A year after The Sun’s Kelvin Mackenzie went in on Ethical Forestry director Matthew Pickard, the paper has waded in again as the SFO announced an open investigation into the underlying investment, and 3 warrants were executed in relation to it.
After explaining the “terrible scandal in which ordinary people lost their entire pension pots”, the often outspoken journalist went on to say that “one person who did rather well out of it all was Matthew Pickard, the man behind Ethical Forestry”, telling readers that Pickard lives in a £4m house in Bournemouth, and along with 2 other directors took £14.2m before the firms liquidation in December 2015.
Known for not mincing his words, MacKenzie went on to explain how investors were told that “£18,000 would allegedly lead to an eventual return of £842,000. It was all b******s.”
The article also gave mention to a firm called Avacade, well known to a large proportion of Ethical Forestry investors as a firm that “introduced” them to the investment and often the idea of investing in the Costra Rican plantations via a SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension).
It is worth noting that the article refers to Avacade as an IFA (An Independent Financial Adviser), however their involvement appears to have been in the role as an unregulated introducer, sometimes passing over clients to a regulated IFA to execute the business or advise on the transfer.
The article went on to explain how Avacade may have taken up to 30% of “any money they laid their hands on”.
Mackenzie also advised investors to complete the secure SFO questionnaire, which also asks investors if they have ever been “approached by representatives of Avacade” and also “Cherish Wealth Management” – a Solihull based IFA that went into liquidation in 2016.
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Get Claims Advice is a specialist CMC operating in the field of mis-sold pensions and investments