Big lies often used to make big money

The people behind now-defunct Sunshine Empire had taken pains to make their office (left) in Toa Payoh Hub look posh. Many people were duped by the company's purported business plans, including the fictitious Empire Sunshine Villa (right) a mega shop
The people behind now-defunct Sunshine Empire had taken pains to make their office (above) in Toa Payoh Hub look posh.LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE PHOTO

It may defy logic but sometimes the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed. How else to explain why more than 10,000 people fell victim to the now-defunct scam firm Sunshine Empire, even when it used gimmicky ideas that were probably copied from movies.

One way it sought to impress potential investors was to promote the notion of the world's first undersea theme park and hotel, to be built off the coast of Sabah in East Malaysia.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 20, 2020, with the headline 'Big lies often used to make big money'. Print Edition | Subscribe