Thousands Lose Out In Medicinal Cannabis Ponzi Scheme
Up to 6,000 Spaniards from across the country are believed to have been scammed by a company claiming to be an international medicinal cannabis investment platform.
It is believed that around 1200 investors have already filed a class-action lawsuit in the Spanish courts accusing the Netherlands based JuicyFields of fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering.
The company which was founded in Germany in 2020 but then moved across the Dutch border, promised high returns to invest online in medicinal cannabis plants.
JuicyFields offered investors the chance to participate in the cultivation, harvesting and sale of cannabis plants, promising returns of between 29% and 66%, with a minimum investment of just €50.
The company sought “potpreneurs to benefit from the booming cannabis industry.”
However, it seems that the company was operating a Ponzi scheme with investors paid out as new investors joined and in July 2022 the company froze payments, activities and took down their website.
It estimates that there are around 6,000 victims in Spain with many more internationally.
Legal action has begun in other countries to recoup investors’ money – though there is unlikely to be much left to recover.
The company is believed to have had accounts in Cyprus and Estonia – both of whose jurisdictions make it difficult to trace
In an early warning, Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) said that JuicyFields did “not have any authorization and are not registered with the CNMV for the purpose of carrying out any type of fundraising activity or providing any service of a financial nature.”
On 3rd June, the German authorities banned the company from “offering capital investments in the form of opportunities.”
The company´s last email to investors and stakeholders was bizarre, stating on July 19th that customers should “ use the following email addresses to submit your story, speak your mind, send collateral for an emergency refund, or embark on a long road of endless conversations with our lawyers.”
One of the email accounts used was firstname.lastname@example.org.
It went on to say: “The guys wearing black hoods and the people running in the streets can also send their proposals indicating the amount of hashish and flowers they can sell each month to email@example.com. After all, it’s nice to be part of a big Italian-Russian-Colombian family.”
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