Swisscash victims to get back part of their money

Thursday, November 12, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Investors in the Swisscash Internet-based investment scam will now be able to get back part of their money following a consent judgment the Securities Commission (SC) entered into with two of the defendants in the case for a sum of RM31mil.

The SC said in a press release that the Swisscash scam involved an estimated total amount of US$83mil, which was what the Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered Albert Lee Kee Sien, Kelvin Choo Mun Hoe and Dynamic Revolution Sdn Bhd to pay in a judgment on Sept 25 last year.
According to SC chairman Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, the SC entered into a consent judgement with Lee and Amir Hassan for the settlement sum.

She said the settlement was the largest ever in the history of the prosecution of such scams, which affected thousands of investors globally and prompted cross-border investigations involving seven other jurisdictions.
The previous largest settlement amount under the SC’s jurisdiction was RM2mil for insider trading in Padiberas Nasional Bhd, which was also distributed to affected investors.

“This is a milestone payout which is made possible following a consent judgment entered into with two of the Swisscash defendants,” Zarinah said, adding that the restitution would be based on a court-sanctioned distribution plan.

She told a media briefing yesterday that investors in illegal schemes could not expect regulators to get their money back for them as a matter of course. “Swisscash is an exception, in this case the recovery was only made possible not just by extremely painstaking efforts on our part but also by the close cooperation and support that we’ve been receiving from our counterparts in the various countries,” Zarinah said.

She said investors would have to show sufficient documentary proof of their principal investment and must not have been involved as recruiters in the scam. Investors who profited from their initial investment and still made claims would have their profits deducted from the claim sum while other criteria for consideration included whether investors heed the warnings by authorities before investing.

Zarinah said the first batch of restitution payments would be made early next year following approval from the court. She said 80% of the investors were male professionals and the profile was “not so typical of this kind of scam”.

She said to-date, there were 3,000 complaints filed against the scam.

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