Green company boss disqualified for carbon credits scam

An acting director of a green company has been disqualified for 13 years for his actions. He sold duplicated carbon credits and tried to cover it up, according to the […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

An acting director of a green company has been disqualified for 13 years for his actions.

He sold duplicated carbon credits and tried to cover it up, according to the Insolvency Service.

John Coates, although not formally appointed a director of Green Deal Advice 247 Limited in Lancashire, was the dominant driving force. He was involved in negotiations with energy companies to supply carbon credits in order for them to comply with the government’s Energy Company Obligations.

Mr Coates sold 2,000 tonnes of carbon measures to one energy company for which it received £222,145.

Unbeknown to the customer, these measures had already been supplied to another energy firm so were therefore duplicated.

Mr Coates was advised by the customer and made aware of the need to replace these carbon measures or ultimately to repay the monies received.

Between 12th June and 24th July 2014, £343,000 were transferred from the firm’s bank account to accounts in the name of John Coates and his wife.

The company’s accounting records were amended to show fictitious payments for carbon measures supplied by unconnected parties.

Mr Coates and his son Robert Lee Coates, who was the appointed director of the company throughout its trading life also failed to maintain sufficient accounting records  to show that a further £276,423 was expended for the benefit of the company’s trade.

They also failed to explain the whereabouts of a company vehicle purchased for £33,500, which was still registered to Green Deal Advice 247 Limited as at the date of Liquidation.

Mr Coates’ son was disqualified for nine years.

Robert Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North, said: “There was a very clear intention on the part of the directors to disguise their true actions by falsifying the company’s accounting records to give a completely different picture as to what had occurred. Directors who put their own personal financial interests above those of customers and creditors damage confidence in doing business and are corrosive to the health of the economy.

“This ban should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to help themselves first; you have a duty to your creditors and if you neglect this duty you could be investigated by the Insolvency Service and removed from the business environment.”