More than 100 people were dragged into an alleged pyramid selling scheme that yielded more than $22 million in profits, made up from the membership fees of recruits, a court heard yesterday. The company, Cheung Wo International Group (HK) Ltd, purported to operate as a property agency and trading company dealing in tourism, health and beauty treatments, language courses, cars and jewellery, the District Court heard. In reality, it was a pyramid selling scheme in which no genuine business took place, according to prosecutor Christopher Coghlan. Yau Mee-kwan, 38, Sandra Tsoi Lai-ha, 30, Raymond Chan Wai-ming, 34, Leung Hoi-man, 41, Po Wai-ping, 50, and Kwong Chi-yan, 31, deny conspiracy to defraud and its alternative charge, conspiracy to promote a pyramid selling scheme. It is the first time people allegedly involved in pyramid selling have been charged with conspiracy to defraud, according to the Commercial Crime Bureau. Tsoi, Chan and Kwong denied a separate charge of dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence. The prosecution alleged that the company earned money by recruiting members who had to pay a subscription fee of $3,500. This supposedly entitled them to buy a range of products for their personal use, or to sell at a profit. Members would earn a rebate on their membership fee for every new member they introduced to the scheme, but the company kept the majority of the fees. Police have interviewed 109 people recruited by the company and about 20 will give evidence. They came from all walks of life, ranging from housewives to university students. The trial continues today before Deputy Judge Michael Jenkins.