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Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Alert: Sunshine Empire

The Electric New Paper :

Blacklisted S'pore MLM company unveils lavish M'sian developments. But M'sian authorities say...
THEIR presentation was certainly designed to impress and strike awe.
By Hedy Khoo
29 October 2007

THEIR presentation was certainly designed to impress and strike awe.

With just $12,000, you stand to make many times more by being part of a 'global' company that has stakes in many high-profile projects in the region.

These include a trading portal that is supposedly better than eBay, as well as majestic theme parks in Malacca and Sabah that boast floating villas and underwater hotel rooms.

To prove the point to about 100 people who attended Sunshine Empire's talk last week, a slide show titled Anything Is Possible was shown.

Without any explanation, the audience was shown several pictures, including one of an overcrowded bus in India with some passengers on the roof and others with legs dangling out of the windows.

Another photo showed square watermelons from Japan.


The audience was told: 'To believe or not to believe is up to you.'

Sunshine Empire, a multi-level marketing (MLM) firm, is now on the radar of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Though MLM companies are legal here, MAS has included the firm on its list of unauthorised companies that investors should avoid.

The Securities Commission in Malaysia has also listed Sunshine Empire on its investor-alert list. It advised the public not to make any investment with companies that are not licensed or approved by it.

The commission's website noted: 'Offers often come in the guise of seemingly attractive investment opportunities or schemes and may also be camouflaged as direct-selling or business opportunities.'

In Singapore, a visit to Sunshine Empire's office in Toa Payoh Hub saw several people there holding stacks of cash, presumably to pay for their investment.

One man had a thick stack of Indonesian rupiah.

Earlier, they had been given a brief overview of 'the Empire', as it is called, detailing its ventures in a range of businesses from telecommunications to health to property.

A representative showed various slides of the company's regional projects, including two impressive marine theme park developments in Malacca and Sabah.

Graphics of the park in Malacca showed an intricate network of floating villas and structures on the water which formed the shape of a lion's head. The park also has an adjoining condominium project.

Artists' impressions of the park in Sabah, called The Magic Kingdom, showed a lavish underwater hotel.

An aerial view showed a network of structures in the water which took the shape of an lobster. These structures are purportedly underwater hotel rooms.

'You can open the curtains to your room and see your friends swimming outside,' the representative said.

However, the Malaysian authorities appeared to be unaware of the projects.

When contacted by The New Paper on Sunday, the press secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah, MrFrancis Au Chee Thong, said he had not heard about the Empire's plan to build a water theme park in Sabah.

Mr Au said: 'To our Ministry's knowledge, we have no information relating to a water theme park project.

'And, at this point, there is no such project that is under construction or in progress in Sabah at the moment.'

As for the project in Malacca, Datuk Zaini Md Nor, the mayor of Malacca City Council, told The New Paper on Sunday that the council had indeed received an application in August for approval of a piece of 0.87-ha land (slightly larger than a football field).

The land, located at Pekan Klebang, is listed under developer Empire Property Venture, an affiliate of Sunshine Empire. It is supposed to be for a commercial building.

However, the mayor said the application is still being processed.

On the water theme park, Datuk Zaini said: 'No application has been made to the city Council for the building of a water theme park till today.'

Nevertheless, the Empire's projects were not the only thing that impressed visitors.

Its sprawling office on the seventh floor of Toa Payoh Hub exudes opulence. Crystal chandeliers cascade from the ceiling and the marble walls are trimmed in gold.

The company's logo - a lion's head - is imprinted everywhere, from the carpet to a painting spanning an entire wall of the lobby.

At the reception was a stream of people queuing up to hand money to the receptionists. At least two people in the queue held wads of $50 notes.

The New Paper on Sunday had earlier phoned the number listed on the Sunshine Empire website and the woman who answered said it was not an investment company.

She also asked for the name of our 'introducer' and recommended we attend the 8pm presentation.


At the presentation, the speaker was a young woman who appeared to be in her mid-20s. She was dressed smartly in a black blazer over white business shirt and skirt.

The talk took the tone of a motivational speech with the speaker running up from the back of the room to the stage energetically.

The audience of about 50 (with 50 more in another room) appeared to come from all walks of life. There were housewives in their 50s, 20-somethings in office wear and a handful of teenagers. Among them were several people dressed in black suits.

At regular intervals, the speaker would urge the audience to applaud themselves.

She would ask: 'Who is here to learn how to make more money?'

When some in the audience responded with a show of hands, she exclaimed: 'Give yourselves a big round of applause!'

A 17-year-old student, who wanted to be only known as Tan, told us he was approached by a friend from the company two weeks ago.

He said: 'My friend told me about a part-time job with many benefits and I can start with just $2,000.

'All I need to do is to keep the money in the account for 11 months and every month, the company would pay me a sum.

'At the end of 11 months, I would get my money back, and the company would still pay me a monthly sum. My friend said he earned $1,000 in two weeks.'

In the end, Tan said he did not sign up as he did not want to have his money tied up for 11 months.

The Electric New Paper :
THE returns for this investment is supposedly so 'good' that even famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett can't hold a candle to it.
By Alvin Chiang
29 October 2007

THE returns for this investment is supposedly so 'good' that even famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett can't hold a candle to it.

MrJames Phang, Sunshine Empire's international president, had told The Straits Times in an interview earlier this week that he was a 'legend'.

'I'm very good - better than Warren Buffett,' he declared.

And the company's promises are indeed sweet. It told people at its talk this week that they would get back their $12,000 investment in a year, plus $1,000 every month for the next seven years.

That roughly translates into a 700per cent profit within eight years - compared to Buffet's 21 per cent a year.

That's not all. Each investor would also get $21,000 worth of mobile talktime with Emcall, a local company with links to Sunshine Empire.

The claimed returns are mind-boggling and 20,000 people have signed up here since it was set up last July.

Responding to The New Paper on Sunday's queries, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) advised investors not to deal with Sunshine Empire.

Noting that the company was put on the Investor Alert List last month, a MAS spokesman said 'entities on this list are not authorised by MAS to conduct regulated activities'.

'In making financial investments, we urge all investors to deal only with persons regulated by MAS,' the spokesman said.

'If investors choose to deal with persons not regulated by MAS, they forgo the protection afforded under laws administered by MAS.'

The concern seems to be that Sunshine Empire, unlike other multi-level marketing firms, allows its members to notch up what seem like profits without buying or selling products. This makes its business model look like a pure financial investment scheme.

MrPhang had said that Sunshine Empire is not an 'investment firm'.

If so, then how does it give such super returns to its investors?

A LawNet check showed that MrPhang - described as 'international president' on the company's website - is not listed as a director or shareholder of Sunshine Empire.

It also showed that Sunshine Empire, which changed its name from Niutrend International in January, is a company 'providing entrepreneur and self-improvement courses'.

It has a paid-up capital of $150,000.

On its website, it said it is involved in 'network marketing' and is interested in 'wealth redistribution'.

It also listed offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

There are reasons that MAS raises caution to those who guarantee high returns in a short time. In the US, for instance, some get-rich-quick schemes are known as 'Ponzi' schemes, named after convicted conman Charles Ponzi.

He took US$10million ($14.6m) from 10,000 people in Boston in the early 1920s by guaranteeing investors 50 per cent returns on investments in postal coupons after 45 days.

The website of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) noted: 'A Ponzi scheme is essentially an investment fraud... Instead of investing victims' funds, the operator pays 'dividends' to initial investors using the principle amounts 'invested' by subsequent investors.

'The scheme falls apart when the operator flees with all the proceeds, or when a sufficient number of new investors can't be found to allow the continued payment of 'dividends'.'

In other words, money is taken from Ah Kow to pay initial investor Ah Seng. No goods are bought and sold. Neither is the money collected invested in anything.

Ah Kow's position is riskier than AhSeng's as Ah Kow joined the scheme after Ah Seng. This is because the purpose of recruiting AhKow is to pay Ah Seng, but there is no guarantee someone else can be recruited to pay Ah Kow.

But if everything goes smoothly, no one will complain so long as they are paid on time.

Mr Leong Sze Hian, president of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, thinks that such schemes are normally too good to be true.

He said: 'It's very rewarding and lucrative to those who join at the start. But the funds will dry up eventually and the company will close and set up shop elsewhere, or in another country.'


Anonymous said...

Sometimes i guess the press isnt always right.

eS said...

If we can't trust the press, what makes you think we can trust a pdf file from the company who will benefit from people believing in them?

Anonymous said...

Sunshine is a wholly bullony even their so called broadband is a fake one...what a moondark

Anonymous said...

just leave it to the CAD with the final outcome of their investigations. It will take months i predict as they have to interview so many people and go through so many accounting and financial records.

Meanwhile, one should just stay put in times of uncertainty.

Existing investors who don't feel comfortable should exit.

Jimy said...

How to withdrawal? What if they refuse to payback?

Anonymous said...

press are not always right, sometimes media put words in a way that the true meaning is hidden. but sometimes the source of info is wrong. so cant help if the article is not accurate. u cant really say who is rite or wrong la.
time will show us if empire is doing real bisness a not, or jus an empty shell.

but. e thing about the wirelesscity, it does exists! lol i jus checked on it through the various PUBLIC web (not belonging to empire etc), there's ppl in taiwan danshui giving good feedbacks on the wireless. said...

dont trust them .. dont invest wit them .. want to know more go offline .. don talk base on wat ppl know ..

Anonymous said...

All who invested in this company and its schemes beware! I overheard from some of the so-called leaders whispering among themselves that Singapore SE going to close and abandon all the people who invested in singapore soon because the funds are drying up due to the ongoing CAD investigation!

They are spreading among themselves that just close Singapore office and shift to indonesia, malaysia, or china or hong kong and continue the scheme there. Then blame it on economic recession and Singapore government. A lot of the leaders now in hong kong and macau, spending money like mad on entertainment like casino and KTV and call girls!

All the fools who put money in Sunshine Empire, do you know what you really invest in? You invested into their leaders decadent lifestyles opening bottles in KTV, frittering away your money in casino and buying luxury cars!

Please please, all the people who read this post, please call CAD and report them, especially if you have money with them, because they are running soon and not coming back! please get your money out before it is too late! Please inform all the people around you especially if you have friends and relatives who put money with them.

Call CASE, DSAS, CAD or CPIB! just do something!

Anonymous said...

Sunshine empire is a temple of sin,

tey brainwash pple in so called "grouping" and all the pple nv seem 2 be able to get out as they r freq brainwashed.

I knw alot of decent n gd pple went into sunshine and turned into money hungry zombies.

I knw some of them even sacrifice their time with family during new year and christmas to attend so called "sunshine celebrations" n the leaders and managers brainwashes their downlines n physco them to go, when they refuse they will treaten saying:"hey all your downline got go if you don't go weird leh"

And those who join will spend more money instead of earn s tehy r freq asked by their upline to take courses and genting trips as for "upgrades"

Whenever they refuse to do things the uplines will always use "logic" but in the end they are still forcing people to go their way.

And when a person wants to terminate and quit sunshine they will use peer pressure and treats like:"If you leave you are not my real friend, or "if you leave how can you support ur family" or "you really want to go back to those useless 8-5 jobs arh come on lah wake up lah"

I really think that any body reading this pls dun join sunshine no matter how tempted you are cuz they are taking your greed and luring you into hell.

The longer u are in sunshine the more brainwashed you become and the higher you climb you will start to brainwash all the people you bring in.

and come on lah think about it, if today u bring a person go in he spend few k and that person find more people just to build back his few k and the cycle go on.


the system turns people into money zombies......

I noe lah those high rank sunshine people reading this confirm got many thing to say and CONFIRM YOU CAN WIN me in what I say and shoot back but think lah use ur brain and tink u really helping friends or USING them.

Just to earn back ur few k u pull people in and they also want to pull more to get back their few k.......

u guys mite say can earn alot blah blah blah but are u really earning??? r u breaking even yet, the more u earn the more u spen to buy the package and the more negative money u get.

I dun ned to be math genius also can count out fr u guys

giv u an exmple

starting join se, spend 12k

earn 6k ok u happy buy more package

earn 6k ok u happy again buy more package

keep rolling lah in the end u are using negative money to roll negative money.

N starting when I first go they present to me say till like if I work 8-5 job no future and even count out for me, 1.7k - expenses = negative.

come on lah its how u use the money if u earn 1.7k u save 700 u can use the 700 to invest in stocks turn into 2k then u roll on can be few million sia.

N then treaten me using my family, say my family brother sister to feed if I work 8-5 cannot support family but all of them have their own jobs, and they are smart enough to handle their money.

Not everyone in singapore is a money handling idiot. If everyone cannot handle money wont there be alot of beggars in the streets???

So what if u guys earn so much money but in te end u r the ones who suffer, ur reputation gone, ur friends gone.

my friends all go in now all change , into arrogant and money hungry zombies and the sad ting their income not stable(so have to lie) sometimes 2k but mostly fw hundred, though I earn 1.7k but I can use it to invest other thing, however they lose their mind and friends.

Anonymous said...

Just like that, SE is gone. All the merchants and leaders are told to lie low. Avoid the authorities and pretend nothing has happened.

What is happening in SE now? Every merchant who has made withdrawals in January HAVE BEEN REJECTED. Reason given is that Bank accounts have been frozen because of CAD investigation.

THIS IS A LIE. CAD has not frozen SE accounts for investigation. The only so-called proof that the SE people have is a so-called letter that they can only produce over the counter, which is a FAKE. The SE leaders are now planning to run and take the money overseas.

How are they going to do this? Simple. By Delaying all the withdrawals as long as possible, they have implemented a so-called cash card scheme which drags out the application process to 60 WORKING DAYS! thats 12 weeks or 3 MONTHS!!! So all SE merchants have to WAIT 3 MONTHS to cash out any of their worthless epoints.

EITHER that, or sell the worthless epoints to new members and take their cash in exchange for the epoints.

So what does this mean? IT MEANS JAMES PHANG AND JACKIE HOO HAVE 3 months to drag out their promises and escape.

They must be stopped. CAD and the govt and people of Singapore, lets do our part, stop them!

Anonymous said...

Only members who actively follow the developments of SE & EGA have the right to pass judgment. There is a jungle out there, many can disgust themselves. Who knows, maybe "anonymous" is a competitor of SE.

SE had sucked in so many members form all other MLM companies, so much monies from insurance and banks.

Sincerely hope "anonymous" is pure in his/her intentions (anonymous???).

Current project in Malacca is coming up well and strong, fully supported by State goverment of Malacca. I don't understand why so many people are blind and cannot see the development!

This development is so important to the state of Malacca, as it will provide so many opportunities to people of Malacca. Many people's livelihood depends on the success of the project, not mentioning those who put money in SE.

MLM Professor said...

This case really sheds a very bad light on the MLM industry. I hope it wraps up fast

Sunshine Empire Smiley said...

Wow... I didn't know there was such a Sunshine Empire

Tomb said...

see, now, Grand Elitia is another scammer company, beware.. sunshine empire = grand elitia = james phang.. cheated me 3k.. knn.. i think some people kena cheat 100k..

Anonymous said...

Chin wee Teck was dead

Anonymous said...

Why SunShine Empire = Grand Elitia??????????????????????????
Why GrandElitia = James Phang ????
James phang owned Grand Elitia ???

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