Hong Kong regulator SFC freezes money related to Ponzi scheme

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 March, 2017, 10:11pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 March, 2017, 10:11pm

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has obtained a court order to freeze about HK$2.66 million (US$340,000) in the bank accounts of Heriberto C. Perez Valdes in connection with a suspected Pyramid and Ponzi scheme, the regulator said in a statement on Wednesday.

The commission alleges that Valdes was involved in the scheme operated by DFRF Enterprises and its founder Daniel Fernandes Rojo Filho.

“Under the scheme, a number of Hong Kong investors were misled by Filho into investing in DFRF, believing in Filho’s claim that DFRF was to be listed in the US when in fact this was not the case,” the SFC said. “They went on depositing money into various bank accounts in Hong Kong, including those held under Valdes’ name.”

Neither Filho nor DFRF hold an SFC licence to deal in or advise on securities.

In December, the SFC had obtained an interim freezing order against Sealand Trading (Hong Kong), which the SFC alleges also received investors’ funds under the scheme.

The interim orders will remain in force until the hearing of the SFC’s application for final orders against all parties, the date of which has yet to be fixed.

The SFC’s investigation is continuing.

DFRF and Sealand Trading have been added to the Alert List on the SFC website, which lists firms that are unlicensed in Hong Kong and suspected to be targeting Hong Kong investors.

Under Hong Kong law, it is an offence to sell securities or promote any investment plan in Hong Kong without a SFC license.