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Company scams investors, then files for bankruptcy

Date Posted: 2007-07-20

The advertisements promised great profits for investing in a shrimp farming venture in the Philippines.

The firm advertising, World Ocean Farm, promised investors they would double their money in a year’s time when they invested ¥100,000 or more. More than 40,000 took advantage of the offer, expecting to begin reaping profits early this year.

The Tokyo-based company, which has offices in Naha City, now says “we are bankrupt” and cannot fulfill the promises to the 40,000 people who invested ¥60 billion. A company spokesman says World Ocean Farm did make 5% dividend payments to 3,000 investors, but that the other 37,000 can’t be paid.

The World Ocean Farm chairman, Isamu Kuroiwa, has disappeared, and nobody has any idea where he is. A spokesman at the Naha office says he doesn’t “know how many investors are in Okinawa, because the head office won’t tell us.” He acknowledged though, that investors gathered more than 10 times each month for seminars at hotels in Itoman, Miyakojima, Ishigaki and Ginowan Cities, the Awase area and at the Okinawa Convention Center.

The company sales pitch was “our business is so good, we are cultivating black tiger shrimp and selling them in Japan so there will be a big profit, and this profit will go into your bank account. The company promised to pay dividends every ten days, plus pay investors bonuses and commissions for referring friends.

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