Good grief, it’s been almost seven years since the Performance Investment Products Corp (PIPC) Scam blew up in mid-2007, and shortly thereafter I wrote this initial post on the topic. That post was read by over 40,000+ people over the past six years, and at the time, it attracted some vehement comments from folks hit by the scam. Go back and read the original post and comments if you want to refresh your memory. I then followed up that initial post with this second post on the topic, which also garnered a lot of page views, and again, at least two of the commenters were rather vocal that I basically had no clue what I was writing about, and that it wasn’t a scam at all, and that time would prove their “fairytale take” on the reported up to $250Million dollar financial brouhaha.
Over the years, I have received “hate mail” from folks I can only attribute to that or other similar rants I have published on the net, and while the vast majority of marketmanila.com’s readers have appreciated those rants, there will always be a few that will feel targeted, offended, their toes stepped on, or just downright bitter in their ignorance or lack of understanding on the specific issue under discussion. At any rate, most of the “hate mail” ends up in the trash or spam folder, so it may help folks vent, but I often don’t even get the messages or comments. One such hate mail recently made it through, however, and it triggered my interest in whatever happened to those PIPC posts I wrote over 6 years ago. Was it going to be a case of “I TOLD YOU SO” or would I have to eat humble pie?
At the time, I basically posed four key questions that were never answered by the commenters who disagreed with my posts and comments, and some of those questions have apparently been answered:
1. According to this scam update on pinoymoneytalk, and which quotes an Inquirer article, FRAUD charges were filed against several people connected with the firm in December 2007. If you go back to my original posts, I stressed the term FRAUD on several occasions. That update also stresses that the firm, PIPC was NOT AUTHORIZED to BROKER and SELL securities or investments, in “blatant violation” of SEC laws. Hence, one of my questions clearly answered, the firm wasn’t a legitimate investment firm with the capability to accept investor money legally it seems from these reports.
2. The investigative firm Ferrier Hodgson hired to track down the incident, apparently reported their opinion that the PIPC scam was in fact a “PONZI SCHEME” contrary to the protestations of various folks associated with PIPC and even some of its investors, see update also on pinoymoneytalk.com, here.
3. In 2011, according to this post, the SEC filed an AFFIDAVIT FOR THE REVOCATION OF CORPORATE REGISTRATION for a whole host of listed reasons, including the fact that the company took investments when it wasn’t authorized to do so.
Other than these updates above (based on internet searches only), I have no other information and cannot find any news as to whether the FRAUD cases progressed, were decided upon, appealed, etc. I have no information if any of the defendants are in custody, or are on the run, or have successfully defended their innocence.
The bottom line is, it appears that the PIPC scam, was INDEED A SCAM. Lots of people lost millions of dollars in investments. The SEC filed FRAUD charges and that investigators opinions suggested a PONZI SCHEME. Other internet articles suggest other efforts by bilked investors to recover their funds, and to hold banks and other intermediaries liable for the fiasco.
I feel very badly for the folks who lost money in this scam. And my original posts were not meant to offend anyone, but rather to educate tens of thousands of readers to avoid a similar fate. But if time would indeed tell, then the contents of my original posts have told the story rather presciently, I would say. And as for the “hate mail” folks, get over it, I am not your enemy, perhaps you are your own worst enemy. :)