Kuala Lumpur, 10 January 2011
Perpetrator of ponzi scheme jailed

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) today secured a deterrent sentence against Raja Noor Asma Raja Harun, the director of FX Capital Consultant and FX Consultant, for operating a ponzi scheme that duped over 4000 investors of more than RM100 million.

The sentence of five-years jail term and a fine of RM5 million (in default, six months imprisonment) meted out by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court marks one of the heaviest punishment against a capital market offender, reflecting the gravity of the offence.

On 21 December 2010, after the prosecution had called 18 witnesses, Raja Noor Asma pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud for employing a scheme to defraud investors and trading in futures contracts on behalf of others without a licence.

The SC’s investigations revealed that more than RM100 million had been raised from some 4,000 investors throughout Malaysia between February 2007 and May 2008 under the pretext that the money would be used to trade in crude palm oil futures.

For taking part in money laundering activities, Raja Noor Asma was also convicted of 50 counts under the Anti Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act 2001 (AMLATFA) and sentenced to two years imprisonment for each of the AMLATFA charges, which are to run concurrently. The court ordered the two-year jail term to run consecutive to the five-year imprisonment imposed for the fraud charges.

The court also instructed approximately RM8.3 million frozen under AMLATFA to be forfeited.

The SC, which carried out the trial jointly with the Attorney General’s Chambers, had urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence as the scheme involved a large amount of investors’ funds.

The custodial sentence meted out by the court serves as a stern warning to future offenders that violation of the public trust will not be treated lightly by the courts.

The public is also reminded to be extremely cautious of any investment scheme which promises unusually high returns. Investors are also reminded to only invest with individuals or companies licensed by the SC.

The SC remains committed to protecting investors and upholding public confidence in the capital market, and will continue to take all measures to fight illegal investment activities that threaten investors and the Malaysian capital market.