Sustainable energy companies wound-up in court after stealing £525,000 from investors

Energy & Low Carbon Industry | Legal | South East

Three companies connected to bogus sustainable energy processing schemes have been wound-up in court after eliciting at least £525,000 from investors.

Elcourt Ltd, WSR Hawker Ltd and Devo Group Ltd were wound up in the public interest on 9 June 2020 in the High Court before Judge Prentis. The Official Receiver has been appointed as liquidator of the companies.

In considering the petitions, the court heard that all three companies promoted and sold investments into sustainable energy processing schemes.

Elcourt traded as AD Baxton and claimed it provided brokering services, offering people the opportunity to acquire bonds in the two connected renewable energy companies, WSR Hawker Ltd and Devo Group Ltd.

However, the company was found to never had any presence at its registered address and in April 2019, the financial regulators issued a warning against Elcourt for providing unauthorised financial services and products.

Devo Group said it collected used cooking oil from various food and catering vendors within the UK and Europe to convert into biodiesel, while WSR Hawker described itself as a developer of wind power generation sites. However neither company had any official presence at their registered addresses.

Following petitions submitted by the Insolvency Service on behalf of the Secretary of State the court found that the entirety of the companies’ operations was a sham.

The court also heard that none of the bogus sustainable energy companies cooperated with the investigation and from the limited amount of data available, investigators uncovered that at least six investors made investments of £525,000.

During proceedings, Judge Prentis commented that it was no surprise that the three companies were not represented in court and that there was overwhelming evidence a fraud had been perpetrated.

Irshard Mohammed, Senior Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “All three companies fraudulently tricked people into investing in so-called safe and environmentally-friendly businesses. However, any trading presented by these companies appears to have been entirely fictitious and from the £525,000 worth of investments we know about, no returns have been received. The court thankfully recognised this misconduct and removed the companies from the corporate arena.”

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