It claimed almost 1 million hectares of forest generating twenty cubic metres of chips per hectare per year.
Market cap was in the billions.
The only problem was that the forest did not exist.
Today the Chief Financial Officer admitted wrongdoing, paid a fine and agreed to disgorge some money for the benefit of victims of the scam.
The (Canadian) Financial Post notes:
Mr. Horsley agreed to pay $700,000 in the settlement, and is barred permanently from being a director or officer of a public company. Mr. Turner noted that Mr. Horsley also agreed to pay $5.6-million to settle shareholder lawsuits related to Sino-Forest’s collapse. He [the OSC chair] viewed that as an appropriate penalty, which is why he endorsed the relatively small OSC settlement.Later the paper deadpans:
At its peak, Sino-Forest was the biggest forestry firm on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with a market value of more than $6-billion. It also raised a staggering $3-billion from investors between 2003 and 2010 before falling into creditor protection in 2012.
Simple question: Where did that $3 billion that was raised go?
Answer: Into someone's pocket.
Have you made a few billion dollars lately?
Repeat after me: the fraudsters have a better business model.
PS: There is out there a multi-billionaire fraudster who is completely absent from the Forbes list of global billionaires. Whatever: at a minimum the Forbes list is like Sino Forest: lacking credibility.