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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Trial involving Sunshine Empire directors commences

SINGAPORE : The directors of multi—level marketing firm, Sunshine Empire, appeared on trial on Monday.

29—year—old Jackie Hoo Choon Cheat, 49—year—old Phang Wah and his wife, 46—year—old Neo Kuon Huay face 37 charges for falsifying accounts, making false capital declarations and running a fraudulent trading company.

In its opening address, the prosecution said that in view of the generous returns paid out to those who joined the scheme run by Sunshine Empire and the lack of any funds coming in from outside the scheme, the scheme was "doomed to failure".

More than S$180 million was collected from Sunshine’s sales. And the prosecution said that while about S$118 million as distributed to participants to encourage them to purchase more packages, much of the money went to the accused persons and their followers.

Phang pocketed not less than US$5 million in consultancy fees, the prosecution said and at least S$40 million was disbursed as unsecured interest—free loans to associates.

The trial will last 26 days and the prosecution will call 21 witnesses, including former Sunshine Empire investors, overseas experts and auditors.

The three defendants have hired veteran criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan and other lawyers.

The defence will call 13 witnesses. — CNA /ls

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