INVESTORS who sunk pension money into South American forestry through a collapsed firm have been urged to lodge claims for compensation.

Bournemouth-based Ethical Forestry, which had more than 3,000 investors, collapsed in December 2015.

The scheme, which invested in Costa Rican plantations, is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Many people put SIPP (self-invested personal pension) money into the initiative.

Insolvency company HJS Solutions says Ethical Forestry’s investment scheme, EF Forestry Management Ltd, has now been sold to a buyer named Mr R Brown.

HJS Solutions has brought in claims company First Target Recoveries and is advising investors to begin the claims process if they want a swift return.

A statement said: “The collapse has left those invested in the scheme in the dark about what would happen to their money.”

Mr Brown has paid a non-refundable deposit of 120,000 US dollars (£92,928), with a total sale price of 875,000 US dollars (£677,600).

The statement on behalf of First Target Recoveries said: “The sale aims to keep the investment intact, and Mr Brown intends to harvest and sell the trees on the plantation at the end of the scheme as originally planned, meaning investors may still get a return."

But it said hurricane damage would jeopardise the final value of the harvest and investors were being encouraged to make a compensation claim on the grounds that the original investment scheme was mis-sold.

Mis-selling is likely to have taken place if investors were not properly advised of the processes and risks involved in SIPP schemes, or if the scheme was unsuitable for them.

Ethical Forestry had a call centre at Holdenhurst Road in Bournemouth, where 28 staff were made redundant in December 2014, a year before the business collapsed.

In March this year, the Serious Fraud Office and Dorset Police executed search warrants at three addresses in the south, including one in Ferndown, as part of an investigation into Ethical Forestry Ltd.

Investors wishing to make a claim can contact First Target Recoveries on 0800 012 6460 or visit