Carbon credit climate scam: the fraud prosecutions begin

Guest opinion by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

The London Evening Standard has a very interesting story today (20 September 2016) describing the first day of a professor’s fraud trial at Southwark Crown Court, London, for operating an alleged £60 million climate-related tax dodge.

The story, headed World-famous conservationist “was part of £60 million eco-projects tax scam”, says prosecutors allege that Professor Ian Swingland, a “renowned conservationist” who collected an Order of the British Empire from the Queen in 2007, together with four accomplices, had helped investors avoid tax on £170 million of income during a three-year “scam”.

Swingland, 69, founded the “Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology” in 1989 at the University of Kent. It is now described as “a world-leading research facility into biodiversity, communities and sustainable development”.

Julian Christopher QC, prosecuting, said: “They were opportunities to invest in research designed to counteract the effects of climate change and to find a cure for HIV. They were designed to be attractive to people who had a large amount of income that they would rather not pay tax on.”

The prosecution told the court that Professor’s four alleged accomplices were all involved in film financing as a way of reducing tax bills. Swingland is said to have joined them when they switched to eco-projects.

It is alleged they ran the scam by trading so-called “carbon credits”, so the “money would be invested in research into reafforestation”, said Mr Christopher. But “nothing like” the amount said to be going into research was actually spent on research.

The four alleged accomplices each deny two counts of cheating the public revenue. Two of them also deny one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Professor Swingland denies one count of each charge. The trial, for which the public authorities have been preparing for several years, continues.

It remains to be seen whether the public authorities, as they gradually awaken to the reality that “global warming” is not a global crisis but a global scam, will follow up reports they have received of fraudulent misrepresentation by climate “scientists” in academic papers.

So far, the authorities are proving reluctant to prosecute scientific scamsters for publishing bogus results in the learned journals, because they still adhere to the misguided belief, explicitly ruled out by a change in the law of the United Kingdom some years ago, that one must be able to quantify the amount of money gained by the fraudsters or lost by their victims before one can prosecute.

In the United Kingdom, fraud was originally a common-law offense. Then Parliament decided to codify it, and it has been regularly rewriting the law ever since, with the effect of widening the definition and making the task of prosecutors easier. But the investigating authorities – the police and the Crown Prosecution Service – have not yet adjusted to the change in the law.

They are moving against Professor Swingland because they allege that he and his accomplices made specified sums. But, even where the police acknowledge that a false representation has been made in a scientific paper, and even where they also acknowledge that either the perpetrators have made money or their victims have lost money, they continue to regard academic research as somehow sacrosanct, and, in at least one case, they have ducked out of investigating a scientific fraud in a published paper on the ground that they could not quantify exactly how much the scamsters had made for themselves, or exactly how much they had cost taxpayers.

I suspect that the only way to persuade the police and prosecutors to do their duty and move against those who have made downright false claims and have wilfully misrepresented their results at taxpayers’ expense is to shame them by instituting successful private criminal proceedings against one or two of the worst offenders.

In the United States, private criminal proceedings are not possible, which is why so many crooks at government level go unpunished. In the United Kingdom, however, section 1 of the Justices of the Peace Act 1361 states quite clearly that any citizen may approach any judge or magistrate and lay before him an information to the effect that a crime has been committed, whereupon, so long as the information is not manifestly frivolous, the judge is bound to order an investigation.

By chance, in an unrelated field I once had to exercise this right. A dozen ago, when some consultancy clients of mine were being bullied by a corrupt public authority, that authority made the mistake of circulating a false report to Ministers. However, I had formerly worked at 10 Downing Street, and a copy of the report reached me. I went to London and appeared before the magistrates. Thereupon, heads rolled right across Whitehall.

I have been making steady progress in preparing the first of two or three index cases in which scientific “researchers” or the “universities” that shoddily provide cover for them have committed open scientific frauds. It will only be necessary to succeed in one or two of these cases and the rest of the scamsters will realize the game is up and will run for cover.

I have no idea whether Professor Swingland or his alleged accomplices are guilty of anything, but the fact that the public authorities are at last willing to move against alleged climate scamsters – something that would not have been possible under the sappy, wet true-believing regime of “call-me-Dave” Cameron – is, whatever the outcome of the trial, a significant step in the direction of reminding the profiteers of doom that governments will no longer automatically provide protection for them and that they are, after all, subject to just the same laws as the rest of us.

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62 thoughts on “Carbon credit climate scam: the fraud prosecutions begin

  1. I wish the court success in their endeavor to protect the people. I won’t hold my breath but hope is still there.

    • You’re probably right — but it might have been a dozen beers ago, in which case, where I come from anyway, the word “beers” is superfluous.

  2. In the United States, private criminal proceedings are not possible, which is why so many crooks at government level go unpunished.

    This isn’t entirely true. In all states and counties of the US there is a Constitutionally chartered body known as a “Grand Jury”. Any citizen may bring charges before a Grand Jury and, if necessary, form such a jury if none is present in the jurisdiction. Upon suitable evidence the jury is empowered to indict government officials on grounds of malfeasance.

    It’s a power that is rarely exercised and widely discouraged.

    • Bartleby,

      IANAL and not trying to be argumentative, but if a citizen needs to form a Grand Jury (how many have the knowledge or resources to do that) and bring charges, and

      It’s a power that is rarely exercised and widely discouraged

      , then it is true De Facto if not De jure.

      • When I say not common I mean only that. For instance two out of three counties I own property in have Grand Juries. As I mentioned, there is a procedure for calling a jury and it does require effort. Some jurisdictions make it easier than others.

        The point is simply that it is in fact possible for a common US citizen to bring criminal charges against members of government.

    • Actually,

      The False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. §§ 3729–3733, also called the “Lincoln Law”) is an American federal law that imposes liability on persons and companies (typically federal contractors) who defraud governmental programs. It is the federal Government’s primary litigation tool in combating fraud against the Government.[1] The law includes a qui tam provision that allows people who are not affiliated with the government, called “relators” under the law, to file actions on behalf of the government (informally called “whistleblowing” especially when the relator is employed by the organization accused in the suit). Persons filing under the Act stand to receive a portion (usually about 15–25 percent) of any recovered damages. As of 2012, over 70 percent of all federal Government FCA actions were initiated by whistleblowers. False Claims Act

      it can be quite lucrative, but applying it to research grants based on data a reasonable person would suspect as faulty would be novel.

      • Bartleby and Bugenator make very interesting and useful corrections to the head posting by pointing out not one but two methods by which U.S. citizens may institute prosecutions against fraudsters.

        It is an indictment of sceptics like me that we did not know of these rights. It is an indictment of all of us, and in particular of the many industries menaced by the war on fossil fuels, that no one has yet used the citizen’s qui tam power to bring some of the more outrageous fraudsters to book.

        A true skeptic does something about his skepticism.

      • Monckton of Brenchley commented: “…It is an indictment of all of us, and in particular of the many industries menaced by the war on fossil fuels, that no one has yet used the citizen’s qui tam power to bring some of the more outrageous fraudsters to book….”

        The AGW machine has everyone intimidated by their control of the media, job security, and personal financial well being. Big business will not enter the fray until they feel their existence is jeopardized and not just their reputations sullied by bullying tactics as it is now. People won’t even challenge so called “Climate Change” out of fear. The AGW ideologists are able to totally control the propaganda and limit dissent with fascist fervor. Who can afford to stick their head above the parapet and risk their livelihood? Thankfully some such as you have the conviction and political clout but the numbers are small.

    • And the guys who constructed this carbon vending system, the True Guilty Party, if you wish, are a bunch of ‘Scientists’ at CICERO, the (government’s) Centre of Climate Research, in Oslo, funded by the Bruntland government in 1990 ….. And this ‘research facility’ is still live and kicking!

      • Gro Harlem Bruntland, Bert Bolin and Maurice Strong are the instigators of the climate scam. Bolin and Strong are dead, and Bruntland will probably never face criminal charges, but if there ever is a sequel published to ‘The South Sea Bubble and The Madness of Crowds’, this crooked and malevolent trio ought to have a starring role.

  3. Speaking of the carbon credits scam Anthony. The UN business model appears to be in full bloom.
    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/582182/news/world/some-30-countries-to-ratify-paris-climate-deal-at-un
    Hasn’t China “promised” to curb their emissions………by 2030?
    Hasn’t Trump already stated, if elected, he would tear up any global warming “agreement”?
    Like Lord Monckton says, the skeptics have to legally get on the front foot with these scammers and call them out. As Styne has done. I’m inclined to agree with some who advocate a fund to challenge the unlimited funding available to those who seek to silence us.

  4. Where fraud is involved and the sums are high public authority is obliged to protect the public purse.
    This case, however, is still before the court, so the accused are innocent of all charges unless proven guilty.
    At best the charges are allegations.
    Presumably this is a civil matter so the onus of proof is not as great as a criminal matter.
    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/worldfamous-conservationist-was-part-of-60m-ecoprojects-tax-scam-a3349231.html

    • I know nothing about the case, but even if it is a civil matter, where allegations of fraud arise in civil matters, the civil court applies a very high burden of proof equivalent to the that of the criminal standard (beyond all reasonable doubt) rather than the usual lesser civil standard (on the balance of probabilities).

      However, the article suggests that the matter is before the Crown Court, and this is a criminal court, not a civil court, so if the summary set out by CoB is correct, it appears to be a criminal matter.

      Of course, in all matters the accused is regarded as innocent until proven guilty. As you state, these are presently mere allegations, the veracity of which has yet to be proven.

  5. Your country gave up the Grand Jury. Perhaps this is why there is so much corruption?

    And the U.S fails to use the Grand Jury system to protect the country from corruption.

  6. This will affect Australia greatly as the Prime Minister has signed us into an ETS for the top 150 companies. If Mr Swingland is found guilty, then it will boost opposition to his schemes here.
    As an aside, the noncompoop SOth Australian Government which thought it could run on windpower, untilt eh wind stopped blowing, is having an excursion to learn about nuclear power, having blocked it up till now.

  7. Yet still Theresa May states that she’ll sign up the UK up for crippling CO2 reductions. Always on the make.

    Well, I never voted for her to be PM.

    • Well, I never voted for her to be PM.

      Nobody did, MC. But then, voting directly for a leader does not always give one the desired result: I submit Jeremy Corbyn as evidence of that.

    • Yes, that’s very disappointing. I had hoped she would stay quiet on climate change, but no, she had to go on blabbering about this imaginary danger in her UN speech. As if the world didn’t have enough real problems to contend with.
      Perhaps someone should point out all the opinion polls around the world, including the UN global poll, show climate change at the bottom of voters’ priorities. So much for reflecting the beliefs of ordinary people….
      .
      I would have been a life-long Conservative voter, but I’ve voted UKIP for the last few years, climate change being a major reason. I won’t vote Conservative again until they’ve promised to scrap the Climate Change Bill.

      • If US politicians are any guide, you need a lot more than mere promises.
        Wait till they show action as well.
        Way to many promises get “forgotten” once the election is over.

  8. The real scam – and the reason for this climate non-science, is that the public sector research organisations operate a cartel excluding anyone from the private sector – so all research comes to the conclusion
    PUBLIC SECTOR=GOOD
    PRIVATE SECTOR=BAD
    And if you then realise that in the minds of these academics, CO2 is the evil created by the private sector … you’ll understand why everything produced by these grant junkies comes out with the answer that CO2 (the plant food and essential for life on earth) … is bad

  9. I have yet to meet or hear of an honest warmist they know the lies they speak, they are crooks. As MCourtney said “they are always on the make”

  10. Teresa May may sign what she wants; after all it’s about

    “Nationally determined contributions”, NDP’s.

    And

    “The European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Russia have also submitted plans to slash their greenhouse gas emissions, meeting the UN’s informal deadline of March 31.”

    are wild dreams of green supporters unwilling to care about technical details of climate science or the real thoughts of European voters about money for nothing and chicks for free.

  11. Watch Tony Heller`s revelations, now on You Tube, at the 34th annual conference on Disaster Preparedness held in Omaha Nebraska on 9 July this year. Watch the fraudsters in NOAA and NASA twist the data from cooling to warming to suit their political position The day will come when these fraudsters will be jailed. What then for politicians who have followed their lies?.

    • Neither NOAA or GISS deny that the data is not the raw data. There are actually good
      arguments for data processing -as with most other branches of science. IMO, the sceptical
      arguments should be the flimsy validation of such re-analyses and the false precision (and
      uncertainty) with which adjusted temperature series are presented. It’s too easy to brickbat
      comments that dismiss the official temperature records solely because they are adjusted.

      It’s more instructive, IMO, to criticize the methodology (i.e. arbitrary precision and resolution
      improvements, failure to acknowledge systematic error etc.) as Pat Frank has done on
      several occasions. Shady practices, such as using ship bucket readings to adjust ARGO
      buoy readings, instrumental drift etc should be highlighted.

  12. I see where you’re going with this, Chris. Take, for instance, the benefits and status accruing to Lewandowsky and his fellow scamster, John Cook. The two of them have gone on to ‘fame’ (infamy?) and fortune on the back of not one but two (or is it three by now?) shonky papers that they know – and indeed, very likely knew at the time – were riddled with errors and falsehoods. They have benefited from a scam at the expense of embuggering academia.

  13. Anthony,

    Persons charged would appear to have denied the said charges.

    [ … In respect of The four alleged accomplices each deny two counts of cheating the public revenue. Two of them also deny one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
    Professor Swingland denies one count of each charge. …]

    In reference to your WordPress agreement (electronic and remote controlling system of language used here) are we now permitted to call the above-charged persons “charge deniers” ?

    Regards,
    WL

  14. One other way to get evidence is to go to the workers who install say the wind mill generators.
    Example
    Archer County Texas where a friend of mine took the time to hit the local Dariy Queen and got to know the install guys.
    They ended up showing him the serial numbers on the GE generators.

    They were being installed as New when in fact they were used from a failed project,

    That type of common fraud is where they can be put in the I R S cross hairs.

    RECON wins wars

    • Fobdangerclose – Hence the US still flies the U2 sorties (see other post) – but I get the impression you are referring to ground-pounder type RECON…

      Michael C. Roberts

  15. Another problem with prosecutions, is that the police have to receive a formal complaint – preferrably from someone who has lost money in the skam. So somebody has to detail how much they have lost (presumably in extra taxes and energy bills) and they also need to make a convincing case that this was due to a incorrect science paper influencing parliament or a company to increase the cost-burden on the said loser in this skam.

    This is a difficult chain of causation to make, and for the police to believe. It really needs a class action, where many people claim to have lost money, and a detailed causation trail can be established back to an incorrect science paper. That is difficult, but not impossible. But there will still be the problem of a court trying to decide which scientific argument is correct. I think the end result will be the jury and the court throwing up their arms in horror, and saying ‘we cannot deliberate upon such intricate, complex and largely unprovable matters’.

    R

    • Worse, with the exception of people actually out for themselves, proving absolute fraud is going to be difficult. Even if you overcome the burden of proving that they published a lie, you must still overcome the hurdle that they knew it was false, which is almost impossible except in direct frauds like this

    • It is more difficult than that.

      Given the reliance placed on consensus ‘science,’ it is all but impossible to claim that loss has been sustained as a consequence of any one individual paper. A paper may recklessly set out flawed science, but if Government policy is based upon consensus, no one individual paper can be said to be the cause of Government policy and/or the loss. The innocent victim may well have sustained the same or similar loss even without the offending paper being published in view of other (similarly flawed) papers having been published by someone other than the Defendant hauled before the Court.

      .

      • In such a case, with multiple offenders, the damages are assessed on a pro-rated basis. Fifty papers and one hundred and fifty distinct authors? Divide the damages by 150 and tell them to pony up.

      • If that was the case, how can they possibly be proven to have comitted fraud? It’s not a crime to be wrong, only to have deliberately deceived.

      • In response to Ben of Houston, in UK law it remains necessary to prove that the accused intended to deceive, an also that he intended cause either a gain to some or a loss to others in money or money’s worth, but there is no requirement to prove that any particular sum in gain or loss occurred. It is the intention, or men’s rea, that establishes the offense.

  16. Informative article, thank you.

    As an aside I found the description of avoiding taxes as “cheating the public revenue.” to be a bit disturbing. While colorful in word, it is chilling to think that the evil of taxation could be diluted to a more politically correct ideology of “public revenue”.

  17. Nice! An international and national marketing scheme for carbon “indugences”. Perhaps this will prove to be as much of an issue as the Catholic Church marketing idulgences ofsetting sin. Pray we don’t end up with anything like the Thirty Years War.

  18. There have been huge levels of fraud in the EU regarding carbon trading. Some of these scams may actually have increased emissions.

    See the Stockholm Environmental Institute report:
    https://www.sei-international.org/publications?pid=2803

    In May this year the trial of 12 people accused of involvement in a multi-billion euro carbon-trading fraud opened in Paris. The case was described by French authorities as “the heist of a century”. This trial comes nearly seven years after French authorities cracked down on a carbon-trading scheme that cost the EU €5 billion according to Europol:

    http://www.france24.com/en/20160503-france-trial-multi-billion-carbon-emissions-trading-fraud-opens-paris

  19. Carbon trading is just the same as share trading, it’s fake, unless you are on the winning side. Money to be made literally from nothing, if you control that market. Sounds familiar?

  20. Some of us recall that there were scams many years back selling ‘shares’ in gold and silver mines that never existed. The only change has been the ‘sales’ pitch.

  21. Well, if you look at it as a case of ‘what value or service do I get for my money?’, the answer is absolutely nothing. That’s the very definition of a scam.

    Well, unless you count that warm fuzzy you get for forking over your cash – kinda like an offering plate. It’s amazing what people will do for that sense of absolution.

  22. Mods / AW,

    I too seem to have transgressed and lost a comment to the “sin bin”.

    All I asked, is for clarification on using the term “charge den**r”.

    I should be pleased if MODS would be kind enough to retrieve my earlier comment. Thank you.

  23. Speaking of criminals how is the “alleged ‘ sexual harassment case against the former boss of the IPCC going ? Got to love these planet saver roll models .
    Are any more IPCC reports expected or have they run out of scientists willing to support the propaganda ?
    Where are those 52 scientists used as validators (EPA term ) in the 2007 report ?

  24. For all you Pogo fans of a bygone era I remind you about Walk Kelly’s ‘Puce Stamps’, proudly claimed to be ‘absolutely guaranteed worthless’. The book also listed the many items, rather like an early version of EBay, that you could not buy with them, giving the price in Puce Stamps required to not buy it.

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