uFun Club Ponzi losses top half a billion dollars
Whereas uFun Club was initially thought to have been a $307 million dollar Ponzi scheme, new estimates have raised that figure to a staggering $618 million.
And that figure is expected to rise as authorities continue to investigate the scam.
Following the arrest of uFun Club accountant Namonphan Tharabundit, Thai police obtained a search warrant on a property belonging to her sister.
The house is owned by Hansa Tharabundit, 36, who is Ms Namonphan’s sister. Ms Hansa was not at home when the search was carried out, police said.
Police found a pickup truck and a sedan parked in front of the house, police said. They also discovered and confiscated documents they believe will be useful in their investigation of the case, a computer, a notebook and a safe.
Evidence showed Ms Hansa had transferred 6,300,000 baht to Ufun, Pol Lt Gen Suwira said.
That Namonphan Tharabundit’s sister was a uFun Club investor comes as no surprise, with it being common practice for Ponzi insiders to involve family members in the scams they run.
Police also obtained a tip-off that important papers had been removed from Ms Namonphan’s residence to Ms Hansa’s house, he added.
Ms Hansa is wanted on charges of violating the Criminal Code and the law by obtaining loans in a manner which amounted to public cheating and fraudulent activities.
An arrest warrant for Ms Hansa was issued by Thanyaburi provincial court dated April 15, 2015, police said.
With a warrant now out for her arrest, it’s expected police will apprehend Hansa Tharabundit any day now. Assuming she of course hasn’t fled the country.
Suwira said police were also trying to locate Namonpan’s younger sister Hunsa Thara-bundit.
“She’s not at home. But we believe she is still in Thailand,” National Police chief Suwira Songmetta said yesterday.
Her sister, Namonphan Tharabundit was apprehended attempting to flee Thailand for Laos.
Following her arrest, Tharabundit now claims she
tried to quit the business after noticing alleged irregularities in UFUN Thailand and claimed she told UFUN Thailand members in her team of her suspicions.
“UFUN Thailand management then got angry. My account at UFUN Thailand has been suspended. I can no longer conduct any transaction or withdraw any money,” she claimed.
Police have found that she acquired many assets recently, including a luxury house worth at least Bt24 million ($740,000 USD) in Bangkok’s Bang Khen district and a Toyota Alphard sedan worth about Bt4 million ($123,000 USD).
Why Tharabundit didn’t turn herself in and was instead apprehended attempting to flee Thailand then is not clear.
Now in custody and facing serious criminal charges, Tharabundit ‘has now advised UFUN Thailand members to lodge complaints with police to try to get their money back from the firm.‘
While that continues to play out, news also from the US, where General Athiwat Soonpan has surfaced following reports he fled Thailand the day police raided uFun Club’s offices.
A warrant was subsequently issued for the arrest of Soonpan and his wife.
In a statement issued to the press yesterday, Soonpan claimed
he and his wife had travelled to the US to visit their son who is studying there.
They will return to Thailand soon and turn themselves in to police and fight the allegations against them.
A video has also surfaced on social media, in which Soonpan purportedly claims he has a lawyer ready to “fight” his case in Thailand.
A translation accompanying the video reads:
General Soonphan issues statement:
“This is Athiwat Soonpan, he said that he didn’t ran away from Thailand, but he plan to travel USA for 2-3 months earlier for his son graduated. He had the lawyer to fight for his right in Thailand.”
That Soonpan waited until uFun Club’s business license was revoked and its offices raided before he decided to “visit his son” speaks for itself.
Whether or not US authorities have made contact with Soonpan is currently unclear.
What with losses to victims over half a billion dollars and counting, one imagines if Soonpan doesn’t leave the US shortly, it won’t be long before he gets a knock on the door.
US citizens such as Jamison Palmer, who were attempting to spread uFun Club to the US, have not been seen or heard from in public since the Thai arrests.
Back in Thailand police continue their attempts to locate and freeze funds uFun Club stole from victims.
“We will also ask the Anti-Money Laundering Office [AMLO] to take further action,” assistant National Police chief Suwira Songmetta said yesterday.
general athiwat soonpan, the ‘international chairman’ and Face of Ufun, sits in an open necked tshirt, in a corner of some room, and gives a statement of the type we saw fontura of geteasy make.
now, fontura belongs to the intestines of the MLM underbelly, but soonpan is a bloody general of the thai military!
to think that soonpan does not have the wherewithal to put on a tie, and sit behind a desk, shows the desperate situation he is in.
he’s in hiding, where ever he is.
ufnners watching this video, should know How Over ufun is, if this is the state of their international chairman!
there is a thai news coverage video dated april 16th, which interviews ufun management/promoters.
ufun affiliates are alleging that the arrestee’s in thailand, could not post bail, because they were brought in on a holiday.
the thai police brought them in, with arrest warrants issued by the court! there is NO Way they would get immediate bail.
they say it is ‘holiday time’ in thailand, and hence people were out of the country.
so, according to their sad PR effort, it’s just a coincidence that top honchos like danial tay, soonpan, eddy tan, all chose to go away for a holiday at the same time.
it would be nice if someone could say what’s going on here:
BTW oz, according to utoken news, there was a ‘utoken float’ meandering through taiwanese streets yesterday.
hope you caught a ride 🙂
Do they have photos? I’d at least be able to tell you where it was!
photos at the third post:
That’s not a city. The Mazu statue suggests it was driven down one of the backwater towns in central Taiwan.
There’s a religious festival going on down there over the next few days.
The center of the festival is a major enough township but where the float is looks like the outskirts or another town altogether.
Interesting video eventhough I don’t understand it. (Ozedit: video removed)
and the bullshitting and misdirection continues. ufun promoters, are again trying to project that the DSI has ‘cleared’ ufun.
meanwhile they are blind to the arrests that are going on, and that thai news is covering the investigation pretty extensively.
if everything is allright, then danial tay and soonpan must return and clear things up. they can meet the DSI over a cup of tea and giggle about the ‘misunderstanding’?
@Pred looks like an affiliate spam video to me?
And post come context, otherwise nobody we have no idea what video it is we’re looking at!
as reported on another thread yesterday, eddy tang, marketing director of utoken, was to hold a seminar in manila today.
seems he went through with that, but it seems like a contrived attempt at ‘keeping up appearances’– hey we got no problems! see, we’re having a seminar and all! plaster it across FB!!
the ‘seminar’ seems to be in a tight little space, with about a dozen attendees.
generally ufun seminars with corporate bosses would have hundreds of attendees. so this one in manila today is pitiful.
hey eddy tan, no stage? no mikes? no gloss? this is like a neighborhood ponzi weekly meet!
a page has been created on FB by the name of ‘utoken is a scam’.
these guys seem keen on exposing ufun, by way of reporting events in real time.
ahem @ oz, they rely on, and follow behindmlm coverage of ufun news regularly.
this is a post, from this page, dated yesterday :
i cannot comment about the reliability of this info, but really what ‘devious’ purpose could these people have to sit around reporting on ufun?
The only interesting part of Soonpan’s video is right near the beginning where he claims to be a “sa maa chik UFun khon neung”, ie, a member of UFun. Just a member, like any other member!
@anjali, the video you posted contains an interview with a UFun member. I listened to some of it the other day with my wife (my Thai tutor).
As I recall, he had about 10 million Baht invested. Criticised the investigation. Spoke of the big meetings, international offices, ecommerce site, the General, etc.
Well Hansa Tharabundit has been apprehended:
Oh and plenty of fraud to go around…
Know your customer? Yeah right.
Of course. When was investing in a Ponzi scheme ever a problem for anyone?
Lololol. No worries chief.
Oh and this was interesting:
Keeping the Ponzi scheme paying out seems to be a priority. How strange!
Update from the Bangkok Post:
ufun affiliates have held up the binapuri/ufun joint venture called ‘bangkok marina resort and spa’, as their Big Argument against ponzi allegations.
ie, how can a big established company like binapuri associate itself with a ponzi? how can ufun which is investing in real brick and mortar projects be a ponzi? the value of the properties that ufun invests in, will grow, and create value for the utoken etc etc.
well guess what, as of nov 2014, binapuri kicked ufun’s butt out of the ‘partnership’.
there was a public announcement to this effect on nov 13,2014:
one lie busted. now lets see how long before the ‘gateway klang’ and ‘mednspa’ partnership spins roll to a stop.
Whether they do or not is irrelevant to uFun Club being a Ponzi scheme.
Shut that derail argument down before they have a chance to get any further word in.
huh? who’s derailing?
Not you personally, anyone who starts crapping on about Binapuri or any other fabled investments.
It’s got nothing to do with uFun Club being a Ponzi scheme (remember TelexFree and Best Western?).
The statement from Suwira seems to be a little out of context.
Suwira has probably received a direct question about shutdown of the website from the reporter, but WHY he was asked a question like that seems to be related to that other story, “the gay activist something who had experienced a tremendous growth of his investment”.
UFUN’s bank accounts in Thailand have most likely been frozen. The website will only generate withdrawal request but no transactions of funds from any Thai bank accounts.
So it will either fail by itself on the first withdrawal attempts, or UFUN will need to bring in funds from foreign accounts, leaving a money trail to those accounts.
if the police shut down the website, ufun management will have an easy excuse— the money is ready with us. but thai police has shut down the website, so you cannot make withdrawal requests and we cannot pay. it’s not OUR fault!
by keeping the website functioning, it’s up to ufun management to now explain why they will NOT pay. payments stop – ufun ponzi crumbles all over the world.
but, there is no information about whether ufun affiliate payments are going on outside of thailand. if payments were being made, ufunners would have been saying it all over FB. but there is silence on this aspect.
Latest video on Ms Namonphan I presume?
ms namonphan is being targeted by affiliates, as being the cause of all the ‘troubles’. by the video you have linked, it appears she has turned approver, and will get lot’s of people in trouble.
an affiliate who seems to have a lot of ‘information’ made this post on ‘utoken is a scam’:
who’s this micheal turton 🙂 he’s getting bashed by every ponzi that gets hurt by oz’s articles. poor chap 🙂
Turton is an American blogger in Taiwan. Cancer boy has everybody thinking I’m him.
I just let the legend grow. No point addressing it as it’s offtopic.
Quite usual for one critic to be mistaken for another. When I was criticizing TVI Express some morons in India thought I was one of the Indian critics and threatened to put a tabala up my ***.
Well, it is great to know that UFun is claiming it is providing these services to their members:
Now lets’ see them try to explain why UFun is not registered to sell securities anywhere. These people just keep digging that hole deeper and deeper.
Power of 3, LE. 🙂 Power of 3. TVI Express used to claim it’s e-commerce, travel, and home business.
General Soonphan claimed that he didn’t run away from Thailand to avoid arrest. He had been planning for a couple of months to come to the U.S. so he could attend his son’s graduation, and it was just a coincidence that he left the day the raid was done on UFun headquarters.
While the faithful believed this lie, he forgot one thing.
U.S. Schools don’t have graduation ceremonies in April. U.S. schools have their traditional graduation ceremony in June.
They also have graduation ceremonies in August and December for those completing their degrees off the regular school calendar. Oops.
@Joe uFun’s owners could clear this up by jumping on a plane to Thailand and providing authorities with evidence that they are not a Ponzi scheme, sorry “new business model”.
Instead they choose to remain fugitives on the run, issuing social media statements through proxies and dodging the issue.
@Oz, I agree with you. 🙂
Read more here: nationmultimedia.com/national/Number-of-UFUN-complaints-rises-to-46-damage-claim-30258294.html
joe, have payments outside thailand stopped/reduced in any way?
the website is live, so people reading about the thailand investigation, are going to be putting in withdrawal requests from all over the world.
so, does ufun have enough money to pay out, or are they going to use a ‘payment gateway’ excuse!
if payments get affected, expect complaints from affiliates in countries all over the world. pop goes the weasel.