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California WOW........We all knew it was a scam from the start!


Bagwan

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http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/353997/money-laundering-officials-on-trail-of-defunct-fitness-club-california-wow

 

 

California WOW pumps out B1.7bn

The defunct fitness company California WOW Plc cheated its customers and shareholders by reporting losses while transferring 1.7 billion baht out of the country over 10 years, officials say.

The Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) made the revelation on Friday, saying it believed as many as 10 people were involved in siphoning money out of the business.

The fitness company is now going through bankruptcy reorganisation. More than 1,000 customers have been affected by the closures of its main branches at Ratchayothin, Silom, Sukhumvit 23 and Chaeng Watthana.

The company is currently suspended from trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Its financial troubles date back to 2010 when it defaulted on a debt of 58 billion owed to TMB Bank. It was also sued in August last year by Bangkok Bank for unpaid debts of 76 billion baht.

California WOW last year proposed to the Central Bankruptcy Court a plan to develop smaller clubs requiring less capital investment which would serve members more effectively and help revive the business.

Even when it was at its peak, however, California WOW drew fire from consumer advocates for its aggressive recruitment and sales tactics, in which staff tried to lock members into long-term contracts and constantly "upsold" them on new programmes.

Investigations of the company's financial transactions showed a pattern of cheating in violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, according to Amlo secretary-general Sihanart Prayoonrat.

The Amlo examined the transactions between 2002 and 2013 and found regular transmission of money out of the country with a total value of 1.699 billion baht, he said.

"Since its listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2006, the company reported a profit only one year, and later reported only losses," he said.

Amlo found that the company transferred 495 million baht out of Thailand in 2010. The highest transactions occurred between 2009 and 2011.

Pol Col Sihanart said Almo found around 10 people involved in the case.

"The pattern of large amounts of money transfers out of the country while the company always reported losses shows that the company's executives had the intention to cheat customers since the beginning of its business operation," he said.

Amlo already knows the destinations of the money so it will cooperate with authorities in those jurisdictions to trace back the money, he said.

The office also found that the same group of people had set up similar companies in the Philippines and other countries.

Californai WOW was founded by Canadian entrepreneur Eric Levine and Waraluck Vanichkul.

Major Cineplex Group Plc was also a large investor in the company but pulled out when it began to sense financial troubles and losses.

Mr Levine owned a 5,900-square-metre luxury villa in Phuket, which was sold last year for US$24 million, according to local reports.

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1.7 billion.I think that one Canadian just about got even for all the money I spent there in the last 20 years.

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Unlucky.

Bad Managment.lol.He got my lifetime membership.Fucker.

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Perhaps he Played the LONG Game...

No place on the Planet like Pattaya..Don't let your meat loaf

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CW done there scam in numerous countries in Asia, think they are still at it in Vietnam.

 

The guy who runs it is simply a conman and has made  alot af cash out of it.

 

If you got your lifetime membership early then you probably got your moneies worth

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Where's Kuffki these days?

 

He said it was all going to be OK once they paid their leccy bill.   :LOL2:

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Lost my life time membership. As the saying goes you win some and you lose some. Only hope the that life gets the scammers back and that is I hope not in a good way.

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It wasn't hard to see that their lifetime memberships were going to be or the life of the gym not you   :GoldenSmile1:

 

Obviously if the price is too good to be true and there is a fixed limited number of potential new customers then the cash flow will eventually come to a complete stop and the gym will close.  As noted, the pricing was so good early on if you bought then and used it for a year or two you got your money's worth even if it is now worthless.

 

For me, I tried a month trial membership and couldn't stand the shit music they played way too loud.  The Marriot overcharges but i like the place so worth it to me.  Now if only I would get off my ass and use it just a little bit more.   :hello09:

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if you want to get scammed up good don't waste your time with a little black haired brown skinned native lovely just look for the nearest expat or wait till he finds you.

I read 1.7 million and thought a lot of candle for the game but 1.7BILLION bugger me!

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I was one of the "suckers" who got my year membership. I wont even tell u guys how much i paid lol. Two months after they shut down!

 

I see many people say we should have seen it coming.. Maybe so. But how does Tony Gym do it? They have these promos all the time, and he's expanding, not closing down.

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So will Thai Super model Waraluck Vanichkul get some blame in this or fake ignorance and claim meanie farang man exploited her?

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I was one of the "suckers" who got my year membership. I wont even tell u guys how much i paid lol. Two months after they shut down!

 

I see many people say we should have seen it coming.. Maybe so. But how does Tony Gym do it? They have these promos all the time, and he's expanding, not closing down.

 

This type of pricing model depends on a steady flow of new sign ups who come for a short time and then never return.  (A really ugly business model if you ask me.  Hoping for people to fail.)  So unless his gym has a high number of Thais and foreigners who sign up and then move from Pattaya in a few years, it will catch up with him.  It is really simple.  A business can't survive if most of the customers are getting its product for free.  This is even more true for a gym as only so many people can go at one time. 

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Where's Kuffki these days?

 

He said it was all going to be OK once they paid their leccy bill.   :LOL2:

Long gone 2 times right???

Whoops sorry we can't discuss that. :)

My Youtube Channel about everything Thailand - TravInThailand


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They deserved to go bust. I went in asking for a two week membership and they wouldnt bargain below 3000 baht. Just went to Tonys on Soi Buakhoaw.

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well i knew it was a scam, it had to be. classic ponzi scheme, they needed constant new members to be able to provide the services for the members who paid before. So when i bought my lifetime membership, i remember saying "i'm making an educated bet that they'll be around long enough that i'll still get my moneys worth". My thai GF was able to get us lifetime deals at 10,000 baht each. And we were there for almost 3 years before they went under, so it worked out for us. But feel bad for the others who got ripped off. Also sucks as i loved working out there. I'm a bit embarassed too that it was a canadian doing the scamming.

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