Victims of Baccarat Pyramid Scheme Fight Each Other As Real Con Artist Escapes Justice2 years ago
The High Court of the Republic of Singapore concluded a lawsuit between Lee Hwee Yeow and two sales reps from "SureWin4U", despite the CEO of the company - Ong Kean Swan AKA Peter Ong - being "missing" since 2014.
SureWin4U.com was a website run by Dream Success International, it ostensibly offered the opportunity to stake a group of baccarat players through packages.
The site claimed that these so-called "expert gamblers" were from 21 different jurisdictions and boasted a success rate of 99.8%.
As proof of their system's effectiveness, SureWin4U would send text messages showcasing the extravagant lifestyle of Ong Kean Swan AKA Peter Ong AKA "The God of Baccarat".
But who is this self-proclaimed God of Baccarat?
Third-party details of his baccarat game are scarce, his past involvement in multi-level marketing scams, however, is well documented.
Ong Kean Swan - Con artist
In 2008 Ong launched Island Red Cafe with his brother, Ong Tong Swan. It had a classic multi-level marketing model, they would sell the franchise to people, who would, in turn, try to sell it others, earning a percentage of the profits generated from each sale.
Basically, they didn't actually sell coffee, just the business opportunity of selling someone else the business of selling coffee.
They had over 1,500 investors before this house of cards collapsed. A few investors accused them of fraud, the investigation that followed exposed it as a pyramid scheme and Ong's brother pleaded guilty to all charges.
To be clear, multi-level marketing is not considered an illegal pyramid scam under most jurisdictions.
To be even clearer, the business model looks a lot like this when placed on a 3D plane:
In 2011 the Ong brothers created Dream Success International to promote their 99.8% baccarat system, neither of them had any previous professional experience in gambling.
Since his brother had taken the fall for the previous fraud charges, Peter Ong's record was relatively clean and he would threaten to sue publications that would try to warn his potential victims of his past.
And that brings us back to the lawsuit.
The victims SureWin4U left behind
Lee Hwee Yeow attended a demonstration of SureWin4U's "expert gamblers" in which they would triple their initial investments in 45 minutes.
He later had "extravagant" dinners with sales reps Wan Hoe Keet and Sally Ho who claimed a guaranteed return on investment and assured him of the legitimacy of the 99.8% success rate.
Lee was very impressed by the operation and purchased six "platinum packages" costing around $469,500 to $519,200 each. He never saw the promised return on investment.
In September 2014, SureWin4U.com went dark, and no one was able to cash out or reach out to Ong Kean Swan, who fled to places unknown with the millions he scammed out of his "investors".
Desperate, Lee sued the only members of the company he could reach, the sales reps Wan and Ho, who were early investors and were themselves also scammed out of their investment by Ong.
The two parties reached an undisclosed agreement, though it's safe to say that neither side came out the victor. They along with more than 150 people were affected by Ong Kean Swan, some may not pursue the matter of further out of shame.
For more financial life-saving info on Multi-Level Marketing, go to Pyramid Scheme Alert.
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