Profitable Plots' directors driven by greed: Prosecution

Three directors of Profitable Plots, who are charged with cheating 86 clients by getting them to invest more than $8 million in a sham investment scheme, were motivated by "greed" said the prosecution. At the start of the trial on Monday, a district court heard that Timothy Nicholas Goldring, 58, was the group's managing director while John Andrew Nordmann, 54, was its operations director in charge of sales and marketing. Both men are Britons while Nordmann's wife Geraldine Anthony Thomas, 44, a Singaporean was the firm's financial director.

In his opening statement, Deputy Public Prosecutor Luke Tan said that when faced by the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, the group's land-based investment products suffered losses. To ease cash-flow problems, the trio hatched a plan to get clients to pump money in the Boron scheme, which involved financing the sale of a fuel additive known as Boron CLS Bond to major corporations.

Each of them faces 86 charges of allegedly conspiring with each other to cheat clients by offering 12.5 per cent return within a maximum period of six months."Unfortunately, these representations, while sounding good, were definitively untrue," said DPP Tan.

When cross-examining the first witness, Mr Lim Kok Meng of the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), the trio's lawyer, Mr Wendell Wong, accused the agency of over-reacting to rumour-mongering and "commercially killing the investment scheme by raiding its offices, seizing documents and freezing bank accounts". In their defence, the trio are insisting that they had operated a viable investment scheme.