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Saturday, July 18, 2015

SEC SAYS TWO DEFENDANTS ADMIT TO TARGETING ASIAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY IN CKB PYRAMID SCHEME

FROM:  U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 
Litigation Release No. 23306 / July 17, 2015
Securities and Exchange Commission v. CKB168 Holdings Ltd., et al., Civil Action No. 13-5584 (E.D.N.Y., filed October 9, 2013)

In the Matter of Chih Hsuan "Kiki" Lin; Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-16694

Two Defendants Admit Liability in CKB Pyramid Scheme Targeting Asian-American Community

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") today announced that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York entered settled judgments against defendants Rayla Melchor Santos and Chih Hsuan "Kiki" Lin. In 2013, the SEC charged 16 defendants, including Santos and Lin, with perpetrating a worldwide pyramid scheme.

In settling the SEC's charges against her, Santos admitted that CKB was a pyramid scheme and that she was one of its three primary founders. Santos also admitted that she travelled to the United States and worked with other CKB founders and promoters to convince investors to join CKB by falsely telling them that CKB was a legitimate multi-level marketing company that sold online education courses for children when, in fact, Santos knew that CKB sold its products only to investors and had no significant retail sales.

In settling the SEC's charges against her, Kiki Lin admitted that CKB was an unlawful scheme and that she worked with CKB's founders and others to promote CKB to investors across the United States. Kiki Lin also admitted that she made false and misleading statements to investors and potential investors in order to induce them to join CKB. For instance, Kiki Lin admitted that she falsely told CKB investors and potential investors that they would receive profit reward points ("Prpts") with a value in U.S. dollars that would increase exponentially over time when, in fact, she knew that Prpts could not be converted to actual money.

Defendants Santos and Kiki Lin consented to the entry of Judgments, which: (i) permanently enjoin each of them from violating the unregistered offering provisions of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933 ("Securities Act"), and the anti-fraud provisions of Sections 17(a)(1) and (3) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5(a) and (c) thereunder. Kiki Lin also consented to the entry of the Judgment against her which permanently enjoins her from violating the antifraud provisions of the Section 17(a)(2) of the Securities Act and Rule 10b-5(b) under the Exchange Act and the unregistered broker-dealer provisions of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. Santos and Kiki Lin also agreed to conduct-based injunctions that prohibit each of them from participating in an illegal pyramid scheme disguised as a multi-level marketing program. Santos and Kiki Lin have agreed to pay disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties in amounts to be determined at a later date by the court upon motion of the Commission. Kiki Lin has also agreed that her wholly-controlled Relief Defendant, USA Trade Group, Inc. will pay disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and prejudgment interest in amounts to be determined at a later date by the court upon motion of the Commission.

As part of the settlement, Kiki Lin also agreed to the issuance of a Commission Order Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section 15(b)(6) of the Exchange Act Making Findings, and Imposition Remedial Sanctions ("Order"), which was issued today. This Order permanently bars Kiki Lin from association with any broker, dealer, investment adviser, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, transfer agent, or national recognized statistical rating organization, and from participating in any offering of a penny stock.

The Commission's litigation in this matter continues against the remaining Defendants Hung Wai ("Howard") Shern, Rui Ling ("Florence") Leung, Daliang ("David") Guo, Yao Lin, Wen Chen Hwang (aka "Wen Chen Lee" and "Wendy Lee"), Joan Congyi Ma (aka "JC Ma"), Toni Tong Chen, Cheongwha ("Heywood") Chang, Heidi Mao Liu (aka "Heidi Mao"), CKB168 Holdings Ltd., WIN168 Biz Solutions Ltd., CKB168 Ltd., CKB168 Biz Solution, Inc., and Cyber Kids Best Education Ltd.

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