Ltd.


UPDATE – 12 February 2019: On 5 February 2019, Sami Raja Consultancy put out a press release. Raja was not at Southwark Crown Court, and is not in prison. See the City of London Police’s response to REDD-Monitor’s questions here.


“Brokers” from Harman Royce phone cold called people to persuade them to buy carbon credits. The company targeted homeowners living in well off areas, aged 50 and over, promising spectacular returns.

They sold the voluntary carbon credits for between £5.26 and £6.50. In a press release, the City of London Police refer to evidence from an independent consultant that states that the carbon credits were actually worth somewhere between 25p and 30p.

In addition, there is no secondary market for voluntary carbon credits.

The money that Harman Royce raised through its scam went on staff wages, and luxury items such as an Aston Martin worth £33,000 and a £4,000 watch.

Kendrick Zale’s “brokers” also cold called retail investors and used high pressure sales techniques to persuade them to buy compliance carbon credits. In many cases, the brokers persuaded their victims to cash in Individual Savings Accounts, or to sell their investments in reputable companies.

Kendrick Zale bought carbon credits at a cost of between 67p and 87p and sold them for between £2.82 and £3.10.

In September 2013, the police raided Harman Royce’s office and seized client lists, contract notes, and company brochures. They also raided Kendrick Zale’s office, arresting Raja and others and seizing scripts, brochures, and sales confirmations.

In total, the fraud raised £2.4 million. REDD-Monitor wrote about Kendrick Zale after the company was wound up in the public interest in July 2014.

Senior Investigating Office of the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad, Hayley Wade, said,

“Raja cruelly targeted often elderly individuals with the intention of defrauding them of their life savings. He clearly felt no remorse for their actions, closing one company, only to set-up another and commit the same offences.

“The custodial sentences imposed will hopefully go some way to deterring others from committing such offences.”

In September 2018, four other men were sentenced in relation to this case:

  • Michael Nascimento – Convicted on 13 February 2018 and sentenced to two years for money laundering. In September 2018, Nascimento was sentenced to a further 11 years, as a result of the offences investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority. REDD-Monitor wrote about Nascimento in June 2016, and September 2018.
  • Sandeep Dosanjh – Director of Harman Royce. Sentenced to four years and six months for conspiracy to defraud.
  • James Lanston – A senior broker, sentenced to two years and three months for conspiracy to defraud.
  • Charanjit Sandhu – A senior broker, sentenced to three years for conspiracy to defraud. Sandhu was sentenced to a total sentence of nine years after an investigation by the FCA and other law enforcement agencies.

In March 2016, Sami Raja, Sandeep Dosanjh, and Manjeet Matharu were disqualified from acting as directors in the UK for their roles in the Kendrick Zale scam.

On his website, Sami Raja Consultancy, Raja listed his clients (this is a screenshot of an archived copy dated 3 February 2017):

There are (at least) two major red flags here: Bar Works and Heron Global Partners (although some of the other companies look pretty hairy too).

Heron Global Partners was a UK registered company that pushed investments in Bar Works – a company run by inveterate scammer Renwick Haddow. REDD-Monitor has written many times about Haddow and his scams.

In July 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a legal complaint against Haddow alleging that Haddow fraudulently raised almost US$38 million from investors. Haddow faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.
 

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  1. Great news !
    Did the law ever catch up with Carbon Credit scam artists at Advanced Global Trading who had offices here in Dubai ?

  2. Great post as usual Chris. I have one man who will be very pleased to hear that Sami Raja has gone to prison. His name is Dennis and he is 88 years old. This scumbag Raja was working for Heron Global Partners and he sold Dennis four investments totalling £225,000. All of them were scams. Dennis does not own a computer and has limited knowledge of technology. Raja did all of his selling by cold-call over the telephone. He bombarded Dennis with phone calls until he agreed to send cheques and invest.
    One of them was DCR, mentioned above, and that seems to already have a very active investor group. Dennis didn’t join the group because he was afraid of incurring legal fees for taking on DCR. He can’t afford to lose any more money. Another was Bar Works Inc which you also mention above. The company I work with has partnered with a law firm in the UK to claim compensation from Central FX, the currency exchange company which supported the Bar Works ponzi scheme. There are 74 investors and the claim is almost $7m.
    The third was Essex and London Properties, also mentioned above, for which we have sought barrister and solicitor advice and are about to launch a recovery action for investors. This is an interesting case because the UK Police and the Official Receiver have frozen £1.6m held in escrow accounts claiming that it belongs to Essex and London Properties Ltd (an English limited company in liquidation), but the legal opinion is clear that the money belongs to Essex and London Properties LP, a Scottish limited partnership with an identical name. The English limited company was the manager of the Scottish limited partnership. Donald Trump is President of the United States but it doesn’t mean he owns the money in the Federal Reserve !
    The fourth one is not in your list but boy it should be….. an alleged serial scammer, Simon Whittley of Highgrove Osprey Plc, Win River Developments and St Helier Capital Management. The team I work with give a lot of business to law firms and insolvency practitioners. Sometimes we ask them for a favour in return. We asked a law firm to take up Dennis’ case against Simon Whittley free of charge. They did and there is a forthcoming legal action against St Helier Capital Management. We expect Dennis to be repaid £50,000 + costs + interest + compensation for the stress caused by Simon Whittley. Sami Raja sold this investment to Dennis.
    Finally, two things for the record. We managed to recover the investments for two investors in Simon Whittley’s company, Win River Developments. He didn’t like the way we attacked him but he paid up in the end. We also managed to recover the investment for an investor in Westway Holdings (mentioned above). The story with Westway is that a guy goes on a course to learn about investing in property. He loves the idea and he comes up with a strategy which means he has no risk to himself but has the potential to pay him large profits. He asks people to invest in his new company, Westway Holdings. In return the company will pay 8% per year to investors. If the company turns out to be really bad at property development it will close and all investors lose their money. If the company turns out to be brilliant at property development investors get 8% and the guy gets to keep all the profits above that level i.e all the risk is with investors yet most of the profits go to the owner. It’s a rubbish investment. If an investor is taking all the risk they should get most of the profits. I don’t know about the others on your list above, but people like Raja know they are selling investments that are scams and they just don’t care. It’s great to see they are finally being locked up.

  3. @Marksie – Sami Raja has not gone to prison. On 5 February 2019, Sami Raja Consultancy put out a press release. I asked City of London Police whether he was in prison. Read the response here.