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Futures business suspected of defrauding investors

Date Posted: 2003-06-22

A failed futures business has some 1,000 investors hopping mad as they stand to lose a combined 3 billion they had poured into the scheme before it went bust. The Okinawa Prefectural Police are also investigating the company and its owner for possible fraud charges. The Naha-based business reportedly collected the money mainly through advertising on the Internet.

The venture that started in May 2002 went broke in October, when it ran out of funds. Police suspect the owner or the company continued to collect investments from people even after that, as he was reportedly able to return investments totaling 170 million to some 60 investors who had been the loudest at demanding their money back. Investigators suspect that the man had collected about 200 million in new investments. The 940 investors who never saw a penny back for their investments have since formed an association to pursue getting their money back through the courts.

At the same time, police began a criminal investigation into the case after the owner of the failed company provided them a list of investors and they discovered that he had paid off 60 of them. "If it turns out that he has collected investments after he went bust, this becomes a very clear case of fraud," a police investigator stated.

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