PIPC investigation update: Filipinos invested $138M but only $2M remains

James Ryan Jonas

Latest report from the Court-appointed liquidator for the beleaguered forex trading firm Performance Investments Products Corporation (PIPC) showed that only $2 million remains from a total of $138 million that Filipinos alone invested.

According to a report released on August 15 by provisional liquidator Ferrier Hodgson:

… at least from the Filipino investors, there was in excess of USD138 million deposited in the various investment schemes operated by the PIPC Group. It is believed by management that the majority of these funds were deposited with Hong Kong bank accounts in the name of PIPC – Hong Kong.

It appears from the information provided to us by bankers allegedly holding these funds, that only approximately USD2 million remains in these accounts. 

Investigation also showed that during the past 12 months, none of PIPC's foreign currency accounts with ABN Amro Hong Kong had a month-end balance of more than $1.6 million. This strengthens the theory that PIPC head Michael Liew have been funneling investor funds either to his personal accounts or to accounts of other companies in the PIPC Group. Ferrier Hodgson has requested various banks to provide them with statements of PIPC accounts in order to determine the flow of funds.

Authorities are currently still looking for Liew and Albert Chua, executives believed to have absconded with PIPC investors' money.

Meanwhile, charges of syndicated fraud were filed on August 17 against several officers, incorporators and employees of PIPC. The case was based on a complaint filed by a group of PIPC investors who put up a total of $1.5 million.

Charged with syndicated estafa were Michael H.K. Liew; his business partner Chua Pwey Chan, alias Albert Chua; Cristina Gonzales-Tuason, PIPC Corp. general manager and treasurer; and Ma. Cristina Jurado and Manuel Gonzales, PIPC Corp. corporate secretaries.

Also charged were Ernesto Sy, Gabriel Dee, Mario Lorenzo, Jonas-Karl Perez and Peter Donnely Barot, PIPC Corp incorporators.

At least 22 PIPC employees or marketing agents who allegedly enticed investors to invest in the company were also charged with the same offense.

Read the details of the complaint in this Philippine Daily Inquirer article.   

Download the full copy of the Ferrier Hodgson investigation report in the http://findmichaelliew.tk/ site.

Discuss PIPC in the PIPC: Performance Investments Products Corporation thread in the PMT Forum.

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.