Fraud scheme uncovered, Premiere Club suspended - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Fraud scheme uncovered, Premiere Club suspended

Posted: Updated:

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - PHR Ken Asset Management, Inc. owns five hotels on the island and for the last couple of years, they've had a Premier Club card that provides discounts to cardholders encouraging them to frequent the different hotel properties.  But in recent weeks, the hotel's management has noticed irregularities with the program leading them to suspect that some of their employees may have been involved in a fraudulent scheme to swindle the company out of tens of thousands of dollars.

Police and the PHR Ken Asset Management, Inc. aren't saying too much about how they uncovered a fraudulent scheme involving the sale of the latter's Premier Club Guam membership cards and vouchers, but the company has announced its temporary suspension. For about $300 a year, the Premier Club membership card promised the holder various discounts for food and massages at Ken Corp properties. 

The company owns the Sheraton Laguna Resort, the Hilton, the Pacific Islands Club, the Hyatt and the Nikko hotels and offered various discounts through the card.  But in recent weeks, concerns were raised that illegal Premier Club membership packets were sold, compromising the program temporarily. Management learned that at least two of its employees were allegedly selling the membership cards and vouchers outside of the Premier Club Membership Office. 

While the Guam Police Department's Tumon-Tamuning Precinct is currently investigating the matter, no arrests have been made yet as the case was only reported to them on Tuesday. But KUAM News has confirmed that K'leen Cepeda and Jolene Mantanona are no longer affiliated with the program and are no longer employed with the company.  The two names were recently published in an advertisement published in the newspaper as having no more involvement with the Guam Premier Club membership. 

Ken Corp officials would not provide any more details about whether they believe other employees were involved in the scheme or how they were able to identify the illegal activity saying they will let police investigate the matter before releasing any additional details at this time. Aside from becoming a member by visiting the membership card center at the Sheraton Laguna Resort, individuals could apply online via PremierClubGuam.com. 

According to the web site, membership varied from $350 for a new applicant to $320 for regular renewal, seniors and the military. The card boasted an array of benefits for the cardholder including free vouchers for tennis or pool usage, discounts for food and spa services, two free hotel rooms, free bottles of wine and champagne and more. Because the company is unaware of the extent of the fraudulent scheme, they have decided to temporarily suspend the Premier Club Guam program at all of the Ken Corp properties for the next 30 days as they begin filtering through valid and invalid memberships and try to gauge how much money was lost through the illegal sale of membership cards, vouchers and certificates.

Temporary suspension starts tomorrow, with validation for membership cards, vouchers and certificates for lawful premier club members forthcoming. Ken Corp management says they will release more information to the public on the validation process in the coming days. 

Meanwhile for those who have information regarding the sale of illegal Premier Club membership packets, cards, vouchers or certificates, you are asked to contact the Tumon-Tamuning Precinct at 649-6330.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Leonard Borja arrested for ice possession

    Leonard Borja arrested for ice possession

    He apparently ran a red light and had an expired registration when police pulled him over finding cocaine and meth. Leonard Borja is charged with two counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to deliver and two counts of drugMore >>
    He apparently ran a red light and had an expired registration when police pulled him over finding cocaine and meth. Leonard Borja is charged with two counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to deliver and two counts of drug More >>
  • 12 Russian nationals sought asylum on Guam in last two months

    12 Russian nationals sought asylum on Guam in last two months

    A dozen Russian nationals have come to Guam and declared asylum over the past two months. They were placed on Immigration hold and detained. Five have since been released and another was transferred. Local Tourism officials are keeping a close eye on theMore >>
    A dozen Russian nationals have come to Guam and declared asylum over the past two months. They were placed on Immigration hold and detained. Five have since been released and another was transferred. Local Tourism officials are keeping a close eye on the More >>
  • Charges for 7 prison beating defendants dismissed

    Charges for 7 prison beating defendants dismissed

    Its case dismissed for now. The charges for seven of the defendants accused in the deadly beating of detainee Edrite Manson Isar at the Hagatna Detention Facility last December are dismissed. Judge Anita Sukola granted the motion to dismiss the indictmentMore >>
    Its case dismissed for now. The charges for seven of the defendants accused in the deadly beating of detainee Edrite Manson Isar at the Hagatna Detention Facility last December are dismissed. Judge Anita Sukola granted the motion to dismiss the indictmentMore >>
Powered by Frankly