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Author Topic: Gang of British women jailed for running a pyramid scheme  (Read 1280 times)

ama

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Gang of British women jailed for running a pyramid scheme
« on: September 28, 2014, 11:52:54 AM »

[*quote*]
Women guilty over £21m pyramid scheme in Devon and Somerset

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 18, 2014

By Claire Hayhurst

[...]Rita Lomas (left) and Jane Smith, who were found guilty of promoting a £21 million get-rich-quick pyramid scheme, called Give and Take as reporting restrictions on the case have been lifted.

Sally Phillips, who was found guilty of promoting a £21 million get-rich-quick pyramid scheme, called Give and Take

Susan Crane (left) and Mary Nash leaving Bristol Crown Court after pleading guilty to charges of operating and promoting a £21 million pyramid scheme

Hazel Cameron leaving Bristol Crown Court after pleading guilty to charges of operating and promoting a £21 million pyramid scheme.

Mary Nash leaving Bristol Crown Court after pleading guilty to charges of operating and promoting a £21 million pyramid scheme.

Rita Lomas (left) and Jane Smith, who were found guilty of promoting a £21 million get-rich-quick pyramid scheme, called Give and Take as reporting restrictions on the case have been lifted.

A group of “greedy” women masterminded a £21 million get-rich-quick pyramid scheme which spread across the South West, it can be reported for the first time today.

The group encouraged around 10,000 vulnerable women to “beg, borrow or steal” £3,000 to put into the scheme between May 2008 and April 2009.

Victims were lured by the promise they would receive a £24,000 payout when they reached the top of their pyramid, with organisers promising they “could not lose”.
[...]
Committee members behind the scheme pocketed up to £92,000 each, while as many as 88% of the women they recruited lost out – some up to £15,000.

The scheme, also known as Key to a Fortune, was hidden under a veil of secrecy as members were banned from writing about it, Bristol Crown Court heard.

But the pyramid was uncovered by authorities when a disgruntled employer in Bristol contacted Trading Standards to complain that it was being promoted in his workplace.

Eleven women, aged between 34 and 69, became the first to be prosecuted for such a scheme, under new legislation in the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Act 2008.
[...]

Judge Mark Horton will sentence the three women, charts co-ordinator Mary Nash, 65, committee secretary Susan Crane, 68, and games coordinator Hazel Cameron, 54, in October.

Nash, Crane and Cameron all admitted operating and promoting the pyramid scheme.

Sally Phillips, 34, of Hengrove, Jane Smith, 50, of Bishopsworth, both Bristol and Rita Lomas, 49, of Whitchurch, Somerset admitted promoting the scheme in 2012.

Phillips received a three-month suspended prison sentence, Smith a four-month suspended sentence and Lomas a four-and-a-half month suspended sentence.

Chairman Laura Fox, 69, Jennifer Smith-Hayes, 69, and Carol Chalmers, 68, were convicted of operating and promoting the scheme during a trial in 2012.

Fox, of East Harptree, Smith-Hayes of Bishopsworth and Chalmers, of Weston-super-Mare, were sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment.

No verdict was reached following two trials of Tracey Laurence, 60, of Bradley Stoke, South Gloucestershire, while Rhalina Yuill, 34, of St George, Bristol was acquitted of promoting a pyramid scheme on her second trial.
[...]


“A number of {victims, ed. ama} suffered enormous and in some cases lifelong financial hardship due to their involvement in this scheme,” he said.
[*/quote*]

more:
http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Women-guilty-21m-pyramid-scheme-Devon-Somerset/story-22945860-detail/story.html
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