The High Court has banned three directors who sold worthless carbon credits as part of a £1m con.
Marcel McKeigue, Carl Thornton and Graham Hawrysh, who are the directors of liquidated firm Cleartrade, have been disqualified for 15 years each, which is the maximum period handed out by the High Court.
The ban means the directors cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 2031.
An Insolvency Service investigation found that between November 2011 and October 2012, Cleartrade had sold voluntary emission reductions, or VERs, to members of the public which had no potential to show a return.
The company had also sold the carbon credits at highly inflated prices, with investors losing a total of £1m from the scam.
This disqualification follows an investigation by the Public Interest Unit, a specialist team of the Insolvency Service, which decided to wind up the company.
Anthony Hannon, official receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said: “This company’s claims about the profits to be made by buying its carbon credits were quite simply untrue.”
He pointed out that only those who worked for the company had made any money.
Mr Hannon added: “The lengthy periods of disqualification handed down in this case show that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated by the Insolvency Service nor by the court.”