Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Financial Services Police - Still Sleeping

I understand the L&G / Enten story on the "people are stupid and will believe anything" level.

What I do not understand is how long it took authorities to shut down an obvious Ponzi scheme.

L&G searched over alleged investment scam
The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Metropolitan Police Department on Wednesday launched a major investigation into Tokyo-based health care company L&G on suspicion that it violated the Investment Deposit and Interest Rate Law by allegedly collecting more than 100 billion yen from 50,000 people via a fraudulent investment scheme.

The MPD searched the headquarters of L&G in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and 35 other locations on the day.

The police suspect the firm repeatedly solicited new investments by promising large dividends, even though it almost went bankrupt after it stopped providing dividends to investors in February.

According to the police, L&G had held meetings at luxurious hotels across the country since 2004, encouraging people to invest in the firm's money-making scheme.

At the meetings, the firm allegedly claimed it would pay 36 percent annual interest for each investment of 1 million yen. It also reportedly said it would provide its own currency, known as "enten," according to the amount invested, explaining that the "currency" would enable people to buy items at outlets that operated exclusively for the investors.

What allowed this criminal enterprise to continue operations when there was press coverage of its activities?

Why after all this time is there still no capacity to police the financial world?

What is supposed to happen when elderly citizens start pulling money out of their postal accounts in search of higher returns on their invested assets? Where are the watch dogs?

Not a good sign.

Later - Oh, you have got to be bloody kidding me.

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