British man convicted over bogus teak plantation scheme in Sri Lanka


By Sujeeva Nevunhella

Matthew Ames, 38, of Goldfinch Lane, Thundersley, a finance company boss was found guilty at Isleworth Crown Court last week for scamming British investors in a bogus teak tree plantation scheme in Sri Lanka. 

Ames has pocketed out Sterling Pounds 846,000 from the investors and used the money on overseas trips, including a family holiday to the Caribbean Island of Mustique. 

The court was told that Ames managed persuaded one couple to invest Sterling Pounds 78,000 in return for 15 per cent interest saying that he was using the money to buy land for growing trees. 

The court heard that Ames fooled people saying that they would get 12 to 15 per cent interest on investing in saplings planted on teak tree plantations in Sri Lanka.

At the court, Ames defended himself by saying that  he bought 5,000 saplings in Sri Lanka and left them with a local man called Eddie, but could not back this up with receipts.

Ames has run his  Finance Company from a converted farm barn in Dunton Road, Laindon, until it was liquidated in March 2011.

He was also accused of a second fraudulent trading in connection with another eco-investment firm run from the same address.

Ames has apparently fooled people to invest Sterling Pounds 430,000 to buy bogus carbon credits, which can be traded like shares on green stock exchanges, in return for 12 per cent interest.

He is denying this charge.

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