Pyramid Scheme

Ackman says he has evidence Herbalife is breaking law in China

Herbalife denies it has infringed Chinese laws. Photo: Edward Wong

US investor William Ackman has renewed his attack on Herbalife, saying he has evidence showing the nutrition and weight loss company is breaking direct-selling laws in China, its fastest-growing market.

Thursday, 13 March, 2014, 12:52am

Novelist digs deep to expose pyramid scam

Popular writer Murong Xuecun, 36, who made a name for himself with three gritty bestsellers on contemporary urban life in China - Leave Me Alone: A Novel of Chengdu, Dancing Through Red Dust and Paradise to the Left and Shenzhen to the Right, recently published a non-fiction book on his undercover investigation of a pyramid-sales organisation.

2 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Organiser takes leaf from Bernie Madoff's book to raise money for charity

Suck it up, Bernie Madoff: the good people of Hong Kong are turning your fraudulent scheme on its heels for a good cause. Led by fund-raiser Catherine LaJeunesse (pictured with husband Andre), five charitable Hongkongers kick off the city's first legal ponzi scheme this afternoon with a pledge of HK$100 each and a tour of free multimedia art event Hope & Glory in Taikoo Place.

14 May 2010 - 12:00am

Pyramid scam victims lose up to HK$400,000

A group of South Asians say they have run up huge debts after being conned into sales jobs that a legislator suspects may be part of a pyramid scheme.

17 Nov 2009 - 12:00am

23 reports on pyramid schemes this month

The Federation of Trade Unions has received 23 reports on fraud this month, involving more than HK$1.5 million, by companies allegedly operating pyramid schemes, FTU lawmaker Wong Kwok-hing says. Complainants said they were asked to borrow money from credit companies to pay a deposit for products such as perfume and wine, but they never saw the goods.

29 Jun 2009 - 12:00am

Laws against pyramid schemes are inadequate, say angry victims

Democrats chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan has called for laws against pyramid schemes to be upgraded, saying the party had received hundreds of complaints in the past year.

Police said yesterday that no one had been charged over pyramid schemes since 2007.

13 Jun 2009 - 12:00am

Pyramid schemes

A Ponzi scheme is often mistaken for another type of white-collar crime - the pyramid scheme. However, there is a basic difference. In a pyramid scheme, an investor pays the organiser a sum of money, and is then promised a commission if they recruit more investors. Thus every member benefits from the ever-growing pyramid except for those at the bottom who cannot find anybody to recruit.

5 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Three guilty of HK$138m pyramid fraud scheme

The architects of two pyramid schemes that scammed about HK$138 million from more than 8,000 people were found guilty yesterday of conspiracy to defraud.

20 Dec 2007 - 12:00am

Pyramid scam made HK$138m, court told

Two pyramid schemes managed to reap more than HK$138 million for their organisers in just 12 months before police put a stop to them, the Court of First Instance has heard.

Four people have pleaded not guilty in relation to the schemes, which made money from more than 8,000 people.

6 Nov 2007 - 12:00am

Massive numbers involved in schemes show how vulnerable mainlanders are

In the latest pyramid scheme case to come to public notice, more than 170,000 people invested at least 1.36 billion yuan in a 'Swiss cash' fund.

The online scheme ended up luring the most victims and cheating them out of the largest amount of cash of any scheme so far, according to state media reports.

15 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

Pyramid-sellers held after mobbing police

Scores of members of a pyramid-sales scheme have been held in Baoding , Hebei province , after more than 200 people stormed a police station and injured nine officers on Sunday.

The attack followed a police raid earlier in the day in which officers broke up a gathering of 200 non-locals engaged in pyramid-selling, the China News Service reported.

5 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

Duo who promised big returns jailed

A pair of fraudsters who swindled 450 people out of HK$4 million in a pyramid scheme that promised massive returns of up to 5,500 per cent were jailed yesterday.

The District Court sentenced Tsui Chi-kin, 37, the scheme's mastermind, and his employee Lan Hung, 46, to four years and 21/2 years respectively.

24 Mar 2007 - 12:00am

Pair guilty of HK$4 million scam

A pair of swindlers were convicted of defrauding 450 people out of HK$4 million using a pyramid scheme that promised returns of up to 5,500 per cent.

Tsui Chi-kin, 37, the scheme's mastermind, and Lan Hung, 46, were found guilty in the District Court of conspiracy to defraud customers between August 2004 and April 2005.

13 Mar 2007 - 12:00am

Pyramid sales bosses cheated 400, court told

Alleged fraudsters swindled more than 400 people - mostly housewives - out of HK$3.3 million in a pyramid selling scheme that promised returns of up to 5,500 per cent, a court heard yesterday.

The ruses included a claim that they worked for an international company running an organic pig farm in Shenzhen.

21 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

Police arrest eight in connection with ?cash planting? scam

Updated at 2.25pm: Police have arrested three men and five women on charges of conspiracy to defraud in a ?cash-planting? scam involving about $2.16 million, a police spokesman said on Friday.

26 May 2006 - 12:00am

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