Thursday, 3 April 2014

Aquaint and the Bria East Asia Fund ponzi

Aquaint Capital (AQU.AX) is a recently ASX-listed fraud scheme, legitimized and licensed by ASIC, purportedly engaged in "property business". In reality, Aquaint exists solely to perform fraudulent related party transactions. Its most recent annual report reveals the purchase of $17.2m of redeemable preference shares in the Cayman Islands based Bria East Asia Fund.

http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20140401/pdf/42nr2m4jmzksgs.pdf

The Aquaint criminals hold 82.9% of the Bria East Asia Fund, yet fraudulently claim to have no control of the "fund". The fabulous returns offered by the "fund" is described on page 67 of Aquaint's annual report, detailing the November 2012 "Confidential Private Offering Memorandum" of the Bria East Asia Fund. According to this document, Bria shares are redeemable after two years, while offering the following completely legit dividends:

  • Investors of at least $25,000 receive 24% total cumulative returns
  • Investors of at least $80,000 receive 36% total cumulative returns
  • Investors of at least $800,000 receive 48% total cumulative returns

How stupid would you have to be to fall for this scam? Malaysian high net worth investors and Australian regulators know the answer to this question. Do the "confidential" documents of this related party fraud set off alarm bells? Or the tiered return structure and its desperate hard-sell? No? How about the 48% promised return of this Cayman Islands fund?

Of course, Bria East Asia Fund has no operational cash flows to support paying investors (read: victims) 48% returns over two years. The "fund" is controlled by the same criminals that control Aquaint, and pays returns out of new investor inflows. In a word, Bria East Asia Fund is a ponzi scheme. The Bria East Asia Fund would not be allowed to spruik openly even in the cesspit that is known as Australia. But as long as Aquaint is separated by one fraudulent degree from Bria, as long as the Aquaint criminals claim that Bria is unrelated, ASIC will continue giving its sign-off. Of course, if Aquaint issues shares to Australian investors, and then buys Bria shares with the proceeds, Bria effectively is raising funds from the Australian public. But as long as the Aquaint criminals claim that Bria is an unrelated entity, ASIC will continue to allow the fraud to continue without taking any action whatsoever. This is now standard operating procedure for ASIC.


After the Trio Capital ponzi scheme collapsed, ASIC publicly cleared the mastermind of any crime. ASIC openly stated that ponzi schemes are legal in Australia, as long as they are properly structured. This is a monumental statement, and goes way beyond mere incompetence, although the significance was entirely lost on the dimwit Australian public. ASIC has legalized ponzi schemes in Australia, thus guaranteeing that such schemes will proliferate. When the Bria fund blows up, the Aquaint criminals expect to face zero legal recourse.

6 comments:

  1. We are a big group of scam victims from Singapore who had invested millions SGD in Aquaint Capital (ASX:AQU) via 50+% total cumulative Returns over 2 years. Aquaint stopped paying our Returns and Principal capital since last September 2014. Aquaint has just appointed Lusona Capital Pty Ltd as the lead arranger to raise A$10 million to A$15 million financing facility targeting high net worth and institutional investors in Australia. Hope this message will create "Investors Beware of Ponzi scheme"

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    1. I am sorry to hear you fell victim to this scam. Unfortunately you have very little hope of restitution or justice. In Australia and elsewhere, the regulators have explicitly legalized ponzi schemes, circular investment scams, pump-and-dumps and share manipulation. ASIC exists to help and protect the criminals, not the victims. You have zero recourse to the law. At this moment, countless similar scams are being operated in Australia, with the full knowledge of the complicit regulators. The criminals control the media, so good luck raising awareness. Sydney Morning Herald has actually assisted in marketing the Aquaint scam, instead of warning about it.

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    2. Thanks for your prompt and frank response. I think it's indeed disappointing to hear that such Ponzi schemes and other investment scams are explicitly legalized in Australia. Going forward, it does not augur well for the financial industry with such blatant breach of biz ethics and practices. As you said, we just have to treat this as a painful and steep learning curve.

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  2. Hi I am another sad victim of this Aquaint Capital (ASX:AQU). What have other investors (victims) done? I am really out of touch.

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    1. Sorry to hear that. Aquaint's Singaporean victims made some attempts to go after the criminals. However, you realistically have zero chance. The regulators have explicitly decriminalized fraud, they are here to help the criminals - not you.

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  3. Hi I am another sad victim of this Aquaint Capital (ASX:AQU). What have other investors (victims) done? I am really out of touch.

    ReplyDelete