Serious Fraud Office
Serious Fraud Office charges three directors with fraud for forestry investment in Costa Rica
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) recently (14 June 2023) charged former company directors Stephen Greenaway, Paul Laver and Matthew Pickard with fraud in relation to a collapsed scheme where 3,500 UK investors lost millions of pounds.
For over eight years, Ethical Forestry Ltd operated tree plantations in Costa Rica and sold investments, starting at £12,000, in fast-growing hardwood saplings on their sites, offering a return once the trees were grown, logged and sold.
The company collapsed in 2015, triggering a comprehensive investigation by the SFO. Investigators heard from hundreds of savers who lost their savings and found most of them used funds from their self-invested personal pensions.
All three directors have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and one count of fraudulent trading. They will appear at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 28 June, before the case is tried at Crown Court.
Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, recently said:
“We delivered justice for over 10,000 victims of complex investment fraud in 2022 and we won’t stop fighting this threat.
“This company’s abrupt collapse impacted thousands of British savers and pensioners. We could not have brought this case without the many victims who bravely shared their experiences; we are grateful.”
Latest News from
Serious Fraud Office
SFO confiscates over £450,000 from CEO and a senior executive behind global finance fraud04/12/2023 13:05:00
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) recently (01 December 2023) secured over £466,000 from former Balli Steel Plc. executives who are currently in prison after a successful prosecution by the UK’s specialist anti-fraud agency.
SFO recovers £250,000 tennis club debenture from convicted fraudster24/11/2023 15:20:00
Today at Southwark Crown Court, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confiscated £250,000 from Achilleas Kallakis, one of the convicted fraudsters behind the UK’s largest ever mortgage fraud, held at the prestigious West London sports club, The Queen’s Club.
Serious Fraud Office launches investigation into suspected fraud at Axiom Ince with nine raids and seven arrests14/11/2023 15:05:00
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has today arrested seven individuals and carried out searches across nine sites, as it announces the launch of a criminal investigation into collapsed law firm Axiom Ince and £66m of missing client money.
SFO launches criminal investigation into funeral plan provider Safe Hands Plans12/10/2023 12:05:00
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has opened a criminal investigation into a suspected fraud at Safe Hands Plans Limited and its parent company SHP Capital Holdings Limited after their funeral plan scheme collapsed last year.
SFO charges four individuals behind Patisserie Valerie collapse14/09/2023 15:05:00
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) yesterday brought fraud charges against four individuals, including a former director, who oversaw the financial failure of a chain of almost 200 high street bakeries.
SFO Chief Capability Officer delivers keynote speech at 2023 Cambridge Symposium05/09/2023 13:05:00
The Serious Fraud Office’s Chief Capability Officer, Michelle Crotty, responsible for leading the SFO’s strategy, skills, resourcing and systems, yesterday delivered our keynote speech at this year’s Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime.
SFO seizes Sheffield flat linked to £17 million bribery in China14/07/2023 16:20:00
Today at the High Court, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) successfully recovered a property worth £200,000 and over £8,000 in rental profits from Dr Guang Jiang, an agent who helped British technology company Sarclad Ltd to pay bribes to secure business in China.
SFO intercepts funds from sanctioned bank to return to international fraud victims19/06/2023 14:32:00
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) will recover over £500,000 for the victims of a worldwide email fraud, after freezing money bound for a sanctioned Lebanese bank and securing High Court approval to use the unique case to trial a new approach to victim reparation.
HMCPSI publishes report on SFO’s case progression04/05/2023 13:25:00
Today, a report by His Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) has been published into the SFO’s case progression. HMCPSI is responsible for inspecting the SFO and this report follows up on progress against its 2019 inspection.