A painting of 500 yuan sells for 4,980 yuan, "can it appreciate in value"?

  Prosecutors expose collectibles investment scam

  Lu Jinzeng Zhao Yue

  "Hello, uncle, aunt! Our company specializes in investment in collectibles such as commemorative coins, calligraphy and paintings, and the appreciation of collectibles is very large. You can buy them from here and wait for the appreciation. If necessary, you can also buy back and help You are selling at a high price." Previously, a salesman from an art company in Jinan City, Shandong Province was very enthusiastic about selling to the elderly on the phone, but he didn't know that there was a huge scam behind such a phone call.

On March 8 this year, Liu and other 6 people who were prosecuted by the Lixia District Procuratorate of Jinan City were sentenced in the first instance for the crime of fraud. The court sentenced the 6 defendants to fixed-term imprisonment of twelve to three years and six months for fraud. etc., each with a fine ranging from 100,000 yuan to 30,000 yuan.

After the first-instance judgment was pronounced, the defendants Liu and Zhao appealed.

Recently, the Jinan Intermediate Court ruled to dismiss the appeal and uphold the original judgment.

  Buying collections at low prices, fictitious appreciation space

  Zhao, 39, is a salesperson for an art company in Jinan.

At work, he was moved when he saw that the collectibles purchased at a low price were sold at a high price and were very profitable and profitable.

"At that time, I only had 70,000 to 80,000 yuan, which was not enough to set up a company, so I contacted my former colleagues Liu and Wang, and the three of us decided to set up a company to do it ourselves." Zhao said.

  In order to make customers believe in the strength of the company and consume with confidence, the three of them decided to set up the company on Quancheng Road, Lixia District.

"We think the location is good and the office buildings are high-end, which can convince customers." Zhao explained.

They called in a few old colleagues from the company they used to work at, and recruited some new ones to conduct training under the leadership of the old employees.

Afterwards, they went to a postal and coin card market in a certain place to buy a batch of genuine and fake collectibles such as "Panda Coins", "God of Fortune Banknotes", "Quad Coins Commemorative Coins" and calligraphy and paintings, and the art company officially opened.

  "We bought some local people's phone number information from the Internet, and then arranged for the salesperson to call, saying that there was a gift, and invited customers to come to the company to learn about it. Later, the people who came to the company were basically the elderly." Zhao explained.

  After coming to the company, the company's sales staff will first talk with these seniors to enhance and cultivate their relationship, and then introduce the value of these collectibles and the appreciation space from a "professional" perspective, and learn about their salary income, home address. , family members, etc.

The company has a special person to infer the purchasing power of this customer from these materials, and screen out customers with strong purchasing power and easy to be deceived as the target of the crime.

  After selecting the target of the crime, the sales staff will explain to these customers one-on-one according to the training language, publicize the appreciation prospects of the collectibles to the customers, and promise that when the value of the collectibles appreciates in the future, the company is responsible for helping the customers to sell the collectibles. Let customers earn the difference profit.

Many elderly people believed their propaganda and bought their products one after another.

The company's sales staff will continue to call the elderly for return visits, recommend collectibles with greater appreciation potential, and organize various activities from time to time to attract the elderly to increase their trust.

  "Cooperative purchase" dispels doubts and defrauds trust

  Some elderly people are aware of prevention and will not buy directly.

"In this case, our sales staff will say that they want to buy collectibles with customers during the sales process. I will give the money to these sales staff, they will give the money to the customers, and let the customers buy the collectibles back. In the company There are special funds for this." Liu explained.

  When the salesperson sells in this way, these seniors feel that since the salesperson also buys the collectible, they will be more convinced that the collectible will appreciate in value, and then they will agree to buy.

When the seniors come to the company to ask when the collectibles they have purchased will be sold, the sales staff will find various reasons to prevaricate and continue to sell other collectibles to them, and even threaten these seniors that if they do not continue to buy, they will Not responsible for helping to resell previously purchased collectibles.

  Aunt Zheng was deceived like this.

In 2018, she received a call from the company's salesperson inviting her to pick up a free gift. After she went, she got stuck.

After purchasing the first "Panda Coin" collectible, Aunt Zheng began to visit the company frequently. The staff would recommend different collectibles every time, and emphasized that the appreciation space is large, and the longer the collection time, the more valuable it is.

In order to convince Aunt Zheng, they also staged a "cooperative purchase" drama.

In this way, Aunt Zheng believed it to be true, and under the siege of the sales staff, she purchased another 7 sets of "God of Wealth Triads".

  In the following period of time, Aunt Zheng has successively purchased collections such as "28 Conjoined Gods of Wealth" and "The Great Harmony of the World", with a total investment of more than 600,000 yuan.

"Later the sales staff asked me to buy 'Qinyuan Spring Snow' again, I didn't want to invest any more money, they told me that many of the collectibles bought by people had already been sold, and if I didn't buy 'Qinyuan Spring Snow', they wouldn't help me I sell it." Liu explained: "The painting 'Qinyuan Spring Snow' was contacted by the promotion company. Basically, it is half sold and half free. The cost of a picture is less than 500 yuan, and we can send a few more pictures to customers. 4980 yuan."

  In this way, Aunt Zheng purchased another 12 sets of "Qinyuan Spring Snow" at a cost of nearly 60,000 yuan.

Unconsciously, Aunt Zheng spent 700,000 yuan of pension money without telling her family. She hoped to earn back living expenses by selling a few collectibles, but the other party always used various reasons to evade her.

  In Jinan, dozens of elderly people like Aunt Zheng have fallen into the company's collectibles investment scam.

  Supplementary investigation, falsification and flattery defense

  In November 2021, the Lixia District Procuratorate accepted the fraud case of Liu and others that was transferred by the Public Security Branch of the district for review and prosecution.

It was found out that Liu, Zhao and Wang jointly registered and established a company, and Liu served as the legal representative. Liu, Zhao, and Wang were all shareholders of the company and were jointly responsible for the company's operation and management. Mr. Cao is the sales supervisor, and Mr. Ma, Mr. Wang and others are the sales staff.

After the company was established, it sold the collectibles bought at low prices at high prices, and assured customers that the products would appreciate in value, and made promises that they could help customers to sell and earn the difference after the appreciation. The sales method of joint "cooperative purchase" defrauds customers of funds.

Cao Mou, Ma Mou, and Wang Mou, as business personnel, actively participated in criminal activities under the instigation of Liu Mou, Zhao Mou, and Wang Mou.

  During the review and prosecution, Liu, Zhao, and Wang all argued that the company was not allowed to promise repurchase to customers, and claimed that the company had clearly explained this issue in the bills issued to customers, and that they were in the business office. There is also a corresponding "card" on the table, indicating that the salesperson is not allowed to promise to buy back.

The problem in the company's operation process is entirely the problem of the salesman himself.

  In order to further improve the evidence chain of the case, the prosecutor conducted self-supplementary investigation work on the 35 victims and more than 10 business personnel who have been verified for this matter.

After verifying with the salesperson and the customer, it can be clearly proved that the commitment to repurchase is the marketing method clearly taught by the company. The company has never explained the customer instructions in the coupons of the collectibles. The prompt is completely useless, and its purpose is to avoid it. law.

In addition, some salesmen have proved that the so-called reminder "cards" on the desk have not been trained according to this regulation during the business period.

  At the same time, in view of the wide variety and complex nature of the collections involved in this case, it is impossible to make an effective market price appraisal.

In order to further supplement the cost value of collecting the collectibles involved, the prosecutor handling the case has conducted in-depth exchanges with the audit department on the issue of cost deduction for different types of products, and has determined different identification standards for different types of collectibles. Different cost deductions were carried out one by one, and the deceived old man actually received the purchased collectibles by reviewing one by one, and accurately determined that the total amount of fraud in this case was more than 1.7 million yuan.

  In February this year, the Lixia District Procuratorate prosecuted Liu and other 6 people on suspicion of fraud.

On March 8, the court held that the six defendants used fictitious facts to defraud other people's property for the purpose of illegal possession, and their behavior constituted the crime of fraud.

According to the facts, nature, circumstances and the degree of harm to the society, the court made the above judgment in accordance with the law, and the defendants Liu and Zhao appealed.

Recently, the Jinan Intermediate Court ruled to dismiss the appeal and uphold the original judgment.

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