The FCA is continuing its High Court claim for money to be returned to investors in the African Land and Capital Carbon Credits schemes. The FCA continues to maintain that the defendants made false and misleading statements to investors in these schemes.
The FCA launched legal action in July 2013 in respect of two investment schemes, promoted by Capital Alternatives Limited and a number of other firms:
The High Court decided in February 2014 that the above schemes were collective investment schemes which could not be lawfully operated by the defendants. Some of the defendants appealed, and in March 2015 the Court of Appeal rejected the appeal and also found that the schemes were collective investment schemes. On 28 July 2015, the Supreme Court refused to give the defendants permission to make a further appeal.
Since receiving the Supreme Court’s ruling, the FCA has also been preparing the legal documents needed to continue its High Court claim. At a hearing in June 2016, the FCA asked the High Court to issue a timetable for the case going forward. A trial regarding various issues (including misleading statements which the FCA alleges were made to investors) has now been scheduled. This will take place on a date to be confirmed between 8 and 23 May 2017.
As the court has ruled that these are collective investments schemes and they were operating unlawfully, it may order the defendants to pay compensation that can be passed on to the investors. The sixteenth defendant has settled the case on the basis that it will contribute up to £200,000 in total if any other defendant is required to pay compensation. The sixteenth defendant will not take part in any further proceedings.
At present, the previous undertakings and injunctions obtained by the FCA from July 2013 onwards remain in place. Further information will be provided when it is available.
The FCA has explained to investors that they should retain copies of all documents and evidence of payments made in each of the schemes and that they may wish to take legal advice on their own individual position.
Investors should note that the FCA is not seeking repayments from other investments promoted by or related to Capital Alternatives Limited in these proceedings. Investors may therefore wish to take legal advice on their individual position in relation to any other products or schemes they have invested in.
Copies of the judgments can be obtained as follows:
We can confirm that the defendants in these proceedings are:
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