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February 23, 2010

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3 charged in scam with 945 victims

TWO Southeast Asians and a local man have been charged with operating an illegal business for doing foreign exchange and trading gold futures without licenses, causing losses of millions of US dollars to nearly 1,000 victims, local prosecutors said yesterday.

The trio allegedly attracted 945 domestic clients from September 2006 to early last year. The clients deposited more than US$11 million in earnest money in the trio's company and paid them US$3 million in commissions.

Although the suspects earned huge profits, the clients from more than 20 provinces and municipalities lost more than US$8 million, according to Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate Prosecutors' Office.

The foreigners, an Indonesian and a Malaysian, lived in Singapore. Prosecutors withheld their names.

The duo registered a company in the British Virgin Islands in 2005, opened an account in Hong Kong and set up an online foreign exchange and futures trading platform, prosecutors said.

In May 2008, a local employee surnamed Liu joined the two, prosecutors alleged.


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