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Police in cash haul over £11m landbanking and carbon credit scam


City of London Police has seized £2.4m from six criminals who duped retired investors into buying into landbanking and carbon credit schemes as part of an £11m scam.

The police force says this is one of the biggest ever cash seizures for the City of London Police.

The six fraudsters – Matthew Noad, Clive Griston, Harry Neal, Kerry Golesworthy, Linda Noad and Roger Noad – have to pay £2.37m to the victims or face further jail time. Five of the six criminals are currently serving prison sentences.

Between 2005 and 2010 Matthew Noad and Griston ran a London-based boiler room, helped by Neal. More than £10m was taken from victims in a landbanking scam, where investors were sold plots for development which turned out to be worthless.

Despite being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, the pair set up another boiler room to sell valueless carbon credits, taking in another £1m.

Many investors were well into retirement with no ability to recoup their losses.

In one case, a blind 89-year-old man from Cardiff paid £94,000 for plots of land in Dumbarton.

He was told the area was primed for development when it had been earmarked as greenbelt land by the local council.

City of London Police Asset Recover Team Detective Sergeant Mel Moody, says:  “This confiscation hearing serves as a further warning to fraudsters that the work of the City of London Police does not stop with a successful prosecution, but instead marks the moment when we switch our focus to seizing all their assets.”



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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I accept that no regulator can possibly police or even be aware of every unauthorised/ unregulated investment scam going on. I dislike, though, in principle, the idea of levies paid by those who are authorised and regulated being spent on things that have nothing directly to do with us (e.g. debt counselling by the MAS). My job is to help people build and to protect financial security by way of sound and properly authorised products. I don’t even go anywhere near UCI Schemes.

    However, IMHO, the FCA does have a general duty of care to bring to the attention of vulnerable members of society the grave and proven dangers of having anything to do with unauthorised/ unregulated sales outfits.

    Surely, this could be accomplished at relatively reasonable cost by way of various public awareness programmes such as TV and newspaper advertising? The MAS and Pensions Wise advertise in the media the potential value of their services, so why not the FCA? The message would need to be no more complicated than: Before considering any investment, ALWAYS check independently that the firm promoting it is properly authorised and regulated by the FCA. If you do not have access to the InterNet, ask a trusted friend or relative to do it for you or call this FreeFone number. We’re help to help and protect you. NEVER commit money to any sort of investment without meeting face to face the person recommending it and without carefully examining written recommendations and literature. If in doubt, have a trusted friend or relative present when you meet the person promoting any investment product.

    It sounds so simple, so obvious and so easy doesn’t it? And therein, of course, when it comes to the FCA, lies the problem.

  2. I get two calls a week from these outfits. I have apparently always requested a ‘brochure’ on the internet from a sister company. The staff they use tend to sound well educated, are plausible and are very eloquent. Its easy to see how members of the public can be drawn in to these scams. I agree that the FCA need to do more to educate the public.

  3. DENNIS BRATHWAITE 14th October 2015 at 4:05 pm

    . Its alarming to know how easy it is for these crooks to get hold of peoples pension pots. it gives the whole British financial investment system a bad name and does confiscation really hurt these thieves. They probably have laundered most of the money to various offshore places. The whole thing is riddled with dishonesty and corruption

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