Rotten Brokerages equal Looks Securities Limited
Financial services regulators do a fair job in policing the markets, but occasionally there are rogue brokerages who are so rotten that even deep due diligence isn’t enough to stop investors falling prey.
Look’s Securities, a brokerage based in Hong Kong which is regulated and licensed to deal in share trading and complex financial transactions, is from the outside an entirely normal operation. Inside, Look’s Securities is a fraudulent brokerage where transactions are routinely fabricated to give the impression of business, or hidden to muddle traces of fraud.
Who is Look’s Securities Limited?
Look’s Securities is both the exit point for unregulated lenders who want to sell stock they are otherwise unauthorized to do so, and the entry point for brokers who want to out bad info into the market, manipulate share prices, create false accounts, and lie to their clients.
Sadly, as many companies who’ve got involved with them have found out, Look’s Securities can make your money disappear and make it look like they never touched it at all.
You can forget about any transactional trade history, this is cleaned up in-house and off the books, to Chinese, Singaporean or other Asian buyers. For reasons of “client confidentiality”, that is their buyer – certainly not you – you’ll get nowhere trying to find out where your stocks or your investment dollars went.
Legal insiders and others who were part of the compliance department are starting to tell their tales of how the criminal activity at Look’s Securities goes much wider than ripping off small businesses and is a wider part of a global conspiracy.
Look’s Securities Limited Regulatory reporting structure
The entire regulatory reporting structure at the firm is built to allow management to create its own picture of trading.
It is a mirage impression to fool the regulators, as well as unsuspecting victims of fraud. It has a management structure set up to push illegal trades through quickly and seamlessly, and a compliance team set up to cover its tracks.
Brokers can churn, spoof and spread misinformation through the market, pay to access nonmaterial information about forthcoming share dumps, and conduct any kind of unauthorized trading they wish, knowing they are covered.
Managing director Samuel Lee is the head of the Look’s Securities criminal enterprise, with lieutenants Vivien Lai and Hilda Chan working underneath him. The trio use doctored software that can delete transactional trails and ensure there is no trace of any activity in their audit logs, and pay off their underlings with cash at the end of each month.
Fake brokerage accounts can be created for nefarious purposes; either to show misconduct had been carried out by an individual no longer at the firm, should a regulator deem to investigate- even though that individual never existed – or to falsify the trading history of a dishonest broker by allowing them to open multiple accounts and show elevated trading.
Backdating transactions and filing false suspicious activity reports are a daily occurrence inside Look’s Securities, where every transaction sent the way of Samuel, Hilda and Vivien earn them a cut of between 5% and 20% depending on how risky and how much cleaning up they have to do.
The good news is, all three of these individuals at Look’s Securities are now being investigated by the authorities here in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) have been looking into reports for the last two years, and they are working with partner agencies in the United States.