Search this site. Andrew on Pinterest. Andrew Skeene, who co-founded Global Forestry, had to fight his way through a language barrier and a lot of red tape as he and his business partner Omari Bowers sought to start their company. The pair invested in forestry and agricultural products, concentrating on the emerging market in Brazil.
At that time, Skeene already directed a property company, but when the market began to slow down, he decided to push the envelope and branch out in a completely different direction. He and Bowers had seen the excitement surrounding new investments in emerging markets, and in addition to pursuing such an investment, Skeene and Bowers were determined to pursue a venture that was environmentally-friendly as well. Noting that timber value had risen over the last 50 years, they decided to create Global Forestry, a sustainable company in the forestry space.
Global Forestry owned around 1, hectares of plantation land, and it aimed to increase that figure tenfold. To learn more, read about Andrew Skeene and Global Forestry. At that stage Anthony Hannon, official receiver for the Insolvency Service, commented: Directors who receive investment monies and misapply them for purposes not to the benefit of the company can expect to face the consequences of a lengthy period of disqualification.
GFI was one of two schemes run by the former directors promoting two teak investment schemes in Brazil. The GFI brochure that is still accessible online states:. Tropical forestry offers the ideal diversification from real estate and equity portfolios, providing a non-volatile market with high long-term returns on investment and a low risk-to return ratio.
The arrangements for ownership overcome the legal and practical problems relating to the holding of overseas property in a pension. In order to secure a higher income on retirement, it is common for pension funds to be transferred into a self-invested personal pension. The SIPP facilitates subsequent investment with a view to generating more lucrative returns for the investor.
While the FCA regulates the sale of mainstream investments such as stocks, shares and funds, there are a large number of unregulated investments being marketed with promises of tempting returns. Many of those investments turn out to be unregulated collective investment schemes that, importantly, are not regulated by the FCA.
While investors may be under the impression that their pension funds are safely stored in an FCA-regulated SIPP, their retirement funds are actually invested into these high-risk, unregulated schemes. In some instances, the risks are made clear to the investor but in others, the investment is simply mis-sold.
In such instances, investors have been wrongly advised and sold a financial product that was not suitable for them. Global Forestry Investments is not an IFA and therefore is not authorised to give out financial advice. It goes on to state that an independent financial adviser is generally needed to help complete the very complex SIPP application forms, as well as advice on transfers.
If those investors sought the advice of an IFA, then not only might they be entitled to compensation for a mis-sold pension, but the IFA might also be liable for a hefty fine. In instances such as GFI, where regulated services have been provided, those giving the advice may be found to have breached regulations by not complying with their duty of care to warn potential customers of the high risk involved with this type of investment.
The FCA has historically issued guidance for SIPP operators with examples of good practice and it is this guidance that should sensibly be adhered to.
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|Investment research jobs london||International Arbitration. Register now for your free, tailored, daily legal newsfeed service. More from Criminal Law Andrew skeene global forestry investments. Global Forestry Investments offered investments in plots of land in teak plantations in Brazil. Infollowing an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, Skeene and Bowers were arrested and charged with three offences of conspiracy to defraud, four offences of forgery, one offence of misconduct in the course of winding up, and one offence of making a false statement not under oath.|
The trees are an important ingredient to biological diversity by their ability to store carbon, so as to lessen the percentage of carbon found in the atmosphere. Global Forestry Investments play a positive role in this process by hiring workers to take care of the forests who are experienced and knowledgeable in environmentally sound farming that helps reduce harmful effects of atmospheric changes.
Brazil is part of the group of emerging markets that include Russia, China and India. All of these factors work together to ensure secure and stable investment opportunities. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Most of our cookies are strictly necessary in order for the website to function correctly and these cookies do not store any of your personal data.
Andrew Skeene, a former director of Global Forestry Investments, has been charged with conspiracy to defraud, forgery, and misconduct in the course of winding up.
On its website , the Serious Fraud Office has the following announcement:. From 26 June to 7 October , the GFI questionnaire experienced technical difficulties which means submissions made during that period were not received, even though you may have received a confirmation acknowledgement message thanking you for your submission.
Therefore your questionnaire data was not stored or acted upon. Anyone who sent in a questionnaire between these dates needs to resubmit the form via the Serious Fraud Office Secure Form :. Anyone who invested in Global Forestry Investments and has not yet completed the SFO questionnaire should also fill in the form. In the course of that investigation, on 23 November , the SFO made a Data Protection Application to the OR for documents relating to the disqualification proceedings.
The OR resisted the application, on the basis that disclosure was not permitted without the approval of the court. The OR then made an application to the court for permission to provide those documents. Prior to the CPR documents produced on discovery and witness statements for use at trial were subject to an implied undertaking that they could be used only for the purpose of the proceedings in which they were disclosed. In Skeene, the court had to consider whether the pre CPR law regarding implied undertakings, insofar as it related to affidavits, had survived.
The court held that in respect of affidavits produced under compulsion, the implied undertaking continued to apply i. Without such an implied undertaking, there would be no restriction on disclosure of an affidavit at all and an affidavit could be used for any purpose even if such use would breach the privacy of the person giving the affidavit. The court held that this could not have been the intention of those who had drafted the CPR. Having so held, the court considered whether the implied undertaking applied to the Affidavit i.
The defendants argued that the Affidavit had been produced under compulsion, arguing that if they had wanted to defend the disqualification proceedings they had no choice other than to serve evidence. The court disagreed. A directions order had been made in the disqualification proceedings requiring the directors to give evidence if they wished to defend those proceedings. Any such evidence would need to be adduced in the form of an affidavit for use at trial. It was the choice of the defendants whether to defend the proceedings and, if they chose to do so, what information to include in their affidavit evidence.
The first defendant had chosen to serve the Affidavit but had not been compelled to do so. Therefore, as the Affidavit was considered to have been produced voluntarily, no undertaking was implied and the OR was free to disclose the Affidavit to the SFO.
As for the Exhibit, its disclosure was governed by CPR In the present case, the court held that it should exercise its discretion in favour of disclosure of the Exhibit on seven grounds:. As noted above, for office holders, the case serves as a reminder of the restrictions contained in the CPR and the common law regarding use of documents disclosed by a party in one set of proceedings.
In complying with those duties, an office holder will need to be alive to, and take advice on, whether disclosure of certain documents or evidence needs to be withheld. This will include obvious issues such as legal professional privilege and data protection. It will also need to include whether documents obtained by the office holder in the course of their duties have been so obtained subject to any undertakings implied or express as to their use.
Breach of an undertaking is a serious matter and can amount to a contempt of court. Accordingly, officer holders must ensure that they fully understand their obligations to the court and to disclosing parties before making any onward disclosure to third parties. If in doubt, as the OR did in this case, an application will need to be made to the court for permission to disclose documents.