A group of 13 companies involved in a carbon credit scheme have been wound up in the High Court on grounds of public interest.
Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, the companies, which raised over £19m through the sale of carbon credits to the public for investment, were put into liquidation.
The investigation found Eco-Synergies Ltd, a wholesaler of Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER) carbon credits, was at the heart of the scheme.
The investigation uncovered that carbon credits sourced by Eco-Synergies Ltd for an average of 65p per credit were then sold to investors by the web of ostensibly unrelated companies at an overall mark up of up to 869%.
Chris Mayhew, company investigations supervisor at the Insolvency Service, said: “Eco-Synergies Ltd was at the centre of – and controlled – this web of companies in this patently bad scheme to sell carbon credits to the public for investment.
“The use of associates was central to its ‘pioneering’ business model. The credits were sold at such inflated prices that an unnatural increase in value would be required before investors could break even let alone see a return on their investment”.
“Essentially investors, including vulnerable individuals and often repeat victims who were urged to buy more and more credits, have lost their money.”
The other companies involved in the scheme and liquidated along with Eco-Synergies Ltd are: Eco-Synergies Nominees Ltd, Alternative Capital Limited, Beta Commodities Limited, Capital Acquisitions Ltd, City Asset Partnership Ltd, Cleartrade Limited, C T Carbon Limited, MH Carbon Limited, New Frontier Advisory Ltd, Wealth Capital Ltd, World Commodity Trading Limited, and Worldwide Commodity Partners Limited.