Couple that fleeced Alaskans in Ponzi scheme charged with money laundering in Malaysia9/03/06
Angry words and tears flowed freely when a local woman and her British husband were produced at the Sessions Courts in Seremban and Kuala Lumpur yesterday to answer charges of money laundering.
Phan Sew Ken, 55, and Bryan John Marsden, 58, were charged with 48 counts of money laundering involving RM34.2 million.
At the Seremban Sessions Court, the couple was separately charged with 41 counts, while later at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, Marsden was charged with another seven counts.
Phan was on the verge of breaking down when she, handcuffed to her husband, waited at the foyer of the court complex before proceedings.
Some 30 minutes later, Phan was produced before Sessions judge Mohd Zaki Abd Wahab and claimed trial to all 41 charges.
Phan was charged in her capacity as managing director of New Mark Business Centres Sdn Bhd.
She was accused of receiving between US$39,253.48 (RM143,667.74) and US$499,963 in 41 transactions through the companys account at EON Banks Nilai branch.
The offences were allegedly committed between Aug 12, 2003 and Jan 4, 2005.
The offence, under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 is punishable with a fine up to RM5 million, or jail up to five years, or both.
The drama began when the issue of bail was raised by deputy public prosecutor Dzulkifli Ahmad.
Dzulkifli proposed bail of RM1 million in view of the seriousness of the offence and the amount involved.
Phan immediately asked Zaki for permission to speak and lamented that all of their personal and company assets had been frozen by Bank Negara for almost 12 months pending investigations into the case.
She said both of them have been on police bail since then, and during that period, had always co-operated with the authorities. As she spoke, Phan, from Bandar Sunway in Petaling Jaya, began to sob uncontrollably.
"Your Honour, we are just trying to build our business and I was just giving moral support to my husband.
"Our lives are now destroyed and we have nowhere to go for help."
Zaki stopped her and said that the bail proposed had nothing to do with her business but to ensure her continued attendance in court.
Marsdens turn was next and he too claimed trial to the charges.
Zaki fixed bail of RM500,000 in two sureties each for both husband and wife and also ordered for their travel documents to be surrendered to the court.
Zaki fixed Sept 13 for mention of the case to allow more time for the couple, who was unrepresented, to engage counsel.
The couple could not raise bail and before they were taken away, they hugged each other in the lock-up.
From the New Straits Times - Malaysia