SOMEWHERE IN A PRISON in Singapore, two crooks have lots of time to regret their actions which caused Singapore investors to lose $3.1 million.
|Deputy Public Prosecutor Luke Tan told the court that when faced with the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, Profitable Plots' land-based investment products suffered losses. To ease cash-flow problems, Nordmann and Goldring hatched a plan to get clients to pump money in the Boron scheme, which involved financing the sale of a fuel additive known as Boron CLS Bond to major corporations.
Timothy Goldring, now 61, and John Nordmann, 56, are serving time (seven years and eight years, respectively) for what they did when they were directors of Profitable Plots, a landbanking firm.
They had attracted clients to invest by promising 12.5% returns within six months. Instead, investors lost $3.1 million after part of the returns was used to pay Profitable Plots' existing obligations to its landbanking investors.
The two Britons were convicted in 2014 and their appeals were dismissed by the Singapore High Court the next year.
Aside from Profitable Plots, here are two cases:
(i) EcoHouse Group Developments - In July 2014, Brazilian property developer EcoHouse Group was placed on the MAS’ Investor Alert List after investors complained about the company’s inability to pay them their investments or returns.
ii) Land International (Far East) - In 2010, nearly 200 investors who had purchased plots of UK land through Land International (Far East), lost an estimated S$6 million when the company stopped payouts following a financial dispute with its UK parent company.
While the two former directors of Profitable Plots are stewing behind bars, one Singaporean investor's plight has surfaced.
We read about it recently on Tan Kin Lian's blog (post dated 15 Feb 2016), and think it's a story to remind everyone again that risks always abound in landbanking investments (as well as overseas property investments).
|Tan Kin Lian writes: I met a security guard in Midview City. He is bitter about losing all his savings (more than $200,000) in the UK land sold by Profitable Plots. Because of this loss, he now has to work as a security guard.
He spoke to me about this matter two years ago. This is the first time that I saw him again, after two years. He is bitter that the government allowed this type of company to operate in Singapore and sell the overpriced land to the people.
He said that he still holds the title to the land plots and asked me if there is a hope that the land will appreciate in value when the UK government gave approval for rezoning to residential land.
I said that the real value of the land is probably one tenth of what he has paid for it. So, it will be difficult and will take a long time and some good fortune for the land to show a profit.
It is sad. But there is nothing that can be done now. I asked about his family, and he said that his children are now doing okay.
I hope that the government and MAS should be more proactive in preventing this kind of businesses to operate in Singapore.