A company that claimed to be selling biofuel technologies while promising an 800% return on investment has been shut down by the High Court.
After an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Greenwave Bio was ruled to simply be a “scam”. Investigators said the boiler room operation cold called UK investors to persuade them to buy worthless shares.
Greenwave Bio claimed to be a holding company established to distribute biofuel technologies, but was found to have no involvement in the biofuel or waste management industries.
Its website said, “It is our commitment to simultaneously solve the Peak Oil and global waste crisis by supplementing the decreasing oil supply with clean, sustainable liquid fuel made from waste.
“Achieving Zero-Waste at maximum profit to our investors is our ultimate goal.”
The firm offered investors “lifetime returns of over 800%”, inviting them to “tap into a 30% year-on-year growth industry.”
Shares in the firm had been listed on the First Quotation Board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, which was closed in December 2012.
The Official Receiver has been appointed as the company liquidator.
The Insolvency Service has said it is not yet clear how much money the scam duped out of investors, but Deputy Judge J Baldwin QC, who made the winding up order, said the company was likely to have tricked many traders.
“Greenwave misled investors by claiming to be part of an international company and exaggerating the rate of return on investment. This would have attracted investors keen to invest in such a high yielding and ethical company”, Insolvency Service chief investigator David Hill added.
“The winding up of this company shows the Insolvency Service will not stand to one side while the public gets scammed by chancers riding on the back of ethical investment.”
British police have recently been involved in international efforts to crack down on boiler room scams – so called because of the cramped conditions such operations usually work in.
The City of London police has confirmed there are 850 victims of the scams in the UK but said the true figure is likely to be in the “multi-thousands”.
Many of the victims are retired and had lost their pension savings and have collectively lost around £15 million, with individual loses ranging from £2,000 to £500,000.
The Financial Conduct Authority offers detailed advice to investors on how to avoid falling victim to share fraud.