China raises counterfeiting to the next level with a fake Goldman Sachs
The fake financial company goes by the name "Goldman Sachs (Shenzhen) Financial Leasing Co" and holds office in Shenzhen.
Little was known of the counterfeit institution but before its web site went down on Wednesday, it claimed to have been established in 2013. It also makes itself more likable by saying that it is "the biggest financial leasing firm" in the place.
Zhou Linhong was listed as CEO of the fake Goldman Sachs. When called through his phone, a man named Zhou answered CNNMoney and said that his company is not associated with the investment bank in the US. CNN also said that the person did not answer any more questions before he hung up.
The spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs Hong Kong, Connie Ling, revealed to Bloomberg that the Shenzhen institution and the US Goldman Sachs are not in any way related to each other.
Chinese authorities started investigating on the fake company after a certain US-based casino workers union named International Union of Operating Engineers sent them a letter. The casino workers union is said to monitor Macau's gambling activities. The union had a hunch that the fake financial company is involved in organizing crime syndicates working in Macau.
The Shenzhen Goldman Sachs' Chinese name makes use of characters that mean "prosperous" and "high" or gao sheng. This means that aside from using the company's English name, the counterfeit company is also taking the same Chinese characters in its name.
Just several weeks earlier, a man aged 39 was arrested for creating a fake China Construction Bank, considered the world's second largest bank in terms of assets.
The scam was only revealed when a depositor who had 40,000 yuan in his account was unable to withdraw money from a genuine China Construction Bank. The bank came complete with tellers, bank signs and card readers.