Carbon Credit Fraud – Four Jailed

Southwark Crown Court has jailed four men over their part in a £2.4 million conspiracy to miss-sell carbon credits to 130 investors.

Company director Sandeep Dosanjh and senior brokers James Lanston and Charanjit Sandhu had earlier admitted their involvement in fraudulent sales made between January 2012 and August 2013 through, Harman Royce Ltd and Kendrick Zale Ltd, in the then-fledgeling carbon market.

Michael Nascimento pleaded not guilty to a related charge of money laundering. Separately, Nascimento was this month sentenced to 11 years for his role in a £2.8 million boiler room scheme we reported earlier this month, which sold shares in a phoney holiday home development plan.     

City of London Police senior investigating officer Hayley Wade said ‘These fraudsters cruelly targeted often elderly individuals with the intention of defrauding them of their life savings. The custodial sentences imposed today will hopefully go some way to deterring others from committing such offences.’

Donsajh was sentenced to four years and six months, while Lanston and Sandhu received two years and three months, and three years and nine months respectively.

The men specifically targeted victims aged over 50 resident in affluent postcodes who they would cold call and persuade to purchase voluntary emission reduction (VER) carbon credits which they said were worth between £5.26 and £6.50.

In reality, the court heard that the notional value of the credits was likely to have been closer to 25p and 30p, and as VERs are not traded in a secondary market, purchasers would never have been able to realise the promised 100% return on investment.

In addition to drawing salaries from the enterprises, the proceeds of the scam were used to purchase luxury items, such as an Aston Martin car and high-end watches.     

Victims were provided with a bogus ‘carbon market analysis’ spreadsheet, which claimed to show the month on month changes in carbon credit prices between 2007 and 2012.

IYE has a range of investigative services to suit clients both large and small. Our aim at IYE is to ensure our clients do not fall victim to fraudulent investments in the first instance. We are happy to discuss and fully investigate any potential investment and provide clear, simple to follow advice on the legitimacy of a proposed investment along with the people associated with it. If you’d like to undertake full due diligence to ensure the investment you’re considering is genuine, please call us on: +44 (0)20 8914 7923 or use our contact form on the IYE Global website.