Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why Do Investors or Participants NOT Use Google Enough?

Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator)
Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator) (Photo credit: Aray Chen)
One of the most powerful tools against fraud is Google.

Every bit of the evidence, example, illustrations, etc. presented here  of possible or alleged fraud came from simple Google research, that anybody could have done for themselves.

I freely admit that I have the advantage of being a polyglot... that is, I read multiple languages, including Chinese, Spanish, and of course, English. However, there's always Google Translate. You just have to know not to rely on them.

Fraudsters generally have a history of failures or sanctions by the law. And those histories are now online to be searched, if not by Google, then by some official records search facility offered by the government.

And very often, you just have to connect the dots.

In a case that spanned across the US, Janamjot Singh Sohdi, ran a ponzi scheme called Elite Financial Services from 2005 to 2011. He told people he can manage their money to pay handsome returns, but what he really did is to pay return to early joiners with money from the late joiners. He was finally caught in Fresno California, but not before stealing 2.4 million dollars.

Yet the warning signs had been there.

  • He went by multiple names, such as Jimmy Singh, or Jimmy Sohdi
  • His investment broker license was revoked in 2005
  • He was permanently disbarred from New York Stock Exchange in 2006
  • He was issued a "cease and desist" in California 2009 as any sort of investment advisor

Why do people not use Google? Are they afraid of what they will find? 

What about WCM777? Warning signs that been there all along.

In the case of the WCM777 possible Ponzi scheme (and for sure, illegal unregistered securities), finding history of perpetrators is a bit more complicated due to dozens of companies established by the perpetrators as shell game and obfuscation, and the Chinese language barrier, but it is still traceable.

What are the initial warning signs?

  • Multiple names: Ming Xu, Xu Ming, Phil Ming Xu, Phillip Ming Xu, Phillip Rockefeller Ming Xu, Phil Xu, Dr. Phil Ming Xu... 
  • Business model that made no sense... Who *pays* for cloud service when Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Box, and more give storage and service for FREE?  Why would any one get a Kingdom Card, which is a shopper loyalty card that can be used... where? No idea! 
  • You "buy units" and they'll give you return? Yet they say it's NOT an investment, but "social capital"? 
That's enough to make WCM777 a suspect Ponzi scheme. But what about Google? 

We know WCM777 headed by "Tiger" Zhi Liu, and is part of WCM.

Searching for Tiger Zhi Liu on Linked In revealed his link to "Vantone"

It's also interesting that WCM refers to itself as Wangtong Investment Bank, which is homonym to Vantone. Yet if you check for Vantone you'll find it's a penny stock (its symbol is OTCBB:VNTI, literally worth 1 penny per share, and missed reports for several periods).

Why would a company have a completely different name from English to Chinese? It's even more suspicious when "US WangTong" is the Chinese tradename of "MassMutual" financial group. That clearly indicates some sort of fraud.

Searching for "WangTong" in Chinese brought up the Vantone pyramid selling fraud in China, where it was described that the company sold crap in China for vastly inflated prices, with the bait that those who bought the crap can buy virtual stock options into the company, which will make them tons of money if the company do an IPO. The company was closed by Chinese authorities in 2012. And Tiger Zhi Liu is the US side of that fraud, with Ming Xu's help.

Searching for Ming Xu's name proved to be problematic as it often brought up the far more famous Ming Xu, the real rich guy. However, combining keywords, such as Ming Xu's Chinese name, plus Vantone's Chinese name, brought up the Olympic fraud article, dated 2007.

A further search found a "confession" possibly by Ming Xu himself, where he denied any responsibility but admits involvement.

Searching the various "institutes" shows that Ming Xu's "Dr." is possibly bogus, as its issued by a school he's the dean of and probably founded.

The hints are out there. You just need to find them. If you don't, when someone do the work for you, you can at least verify their work, instead of ignoring them.

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1 comment:

  1. Warning also applicable for TelexFREE.
    See brazilian video of 2009 with Carlos Wanzeler, Jim Merrill and Carlos Costa: