A High Court suit yesterday has claimed that around 150 people in Singapore may have lost $50 million from investing in a company that promised profits from gambling in casinos.
According to court documents, the company SureWin4U had enticed investors to buy packages from it in exchange for returns from casino winnings of its "expert gamblers".
But after investors received some returns, its website was taken down around September 2014.
The Straits Times learnt that its chief executive officer, Malaysian Peter Ong, has been missing since.
The details emerged after diamond dealer Lee Hwee Yeow, 44, sued Mr Wan Hoe Keet and Ms Sally Ho, whom he said had encouraged him to invest in the packages.
In court documents, Mr Lee claimed that as of Jan 28, 2015, about 150 people in Singapore had lodged police reports after losing around $50 million.
Mr Lee said that he lost more than $1.6 million from the packages he purchased.
ST has learnt that Mr Lee and the defendants - Mr Wan and Ms Ho - entered into a confidentiality agreement to bring the trial to a conclusion yesterday.
Mr Lee had decided to invest after he and his family attended a "demonstration" at Marina Bay Sands in June 2013 where he saw other investors receive $300 returns in 45 minutes after giving $3,000 each to a team of professional gamblers.
He then purchased his first "platinum" package.
The company had advertised in promotional materials that its gamblers have a 99.8 per cent of winning at the casinos and that investors came from 21 places, including China, Brunei and Hong Kong.
Initially, Mr Lee and other investors would regularly receive texts informing them about the travels and casino winnings of SureWin4U's Mr Ong.
Investors would be invited to "extravagant dinners", where Mr Wan and Ms Ho would give speeches about how they rose from poor financial standing to become "millionaires" because of their investments, encouraging those present to dip deeper into their reserves.
At seminars in Singapore and abroad, the pair would also assure audiences that returns on the investments were "guaranteed" and "safe".
The company also advertised that Mr Ong and the firm had rewarded the pair with extravagant gifts. This was for their contributions to it, through their earnings on investments or introduction of new investors.
Mr Lee, represented by LVM Law Chambers, invested in six "platinum" packages, costing around $469,500 to $519,200 each, and was later persuaded to take on another package that would give him 3.3 times more than his investment.
In court documents, Mr Wan and Ms Ho, represented by Mr K. Anparasan of KhattarWong, said they were introduced to the company in 2012.
They claimed that as they were investors with the company as well, they had similarly not been able to cash out on their investments since the company's website was taken down around September 2014.