A director of a firm selling non-existent carbon credits has been banned for up to 15 years after taking nearly £200,000.
Jason Pistolas, 38, ran London-based Earnshaw Equities which claimed to invest in carbon credits for individuals. However it had no access to the carbon credits market, according to the government.
Company statements showed £177,497 was received into the company bank account of which three-quarters was withdrawn in cash.
During the Insolvency Service investigation following Pistolas declaring voluntary liquidation, creditors came forward with more than £63,000 owed to them.
At this point, the company had assets of around £5,600 and liabilities of more than £8,000.
Mr Pistolas also failed to keep adequate financial records so it has not been possible for further creditors to be identified, the government said.
Mark Bruce, a Chief Investigator at The Insolvency Service, said: “The director in Earnshaw abused his position by taking money from individuals for investments that he knew were fictitious.
“This behaviour is compounded by the failure to deliver records which would assist in identifying other investors or potentially recoverable assets.”