Sunshine Empire is under investigation because the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) suspects that it is running an illegal investment scheme, as opposed to it being a multi-level marketing firm. Members of the company were supposed to buy and sell products online, from which they would be given a rebate. A particular member had apparently been getting back rebates of $1,440 since his initial investment of $12,000.

It was reported that members may withdraw from the programme anytime, which apparently was not known by some of their members. It is illegal to run an investment scheme in Singapore without seeking approval from the MAS.

Personally, I am quite wary of such schemes because a lot of my friends have fallen into it by the lure of quick money. Even in the proper investment plans there are today, it is not entirely risk free and people should be educated to make proper decisions before putting their money into investments or unorthodox get-rich schemes.

THE Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) said yesterday that it has commenced investigations into controversial multi-level marketing (MLM) firm Sunshine Empire.

It also said it may ask people who have put money into the firm’s schemes to help in the investigation.

According to a company spokesman, the man behind Sunshine’s operations, Mr James Phang, was at the CAD’s office yesterday. He could not be contacted by The Straits Times.

In a statement announcing the probe, the CAD said people who have placed money with Sunshine are advised to wait for further updates from the department on the case.

‘More information will be released in due course, and persons who have placed money with the company may be requested to come forward to assist the CAD in the investigation,’ it added.

Sunshine’s schemes have attracted about 20,000 people here since it was set up in July last year.

But in September, the MLM firm was placed on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) investor alert list.

It attracted the authorities’ interest as its activities appear to be akin to that of a pure investment scheme, for which it is not licensed.

The firm invites people to become ‘merchants’ of online goods, ranging from health supplements to electronics goods.

But concerns centre on the fact that participants can potentially pocket big ‘rebates’ without ever buying or selling these goods.

For instance, businessman Raul Tham, 50, placed $12,000 in Sunshine’s gold plan in August.

Since September, he has been receiving monthly cash ‘rebates’ of $1,440.

The rebates are based on the participants’ cash outlay as well as Sunshine’s global turnover.

Last week, with all the disquiet surrounding Sunshine and with news that Mr Phang was linked to an abandoned Indonesian club project, an award for him was withdrawn.

Mr Phang had been due to receive an Outstanding & Innovative Global Entrepreneur award at yesterday’s Global Business Opportunities Forum, part of the international business networking event Global Entrepolis hosted by Singapore.

Yesterday, the Sunshine spokesman said that ‘business will carry on as usual’, and added that the company had ‘nothing to hide’.

In a statement, the company also said it had recently written to the CAD offering to clarify any misconceptions.

When asked if Sunshine would entertain refund requests, the spokesman said that this has been its policy all along.

He added that there have been no refund requests here so far, but said the Malaysian Sunshine office has received five refund requests, he said.

Most Sunshine participants that The Straits Times interviewed were unaware that they could get refunds.

Meanwhile, the consumer watchdog is advising those who have placed money with Sunshine to ask for refunds if they are worried about the CAD probe.

Consumers Association of Singapore executive director Seah Seng Choon also cautioned investors against putting cash into Sunshine.

He said they are better off putting money in regulated financial schemes, given the higher standards of compliance required by the MAS.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 14th November 2007



Reader's Comments

  1. SE Singapore | July 15th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    3 things JP like to do the most :

    1) Talk big & con Singaporean’s hard earn money .
    2) Every morning ,watch X-rated DVD with his family at home .
    3) Very good at hiding from all SE member .

  2. jay | September 1st, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    do you think james phang will return our money after the court case?

  3. SE Singapore | September 9th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Sunshine Empire got no money left in their account . All the money already total loss at all James Phang project .

  4. Disgruntled | September 11th, 2009 at 6:31 am

    Yeah, all thanks to CAD!!

  5. Stillwaiting | September 23rd, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Whatever the result in the accounts of James Pang, the relevent authorities should make reports on the latest outcome of this matters., they shouldn’t just keep quiet and to remind them, that there are many people waiting for the latest outcome of these cheaters. So, will the relevent authorities care to reveal the latest situations, as we are going to get our deserved money back from these cheaters.. ! even if we have to get our money back from their children, mother, father, grand father, grandmother,. whatever or whoever in relation to these cheaters ..!!

  6. SE Singapore | September 24th, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I agreed . Idiot James Phang & Jacjie Hoo do not care about meembers . They just want to take take take money from members only . Now ,don’t know where are they hiding ?

  7. alan lee | October 1st, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    there are some new scams in singapore which i know. the GIO-holdings.com and clubsirroccoasia.com . both run under a group of fucker from the swiss cash few years back . Johnny the boss from jastrol pte ltd , gerard some time call botak,BB ,bernard , alan lee a fat guy was told that he is a golf insturtor,lester some time call kopi . all this scammer are all singaporean . how come the CAD still do not know this . this johnny even want to list his tech media in US . What a big joke , using money which they scam to go listed. WOW like in the movies.

  8. SE Singapore | October 2nd, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    New scam comapany of James Phang & Jackie Hoo.
    1) Grand Elitia ( Gamble)
    2) Gainsxf (Forex)
    3) ESA Trader (Forex)
    4) Grand Royale International(GRI)
    4) Eforexcity(Forex)

  9. Alice Cheong | October 7th, 2009 at 1:43 am

    I am amazed that “no customer had complained”.

    “ALTHOUGH the prosecution maintained that multi-level marketing company Sunshine Empire was a shady operation, a district court was told on Tuesday that no customer had complained against the company.”

    Quote from http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_438808.html at 07 Oct 1:40am

  10. Justice Leaque | October 7th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Singaporeans are really passive and self-centered. They see someone being beaten up in front of them and yet they did nothing. (Recent Straits Times news)

    I wondered if they will do something if those who are beaten up are their kids, parents and loved ones. I have seen two men beating up a mentally retarded man with many other passerby watching and yet nobody dares to help stop the assault!

    I pick up the courage to shout ‘police coming’ in hokkien before they stopped and fled from the badly beaten man.

    The same principal applies to the SE episode. Someone have to stand up and complain about James Phang and his cohorts. Likely they feel embarrassed and stupid of themselves to do so as to be so gullible to believe James Phang lies to invest their live savings into the scam.

  11. Justice Leaque | October 7th, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I wondered why super scammers from Swisscash like Serene Chea in Singapore can get away from scamming millions of dollars from Singaporeans and nothing happened. She was told to have reported to CID five times but went scott free as the law has limited resources here to duel with online investment scam.

    Maybe someone should report her unscrupulous income to the income tax authority. I am sure she did not and donn’t know how to declare her ill-gotten income from cheating so many of her family members, friends, relatives and members of the public.

  12. The Ring | October 7th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Don’t worry about Serene Chea. She will reap what she sows. There are news that the Jaimaicans from America whom she also conned millions of dollars are after her now.

  13. Justice Leaque | October 7th, 2009 at 10:18 am

    With bad times, there will be more scams. So, buyers beware. Nobody can help you if you are scammed. The rich scammers almost always get away because the gullible and greedy investors have no courage to seek recourse.

  14. The Ring | October 7th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    James Phang, Serene Chea, Jackie and all those who scammed hard earned money out of the innocents will have their punishments one way or the other. Either on earth now or judgement in the afterworld later. Even they can get away with it, eventually they will get old and then die. After that, the judgement begins for them.

  15. Lily White | October 7th, 2009 at 10:27 am

    They are products of a money-minded society which are created by our leaders here. Everyone are kiasu to kiase to be living in Singapore with money not enough.

  16. must b vigilant | October 8th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    A lot of complaints already from 2007 here:
    http://singaporenews.wordpress.com/2007/11/06/sunshine-empire-the-plot-thickens/

    It clearly proves that CAD should listen to the complaints from internet forums and take proactive steps.

    Not only for Sunshine Empire, but all other scams. The first individual complaining online is threatened by scamsters by sending lawyers notices. Usually individuals choose not to fight back as it is expensive. This is how scams are able to hide from the light.

    CAD should do just pick up the tips from online forums and uncover the scams and punish the guilty before these scams blow out of proportion and become big.

    Look for any company trying to sue its clients or a netizen who is complaining. Most likely it means there is something fishy in such cases.

  17. Thomas Teo | October 24th, 2009 at 12:22 am

    i called FXDD ask about ESAtrader,the company is real FOREX trading and provide system..

  18. rocker | November 8th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    The trial how liao?
    The news never update the trial anymore.
    tok n tok n tok,, when is it goin to end?

  19. ema | December 10th, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    this ESA TRADER is now quiet a big hit in Malaysia..

    I thought of joining them also, but still looking for proof and etc about these people…

  20. Truth About James Phang | January 26th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Why still have people believe in bastard James Phang ?

    1) James Phang’s Sunshine Empire was closed down by Singapore Gavorment on 2007 .

    2) James Phang is now afraid to go to Thailand & Malaysia because he is in wanted list by Thailand Gavorment & Malaysia Gavorment .

    3) James Phang currently using GRI( Grand Royale International ) continue to scam people money at Hong Kong ,Dubai & China .

    If Sunshine Empire member want to take back you hard earn money ,go to this address to look for James Phang .

    Don’t go alone , go with large group of people .

    James Phang’s Office : 1 Coleman Street #06-07 ,The Adelphi ,Singapore 179803

  21. zon | July 18th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Sunshine Empire Singapore now done deal
    http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC100717-0000064/Sunshine-Empire-trio-convicted

    Sunshine Empire used to send legal notice to bloggers and even shut down one blogspot which is http://sunshineempirenews.blogspot.com.

    On the same MediaCorp web site, is another case (Organisation sues individual), One Global Indian Foundation which runs GIIS school for non profit has filed a suit, you can say “Global GIIS School sues parent”

    School sues parents report… http://www.todayonline.com/Hotnews/EDC100716-0000057/Organisation-sues-individual-in-landmark-case

    SunshineEmpirenews.blogspot.com was shut down but http://forabttergiis.blogspot.com/ is not shutdown, FYI

  22. reply to zon | July 27th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Although you may be quite correct that sunshineempirenews.blogspot.com went down due to legal threat, the other side of the coin is, how can you expect one or two individual to stand up to legal threat from company like Sunshine Empire. It is something that seldom happens when everybody wants to get on with their life.

    In the case of GIIS Global Indian International School the devil is in the details but until then I keep to myself my predicted result.

    Correct link is http://forabettergiis.blogspot.com and I must say I did not find any scandals spots on this blogspot…… or is it removed ? Then why sue and create Hellstinki effect ?

  23. WWZ Member | October 27th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Win Win Zone Sdn Bhd in Malayasia officially closed down on September 2010 .

    All forex invester loss their Forex money .

    WWZ’s Director : Bobby (019-4300399) still in hiding , afraid to meet member .

    George (012-4945019 ) had beaten by member because of giving empty promises .

    Bobby & George very actively involved in Sunshine Empire’s Scam during 2009 .

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