Investigators said the amount collected from 45 Chinese garment factory workers by a couple who perpetrated the savings scam on the island has already reached over $100,000.
Twenty more workers will be filing their complaint with the police this week as they admitted having been duped into depositing their money to Zhida Market, owned by Chinese couple Lin Zu Xiu and Li Rui Yuan.
The workers who were victimized were from L&T Garment Factory, Mirage Garment Factory and its sister company Commonwealth Garment Factory.
Police said the entire amount collected by the couple from the garment factory workers will be determined this week as they hope to complete the gathering of statement within that period.
Preliminary investigation showed that Ms. Xiu and Mr. Yuan convinced the garment workers to deposit their money at Zhida Market in return for a high interest after a month or two.
They promised the workers they will earn as much as $100,000 in interest every month. Some of the workers have been depositing the money at Zhida Market as early as January 1999.
The complaint filed by three garment factory workers led to the discovery of the scam as they have been trying to withdraw their money from the couple’s business.
When confronted by the workers, the couple simply said they do not have the money. One of the victims, Li Yao, told the police that she deposited $12,500 in January 1999. Last year, she started withdrawing most of her money from the bank and deposited an additional $13,000 last Aug. 17.
The couple are now being held for charges of theft by deception. Superior Court Associate Judge Timothy H. Bellas has set a $100,000 bail each for the accused. (Lindablue F. Romero)