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Pyramid Scheme

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NEWS
By Joe Nawrozki and Robert Erlandson and Joe Nawrozki and Robert Erlandson,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers Dan Thanh Dang and Sherrie Ruhl contributed to this article | November 7, 1995
Three Baltimore County firefighters were charged yesterday and as many as 80 members of the county Police Department face possible administrative action in connection with an illegal "pyramid" scheme last year.A Baltimore County grand jury indicted fire Lt. Michael Steven Nace on charges of conspiracy and evading state income taxes. The state attorney general's office filed charges against two fellow firefighters from the Fullerton Station.As many as 80 members of the Police Department -- 40 to 50 sworn officers and 25 to 30 civilians -- were investigated for their alleged participation and could face administrative action after an internal investigation.
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NEWS
December 31, 2012
Everyone needs to put something on the table for any resolution of the debt crisis to move forward ("McConnell key to 'cliff' deal," Dec. 27). I am newly retired and living on a fixed income, but I will rejoin the work world if I think I need the added security. I understand how Medicare and Social Security work, but I also recognize that my generation and the one just before mine are getting a subsidy that is too big for the country to sustain. I would put Medicare and Social Security on the table.
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BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay and Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2010
The Maryland Attorney General's office moved Thursday to stop a pyramid scheme by a Gambrills company and its owner who allegedly bilked about 500 people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by promising commissions as well as free rent and a car for a year in exchange for recruiting more investors. The scheme started to fall apart when rent checks bounced and the duped investors were evicted. More than 115 people paid several thousand dollars into the sham company for an apartment, and most have been tossed out, according to authorities.
BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay and Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | May 7, 2010
The Maryland attorney general's office moved Thursday to halt an alleged pyramid scheme by a Gambrills company and its owner, who are accused of bilking about 500 people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by promising commissions, free rent and cars in exchange for recruiting more investors. The plan started to fall apart when rent checks bounced and the investors were evicted. More than 115 people paid several thousand dollars into the company for an apartment, and most have been tossed out, according to authorities.
NEWS
By Dan Thanh Dang and Joe Nawrozki and Dan Thanh Dang and Joe Nawrozki,Sun Staff Writers | November 16, 1994
The Baltimore County Police Department is investigating widespread reports that sworn officers and others are participating in an illegal pyramid scheme that recruits players locally and pays them off in Washington, D.C., where the games are legal.A county police spokesman confirmed yesterday that the department's Internal Affairs Unit is probing accounts that off-duty officers -- from the lowest ranks up to lieutenant, according to a departmental source -- are playing the pyramid scheme.
BUSINESS
By Kristine Henry and Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF | August 10, 1999
Hoping to stop an alleged pyramid scheme that officials say has bilked about 400 Marylanders out of $2 million, the state's attorney general's office said yesterday that it has joined the federal government and five other states in a lawsuit seeking to halt the company's practices and get back some of the lost money.Equinox International Corp., based in Las Vegas, sells environmentally friendly products such as water filters and skin-care products. The company, which operates in Maryland under the names Infinity Group, World Solutions and Paramount, denied any wrongdoing.
NEWS
By Dan Thanh Dang and Dan Thanh Dang,Sun Staff Writer | June 1, 1995
A Pennsylvania computer company accused of running an illegal pyramid scheme has agreed to pay a $15,000 fine and provide refunds to at least 1,100 people, the Maryland attorney general's office announced yesterday.Destiny Foundation and its president, Nadim Baker of Mountville, Pa., while admitting to no wrongdoing, also have agreed to stop doing business in Maryland.Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. had ordered the company four months ago to halt its twice-weekly meetings that drew thousands of people to the Best Western Inn on O'Donnell Street in Southeast Baltimore.
NEWS
By David Michael Ettlin | May 17, 1991
A Lanham-based company that spread its investment gospel by word of mouth and recruited investors at meetings likened to religious revivals has been accused of fraud by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.In a complaint unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Washington, the SEC alleged that the International Loan Network Inc. (ILN) was nothing more than a pyramid scheme in which the primary source of income was continued recruitment of new members.At the SEC's request, the court granted a restraining order prohibiting ILN from accepting additional investor funds and freezing the assets of the company and its principal officers, Melvin J. Ford, the president, and Odell Mundey, vice president.
BUSINESS
By Del Quentin Wilber and Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF | January 26, 2001
The Maryland attorney general issued a cease and desist order Wednesday to shut down an Internet site that advertises itself as a "shopping mall" but which officials say is an illegal pyramid scheme. The order, filed with the Maryland securities commissioner, seeks to shut down Powercard International Inc. of Daphne, Ala., which does business under the name ECB4U. Powercard International can contest the order before an administrative law judge within 15 days, officials said. Gerald P. Nehra, a Michigan lawyer representing the company, said Powercard's business "is legal under Maryland and U.S. laws."
BUSINESS
January 13, 2010
As part of a continuing feud with a felon-turned-fraud-buster, Medifast Inc. reiterated Tuesday that a committee of its independent board members concluded that allegations of fraud at a subsidiary were unfounded. The Fraud Discovery Institute, co-founded by Barry Minkow, who once served time in prison for stock fraud, has accused a Medifast subsidiary, Take Shape for Life Inc., of a pyramid scheme. Medifast CEO Michael S. McDevitt said the Owings Mills company has filed several complaints against FDI with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Maryland regulators.
BUSINESS
January 13, 2010
As part of a continuing feud with a felon-turned-fraud-buster, Medifast Inc. reiterated Tuesday that a committee of its independent board members concluded that allegations of fraud at a subsidiary were unfounded. The Fraud Discovery Institute, co-founded by Barry Minkow, who once served time in prison for stock fraud, has accused a Medifast subsidiary, Take Shape for Life Inc., of a pyramid scheme. Medifast CEO Michael S. McDevitt said the Owings Mills company has filed several complaints against FDI with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Maryland regulators.
NEWS
July 14, 2004
AT MOSCOW'S Bolshoi Theater this season, management pulled an old ballet out of the musty archives and gave it a brilliant and giddy revival. Called The Pharaoh's Daughter, it's a confection about an English explorer in Egypt and a sandstorm and a desert tent and an opium pipe and dreams of antiquity and river gods. The Soviets had yanked it from the repertoire in 1928 because they thought it lacked any redeeming artistic value. Now it's a big hit, a perfect bauble in these dreamy and artless times.
BUSINESS
By Del Quentin Wilber and Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF | January 26, 2001
The Maryland attorney general issued a cease and desist order Wednesday to shut down an Internet site that advertises itself as a "shopping mall" but which officials say is an illegal pyramid scheme. The order, filed with the Maryland securities commissioner, seeks to shut down Powercard International Inc. of Daphne, Ala., which does business under the name ECB4U. Powercard International can contest the order before an administrative law judge within 15 days, officials said. Gerald P. Nehra, a Michigan lawyer representing the company, said Powercard's business "is legal under Maryland and U.S. laws."
BUSINESS
By Kristine Henry and Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF | August 10, 1999
Hoping to stop an alleged pyramid scheme that officials say has bilked about 400 Marylanders out of $2 million, the state's attorney general's office said yesterday that it has joined the federal government and five other states in a lawsuit seeking to halt the company's practices and get back some of the lost money.Equinox International Corp., based in Las Vegas, sells environmentally friendly products such as water filters and skin-care products. The company, which operates in Maryland under the names Infinity Group, World Solutions and Paramount, denied any wrongdoing.
NEWS
January 29, 1997
ONLY IN Albania, perhaps, could failures of pyramid schemes threaten to bring down the regime. Albanians knew they were changing from communism to capitalism. No one told them that a pyramid scheme -- in which everyone puts in money and collapses when no one is left to put in more -- is a confidence game but not capitalism.For two weeks, crowds have been protesting in Tirana, torching the city hall of Peshkopija, beating state television cameramen, attacking the foreign minister, fighting police and fleeing across the Adriatic in little boats.
NEWS
By Elaine Tassy and Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF | February 9, 1996
A Baltimore County firefighter pleaded guilty yesterday to charges related to a pyramid game that netted him more than $8,000 -- the second conviction in a state probe of the once-popular get-rich-quick scheme.Michael T. Mather, 36, an emergency medical technician in the Fullerton Fire Station since November 1992, pleaded guilty in Baltimore County Circuit Court to one count of establishment and promotion of a pyramid scheme.Mr. Mather is one of three county firefighters charged Nov. 6 with organizing and promoting the scheme that sparked a yearlong investigation by the Maryland attorney general's office.
FEATURES
By San Francisco Chronicle | December 23, 1992
To heck with good-luck chain letters. Who believes in them, anyway? Judy Mendoza breaks them about as often as the moon is full, with no apparent side effects."
NEWS
By Robert A. Erlandson and Joe Nawrozki and Robert A. Erlandson and Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF | December 19, 1995
After a four-month investigation, Baltimore police charged a surgeon and a nurse at Bon Secours Hospital with operating a pyramid game in which 20 people, most of them medical staff members, lost $1,500 each.But when the case went to trial recently in Baltimore District Court -- with witnesses ready to testify -- a prosecutor dropped the misdemeanor charges and sent the witnesses home without explanation."I feel cheated," said Rekha John, a Bon Secours Hospital nurse who said she lost money in the game and was prepared to testify.
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