A Tower Hamlets man has been convicted of conspiracy to defraud 90 people out of £2.3 million by selling then fake carbon credits.
After a five-week trial, Michael Foran, 27, of Bow, was yesterday sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to four and a half years in prison. His sentence included 18 months for a previous fraud.
Foran, a manager for London Carbon Credit Company (LCCC), led a team who phoned up and convinced members of the public to buy worthless carbon credits. Many of those who received the fraudulent credits, were convinced to take out loans or extend mortgages in order to afford what they were told were valuable assets.
The accused also used another company, Henderson International Associates, as a front to convince pension owners to invest in the credits through a different company, with some losing pensions they had accrued over a lifetime.
According to the Financial Conduct Authority, a carbon credit is a “certificate or permit that represents the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2)” that “can be traded for money”.
Alongside Foran, Kallan Henry, 27, of Tilbury, was sentenced to one and a half years for having knowledge of the pension fraud. Migle Sasyte, 31, of Beckton, was also found guilty of receiving criminal property and fraud by false representation. Sasyte will be sentenced in January.
Detective Constable Mark Loftus, of the Met’s Operation Falcon Complex Fraud Team, said: “This organised criminal group defrauded more than 80 people out of millions of pounds by deliberately selling carbon credits they knew were worthless or of nominal value.”
“The leaders of the group instructed their staff to make hundreds of cold calls every day and then tell lies to prospective customers to persuade them to invest in the fraudulent schemes, ” he added.
Loftus said: “These were sophisticated frauds carried out by a group who were determined not to stop. However the Complex Fraud Team was able to expose the deceptive, criminal behaviour of the men who posed as legitimate businessmen.”
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