Two London-based alternative investment firms have been ordered into liquidation by the High Court.
Pinecom Services Limited (trading as Pine Commodities) and Pine Commodities Ltd were shut down on 2 July on grounds of public interest after an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
The companies were found to have continued the practises of previously shut down businesses which used “objectionable trading” methods to sell carbon credits to the public.
Tullett Brown Limited, Foxstone Carr Limited and Carvier Limited were shut down in the public interest between June 2012 and May 2013
Pinecom Services Limited and Pine Commodities Ltd raked in over £1.8m from the public from sales of precious metals, storage units and diamonds for investment using cold calling techniques.
The investigation found that carbon credits were sold by the two companies in 11 projects around the world.
Chris Mayhew, company investigations supervisor at the Insolvency Service, said: “Contrary to the companies’ claims, their services, in plain English, were designed to rip-off investors.
“I would urge anyone cold-called and invited to invest, in particular those who have already invested with these companies and who may be approached by companies purporting to have been appointed by the Court to deal with their investment, to simply end the call.
“Nobody should be left in any doubt that the Insolvency Service will continue to take robust action whenever serious failings are discovered and in particular against contemptible companies as here preying on vulnerable investors”.