The trial of Sunshine Empire founders James Phang Wah, his wife Neo Kuon Huay, and ex-director Jackie Hoo Choon Cheat is currently underway as they are charged by the public prosecutor of running a Ponzi scheme.
Within a period of just 15 months, Sunshine Empire managed to raise $180 million from investors enticed by the ‘promised’ high returns – rebates from the sale of lifestyle products. The rebates, however, cost more than the products themselves, and eventually the whole house of cards collapsed.
To continue giving out the rebates, Sunshine Empire would have to generate returns in excess of 300% from the money that it collected, something that was doomed to fail.
We always hear the sayings “There’s no free lunch” and “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Investors of Sunshine Empire like bus driver Vincent Teo would mortgage his house to purchase Sunshine packages would unfortunately live to regret not heading them.
If the promised returns of any scheme offered to you is very high, always investigate how the returns are derived. If they are dependent on new investors joining the scheme, . be very careful and don’t let greed get the better of you.