On 30 April 2021, a 35-year-old man who is a director of Pareto International Holding Ltd (“Pareto International”), and formerly a director of Pareto SG Pte Ltd (“Pareto SG”) and Veritas Solutions Limited (“Veritas Solutions”), was charged in court with additional charges in relation to his involvement in an alleged fraudulent investment scheme. He had been initially charged with 18 counts of cheating. Charges were also filed against a 40-year-old man who is a director and the Chief Trader of Pareto SG.
Since 2019, Pareto SG marketed a copy-trading investment opportunity involving the trading of Contract for Differences for foreign exchange. Investors opened online trading accounts on a trading platform called Veritas Global Exchange, operated by the purported broker Veritas Solutions. Investors paid their investment monies to the bank accounts of Pareto International as well as Pareto SG. Trades were purportedly executed on behalf of the investors through the MetaTrader application and reflected in the investors’ online trading accounts.
Both men are facing more than 70 charges each, including abetment of cheating charges under Section 420 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code (Chapter 224) for allegedly deceiving 47 persons into delivering monies to Pareto International and Pareto SG for trading of leveraged foreign exchange, when Veritas Solutions did not carry out such trades for them.
The 35-year-old man is currently charged with the following offences:
- With the latest addition, he faces a total of 73 counts of abetment of cheating by conspiracy under Section 420 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code, involving a total amount of just under S$1.25 million. This includes the 18 charges he was previously charged with. If convicted, for each count of cheating, he faces imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to a fine.
- One count under Section 340(5) of the Companies Act (Chapter 50) for knowingly being a party to Pareto SG carrying on a business for a fraudulent purpose. If convicted on this count of fraudulent trading, he faces imprisonment for a term of up to seven years, or to a fine of up to $15,000, or to both.
- Two counts under Section 82(1) read with Section 331(1) and Section 339(1) of the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289) for consenting to Veritas Solutions carrying on a business in a regulated activity without a capital markets services (“CMS”) licence granted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) from March 2019 to June 2019, as well as holding itself out as carrying on such a business from July 2019 to August 2019. If convicted, he faces imprisonment for a term up to three years, or to a fine not exceeding $150,000, or to both, for each count.
The 40-year-old man is currently charged with the following offences:
- 73 counts for abetment of cheating by conspiracy with the 35-year-old man under Section 420 read with Section 109 of the Penal Code.
- One count under Section 340(5) of the Companies Act for knowingly being a party to Pareto SG carrying on a business for a fraudulent purpose.
- Two counts under Section 82(1) read with section 331(1) of the Securities and Futures Act for consenting to Pareto SG carrying on a business in a regulated activity without a CMS licence granted by MAS from March 2019 to June 2019, as well as holding itself out as carrying on such business from July 2019 to February 2020.
- One amalgamated count under Section 477A of the Penal Code read with Section 124(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code (Chapter 68) for instigating the falsification of accounts, specifically, the alteration of trading records on the MetaTrader application on no less than 21 occasions. If convicted on this count, he faces imprisonment for a term which may extend to 20 years, or with a fine, or with both.
Members of the public are advised to adopt the following precautionary measures before committing to an investment:
- ASK as many questions as you need to fully understand the investment opportunity. If the company is unable to, or avoids answering any of your questions, be wary!
- CHECK on the company, its owners, directors and management members to assess if the opportunity is genuine.
- CONFIRM the company’s and representatives’ credentials by using available resources, including the Financial Institutions Directory, Register of Representatives and Investor Alert List on the MAS’ website (www.mas.gov.sg). Do not deal with unregulated entities or persons, or you will forgo the protection available under the regulations of the MAS.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
30 April 2021 @ 2:50 AM