GEORGE TOWN – Even the once loyal “generals” of JJPTR founder Johnson Lee are losing faith. Some of them are demanding their capital back.
When Lee launched the scheme in May 2015, he is believed to have had about 10 “generals” to help him recruit “investors”.
A businesswoman, who was one of them, said they did not only promote JJPTR but also invested in it, as it promised a 20% return each month.
The scheme, however, lasted barely two years before it collapsed last month.
With Lee about to launch a new scheme, also called JJPTR, some of the “generals” have ruled out joining the latest money game.
Others prefer to wait and see.
One thing is for sure: Nobody is as gung-ho as before.
It is probably due to recent warnings from the authorities to stay away from such schemes, or Lee simply does not have that “magic charm” anymore.
The 50-something businesswoman said she joined the scheme in July 2015, two months after the launch.
“The group helped him in many ways, including setting up the mini marts. Once, Johnson showed a keen interest in investing in a movie, so I spoke to a few friends in showbusiness.
“The movie, which is a Chinese comedy, was released in February but I don’t know if he invested in it or not,” she said.
The woman said Lee recently promised that her investment would see returns within two months if she invested in the new scheme.
“I’m not willing to part with my money now as I still have about RM300,000 stuck in the failed scheme.
“Unless I get back some of my capital, I’m not so keen. Actually, I’ve lost faith,” she said.
The woman voiced regret for not listening to one of Lee’s family members.
“She told me to withdraw my money at the end of last year as the scheme was facing problems. I didn’t believe her,” she said, adding that she used to command about 100 downliners.
Some members, she said, had indicated that they would not be attending a May 20 company dinner although they had bought tickets.
Each ticket for the vegetarian dinner costs RM400.
Another long-time member, who wished to be known only as Ah Gooi, said Lee should earn their trust back before launching the new scheme.
“Johnson should return our capital as soon as possible. There’s no point in him appearing in videos to explain anything to us.
“We once believed in him but he betrayed our trust.
“I convinced about 200 of my family members, friends and colleagues to join JJPTR, saying that it was a good investment plan. Now, every time I see them, I just don’t know what to say,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Alor Setar, a 24-year-old businessman lodged a report at the Yan police station in Pendang after becoming the latest victim of a forex scam involving some RM3.5mil.
Kedah Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Supt Chan Teck Paing said the businessman was introduced to the scheme by his 41-year-old friend in March last year, promising him returns of at least 50% every fortnight.
“He invested RM50,000 and by March this year, 500 people had also joined the scheme. According to the businessman, the amount deposited by their members totalled about RM3.5mil,” he said, adding that all investors had so far failed to receive any payment.
“We found out that the suspect has been using his personal account for the scheme,” he said.