Last year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it had started legal proceedings against Avacade Limited and its directors, here’s what you need to know about the pension introducer.
The introducer convinced investors to put their money into unregulated schemes. According to the FCA and our clients, Avacade misled consumers to convince them to invest. They also carried out unregulated activities without FCA authorisation.
The company, which is now in liquidation, provided a pension report service. It was marketed as summarising a consumer’s pension information and retirement objectives, to help people make decisions on their retirement savings. However, pension reviews are a common scam technique used to convince people to hand over access to their pension pots. You can read more about pension review scams here.
One of the most popular schemes investors were convinced to put their pensions into by Avacade was Ethical Forestry.
Ethical Forestry was a plantation in Costa Rica. It could potentially be one of the biggest pension scams in recent history. It is estimated that around 3,500 UK investors invested a minimum of £18,000 each in this scheme.
Investors were encouraged to put their money into a self-invested personal pension (Sipp). They were told that when the trees matured, they would be sold to the construction and furniture industry. The guarantee of low risk and high profit attracted around £50 million worth of investment.
However, investors were unaware that the scheme was actually very high risk and extreme weather destroyed the plantation, which forced Ethical Forestry Limited into liquidation, leaving thousands of investors out of pocket.
What happens now?
We are currently working with hundreds of clients to recover money lost after investment in Ethical Forestry.
As Avacade Limited sold the scheme on a ‘low risk’ basis, its directors are currently part of a Serious Fraud Office investigation. Craig Lummis, Lee Lummis and Raymond Fox were named for being “knowingly concerned” in the alleged wrongdoing of the companies.
If you invested after advice from Avacade Limited or into Ethical Forestry, we urge you to get in touch. We have hundreds of clients just like you who have lost their life savings due to mis-selling and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.