Apologies to PP watchers that this is really ancient news, but for the sake of completeness, CAD says it needs more time to figure just WTF is going on at PP, with the judge pushing the next hearing to Nov 8.
From Today “CAD given yet more time for probe”
SINGAPORE – The courts have granted a time extension – for the third time – to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) to continue its investigations into landbanking firm Profitable Plots, while awaiting the expert report from an accounting firm.
Representing the CAD, the state prosecutor argued in the Subordinate Courts yesterday that extending the investigation period was justified due to the large amount of investments involved. The court heard that complaints have now risen to 304 with investments totalling S$30 million.
During the last hearing in March, there were 229 complainants who alleged Profitable Plots had cheated them into investing in various schemes to the tune of about S$23.5 million in all.
With the time extension, the three bank accounts of Profitable Plots – amounting to about S$70,000 now – will remain frozen.
The firm’s coffers – frozen since it was raided last August by white-collar crime detectives – originally held S$277,590, but the High Court later ordered the partial release of monies pay the firm’s employees.
Defence counsel Wendell Wong had argued against the time extension, saying the expert report would not assist in deciding the ownership of the money left in the firm’s bank accounts.
Mr Wong said that the funds seizure had severely affected his clients, who are also facing another lawsuit.
The CAD was supposed to provide an update on investigations yesterday following a four-month time extension but Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong said that the accounting firm appointed in April could only produce the expert report next month and the report would be “crucial” in determining whether to press charges against the company.
No criminal charges have been pressed against Profitable Plots yet.
MediaCorp had previously reported that the company was being sued by broadcaster ESPN Star Sports for failing to pay up about S$4.9 million but claims against Profitable Plots directors John Andrew Nordmann and Timothy Nicholas Goldring for alleged misrepresentation, conspiracy and fraudulent trading are still pending.
Mr Wong also sought for the name of the accounting firm to be disclosed for greater transparency of the investigation process, adding that his clients have not been interviewed by the CAD since March.
District Judge John Ng agreed with DPP Ong that there was no legal basis to make known the accounting firm during ongoing investigations.
Allowing another four months for investigations, the judge said he was convinced by DPP Ong’s arguments that appropriate steps have been taken to conduct the investigations.
He added that the money in the frozen accounts should not be released until investigations have concluded as it could be linked to the complaints.
The next hearing is on Nov 8.