Anglo-Capital Partners Ltd, a London company that cold-called the public offering carbon credits for investment has been ordered into liquidation in the High Court on grounds of public interest following an investigation by Company Investigations of the Insolvency Service.
The order winding up the company followed a petition presented by the Insolvency Service on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The investigation found that the company charged investors between £4.45 and £9.22 a credit and raised over £1 million by promising investors that the credits were a phenomenal investment opportunity and to expect returns of between 20-25 per cent within two years.
The company’s website www.angloalternatives.com described carbon credits as the ethical alternative investment stating that “Anglo Alternative Investments was developed not only to offer a variety of ways to invest but also to start making a real and influential difference to companies and individuals carbon output”.
Welcoming the Court’s judgment, Chris Mayhew, Investigations Supervisor with Company Investigations, part of the Insolvency Service, said, “the real and influential difference in reality was that elderly and financially inexperienced investors were deprived of their savings after answering calls from the company’s representatives, some of whom, when contacting investors referred to themselves as bankers and/or implied they were calling from a bank; thereby giving the false impression to investors that they were dealing with a reputable financial institution. A carbon credit is generally defined as a permit that allows the holder to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Here the business was about releasing as much hot air as it took to achieve a sale. The Insolvency Service will not hesitate to take action to close down unscrupulous companies”.
Anglo-Capital Partners Ltd was incorporated on 10 October 2011. The registered office of the company throughout has been 2 Alderton Mews, Alderton Hill, Loughton, IG10 3JE. The company operated from 32-38 Leman Street, London, E1 8EW and previously from 14 Soho Square, London, W1D 3QG. The recorded directors of the company have been Brett Jolly (from incorporation to 1 December 2012) and John Oakes (from incorporation to present date). The secretary of the company throughout has been Mr Oakes.
In ordering the company into liquidation on grounds of public interest Mr Registrar Baister said “In a nutshell the company sold by cold calling to a market of mainly retired people felt to be more vulnerable to such sales techniques and made extravagant claims for which there is no real justification. In particular it was said that such investments were a ‘safer diversification’ and that investors could expect to receive a 20-25% return on investment, which was highly unlikely given the mark ups of, for example, 318% in one instance and 658% in another. There was no real exit strategy for investors to dispose of the carbon credits they purchased never mind at the profit levels represented to them. Representatives referred to themselves as bankers, or represented that they were calling from a bank, which gives the impression that the company is a properly capitalised financial institution and not a fly by night company and therefore gave a completely false apprehension regarding the nature of the company’s business and skills of the people involved. Whilst the company materials contained a risk warning, this was in small print and at odds with the general tenor of the way sales were conducted."