The CEO Lee Song Teck is the number 1 wanted man now in Singapore since Jan-2013.
Name: Lee Song Teck
Last Known Address: 29 Lorong 1 Realty Park Singapore 536952
News in chronological order:
23/1/2013, ST: Gold trading firm’s founder ’uncontactable’
26/1/2013, ST: Customers lodge police report after CEO goes missing
3/2/2013, ST: CAD probing The Gold Guarantee
6/2/2013, ST: Gold investors find no guarantee in their assets
15/1/2014 - Still missing uncontactable!
The Gold Guarantee Investigation Extends To Affiliated Companies
Beware of The Discovery Group, Lee Song Teck!
Bachelor and only child of pig farmers. His father, a gambler, died when he was 17.
Took over family's animal pharmaceutical business when he was 20.
Used to be a property agent. Ran a fitness centre, property investment seminar business and gold trading firm, Gold Guarantee, which is being investigated by the Commercial Affairs Department.
Listed as director of The Discovery Group, which offers "long-term holiday products".
Lives in a corner terrace house in Hougang. His mother bought it for $1.2 million in 2004 and it was worth about $4.5 million in 2012, he said in a previous interview.
Drives a $1 million Bentley sports car, which he called his "dream car", and BMW 5 series model.
Invests in real estate and gold: His gold investment portfolio was reportedly worth $30 million in 2012.
First Singapore property investment was a shophouse in the Golden Mile Complex.
Owns property in commercial building in Tianjin, China, an apartment block in Central London and commercial units in Kuala Lumpur.
The Consumers Association of Singapore said he has been uncontactable since January this year. The New Paper also tried to contact him, but could not reach him. His disappearance left clients - some of whom invested more than $1 million in gold - stranded.
The employee promised to "save" customers stuck in timeshare-like contracts, for a fee.
But it seems that that promise was just bait to hook customers into spending more money on the company.
Customers forked out between $200 and $14,000 more, but said they ended up being stuck with bigger problems.
At least 11 people have complained to the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) about the company, The Discovery Group, between February last year , when it was set up, and June.
Consultant Mark Lau, 31, was one of them. His headache started in 2008, when he filled in a survey while shopping at Orchard Road.
A phone call followed, then he sat through a sales pitch for "good deals" on airfare and hotels abroad, and forked out $5,000 in membership fees to a company called Discovery VIII, all on the same day.
"They urged me to sign up on the spot and said I would get a free trip to Krabi," Mr Lau said about the five-year membership.
"It was the complete package, including airfare, hotel, tour. I was swayed."
But he did not get to claim the free trip, via a $1,000 e-voucher, because the prices of redemption items listed on the website "were just too exorbitant", said Mr Lau, who could not remember the exact pricing.
Headache number two followed in 2010, when he tried to book hotel rooms in Hong Kong.
The membership entitled him to a 70 per cent discount, but Discovery VIII staff quoted $300 for one night's stay.
"It was a crazy sum," Mr Lau said. He was so fed up, he did his own booking instead - for $150.
More headaches and heartache followed last June, when someone from The Discovery Group called him about "corporate restructuring".
Mr Lau went to the office, determined to end the agreement.
But staff persuaded him to transfer his membership to the parent firm and he inked a new agreement, worth $9,000. The bait this time: His membership would be rented to others, so Mr Lau would get his money back.
Mr Lau, who is single, jumped at what he thought would be a lifeline for recouping his investment.
"They said there would be three payments in all and promised it would cover all the money I had paid so far," he said.
He paid $4,000 upfront. The balance would be deducted over the next two years.
Regretting the move later that day, Mr Lau went to Case and found, to his horror, that there was little redress.
Since The Discovery Group is considered a "long-term holiday product" company rather than a timeshare one, it is not regulated under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, Case told him.
Its executive director Seah Seng Choon said: "Case has urged authorities to include long-term holiday products under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading)(Cancellation of Contracts) Regulations 2009, as they have operations similar to that of a timeshare company... This will further enhance protection for consumers under the law."
But for the layman, it can be difficult telling timeshare companies from "long-term holiday products" as they operate similarly.
Lawyer Luke Lee of Luke Lee & Co. said that for long-term holiday products, the difference lies in the customer selling his or her agreement to the parent company "so his interest is no longer in a timeshare contract, and therefore, he is out of the protection of the Act".
Mr Lee added: "I believe this is a way for old timeshare companies to exploit the loophole and get back in the business."
Mr Lau is resigned to his $9,000 loss - the equivalent of two months' pay. The third of four children is keeping mum over the matter, so his elderly parents will not fret.
Hoping his experience will prevent potential victims being snared, Mr Lau added: "It's been a very expensive lesson. There should be tighter controls over such companies. It'll be even better if timeshare-related firms can be phased out completely."
The New Paper also understands that more than 100 complaints were made against The Discovery Group - and predecessors like Discovery VIII - from as early as 2002.
Case sent out two alerts about the firm last June and October.
It also negotiated with the company to include a five-day cooling-off period for new customers.
But this did not apply to Mr Lau because he had signed up just before this was agreed upon.
A check with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) showed Mr Lee Song Teck to be The Discovery Group's director.
He is also the man behind defunct gold trading firm Gold Guarantee.
When TNP visited The Discovery Group's Boat Quay office address, the second-storey shop was shut. There was a sign with the name Gold Guarantee fixed to the wall. The place looked deserted, with dead leaves outside the glass door.
od restaurant said the office has been shut for more than two months.
When asked if Case was taking any action against the company director, Mr Seah said that Case was unable to do so as Mr Lee Song Teck has been uncontactable.
Lawyer Luke Lee recalled only one case when a timeshare company director was successfully prosecuted, in 2005.
BT: Beware “Gold Buy Back” companies
3Oct12 7pm-9pm at 42A Boat Quay CEO Lee Song Teck
"Savers are losers" - Robert Kiwasaki
as Inflation kills savers
Why Rich gets Richer? They make money works harder for them
3 ways to make money works harder:
- Business but needs Ideas
- Properties but needs capital
- Paper assets thru trading, stocks, CFD, Derivatives, margin) but needs skill and experience
Previous metals - Gold
- no need ideas, no need skill, moderate capital, minimum risk
- prestige, symbol of wealth, more than just commodity
- physical asset, nothing more secure than holding on to a physical asset
- mine supply in anticipated to decline
- portfolio diversification
- billionaires (George Soros, Paulson, Jim Rogers) and institutions are buying
- gold trading in Singapore set to get boost as exampted 7% GST tax
Free Charting on Gold - www.kito.com
Downside risk on Gold:
- FED stop printing money
- China and India stop importing gold
- Euro crisis stablilise
- Recession reduce inflation rate
Method to own Gold:
- paper Gold investors
- physical Gold Bullion
- No leverage, fiancing cost
- Longer time
- No dividend
TGG Gold Investment package:
5.1% discount payable monthly for 3 months (1.7% cash back monthly)
Capital protect as guarantee buy back at selling price on end of third month
Eg 100g of gold bar selling pirce now at S$10,000.
Client will get $170 per month for three month.
and end of third month client surrender the gold bar and get back S$10,000.
The gold bar market value for buying is S$8,000 and selling back is S$7,000.
So the maximum rish the client bear is around 30% assuming client holding on the gold bar and price stable at end of three month.
29Sep12 at Conrad Hotel
Every one gets to attend free and no need to pay $197. So what is SI of SPH doing and claiming in this email? Joining the Scam? Sigh! Many attended because of advertistment in SPH newspaper. It turn out to be a Gold Sales Event.
First Speaker, I learned quite a lot from this Gold Agent of Malaysia with proper slides. Towards the end he is being cornered by us as to what is his intension of getting us to attend this seminar
Second speaker the lawyer never turn up. Instead a so called very rich property Investor ( a second man turned rich from a bankrupt owning 50 properties now. First man Robin Ho, a remisier ) to share his experience to get rich in Property Investment. Motivation ? Another PCN to entice people to attend his education class. Oh No. Very rich man do not need to teach in classes! I left half way.
Unhappiness boiled up. Many of them come here to seek hopeful legal advice from lawyer as they are now being CON into the Gold Business. They are clusters of people outside the Seminar room chatting how much they are involved, mainly retiree, housewives, and the greedy,
This is a crisis playing at the moment in the market , after the mini-bond. Watch the outcome, learn something from the cases......the Gold Label, the Genneva, the Gold Guarantee etc.
A new scheme coming up. 'Investing' in Bridging Loan. This is another new business model scam. Some one is distributing business cards at the lobby now.
Just be careful. If a stranger (including me), a trainer telling teaching you somethings too good to be true, it is probably a con, a scam, a sales.
- selling you a merchandise far far below market price at Suntec City
- asking you to invest in properties in 3rd word countries, Germany at seminar,
- Gold and Silver
- Time Share
- land bank
- oil field
- Gold mine
- Bridging loan
-etc etc etc etc
The Straits Times
Jan 15, 2012
He plans to give millions to charity
Businessman aims to achieve net worth of $200m and give away 90% of his money
By Joyce Teo
Business owner Lee Song Teck, 33, is a goal-oriented person who cannot sit still. Just four months ago, he started a gold trading business, and is now preparing to start three more businesses.
Still, his agenda is not as daunting as it might seem at first sight. 'Over the years, I have learnt to delegate, and to create a system that allows the business to run on its own within a shorter period of three months, instead of two years,' he said.
What spurs him to work hard is his drive to contribute to society.
Eventually, he aims to give away 90 per cent of his wealth to charity. Money does allow you to enjoy life, but the happiness you gain from material possessions is short-lived, he said.
He has sponsored more than a dozen children through World Vision, an international humanitarian organisation, and at his new firm, The Gold Guarantee, he involves his staff in charity work.
Mr Lee took over the family business in animal pharmaceutical products when he was 20. Two years later, he went to Sydney for undergraduate studies, and to explore living a holistic lifestyle that involved yoga, meditation and martial arts.
Since his return to Singapore, the bachelor has tried his hands at being a property agent, and running a fitness centre and a property investment seminar business. He has also invested in property and gold.
Q: Are you a spender or saver?
I would say I've been a saver in the past 10 years, but my mother would say otherwise. Since I turned 23, I have realised the importance of becoming financially free and creating wealth for the sake of giving back. This is why I save and invest most of my money.
I would say that I spend just about 10 per cent of my earnings. I invest most of my money because I believe saving alone will not help me achieve the financial goals I set when I was 24.
I was very aggressive in spending on my personal education, in areas such as investment, wealth creation, business, marketing, sales and health. I must have spent more than $200,000 on attending seminars on these topics - more than 30 over the past 10 years.
I invest most of my money in my businesses. I do not smoke, drink or gamble, and I am not into fine dining. The only luxury items I spend on are spa packages for me and my friends. I also buy presents for my friends. It feels nice to be able to buy things for the people I love.
Q: How much do you charge to your credit cards every month?
I charge around $10,000 to my credit card a month. It's a mix of work and personal expenses. I do not carry any credit card debt. In terms of cash, I withdraw a few thousand dollars a week from the bank.
Q: What financial planning have you done for yourself?
I believe in only real estate and gold, which I can see and touch, and which have real value.
My gold investment portfolio is now worth $30 million.
I have achieved average returns of 200 per cent a year from my property investments and some of my businesses. I plan to achieve a net worth of $200 million; when that happens, I intend to pledge 90 per cent to charity.
Q: Moneywise, what were your growing-up years like?
I am an only child, and I lived on a pig farm until I was eight. Our farm seemed huge, but we were one of the few poor pig farmers at the time.
My father set up the animal pharmaceutical wholesale business while running the farm, and my mother helped him with the accounts.
However, we were quite poor until about 10 years ago because my father, who died when I was 17, was a gambler. My parents used to tell me I must never gamble.
Q: How did you get interested in investing?
It was after I attended personal development seminars. I also read many wealth creation books, which led me to decide on real estate as my investment vehicle.
Since turning 24, I have made sure that whatever path I took would lead me in the direction of becoming a real estate investor.
My first real estate investment was in a rundown basement shop at Golden Mile Complex, which I bought for $250,000 five to six years ago. I sold it three weeks later for $320,000. I put up only $2,500 in cash for the purchase - for the 1 per cent option on the property - as I had managed to negotiate an option period of one month.
Q: What property do you own?
I co-own a highway and a commercial building in Tianjin, China, with my father's best friend, who is a billionaire in Malaysia.
I also have a 12-unit apartment block in Central London and 16 commercial units in Kuala Lumpur. My aim is to spread my property portfolio over five countries to reduce the risks.
In the past two years, I have sold my properties here, including a shophouse in Chai Chee and a Belmont Green condo unit, as I was anticipating a price correction.
The market fell in 2008 after I bought the Belmont Green unit, so I had to hold it for three years. I made half-a-million dollars in profit.
Q: What's the most extravagant thing you have bought?
I recently bought a new Bentley Supersports for $1 million. It's my dream car.
Q: What's your retirement plan?
I have no retirement plan. I feel very fulfilled because I wake up every morning knowing I'm serving thousands of people.
A year ago, I went to five fortune-tellers, and they all said I was meant to be a teacher. It was the first time I had had my fortune read, and I didn't understand then.
I thought my calling was to make $200 million and leave it to charity. Now, after having set up my gold trading business, I finally understand what they meant.
As I make my money, I am also inspiring people around me. Anything is possible as long as you believe you can do it. But if you don't believe you can do it, you have already succeeded in failing.
I think I would need a passive income of $100,000 to be able to spend fairly freely. I became financially free a year after I went into the budget hotel business.
When I reach 35, I will spend less time on my businesses and focus more on my spiritual side. I want to set up a non-profit martial arts studio.
Q: Home is now...
A corner terraced house in Hougang, where I live with my mother. It is opposite our animal pharmaceutical business shop, so we store some of the products in our living room.
The house sits on 4,000 sq ft of land and has built-in space of 6,000 sq ft. My mother bought it for $1.2 million eight years ago and spent $1 million rebuilding it. It is now worth about $4.5 million.
Q: I drive...
A white Bentley Supersports and a white BMW 5 series model.