Thursday, June 17, 2010

Selective repayment

A land banking compay paid off an investor who gave them a lot of trouble earlier but had agreed to cool off for a month. This amount invested was less than $30,000. Other investors in the same product had been waiting for more than one year, without being repaid. Presumably, they were not so troublesome or had invested a large sum of money.

This company is practicing "divide and conquer". By paying off some investors, who would then tell the other investors, it might motivate the other mitigant investors to be more compliant, in the hope that they would be repaid.

This seemed to me like highway robbery.

A month ago, another investor wrote to me to tell me that she had invested in land banking plots and was quite convinced about the merits of land banking. I knew this investor to be quite sound in financial matters and was quite surprised at her views. I wonder if she was also being paid off in this manner, in return for being an ambassador?

What has become of Singapore, for a company to take large sums of money from the public, to act in this manner, to be protected by a reputable lawyer firm and to practice selective repayment of their obligations?

Tan Kin Lian


Anonymous said...

Actually not surprising, just look at MLM which been around for so long, you are suppose to buy and be convinced before you can convince others.

StFual said...

Paying a few people is a very effective and cheap way of making a business appear legitimate. Madoff did the same thing. For interest paying deals making a first interest payment is easy if you charge it against the huge profit on the deal. Many investors will re-invest interest so you dont have to pay anything at all.

It is still a scam and I would advise concerned investors to try and collect their money now even at a loss rather than wait for the company to re-locate with the remaining profits to another location.

Createwealth8888 said...

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Anonymous said...

Depends on the type of investment which was made.

If the investment was an absolute scam, then of course there would be lots of complains.

More likely most of these land banking schemes are those that cream off the return from the front - in fact a 15% frontend fee i.e. the investor takes the risk but the manager has already been paid. Since these are not fraudulent investments, many of the investors do get the 20% return they're promised, just that their risk actually probably required a 40% return.

Anonymous said...

Anon. You really don't get it. They take 97% of your money. You are lucky if the land you own is worth 3% of what you paid for it. Is that a scam. Hopefully the legal system will decide

Anonymous said...

As long as Town Councils, MPs, Ministers are not involve in Landbanking, why should MAS bother. As for those public retailers who are cheated by such companies, MAS will take the same view as those of Minibond i.e. "Not my problem"

As for the Govt, number is too insignificant to affect overall votes.

Hope their ignorance and arrogant will pay off in the next election.

As for MAS, I don't know what is their function other than the ministers earning millions a year and doing less than those regulators in Hong Kong and Britian

Anonymous said...

Anon, I was referring to the legitimate landbanking schemes - those where the investors actually boast a 20% return. I actually looked at one a plot of land in US which actually did get sold at a profit and was thinking that the risk involved at the point of investment required much more than a 20% return. In that case, the landbanking company creamed 15% in the front end.

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