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Pyramid Scheme Alert (PSA) provides current and historical news items that are of interest to our members and visitors. None of the reports or commentaries is intended to imply that any of the referenced companies have been charged or convicted as illegal pyramid schemes.

Pigeon-based Ponzi
Snares Canadian and USA Farmers

January, 2008

Hundreds of family farmers in Canada and the USA, many of them in Amish and Mennonite religious communities, have made large investments in an income scheme based on breeding pigeons. The trouble is that nobody knows where the money would come from for the farmers to sell the pigeons they are breeding.

The Pigeon scheme was exposed largely due to the tireless work of Canadian consumer advocate, Dave Thornton of crimebustersnow.com.

The news media is finally shedding light on what appears to be a financial disaster for the farmers and a scandal for Canadian government regulators who have done nothing to investigate or protect the farmers.

The real investigative journalism that opened the full story to public scrutiny was not done by news or business journals. A full investigative report was done by a Canadian farming magazine called Better Farming.

The pigeon scheme is run by a Canadian-based company called "Pigeon King International". This company is selling breeding pigeons to the farmers at extraordinarily high prices. The same company then contracts with the famers to buy back the offspring also at amazingly high prices. The promised net return for the farmers is very lucrative. Hundreds of farmers have bit the lure, some investing hundreds of thousands of dollars and have staked their entire farms and life savings on the scheme's promises.

Now, one state Attorney General in the United States has launched an investigation. Like the consumer advocates and the news media, the regulators are asking, "Where does the money come from?" Pigeon King International has not been able to explain how it could pay the high prices it has promised the farners for their newly bred pigeons. The lack of an answer leads investigators to one terrible conclusion -- the money is coming from new investors.

This reality would make Pigeon King International mererly a money-transfer scheme, destined to financially ruin the majority of all investors. It would mean the scheme is not about pigeons at all. Pigeons are only a disguise for gaining the money from the famers. The story about a huge new market for pigeons would be a lie.

Finally and perhaps the worst aspect of this alleged scam is that the religious communities of farmers were led to spread the scheme among themselves, brother and sister to brother and sister.

Pigeons, Soap, Vitamins and Weight Loss Pills

Consumers Need to Understand How Fraudulent Ponzi's and Pyramid Schemes are Disguised.
--A Consumer Bulletin

Myth Cover

This page last updated on 4/15/08