By Richard Smith
Paul Seakens, of Gemmax Solutions Limited, appears to have suddenly noticed that he has a beef. He has a beef with blogs such as Naked Capitalism, an extremely recent entrant, of no more than two weeks’ standing, to carbon credit scam commentary, where the name of Seakens looms ever large; and he has a beef, all of a sudden, with a much more venerable incumbent commentator, www.redd-monitor.org, which has been following Seakens or his dodgy clients for months and years.
By implication, Seakens should also take on worthless rags such as the Financial Mail on Sunday, consumer web site lovemoney.com, and propagandist scum such as the BBC, the Financial Conduct Authority and the City of London Police, all of whom, from time to time, have taken an interest in, and published on, Seakens-related matters.
But it seems he’d rather tangle with the blogs. So be it.
A series of statements has recently appeared on the Gemmax Solutions web site; I don’t have an exact picture of their publication dates, but the first, which references an NC post from 4th November, must be from that date or later. The third in the series references BBC news of 6th November. Here is the first of them; if Seakens thinks better of it, it’s archived here. It is a rather ineffectual pop at “Naked Capitalism” and “redd-monitor”.
The statement is also an impressive exercise in copy and paste, so perhaps, despite its prolixity, not the huge waste of its compiler’s time that it at first appears to be. I do hope there is not some soon-to-be-embarrassed lawyer behind all that indignant drivelling. Though on reflection, it would be quite amusing if some hack lawyer had cooked up that load of hot air, and got Seakens to pay for it. That would be somewhat like selling a Voluntary Carbon Credit to some retail investing sucker.
Let us briefly hand over the microphone to Mr Seakens:
We are aware of articles appearing on the Internet at Naked Capitalism and REDD Monitor. We wish to correct some factual inaccuracies in these articles and invite the editors/creator of the articles to correct them accordingly but hold out little hope of them doing so. It would seem they are written by frustrated authors of fictional works who are not keen to let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Well, he’s right about one thing: this blog has no plans to correct those stories. It’s simpler to address this one point:
There is no association between “the Seakens name, (associated with boiler room scams)” and boiler room scams. Such a statement is libelous, completely unfounded and only created by the creators of these websites.
Pausing only to observe that Englishmen usually put two ‘l’s in “libellous”, let’s remind ourselves of where the association between the Seakens name and boiler room scams really comes from. Here’s the current warning (2nd July 2013) from the FCA, about firms associated with Seakens’ firm Gemmax Solutions Limited, f/k/a Carbon Neutral Investments. Note the URL:
And by way of further context, let’s review the entire published client list of Gemmax Solutions Limited, as at 28th October 2013, as recorded in the Wayback Machine. I’m afraid it is going to be a bit repetitive: there is an idea that I wish to hammer into Mr Seakens’ deplorably unreceptive skull. So I too am resorting to copy and paste. Note that the client list of Gemmax Solutions Limited changes at a brisk rate, as anyone would expect from a list of fly-by-nights, so, by the time you read this, the current list will doubtless be different again.
Agora Capital Limited, web site, offers alternative investments to retail investors. Here’s some extra media comment on Agora:
Scam/mis-selling alert: watch out for a phonecall from Agora Capital Limited Co No 08305470 pressure selling investment in diamonds.
AIS Capital Limited, web site, offers carbon credits to retail investors. Here is the FCA’s warning about firms offering carbon credits as retail investments; note the URL: http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/investment-scams/carbon-credit-trading.
Blue Horizons Carbon Limited, web site, formerly offered carbon credits to retail investors, now offers ‘alternatives’. Here is the FCA’s warning about firms offering carbon credits as retail investments; note the URL: http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/investment-scams/carbon-credit-trading.
Here is one veteran’s advice on how to interpret the switch from carbon to alternatives:
“they’ll all be reading similar scripts”
Clear View Partnership Limited, web site, offers a login only to “CNI Emission Reduction Unit holders.” “CNI” I take to be Carbon Neutral Investments, the predecessor company of Gemmax Solutions Limited, also directed by Mr Seakens. The proposition isn’t spelt out, at the web site, as you can see, but the consumer web site lovemoney.com is on hand with more info about what Clear View do; they sell carbon credits to retail investors (note the URL):
Their phone salesmen are “aggressive and incoherent”, opines the piece’s author, Levene. Here is the FCA’s warning about firms offering carbon credits as retail investments; note the URL: http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/investment-scams/carbon-credit-trading.
Enviro Associates Limited, web site,offers carbon credits to retail investors. The BBC, no less, think they make misleading claims to sell carbon credits. Here is the FCA’s warning about firms offering carbon credits as retail investments; I am sure regular blog readers will have the idea by now, but note the URL, anyway:
I should add that I found Mr Luke Ryan, Mr Seakens’ erstwhile co-director at Enviro, conducting what appears to be a large scale “recovery room” scam aimed at people who had already bought carbon credits, but who found that they couldn’t sell again, perhaps because because their scammy broker had disappeared. I wrote up that scam, here.
European Carbon Solutions Limited, web site, sells carbon credits to retail investors. Here is the FCA’s warning about firms offering carbon credits as retail investments; perhaps even Mr Seakens’ imagined lawyer has the idea by now, but note the URL, anyway: http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/investment-scams/carbon-credit-trading.
Falkner Grey Limited, web site, sells carbon credits to retail investors. Here is the FCA’s warning about firms offering carbon credits as retail investments. Note the URL: http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/investment-scams/carbon-credit-trading.
Good To Be Green Limited, web site, sells carbon credits to retail investors. Here is the FCA’s warning about firms offering carbon credits as retail investments. Note the URL: http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/investment-scams/carbon-credit-trading.
Global Carbon Exchange Limited, web site, sells carbon credits to retail investors. Here is the FCA’s warning about firms offering carbon credits as retail investments. Note the URL: http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/investment-scams/carbon-credit-trading.
Kendrick Zale Limited used to sell carbon credits to retail investors, but in late August or early September 2013, it was busted by the City of London Police as a fraud. Gemmax Solutions apparently still considered Kendrick Zale to be a client in late October. Readers may therefore wish to assign due weight to Paul Seakens’ repeated assurances that:
“We take the misuse of our name very seriously and will do all we can to eradicate this but it is clearly not something we are carrying out ourselves or encouraging others to do.”
By the way, I do not think this sentence means what Mr Seakens intended it to mean.
Wellz Zable Limited, web site, sells carbon credits to retail investors. Here is the FCA’s warning about firms offering carbon credits as retail investments; for the very last time, note the URL:
Short version: Gemmax Solutions’ entire business, in so far as it is publicly documented, revolves around the provision of payment processing and registration services to alternative investment scammers; particularly, carbon credit scammers. One can only admire Mr Seakens’ unusual take on KYC (know your client).
Seakens should come off it; if he is alert enough to run a clearing house, he’s alert enough to know damn fine where his service fees are coming from: fleeced investors. He should stop raving at blogs, jack in this trashy business, Gemmax, and take its books and records to the FCA, or to Action Fraud.
Given the Gemmax client list, Seakens’ third statement is even more absurd, hawking its pointless solution to a non-problem:
We absolutely support and have assisted and will continue to assist any action taken by the authorities in respect of the fraudulent selling of Carbon Credits. We believe this is a vindication of the business model employed by Gemmax Solutions (and Carbon Neutral Investments before it) of providing a clearing mechanism for the settlement of carbon credits. The service provided by Gemmax Solutions guarantees a delivery versus payment mechanism ensuring cash is exchanged for an asset. This removes the ability for the fraudulent selling of a non-existent asset by a brokerage firm.
Gemmax Solutions ‘business model’ doesn’t stop scammers selling wildly overpriced assets, though, which is the real problem in this market. In fact, the Gemmax ‘business model’, if it works at all, facilitates such sales. On that point, Gemmax Solutions’ register of investors’ carbon credit holdings will have a tale of woe to tell in due course; Gemmax Solutions’ bank accounts, likewise.
There are more ravings from the Seakensbunker to pick over. The second statement in his recent series of three is a scorcher, and rewards close inspection, planned for our next post.
Just read the demand latter, a pico-review would be “Ouch Ouch Ouch, that’ll leave a mark.”