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Return of the Ponzi

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Return of the Ponzi

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Old 16th Dec 2016, 13:48
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Return of the Ponzi

There's good news for those who 'invested' their hard earned loans in the last Ponzi scheme; the guy who ran it, Sydney Lemos, is back with a new one, so shouldn't be too hard to track down if you want to have some choice words with him.

Interested to see how many more waste their money this time round.

http://m.gulfnews.com/xpress/news/alert-dodgy-forex-firm-lures-uae-investors-1.1945166?utm_medium=socialbar&utm_source=mobilesite&utm_cam paign=whatsapp

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Old 16th Dec 2016, 15:43
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Originally Posted by AlanPardew View Post
There's good news for those who 'invested' their hard earned loans in the last Ponzi scheme; the guy who ran it, Sydney Lemos, is back with a new one, so shouldn't be too hard to track down if you want to have some choice words with him.

Interested to see how many more waste their money this time round.

http://m.gulfnews.com/xpress/news/alert-dodgy-forex-firm-lures-uae-investors-1.1945166?utm_medium=socialbar&utm_source=mobilesite&utm_cam paign=whatsapp

Alan
Sydney having a good time

http://www.ahlanlive.com/photos/hed-kandi-nasimi-110895.html?page=16&img=16
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 14:21
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Do not even think about it.

Thanks Alan!

Better to nip these Ponzi's in the butt - name and shame, before they have a chance to affect our community again.

You have to be crazy to even consider gambling with these Forex Ponzi scams.

Here is the article in case you missed it:

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Alert: Dodgy forex firm lures UAE investors

Dubai company, shut down by authorities after its Ponzi-like investment scheme wrecks nearly 7,000 lives, is back in a new avatar





DUBAI: The man who disguised a $300 million (Dh1.1 billion) Ponzi scheme as a sophisticated foreign exchange trading programme to dupe thousands of investors in the UAE, is readying for yet another con job, an XPRESS investigation can reveal.


Dubai-based Indian Sydney Lemos, 36, is facing a string of court cases after his Exential Group left a trail of financial devastation and heartbreak in what is being billed as the most brazen scam to have hit the country in recent years. Exential’s 7,000-odd victims are mostly from aviation and oil and gas sectors. Each investor forked out a minimum of $25,000 per (Dh91,500) forex account after being promised annual profits of up to 120 per cent.


Buoyed by the incredible monthly returns, hundreds doubled and tripled their investments by taking huge bank loans.



Like any other outwardly viable but untenable model, the money-making scheme looked good till it lasted, which, in this case, was a little over five years. Everybody was happy while they were getting the promised money at the end of the month. But when the music stopped playing, investors hit the panic button.


Scores lodged complaints with the Dubai Economic Department (DED) which eventually shut down Exential’s Media City Office in July this year.
The total number of forex accounts held by Exential is estimated to be around 18,000. Multiple account holders include a senior executive at an oil and gas company who reportedly has 700 accounts of $25,000 each and a former vice-president of an aluminium company who has about 350.


Their entire life’s earnings stuck in a quagmire of deceit, many are now being hounded by banks and staring at an uncertain future.
“My life is ruined. I have become a psychological wreck since Exential stopped paying me,” said Filipina cabin crew R.S. who borrowed Dh150,000 to invest in the firm after hearing about it from colleagues.


An Arab businessman who dug into funds kept aside for his son’s college fee said he doesn’t know how he could make up for the shortfall while an Indian engineer claimed he needed the money back for a medical emergency. More horror stories abound on various online forums set up by investors to air their grievances.


New firm

Even as the court cases against him are being heard, the Exential boss is peddling dubious forex investments all over again.
This time he is using a company called Pinnacle Asset & Investment Management as a front to snare unsuspecting residents.


The domain name of Pinnacle’s website is registered by Exential’s managing director himself and the cellphone number listed on its trade licence is the same as that of Exential Mideast Commercial Brokers.



To give the sham a semblance of credibility, renowned forex educator Mario Singh has been listed as the executive director on Pinnacle’s website – a claim denied by Singh.
“I am not on the board of directors of Pinnacle Asset and Investment Management LLC. The reason I am mentioned on their website is because I have been advising the company in the past,” Singh stated in an email statement to XPRESS from India.
“I have no association with the Exential Group. I have visited Dubai to promote myself and my academy, and not for or on behalf of the Exential Group,” said Singh, referring to an event hosted by him at a five-star hotel in Dubai some time ago.


Curiously, Pinnacle’s purported 42nd floor office in Dubai’s Emirates Towers belongs to Servcorp that sells serviced office space, virtual office products and IT services. “Pinnacle had a virtual desk, but that was several months ago. I don’t know where they are now,” said a staff when XPRESS visited the place recently.


Sydney Lemos, who is also the main sponsor of a football club in India, could not be contacted despite several attempts while emails sent to him remain unanswered even as a lawyer representing 45 investors of various nationalities said he’s hopeful of getting justice for his clients.
“We have filed several cases against Exential. The matter is under investigation and we are optimistic of the results,” said Hany Elsaid of Dubai-based Abdul Rahman Naseeb Advocates and Legal Consultants.


Private detectives from UK
Nearly 250 other investors have hired private detectives from the UK to help to recover their funds from Exential’s parent company FCI Markets Ltd, based in the British Virgin Islands.


Experts from Carlton Huxley which specialises in fraud investigations were in Dubai recently to meet victims and chalk out a strategy.
Loosely modelled after the fraudulent MMA Forex exposed by XPRESS in 2013, Exential also ended up the same way.


“This is what typically happens with Ponzi-like investment schemes. They use the money of new investors to pay the earlier ones. But when the cycle of fund inflow gets disrupted, the whole thing falls apart,” said a financial analyst familiar with such cases.


Exential’s staff, however, said they had no inkling of the impending doom.
“Until last year business was roaring good. So much so that we would enrol up to a thousand clients every month. “At $25,000 per account that was a neat Dh25 million in the kitty. There were times when I could make up to Dh45,000 in monthly commissions on top of our Dh8,000 salary,” a former relationship manager said on conditions of anonymity.

Another staff said they were inundated with queries all day. “Around this time last year people would flock to our Arenco Tower office to invest money. Today, they hang around in the hope of getting it back.”


What our investigation found
The domain name of Pinnacle’s website is registered by Exential’s managing director himself and the cellphone numbers listed on its trade licence is the same as that of Exential Mideast Commercial Brokers and its sister concerns.

YouSpeak
Have you lost money in a dubious scheme? Tell us your story.
Write to us at:
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Source: Alert: Dodgy forex firm lures UAE investors | GulfNews.com
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Old 23rd Dec 2016, 16:12
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maybe we should report former EPI as well?
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Old 24th Dec 2016, 17:24
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Where do I sign up? I heard from some CC that it is a very sound investment and they should know
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Old 2nd Jan 2017, 16:48
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http://m.thenational.ae/uae/boss-of-foreign-currency-scheme-in-dubai-arrested

Let us hope young Sid enjoys his stay at The Hilton....
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 10:10
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Dubai businessman arrested for Dh1.1 billion ponzi scheme
Amira Agarib /Dubai, Khaleej Times.

The businessman was arrested on December 21.


The Dubai police confirmed the arrest of an Asian businessman who allegedly embezzled Dh 1.1 billion from 7000 people who had invested their money in his company Exential Group. Most victims work in the aviation, oil and gas sectors and on an average invested Dh 125,000. Exential had approximately 18,000 forex accounts.


The deputy director of Al Barsha police station, Major Majed Al Swaidi, said that the businessman was arrested on December 21, referred to the Dubai Public Prosecutor and then released on bail. He cannot leave the country without repaying the money.


Al Swaidi said that many people lodged complaints at Al Barsha police station after the company was shut down by the Dubai Economic department last July as it didn't have a license. The complainants at Al Barsha police station have lost Dh 50 million.


Most victims of the scam said that their lives have been destroyed because they deposited most of their money. They said that they were enticed by the prospect of making profits in the range of 100-150%. They convinced their friends and family to invest in the company. The scammer soon stopped making payments.


Source: Dubai businessman arrested for Dh1.1 billion ponzi scheme - Khaleej Times



Dubai: The Indian owner of a Dubai-based foreign exchange trading firm who had promised to double investors’ money has been arrested in the emirate for suspected fraud, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Sydney Lemos, 36, from Goa, had been arrested on 21 December, The National reported, saying he was behind the failed investment scheme worth 50 million dirhams ($13.6 million).

His firm, Exential Group, was closed by Dubai authorities in July, the daily said, adding that clients lost millions of dirhams when the group failed to pay out after promising the 100% return on their investments.
Source: Indian businessman Sydney Lemos arrested for fraud in Dubai - Livemint

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Lets hope the investigation widens to include those actively encouraging others to join up, knowing full well it was a Ponzi.

If the company is unable to pay up, there is talk that lawyers are considering claw-back proceedings to recoup any money the early joiners gained from this illegal scheme ie. Illegally obtained gains.

Passport copies of all investors and the amount of money they received are believed to be on file in the offices.

Legally, the Ponzi scheme’s winners – i.e., those who withdrew more money than they deposited – can be compelled to return their fictitious profits to help defray the losses to the scheme’s losers. They are required to do so even if they did not know, and had no reason to know, that theirs was not a legitimate investment.

This is called a "clawback" which allows victims to seek the return of funds distributed to investors, even from those who were fortunate enough to have turned a profit or redeemed their investments before the schemes unraveled.

Many cases have won in court, whereas “net winners” are required to pay back past withdrawals to be redistributed to the larger pool of victims.

The chances of getting some money back are greatly increased when the names of complicit individuals are identified. Direct legal action can be taken against those who promoted, or enjoyed commissions from bringing in new clients.

The complicit members of a Ponzi scheme are known as "Promoters": the majority are aware the scheme is fraudulent, but they do their utmost to ensure the scheme stays alive as long as possible to maximise their profit.


Those who knew this was not legit and anxiously waited for 12 months to pass as to recoup their initial "investment", might just have many more sleepless nights ahead.
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 14:09
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and then released on bail.
So he has not been arrested

Those who knew this was not legit and anxiously waited for 12 months to pass as to recoup their initial "investment", might just have many more sleepless nights ahead
So funny ! I cannot wait for the next chapter of that fascinating story. Maybe for some it's still time to run away from the country ?
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 21:19
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So he has not been arrested
Yes, he was arrested- bail is something you get AFTER being arrested.
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Old 13th Jan 2017, 18:47
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...and I'd hazard a guess that the bail amount is a tad more than the profit share we'll get this year!

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Old 13th Jan 2017, 18:49
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There is a sucker born every minute.
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Old 22nd Jan 2017, 12:13
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Stay away from get rich quick schemes


Why do people fall for bogus schemes?


If you have the nerve to invest your hard-earned money in get-rich-quick schemes, then you ought to have the nerve to face the shattering consequences

Published: 01:00 January 22, 2017 Gulf News
By Mazhar Farooqui, Editor, XPRESS


Dubai: If a money-making opportunity looks too good to be true, it probably is. Tens of thousands of UAE residents have learned this the hard way after losing their life savings in investment plans only to discover that these were outright Ponzi schemes. Yet such is the lure of easy money, that every few days many still get sucked into their swirling vortex of deceit.

Nearly 6,000 residents lost their money in Sunfeast Infotech, 4,000 in SpeakAsia, 1,500 in MMA Forex, 2,000 in Gold AE, 40 in Ferryland Tourism and more recently 5,000 in UT Markets and 7,000 in Exential Group.

That’s around 25,000 people duped out of roughly Dh2.5 billion in just a little over three years – Dh100,000 per person on an average.

Tip of the iceberg



Mindboggling as it sounds, this could just be the tip of the iceberg, according to Gaurang Desai, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) owned by the Dubai government and regulated by the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA).

The derivatives marketing specialist reckons there could be 150 such fly-by-night companies in the UAE peddling get-rich quick schemes by offering annual returns of up to 120 per cent.

Sam Instone, CEO of Dubai-based financial advisers AES International says the number could be as high as 1,000.
“A financial regulator recently told me they suspect there are more than 1,000 boiler rooms [unlicensed financial people/firms]. Some of these are large, legitimate looking businesses,” he said.
“The tough economic climate and the slump in savings and stocks make the perfect scenario for these thugs,” said another financial adviser.

However, like any other outwardly viable but untenable model, the Ponzi schemes look good till they last, which in most cases has rarely been beyond six years.

Sure enough, when they inevitably fall apart, they cause the equivalent of a financial apocalypse. A staggering 7,000 alone have been hit by the $300 million Exential scam.

Numbers tell half the story

But statistics are just numbers. They don’t quite show the fallout of a reckless investment and what victims go through in the aftermath of a Ponzi scam.

Understandably so as they are unable to capture the plight of the affected. Dubai-based nurse Joanne Juantas (left) lost her brother John Paul Juantas, 31, last Sunday as his money (Dh460,000) was stuck in Exential and he couldn’t pay for his cancer treatment. A Dubai father who works for a reputed airline, but often goes without food. And a Jordanian mother in Sharjah has been dumped by her husband and now fears losing the custody of her children as she can’t afford to pay their school fees.

The airline staffer invested $80,000 in Exential after taking a bank loan while the Jordanian mum sold her ancestral land to fork out $175,000.
“That’s all I had. My husband got so annoyed that he left me. My kids are on the verge of dropping out of school and my husband wants their custody saying I cannot look after them. My life has become a mess,” she said in a voice choked with emotion.

The airline staffer said his entire salary goes towards paying off his loan. “At times, I’ve no money for even food. I don’t want to cheat any bank or run away. I would rather go to jail but I dread to think about the fate of my school-going daughter should that happen,” he said.
Dubai-based Syrian hairstylist Rafi Zazza (left) who borrowed from relatives to open seven forex accounts of $25,000 each with the firm said he doesn’t know how to face them.

Then there are people like Elrina van Graan, who’s unable to pursue the case as she’s based out of the country. “I live in South Africa and don’t know how to lodge a complaint,” she said, sharing documents that show that Exential owes her over $35,000.

Last week, the dodgy firm’s Indian owner, S.L, 36, who was out on bail, was reportedly re-arrested by Al Barsha police in connection with the fraud.
A majority of his victims are from the aviation industry, but it’s people from the oil and gas sector who have taken the biggest hits, like a senior executive at an oil and gas company who reportedly has around 650 accounts of $25,000 each..

Infallible trap

So what is that causes well-educated people to fall into the infallible trap of Ponzi schemes?

“Pramod Bothra, director, Evermore Global DMCC. puts it in one word – Greed. “Ponzi schemes feed on greed. People are so blinded by the seemingly incredible returns that they seldom pause to think how they could possibly earn 10-12 per cent monthly on their investments. No business offers that kind of money,” he said.

Stupidity also plays an important if not equal part. At Sunfeast Infotech, for instance, investors looking to make extra bucks from ‘outsourced projects’ were handed a flash drive with several pages of manuscript in PDF format which they were required to type into text format and submit within 25 days.

At the end of a 30-day cycle, they were paid Dh250 for the job. They had to pay a security deposit of Dh500 for each project. In theory, they got their initial investment in two months; any extra job after that was profit.

Enticed by big returns, thousands used to queue up at Sunfeast’s Oud Metha office during 2013 with many taking huge loans to procure hundreds of ‘projects’ at the same time.

When that was not enough, scores sold their jewellery and homes. One enterprising man even set up a temporary typing centre at his home in India where young students were hired to do the job.

No background checks

Nobody bothered to find out how anyone could make a fortune out of typing a few sheets of paper. By the time the company was shut down by the Dubai Economic Department (DED) and its owners jailed for fraud, millions had been siphoned off.

Another company, MMA Forex, conned investors into believing they were dealing with a multinational firm with a diversified portfolio that included an airline in Ras Al Khaimah. As it turned out, the whole thing was a sham. MMA Forex owner CEO Malik Noureed Awan was later arrested and sentenced to jail.

Company ran on WhatsApp

The UT Markets scam which happened around the same time as Exential is even more shocking. The company was based out of Bulgaria and managed its operations in the UAE entirely on WhatsApp.

Yet nearly 4,000 UAE residents, largely cabin crew, gave away their hard-earned money to them without a second thought.
“They claimed they were investing our funds in foreign exchange through a trading software. At 13 per cent per month, the returns were too good to be true, and too good to be missed, recalls Indian expat A.K.
“I invested $10,000 in January 2016. Encouraged by initial profits, I took a bank loan and pitched in with another $60,000 in July last year. Now it’s all stuck and I am saddled with a big loan,” said the 41-year-old, who also got his fingers burnt at Exential.

Like most victims, AK has resigned himself to fate after calls made to UT Markets’ Bulgaria office and their relationship managers remain unanswered and a letter from the country’s Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) showed the company was not licensed.

Can victims get their money?

Instances of Ponzi victims recovering their money are few and far between.

The only time a restitution effort has been successful in recent years was in the case of American fraudster Bernard Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison by US courts in 2009 for running the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.

While this may spring hope among many in the UAE, finding the money and dividing it fairly among victims remains a tricky proposition.
“Restitution is a complicated process,” said Hany Al Saeed (left) of Abdul Rahman Naseeb Associates and Legal Consultants, who represents 80 Exential victims. “We’re taking legal action not just against Exential but also its sister concerns as they were also part of the agreement signed by investors. Once we get a favourable verdict, we will pursue the matter internationally as a large amount of the money could be stashed away in foreign banks,” he added.

An executive who lost Dh200,000 said that no matter how much is recovered, his life can never be back on track.

What you can do to avoid investment scams

Before you are able to spot the telltale signs of a Ponzi scheme, it’s important that you understand what the fraud is all about. Named after notorious US-scamster Charles Ponzi, the scheme functions by paying off new investors with money from old ones. This is precisely what happened at Exential, UTMarkets, MMA, Sunfeast and several other dodgy companies.
NAT Sam Instone Colour“If anyone is considering investing in a scheme that they’ve been advised or even promised will give them very high returns -- it’s probably best to avoid it because it may well be a scam,” warns Sam Instone (left), CEO, AES International.

Dubai-based professional trader and coach Sara Waqar (right). “People should be wary of schemes which guarantee exorbitant returns over a monthly time period and come with the assurance that their principal amount will remain safe. ”While robust forex strategies may produce well over 10 per cent in some months, there is always an element of risk,” she says.

“The best way to avoid such scams is to invest in quality forex education. You should also due diligence and listen to your gut feeling before you commit your hard-earned money to a financial scheme. A rule of thumb of the financial market is: What seems too good to be true, is never true. There is no other interpretation of this evergreen cliche.”

According to Instone, people should take financial advice from a qualified professional rather than someone who cold calls them. “Prevention is better than cure,” says Gaurang Desai (left), CEO of the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX). “Investors should go through registered intermediaries and make sure that the company they are dealing with is registered with exchange houses like DGCX which is regulated by federal authorities,” he says.

Instone said his advice to investors would be to buy Andrew Hallam’s book The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing and choose how to invest from there. It has a list of all the best investment venues for a range of different nationalities and its wisdom can massively positively impact the investment outcomes people experience. If people don’t want or don’t have time to read it they can find a fee-based independent financial planner who should tell them this. And yes, make sure the business is licensed. Don’t sign a contract without reading it and keep on checking things!

Verifying the credentials of promoters can save you a lot of time, money and heartache,” says Pramod Bothra, director, Evermore Global DMCC.

Source: Why do people fall for bogus schemes? | GulfNews.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lets hope the investigation widens to include those actively encouraging others to join up, knowing full well it was a Ponzi.

If the company is unable to pay up, there is talk that lawyers are considering claw-back proceedings to recoup any money the early joiners gained from this illegal scheme ie. Illegally obtained gains.

Passport copies of all investors and the amount of money they received are believed to be on file in the offices.

Legally, the Ponzi scheme’s winners – i.e., those who withdrew more money than they deposited – can be compelled to return their fictitious profits to help defray the losses to the scheme’s losers. They are required to do so even if they did not know, and had no reason to know, that theirs was not a legitimate investment.

This is called a "clawback" which allows victims to seek the return of funds distributed to investors, even from those who were fortunate enough to have turned a profit or redeemed their investments before the schemes unraveled.

Many cases have won in court, whereas “net winners” are required to pay back past withdrawals to be redistributed to the larger pool of victims.

The chances of getting some money back are greatly increased when the names of complicit individuals are identified. Direct legal action can be taken against those who promoted, or enjoyed commissions from bringing in new clients.

The complicit members of a Ponzi scheme are known as "Promoters": the majority are aware the scheme is fraudulent, but they do their utmost to ensure the scheme stays alive as long as possible to maximise their profit.


Those who knew this was not legit and anxiously waited for 12 months to pass as to recoup their initial "investment", might just have many more sleepless nights ahead.
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 23:14
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Next Chapter unfolding. EK now involved:

Next Chapter unfolding. EK now involved:

Forex scheme chief is arrested again




Nick Webster
Follow @NickWebsterADM
January 24, 2017

DUBAI // As the man behind a Dh50 million foreign exchange scheme that promised to double investors’ money is arrested for a second time, investigators are now turning their attention to a second forex fraud believed to have snared thousands of Emirates crew.

Sydney Lemos, who investors claim was the protagonist in the Exential operation run from Media City, has been rearrested and is in police custody, according to lawyers.

He is accused of leading a team of sellers promising 120 per cent returns on US$20,000 accounts invested in foreign currencies. The bogus Exential trading scheme was shut down by the Economic Development Department last year.

Private investigators at UK firm Carlton Huxley, who are working on behalf of 30 clients - most of whom Emirates cabin crew - claim a second fund offering similar returns could have more victims.

UTMarkets is a UK-run website with offices in Bulgaria offering investors the chance to trade Forex and other commodities.

"Our lead investigators have established that some people involved in Exential may also be connected with UTMarkets," said John Rynne, a director of Carlton Huxley.

"Carlton Huxley has been retained by a number of clients to look into the conduct of those involved in UTMarkets.

"We are working with the Bulgarian law firm New Balkan Law Office along with authorities in the UK and Bulgaria."

The UTMarkets website makes similar profit promises to those of Exential, which left thousands devastated by debt.

The site, which remains active, offers an "unparalleled mix of forex and commodities brokerage services that’s easy to use and completely secure".

Fraud investigators said the UTMarkets scheme developed quickly through recommendations among airline workers in late 2015 and early last year as Exential started to collapse.

"We have grounds to believe there are about 6,000 UTMarkets victims, 95 per cent of whom work for Emirates airline," said one of the UK investigators, who has visited Dubai several times to interview account holders of both schemes.

"We are keeping the legal department of Emirates informed and have identified people who appear to have been actively involved with Exential who are also involved in UTMarkets."

Several UTMarkets account managers were approached for comment, but none responded.

Asif, an Emirates ground crew employee from India who has been in Dubai for 11 years, borrowed about Dh110,000 to invest in UTMarkets in January 2016. He earns Dh15,000 a month.

He was paid about Dh7,000 a month for five months, but was encouraged to reinvest most of that by relationship managers working from an office in Sofia, Bulgaria.

"I had heard of Exential for years, but had not invested," he said.

"I was hoping to plan for my future with my wife, and heard Exential account holders were having problems, so invested with UTMarkets instead. They were offering almost twice as much in monthly returns.

"My friends and colleagues at Emirates persuaded me that UTMarkets was a better investment."

He claims many who lost out through Exential ploughed more money from loans and credit cards into the UTMarkets funds in an attempt to recover their initial deposits.

Asif, who took no financial advice before handing over the cash, said he is owed about Dh84,500 from UTMarkets and was kept informed by his relationship managers via a What’sApp group that is no longer posting.

"One of my friends has invested $30,000, another $50,000," he said.

"There are a lot of people in Dubai with big financial commitments to this. The conversation with UTMarkets stopped when they stopped paying out each month. The account managers have all now disappeared. It’s hard to know if the trading information they were giving us was real, or fake."

Carlton Huxley is planning a series of free to attend educational seminars later this year in Dubai to warn about the dangers of investing in similar schemes.

[email protected]

Source: Forex scheme chief is arrested again | The National
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Old 25th Jan 2017, 06:19
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Ahhhh. I read this and recall fondly the many chats in the forward galley with FA's who, with complete self-assurance, informed me of their wisdom and my foolishness in trying to warn them away from such obvious, blatant nonsense.

"We have grounds to believe there are about 6,000 UTMarkets victims, 95 per cent of whom work for Emirates airline,"
I shed not one tear. Experience was offered for free, and refused. Now you can pay for it instead.
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Old 25th Jan 2017, 21:19
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Quote;

" It's hard to know if the trading information they were giving us was real, or fake".

Mmm....let those with even half a brain think about that for a minute. The firm is being investigated by a UK law firm, UTMarkets were promising double what the previous scheme couldn't deliver, the relationship manager has stopped posting on 'What's app' and now, all the account managers have disappeared. I'm not a betting man, but if I was to hazard a guess.....

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Old 1st Feb 2017, 11:55
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More from the Ponzi scheme;

Published: 21:00 January 31, 2017 Gulf News
Mazhar Farooqui, Editor Xpress

Dubai: Valany Cardozo Lemos, wife of the owner of dubious forex investment firm Exential, has made a desperate appeal urging clients to give her husband Sydney Lemos “one last chance” and “stop wasting money on lawyers” by filing court cases against him.
Nearly 7,000 UAE residents, mostly working in the aviation and oil and gas sectors, lost their life’s savings in the scam. Hundreds have moved court.
The company’s Dubai Media City office was shut down by authorities in July 2016. Sydney Lemos, 36, from Goa, India, was arrested in December 2016 for running a Dh1.1 billion Ponzi scheme in the guise of a foreign currency exchange investment programme. He was released on bail, but taken into custody a second time in mid-January. He has been in jail since.

His Exential Group promised up to 120 per cent annual returns on investments, but when payments dried up, many investors complained following which the firm’s Dubai Media City office was shut down by the Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) in July 2016.
In a six-minute long audio message WhatsApped to clients on Sunday from India, a woman claiming to be Valany said: “the only person who could return their money is Sydney”, who is currently in the custody of Dubai Police at Al Barsha police station.
“Putting civil cases is not helping anyone... he [Sydney] has given a statement to the authorities that he is ready to help and will return everyone’s money. So why do you need lawyers, why do you need investigators? Let them stop ripping you off. I don’t want to see you all losing more money... even the lawyer... everyone is at the mercy of Sydney. So why are you taking the long cut [route] when you have the short cut to get your money back?” Valany said.
Gulf News cannot independently verify the identity of the speaker in the audio message, although those associated with Valany said it’s indeed her voice.
Valany said her main concern was to get her husband out of prison.
“He wants to get his respect back and he can do that only after he returns everyone’s money which he is capable of.”
She said her husband never intended to cheat anyone and could have run away from the country if he wanted as his passport was with him till recently.
She claimed that Sydney had been trying “very hard” to sort out things.
“A man like him who has run the business for almost six years wouldn’t want it to just go in vain. He is capable of returning everyone’s money, but he needs a little bit of understanding and a little bit of patience. I know some of you might say ‘Oh, how much more patience?’, but he is human. He has earned [profits for] so many accounts for five years. He has been transferring more than Dh50 million per month to clients as profits. If he was a cheat he would have put all of that in his pocket by just declaring small profits, but he didn’t do that.
“He is here, he is not going to run away. We just need some understanding and some cooperation from all of you.”
However, investors are far from convinced.
“This is just a ploy to stop people from filing cases against the company,” said Dubai-based Syrian hairstylist Rafi Zazza, who lost Dh640,000 which he had borrowed from relatives.
“I find it very upsetting because the message makes no mention of where they have kept all the money.”
An Abu-based Indian executive who has filed a civil case to recover investments worth $100,000 termed the message as emotional blackmail.
“We are not at the mercy of Sydney as his wife would want us to believe. It’s the other way round,” said the man who had four accounts of $25,000 each in the company.

http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/crime/e...ercy-1.1970914
motojet is offline  
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Old 1st Feb 2017, 12:49
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: MUC
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I said it before and I will say it again:
Anyone who was stupid and naive enough to invest money in what was an obvious Ponzi scheme deserves to loose their cash.
And don't believe his desperate Indian wife, she clearly denies it was a scam, and is only interested in getting her husband out of jail, not returning your money.
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Old 1st Feb 2017, 14:30
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Dubai
Posts: 318
Had the pleasure (not) of flying with an FG1 who proudly told me she'd made "so much money from this scheme" after being in it from the early days.

When I pressed her on the whole subject of ponzi schemes, she admitted she'd never heard of Bernie Maddof, never suspected this was a scam, still didn't believe it was a scam ("I left $100,000 in the scheme"...haha..."left"?....try "lost" you stupid fool).

When I asked her how she slept at night knowing the money in her bank account came from the life savings of her colleagues..and possibly from people who'd since committed suicide..she was adamant she felt no guilt.

She also supported Donald Trump (when I asked her what Trump had done in the past 7days since taking over as president, she had no idea.."I'm too busy to read about that")

She also is a climate change denier, and a general ignorant idiot.

Everything I despise in people.

When I told her that, she stormed off in a huff and slammed the flight deck door on the way out.

Needless to say, she didn't get to handle my food for the rest of the flight.

I sincerely hope she keeps bragging about her profits to other crew, until someone affected gives her a good thrashing.

What a stupid woman.

And what's she still doing at EK anyway if she made so much money?
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Old 1st Feb 2017, 14:36
  #19 (permalink)  
 
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And what's he still doing at EK anyway if he made so much money?

That's what I used to ask BC when he urged me to "invest" with him....

Last edited by Dropp the Pilot; 1st Feb 2017 at 14:55. Reason: editing
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Old 1st Feb 2017, 17:36
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Kamel, I gotta say, who is more "stupid"? Her, in her beliefs? Or you, trying to change anyone's opinion in a work place environment? Time and place for everything. Maybe I shouldn't say stupid but rather, ill advised or perhaps obtuse?

If she came up bragging about her returns or whatever, just say, interesting. And how do you get from ponzi schemes to climate change or global warming (whatever the name this week is), Donald Trump's E.O.s, or anything else along those lines? Seems you were trying to put her in her place, to show your superior intellect. That's how I read it from your post. People's beliefs and opinions are formed from their perspective and experiences. Trying to change them to your perspective, which, god forbid, might be off the mark is fruitless and a waste of time. From where I came, that could even be considered work place harassment, given your place in the chain of command.

Just my opinion from my perspective and experience.

Let's see, you called her a stupid fool, general ignorant idiot, everything I despise in people, and gets a good thrashing. NICE.
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