Cheated with an Investment - may need a lawyer


#1

I have put some money into an off-shore fond just before I left Malaysia through a company based there. This was supposed to be like a fixed deposit, i.e. capital not at risk and guaranteed return (interest rate) minus a management fee. Of course the taxfree environement made also a good argument. But …
As it turns out now (after nearly a year) this was not true and the investment has lost around 15% already, probably more when I receive the next statement. Since I had to committ to 5 years I am very much afraid there will be nothing left at the end of that period.
Supposingly I can withdraw, against a penalty, 95% of what’s left after 12 month.

I have contacted the investment firm and the complaints officer responded with “We will investigate”. The agent who talked me into the investment doesn’t work for that company anymore (I was made aware of that before the trouble started) and his replacement is also very unresponsive to my (still friendly) inquiries.

Now I understand I have difficulties to proof that I have been cheated because there is basically no record of the discussions we had before I signed the dotted line, and thus no written documentation except the application form - which I guess doesn’t help much.

Given that neither the agent nor the complaints officer responds now (sent some friendly reminders) I intend to sue them.
So can anyone advise what are my chances or advise a lawyer who can help me with that?

I didn’t put my life savings in there but the amount is quite substantial and thus would justify the expense for a lawyer.

Any advise or recommendation appreciated (but no stupid comments please).


#2

Rascal,

Are you sure that you won’t receive the par value after 5 years? A lot of these types of guaranteed investments will fluctuate but if held to maturity, will pay par value.


#3

What’s par value? :?

Sorry to be a bit dumb, but that was my first investment of this kind (and probably my last).

According to the agent who sold me the thing it was supposed to be like a fixed deposit with a bank as based on my request. It even says so on the application form.
The only risk was supposed to be the interest rate which could change every year.

According to his successor none of the above is the case, i.e. the entire amount is at risk - no guaranteed or promised return of any kind. That was so far the only response I have received beside the “We will investigate this matter” email.
After that it’s just “radio silence” … :x

I am very much afraid I won’t get the money back I lost but now want to practice some “damage control”, i.e. get the 95% out (hopefully that part is true) and then try to sue the investment company for the rest as they agent was their employee and thus acted on behalf of the company.


#4

par value means getting payback at the issued price of the security or debt instrument. Like you bought at par value $100 - now its 95 but after five years you will get the 100 price.

Sounds like a tough situation as they should have given you a prospectus and let you read it over before you invested.


#5

Get a lawyer to write a them a letter threatening legal action if the situation is not resolved to your satisfaction within a specified time frame. This will get their attention - nobody likes lawyers. Remember …THIS IS YOUR MONEY! :smiling_imp: