Three London-based companies involved in a scheme to sell carbon credits to the public have been ordered into liquidation by the High Court on public interest grounds following an investigation by Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service.
The investigation found that the three companies, World Future Limited, Capital Wealth Ltd and Fourteenforty Limited were linked and that the credits were wholly unsuitable for investment by the public.
World Future Limited ( www.world-future.co.uk ) marketed the credits, was supplied by Fourteenforty Limited and made payments to Capital Wealth Ltd whose sole director was James Ward.
The investments were marked up by between 150 and nearly 250 per cent of the original price paid by World Future Limited to its suppliers including Fourteenforty Limited. They were sold in five projects set up in:
* Hydro Power project in China,
* Wind Power project in India,
* REDD Reforestation project in Kenya,
* Forest Management project in Papua New Guinea,
* and a Biomass project in Thailand.
The investigation found that investors received unsolicited phone calls and were misled as to the prospective investment value of the credits; for example they were told to expect returns of at least 25 per cent and in some cases as much as 50 per cent within a year.
The investors were also told that airlines would be buying carbon credits every time a plane took off and that investors would have to get in first to maximise returns. In addition they were told that their investment could be withdrawn at any time. All of these claims were false.
World Future Limited began selling carbon credits for investment in July 2011 and ceased trading less than ten months later in April 2012 having raised some 2.5 million from the public, following The Services intervention.
World Future Limited and Capital Wealth Ltd then placed themselves into voluntary liquidation, which was overridden by the compulsory winding up order by the Court.
Company Investigations supervisor Chris Mayhew said:
There was no credible evidence to support the assertions made to investors, who had nothing to gain and everything to lose from being contacted by World Future.
Rogue companies cannot be allowed to rip off vulnerable and honest people and will not be tolerated by The Service and action will be taken to put them out of business.