GoldFX Investment Co Ltd (GFX) issued a notice setting October 26 as the deadline for all investors to accept a cash settlement in lieu of going to court to pursue their claims against the company following comments by Prime Minister Hun Sen suggesting that GFX’s disgruntled investors only file lawsuits with the court as a last resort.
The investors have been protesting for months now demanding their money back after the company announced it was suspending operations while claiming that an ex-board member had embezzled $20 million.
The notice added that the closing of the cash settlement period would further along the existing legal proceedings for the purpose of recovering lost money and with apprehending those who may bear some criminal liability for what took place.
The scheduling of the date for cash settlements followed a comment from Hun Sen on Facebook when he responded to a victim who sought his intervention. Hun Sen said GFX’s investors who believed they were cheated out of their money by making an investment with the company should file a lawsuit to seek justice in case the company and its former investors failed to reach a settlement.
In the September 15 Facebook post, Hun Sen also noted that he had received many complaints.
“So it’s time that I respond to these concerns. Please continue with mediation because both parties agreed to do business with each other, but if the negotiations don’t work out then please file a lawsuit,” he said.
According to the Facebook complainant, more than 400 victims who invested in GFX have yet to receive proper compensation from the company.
She said that over six months since the firm lost its investment funds, it has now set a 30-day deadline for investors to accept their unilateral offer of compensation at 30 per cent of the total principle that they originally invested.
However, the former GFX client claimed that the 30 per cent figure does not comply with the Securities and Exchange Regulator of Cambodia’s (SERC) directive released of July 16, which instructed GFX to resolve the matter by paying all of the customers in full immediately.
Thou Ponleu, a legal representative of the victims who is negotiating with GFX, told The Post on September 15 that the group had already filed a complaint with the SERC. And in light of Hun Sen’s comment, his group is watching closely, waiting to see what the company will offer the victims.
Ponleu said filing a lawsuit in court was a last resort. The victims want to try and avoid this option because the court will take long time to come to a decision.
He said the firm’s offer of 30 per cent fell short of his clients’ demand of 100 per cent of the principle back but without any added profit.
He noted that some victims have already accepted the 30 per cent compensation, but they were generally forced to accept it by circumstances such as financial difficulties related to employment and the pressure placed on them with the deadline.
Reached by the The Post on September 15, GFX customer relations officer Chheang Christoff declined to comment and referred reporter to the GFX headquarters.