In the end all that investors received was heartache and a hole in the pocket after he made off with the cash!
In a Ponzi-like scheme, the American swindler started a company in Singapore back in 2013, and up until 2014, had persuaded thousands to come on board with promises of huge profits.
All this, with another 2 directors that included another Filipino and a Singaporean, said one of his victims, 38-year-old Mr Wong.
He met with the female Filipino director and was persuaded to invest S$2000.
After just 7 months, he was informed that he had doubled in investment to S$4000.
After putting in more money into his portfolio, Mr Wang had later accumulated a total of S$128,000.
But in July last year, Mr Wong said that the American boss just disappeared after the company came under investigation by the police.
“He just disappeared. The money vanished, everything vanished.”
Mr Wong and 22 other victims took legal action against the company, and the court ordered in August last year that they be compensated, but by that time, the rest of the company’s directors had disappeared too.
It was only in May this year when the Commercial Affairs Dept arranged for the victims to attend court that Mr Wong discovered that there were legal documents filed for about a thousand other victims.
The company’s bank account was later found to have only S$4800 left in it.
Mr Wong said he has given up on legal recourse, as it wouldn’t be worth the fees.
He said that he had pumped his hard-earned money into the scheme because he needed cash to raise his two daughters.
As a result of the loss, his marriage and his personal finances suffered.
“After so long, I have come to accept the fact that I won’t get my money back, but I still want to at least find out the truth.”
The case is still under investigation.
Authorities say that even if the rest of the money is traced and recovered, it will take a long time for investors to get their share of their money back, if they even have the chance to.