Thursday, July 26, 2007

The First Troll

Someone commented on my previous blog post about the PIPC scam. The person does not see anything fraudulent about the company despite it being registered in the SEC as a research company. The company is not legally allowed to do forex trading for clients. PIPC was scamming the government at the very least. Its usage of ABN-AMRO accounts may be an effort to make the company look legit. One PIPC client I talked to long before the event thought it was sanctioned by that bank.

The anonymous person shared his reasons why he thinks PIPC is above board. Normally, I wouldn't have the time to answer his assertions but he caught me in a good mood.

Here are some excepts and my answers:

"You're just reading the news. try to get some credible news from the company's perspective."

Aside from reading the news (which is a particularly a good starting point to learn things especially if stories from different sources agreed on what happened), I also did look for alternative sources. I found "proof" that PFEC and PIPC are related before I read the article detailing the connection.

Cristina Gonzalez-Tuason, PIPC general manager, requested the help of Interpol to locate Michael H.K. Liew. She wrote the NBI that she and other investors "have reason to believe that Mr. Liew unlawfully took [the] money of Performance Investments (BVI) to the grave prejudice of its investors...".

How am I supposed to get more "credible news from the company's perspective"? The PIPC general manager has already told the NBI and the Interpol that the owner ran away with the investors' money. If this person knows something more than the general manager, then perhaps he should tell me outright.

"The company, like i mentioned, is expanding in China...i don't think the owner just ran away because he felt like it, or one day he felt like quitting and left for the caribbean."

Does he really believe any of these? That Michael Liew either abandoned his Philippine clients for greener pastures in China or retired, while taking clients' money with him? This person thinks that any of the above scenarios is acceptable.

That this person doesn't "think a scam would last for ten years, and even expanding it abroad..." shows flawed reasoning. Rose Baladjay of Multitel gave good profits to "investors" for four to five years before the scam collapsed. Who knows how long that could have continued if internal factors did not cause its exposure? Length of existence and initial good profits does not mean its not a scam. Satisfied clients does not unmake a scam. Multitel still has supporters to this day. They absolve the company of any wrongdoing. Multitel, by the way, was also forex-enabled but it used another brokerage.

To Anonymous:

Instead of telling me what to do, why don't you write your OWN blog so you can stop hiding behind the cloak of anonymity? That way you can try to post "credible news" yourself. And without reading newspapers too...

Good day...


Anonymous said...

wow you wrote a whole post about my comment. i'm honored.

anyways, of course, getting robbed sucks, whether rich or poor. i'm not siding for or against them, but with research, and insider knowledge, the company shouldnt be labelled as such.

believe me or not, the owner simply disappeared abruptly, they even fear he's dead.

..and please be reminded that there are PR firms who make the news look good, or to feed the public with information that they want to hear. that's the wonder of assymetric information.

..and didn't you notice that channel 2 is the only network that has been broadcasting this news? makes you think huh?

btw, i do have a blog. i just dont want to show it to people i dont know lol.

besides, you can remove the "send comment as anonymous" option. :)

jedianalyst said...

You feel honored? Really? Wow! Glad to be of help. Now I understand better how you think.

Back to the topic. You didn't even try to answer the points stated in the post.

The PIPC chairperson "have reason to believe that Mr. Liew unlawfully took [the] money of Performance Investments (BVI) to the grave prejudice of its investors...".

What can be a clearer indictment than that? PIPC operated by offering a service that its not legally allowed to do then the owner ran away with clients' money.

Can you give me some "research and insider knowledge" to work on? They just seem pretty vague and impotent words coming from you.

Thanks for the tip. I'll take that into consideration. I can always reject anonymous comments too. =P

Salve said...

hi jedianalyst, very interesting blog. i'll be dropping by everyday :)

banggigay said...

hi there. thanks for visiting my crib, and leaving a comment. actually i lurked here the other day, and was able to know more about this git chap (the grand thief!) thru your site. so things got clearer to me. if i knew earlier about this pfec i could have not judged better. and thanks for the nice words esp from a total stranger.

and yes, i agree. a lot are still in denial. it's the fear of being embarassed in public and that it's the resistance to admit ones fault.

it's also possible that others are still convincing themselves that the money can still be chased.

but anyway as for me...i have recognised my "carelessness" (thanks for that btw), and i'm slowly getting up from the ruins. it's imperative at this point for me to move forward :)

jedianalyst said...

@Ma'am Salve: Everyday? I don't think I'm up to posting regularly yet but I'll try to do my best. =) Most likely scenario is that I'm just gonna lurk in your blog.=)

Thank you for visiting. I'm honored.

@banggigay: Being a kuripot saver myself, I feel I can somehow relate to your loss. I have friends and acquaintances too who lost money in similar scams. Denial and/or self-blame are usually part of the process. Thankfully, they were able to get past these trials.

Good luck on your move forward!

Anonymous said...

I'm really sorry for not saying any specifics here, since dropping some names would make me liable to the people that I have known for years. It's a very sensitive issue and I do not want to escalate it further. Hope you understand.

Obviously, the people involved in the company, staff or clients, are having a really tough time. The big wigs were crying because of the sudden disappearance of the owner, not to mention nearly all of the funds. They (even I) weren't expecting this to happen, since the owner, being professional that he is, coudn't have done this just like that. Some of the bosses actually sold some property just to fill-in the expenses. If this were a scam, someone should have gotten a fair share of the $250M right? It's like getting struck by lightning.

Anyways, the company (and some clients) is doing everything it can to get the money back. Besides the NBI, the company hired a Hong Kong based forensics team that specializes in fraud and other related matters. They're tasked to hunt the owner's whereabouts, and more importantly, the money.

And besides, knowing the Philippines, it's really easy to make loopholes. Yes, it seems like a scam, because it did not list themselves as a trading firm. But I can safely say that the company have been doing foreign exchange trades for around ten years now.

The only problem is that, again, the owner doing this grand disappearing act.

jedianalyst said...

It would have been really nice to know what happened from your perspective. I respect your silence on the matter although the investors have a right to know what happened to their money. The impact on their families and friends will last a long time. The company has to be transparent. Granted that the officials are innocent, they still have to bear the responsibility for the scandal because they are the local representatives of the company. They gave the company credibility it needed to operate. They should have made sure of the safeguards before inviting clients. I mean, was no one alarmed that Michael Liew had total access to all the clients' money? They have to try to make things right. I hope they catch that scumbag soon.

blog49 said...
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