Investors Lose Millions Backing ‘Expert Gamblers’
Posted on: October 25, 2017, 04:00h.
Last updated on: October 25, 2017, 04:39h.
A lawsuit filed with the High Court of the Republic of Singapore alleges that around 150 investors may have lost as much as 50 million Singapore Dollars ($36.7 million) after putting their money into a company that promised a share of the winnings earned by “expert gamblers” in casinos.
The company, known as SureWin4U, appears to have been launched in 2011. It promised investors that it could show them baccarat strategies that had a 99.8% success rate, with higher-level investors gaining access to a different technique with a 100% success rate.
Impressive Returns Fail to Materialize
The group was essentially a multilevel marketing (MLM) business, with investors earning compensation not only by putting their own money into SureWin4U, but also bonuses for recruiting other affiliates to invest into the company. Individuals were promised returns of 6 percent to 18 percent a month, paid out quarterly.
According to a report in The Straits Times, investors initially received some returns. But by September 2014, the SureWin4U website was no longer being updated, and investors were left with no recourse to recover their money.
The details of the case were revealed after Lee Hwee Yeow filed a lawsuit against Wan Hoe Keet and Sally Ho, whom he said had encouraged him to purchase a high-level investment plan in the company. Lee himself said that he had lost SGD $1.6 million ($1.2 million) that he had put into the business.
Lee said that he had chosen to invest after seeing a demonstration at the Marina Bay Sands in June 2013, during which investors received a return on investment just 45 minutes after giving their money to a team of gamblers. That was enough to convince him to purchase his first “platinum package,” which cost around SGD $500,000 ($367,000).
The Straits Times reported that Mr. Wan and Ms. Ho entered into a confidentiality agreement to bring the case to an end. The pair reportedly claimed that they were early investors into SureWin4U, being introduced to the company in 2012. However, they say that they were also unable to cash out since the website went dark.
CEO Remains Missing
The leader of the company was CEO Ong Kean Swan, who went by Peter Ong in this and some other business ventures. According to the Straits Times report, Ong has been missing since the time that the website was taken offline.
According to the lawsuit, Lee and other investors would regularly receive text messages telling them about the winnings Ong had been earning at casinos around the world. He would call himself the “God of Baccarat,” claiming that his mathematical systems could guarantee that he and other expert gamblers would beat the house.
If Ong were to be charged with any crimes related to SureWin4U, it would not be his first scrape with the law. In 2013, he was arrested after using a false title to claim to be a member of the Malaysian royal family, supposedly in order to take advantage of discounted hotel room rates for government officials.
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