A company director convicted of selling carbon credits as an investment when they had no genuine secondary resale market – and of failing to keep adequate records – has been disqualified as a director for 15 years.
Investigators had found that between 29 June 2011 and 27 March 2013, Young Erumuse – a director of The London Carbon Credit Company Limited (“LCCCL”) – had caused or failed to prevent the company from inducing members of the public to invest in carbon credits, for which there was no genuine secondary market.
Carbon credits are called voluntary emissions reductions (VERs).
The court heard that Erumuse had also failed to maintain, preserve or deliver up adequate company records to explain payments totalling more than £2 million and receipts of nearly £1m.
The London Carbon Credit Company Limited was incorporated on 29 June 2011 and traded in Greenwich, southeast London.
A winding up order against The London Carbon Credit Company Limited was made on 27 March 2013.
In the High Court in London, Registrar Derrett ordered that Young Erumuse be disqualified for 15 years from 2 September 2015.
Erumuse’s disqualification as a company director means he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 1 September 2030.
After the High Court hearing at which he was disqualified, Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, Paul Titherington said:
“The London Carbon Credit Company Limited was involved in a scheme to deprive investors of their savings by persuading them to invest in a type of carbon credit which has no known resale market.
“The London Carbon Credit Company Limited purchased carbon credits for an average of £3.50 – and charged its customers an average of £110.70, representing an average mark up of 3,163 per cent.
“It was therefore LCCCL and not its customers who profited from the VERs. Essentially, investors have lost their money.
“The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to use its enforcement powers to investigate and disqualify directors for their role in companies that defraud the public.
“I would caution that anyone cold-called and tempted to ‘invest’ in carbon credits is being offered nothing but hot air – and to simply hang up the call.”
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