Thursday, November 15, 2012

Manuel Amalilio, Aman Futures Group, and the Great Pyramiding Heist of 2012


If it seems too good to be true, then it must be.

This lesson was painfully and expensively realized by 15,000 Filipinos who unwittingly participated in a "pyramiding" investment scheme scam perpetrated by this guy:

Take a long, hard look at the face of Mr. Manuel Amalilio, Filipino Malaysian and CEO of Aman Futures Group Phils. Inc. According to reports, Amalilio is now out of the country, presumably with the 12 billion pesos that he allegedly bilked from his investors.

Online and traditional media are now rife with stories of how Aman's victims are now coping with the loss of a not-inconsiderable sum of money, in many instances from life savings, in some from high-interest loans from middling financial institutions. Reading these accounts and seeing the reports can be more than a little depressing. Situations like this are always very unfortunate, but much more so when many of the victims are the not-so-well-off.

While it's clear that blame and the plea for justice should be laid on the feet of Mr. Amalilio and his still unknown (or maybe just still unproven?) cohorts, we should all remember that we are not completely powerless to avoid falling into such a trap. Awareness, knowledge, and understanding of matters of money and finance--causes that are central to this blog--are key in weeding out scams like this from decisions and alternatives that truly provide additional value to people's lives.

And I think it's best if we make the most out of this atrocious situation and learn from the misfortune of others, however callous that may seem.

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