'Forex trading firm' founder, aides under probe for fraud

JJPTR founder Johnson Lee (in grey shirt) and two of his aides at Klang Magistrates Court. Police remanded them for three days from Tuesday, causing jitters in other firms offering similar services. Investors said they were not hopeful of getting the
JJPTR founder Johnson Lee (in grey shirt) and two of his aides at Klang Magistrates Court. Police remanded them for three days from Tuesday, causing jitters in other firms offering similar services. Investors said they were not hopeful of getting their money back.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN • Malaysian investors who have put cash into so-called foreign exchange trading firm JJPTR said they were not hopeful of getting their money back after the authorities remanded its founder and his two aides for investigations, causing jitters in other firms offering similar services.

The Penang-based JJ Poor To Rich (JJPTR) claimed to have 30,000 investors and said recently that it lost US$400 million (S$558 million) after its accounts were hacked.

Police remanded JJPTR founder Johnson Lee and two of his key lieutenants for three days from Tuesday. Lawyer G. Jaya Prem said his clients were being investigated for one case of fraud.

Investor Y. L. Ho, who is in her 50s, said she knew her fate was sealed when the task force raided eight JJPTR premises in Penang and recorded statements from 15 employees and four investors in the last few days.

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She has yet to recoup her RM4,700 (S$1,520) capital.

"I was told the founder has been remanded. I don't think I will ever get my money back," she said.

JJPTR was paying out 20 per cent in monthly returns until it claimed recently that US$400 million was stolen.

Another investor, known only as Mr Goh, believes his investment is as good as gone.

"There is no point going to the office to make further inquiries," he said.

Businessman S. K. Yeoh, who has invested in similar schemes with CYL and Richway Global Venture, said he has lost hope of getting his monthly payouts.

"Following the intervention of the authorities, I think my handsome returns will be up in smoke. Luckily I have recouped my capital," he said.

These so-called forex trading firms, based mostly in Penang, were in the news in recent weeks as the media focused on the latest investment craze, drawing the attention of the police and the Malaysian central bank.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline ''Forex trading firm' founder, aides under probe for fraud'. Print Edition | Subscribe