Remember the recent massive Ponzi scheme organized by marijuana investment platform JuicyFields?
The pyramid scam that guaranteed 66% returns in three months then suddenly froze all cash withdrawals and deleted its accounts from social media?
Yeah, that one.
The real-life story about the fraud perpetrated on hundreds of thousands of people around the world has a new update. Swedish attorney Lars Olofsson is planning to file a class action lawsuit against several social and news media platforms, which, according to him, helped forward the scheme.
“I'm now taking legal actions against Facebook META, Instagram, Forbes, Google GOOGL, CNN, and YouTube, to begin with,” Olofsson told Green Market Report. “All of them have allowed JuicyFields to expose themselves on their platforms or magazines, and not just normal accounts but paid ads.”
“Later on, I’m targeting the German, Dutch, Swiss and Cyprus governments for a gross lack of their financial authorities, having not seen what was going on,” Olofsson added.
Olofsson says there were some 125,000 investor accounts on the platform at the time it collapsed, exposing the reality of massive fraud. Now, he's representing roughly 800 plaintiffs though he says the $2 billion-$2.5 billion in those 125,000 accounts is probably long gone.
“I know they have run away with the money,” Olofsson said. “There is no use to find the money, that’s for sure.”
Even though there’s another class action suit representing 1,200 JuicyFields ripped-off clients filed in August in Spain, Olofsson doesn’t hold out much hope for it, partly because the people behind the scheme are yet to be identified.
So, what's Olofsson's game plan?
Social Media Platforms & Banks Are Not Innocent
Olofsson is setting a precedent by going after tech giants for due diligence concerning illicit operations run by their clients, advertisers and affiliates. There was one similar case, he explained, in which a plaintiff filed suit against Visa V for providing payment processing services for the distribution of child pornography on Pornhub. Even though the case is still ongoing, both Visa and Mastercard MA stopped card payments for advertising on Pornhub, writes Green Market Report.
That’s why Olofsson decided to go after media and bank giants, which also profited from JucyField's illegal operations, and in a way, made it possible.
“Large corporations have done no due diligence on who they have done business with, banks have massively failed in their compliance, and government authorities have not seen what was going on right before their eyes,” Olofsson said. “On top of that, several high-profile individuals who have been advocating about cannabis legalization and ‘cleaning up’ the cannabis industry have been on the payroll of JuicyFields and been paid far more than usual consulting fees.”
He also noted that even though the investigation is challenging, to say the least, it has already successfully identified 70 individuals, 60 banks and 40 companies associated with JucyFields' operations and advertising.
“I have tons of info about many companies, individuals and government authorities who have failed in their responsibility or facilitated for JuicyFields to be able to do sales and marketing – and the scam going on for more than two years. This includes a large number of banks,” Olofsson said.
More details about the lawsuit can be read at Green Market Report.
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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