INVESTORS who ploughed £1.2million into two businesses which later went into liquidation turned out at a meeting to quiz its sole director over the companies’ downfall.

Liquidator Begbies Traynor held two separate creditors’ meetings for clients of Forestry for Life and associated company the Investor Club, based in Dunton Road, Laindon.

Forestry for Life offered rainforest carbon credits.

These were traded like shares, with guaranteed 12 per cent interest for three years on minimum £25,000 stakes.

The Investor Club was set up to promote “diverse and alternative”

investment opportunities.

Both companies are now in liquidation.

A woman owed cash by the Investor Club told the meeting: “It was 25 years of hard work.

We have lost £50,000.“ She asked what happened to the money.

Sole director Matt Ames, 35, of Goldfinch Lane, Thundersley, said he would not answer the question because an Echo reporter was present.

The meeting heard Forestry for Life owes £672,676, including £443,327 to investors and £39,622 tax.

The Investor Club owes £951,237, with £846,494 to investors, and £20,000 tax.

Latest accounts for the firms showed no evidence of clients’ money invested, or carbon credits traded.

Shares held by Mr Ames totalled just £1. Mr Ames said the meeting was called to explain the downfall of the company.

He added other matters, like where money was invested, would be further investigated.

The talks heard the Financial Services Authority started investigating Forestry for Life last July.

In December, the watchdog warned the companies to refund investors’ money, or go into voluntary liquidation. Mr Ames insisted it was not possible to make the refunds, so the company went into liquidation.

Lloyd Biscoe of Begbies Traynor said he would investigate any allegations of breaches of company and insolvency law, before filing a director’s conduct report to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

He said: “It is my job to get to the bottom of this.” Mr Briscoe asked all creditors to contact himon 01702 467255.