A group of Filipino expats are hoping to recover the money they lost in the Ponzi-like scheme, Exential Group. They recently formed a group called Pinoy EG Group and sought legal assistance from the Philippine Consulate in Dubai.
Dubai resident Rexie Albon Tan, 52, who formed the Pinoy EG Group back in August 2019, said she lost $242,000 (Dh885,000). The ringleaders of the $200 million Ponzi scam, Exential’s CEO Sydney Lemos and Ryan Fernandez, were sentenced by a Dubai court 500 years in prison or one year each for the more than 500 criminal cases filed against them.
The Exential Group was shut down by authorities in July 2016. However, it remained a big challenge for the almost 7,000 UAE residents of various nationalities who invested in the get-rich-quick investment scheme to recover their money.
Investors were asked to deposit at least $25,000 to open an account with Exential Group. The money was said to have been used in foreign exchange trading and profits of up to 120 per cent were promised.
In reality, however, there were no actual profits gained from trading as any profits that were paid out were from the deposits of investors who came late into the game. Early investors who made substantial profits were then encouraged to invite friends, family and colleagues to sign up and many of the victims themselves have referred someone.
Meanwhile, a lawyer from Sara Advocates and Legal Consultants, the legal firm retained by the Philippine Consulate, said they will pursue the case and help the victims recover their money.