We probably have more scams today than at anytime in history. Either scammers are getting smarter or their victims are getting sillier. What do you think? Why are there so many scam victims? Is it purely greed that gets them?
The Securities Commission of Malaysia has entered into a settlement of RM31 million in the Swisscash investment scam for those who were affected by the Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is an illegal pyramid scheme named after Charles Ponzi who cheated thousands of people in New England.
The Chairman of the Securities Commission, Zarinah Anwar, said in a press conference earlier that this is the biggest settlement in the history of the commission.
This was possible after a consent judgment with the 2 defendants. The defendants are Albert Lee Kee Sien and Amir Hassan.
According to Zarinah, the bulk of the the victims comprised of Malaysians. The masterminds behind this scam were Malaysians. It is estimated that this scam also affected more than a hundred Singaporeans.
The SC filed a civil case with the High Court against Albert Lee, Kelvin Choo and Dynamic Revolution Sendirian Berhad after receiving many reports from investors who were scammed in this Swisscash scam.
In September 2008, the High Court ordered the defendants to pay a total of RM280 million. This was the estimated amount of total investments involved in the said scheme.
The SC also managed to obtain a Mareeva Injunction against them. A Mareeva Injunction is a temporary injunction that freezes the assets of the party pending a further order by the court.
In this Malaysia Scam, Swisscash had promised a return of 300% over a 15 month period of investment.
There were more than 3,000 who were scammed in the Swisscash scheme. The majority of them were highly educated professionals.
The other big settlement involving the commission was RM2 million. The case involved insider trading in the national rice distributor Bernas.
--Excerpted from Business Times Singapore - 14 November 2009.
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