Woodford Green businessman in carbon credit scam banned as company director

World Futures Limited, traded at Docklands Business Centre. Photo: Google Maps

World Futures Limited, traded at Docklands Business Centre. Photo: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

A businessman has been banned from being a company director for four years following an investigation into shady deals.

The Insolvency Service announced yesterday that Edward George Lee, 71, of Woodford Green, was the last of four people involved with World Future Limited to be disqualified.

Mr Lee’s fellow directors, James Laurence Ward, 31, of South Woodford, Hollie Emily Chapman, 31, of Loughton, and Julie Margaret Sellers, 55, Croydon had earlier accepted disqualifications of between 12 and 14 years.

The investigation found the company had sold voluntary emission reduction carbon credits (VERs) at highly inflated prices to members of the public as an investment.

But while the credits had no investment potential the company - with a Canary Wharf address on its letterhead but based at the Docklands Business Centre – netted at least £2,484,500.

The VERs are used by businesses or individuals to offset their carbon footprints and are certified through a voluntary process.

Anthony Hannon, an official receiver of the Insolvency Service, said such behaviour would not be tolerated.

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“This company held itself out as having extensive expertise in the carbon credit market and made bold claims about the potential returns available when investing in carbon credits.

“The directors and salespeople had no such trading experience and were only able to make sales on the basis of systematic misrepresentations about the VERs they sold.

“The truth is that the VERs were impossible to resell, making them worthless as investments.

“The company was run entirely for the benefit of those running it, at substantial cost to the investors who had been misled.

“The lengthy periods of disqualification in this case show that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated by the Insolvency Service.”

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