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Rip-Off Alert: Scam funded junkets to Las Vegas

(News 3)
(News 3)
Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 7/05/2013 2:41 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- A con artist promised high returns but instead caused high anxiety for hundreds of people. In this Rip-Off Alert, how this clever scam cost unsuspecting investors millions of dollars.

U.S. postal inspectors say Kalin Dao was the mastermind behind a scheme that cost more than 500 investors at least $7 million.

“She offered a number programs either penny stock-type investments, or investments in commodities, precious metals, things like that,” says U.S. Postal Inspector Robert Strande.

Postal inspectors invested in Dao’s company to learn more about her business.

“She gladly took my money, sent me regular updates, investment statements categorizing how my investment was doing,” Strande said.

Those documents were all a fake. Strande traveled to Las Vegas to attend an investors meeting with Dao and brought a hidden camera. He then spoke with her about the transparency of her records and was not getting straight answers.

Strande says that’s an important takeaway for every potential investor.

“Don't accept answers like, ‘This is a private company. You're not entitled to look at the financials. I don't have to show you the financial records,’ “ he said. “Don't accept answers like that.”

Strande also said another potential red flag was the presentation Dao gave.

“She provided a PowerPoint presentation to the entire investment group, and it looked as though a second-grader had done the art work,” he said.

Postal inspectors say the victims were devastated.

“It completely wiped them out financially,” he said. “Most of them did not have disposable income.”

Postal inspectors say Dao used the money to finance her lavish gambling trips to Las Vegas.
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