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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.

See a Canadian Television News Report on the Pigeon King Scheme.

Read an in-depth Analysis by Canadian Attorney, Michael Webster, on the Pigeon King Scheme.

April '08 Update on Pigeon-based Ponzi:
Canadian Legislators and Regulators Slow to Investigate; Two US Attorneys General Take Action

April, 2008

Consumer demands for an investigation of an apparent ponzi scheme aimed at family farms are growing in urgency. Family farm magazines have researched the scheme, called Pigeon King International (PKI), and have published detailed articles that sound the fraud alarm. An insider whistle blower – ex employee – has provided damning evidence that the pigeon-breeding investment program is an enormous Ponzi scheme. The scheme sells breeding contracts but has no known market for the pigeons that are produced. It is paying earlier breeder/investors with funds gained from later ones.

One state Attorney General in the USA – Iowa – has warned consumers of the Ponzi and prevented the scheme from operating in that state. Another state – Washington – has banned the scheme unless it provides evidence that it is viable business.

From the Initial Washington State Order which was followed by "Cease and Desist"

Yet, Canadian authorities – where the scheme is headquartered – do nothing! They have not even responded to Iowa's Attorey General that kicked the scheme out of that state.

The do-nothing reactions of Canada's regulators and legislators leave the farmers vulnerable, and result in more farmers being potentially financially ruined. Sadly, this reaction of public officials in Canada is often typical in multi-level marketing, pyramid and ponzi scheme cases not only in Canada but other countries as well.


When the government finally acknowledges reality and decides to do its job to protect the public from fraud, it will likely cause the immediate collapse of the scheme under investigation. The blame for the collapse is often directed at the government for "causing" the collapse. This public outcry from the schemes' organizers and many of this existing participants is false and unfounded. The scheme would collapse and cause continued financial losses to many more people if it were allowed to continue. However, few officials want to take the heat. It is easier to just pass the buck and treat ponzis as complex and difficult to understand.

To cover their ineptitude and failure to do their jobs, many regulators and legislators even blame the victims for their "greed." Attention is therefore shifted away from their own malfeasance.

But Canadian authorities have seemingly gone even further. At least one has claimed that Canada has no law against Ponzi scheme frauds! An official in Waterloo, Ontario, where the scam is headquartered – and all the money flows to – have written that " the business practices of Pigeon King International do not appear to meet the definition of a "scheme of pyramid selling" which must first and foremost meet the definition of a "multi-level marketing plan" as stated in section 55. (1) of the Act. I have taken the liberty to forward your concerns to the Ontario Provincial Police Anti Rackets Section."

In other words, they seem to say that Ponzi frauds are not illegal in Canada!! They are not even investigated if don't meet the exact definition of a "multi-level marketing" company! (In the USA, our government used a reverse tactic to avoid doing its job. The FTC recently claimed that "business opportunity" scams are distinct from "multi-level marketing." Therefore it plans to exempt multi-level marketing from its proposed regulation rules. Yet multi-level marketing is by far the largest and most pervasive promoter of bogus "business opportunity" schemes!

Hundreds of family farmers in Canada and the USA, many of them in Amish and Mennonite religious communities, have been led into making large investments in the Pigeon King International income scheme based on breeding pigeons. PKI's financial commitments to these farmers are now over a billion dollars. Unfortunately the world does not need pigeons in this volume and at the absurdly high prices that PKI is charging and paying.

With no government actions, the Pigeon scheme has been exposed largely due to the tireless work of private citizens. Canadian consumer advocate, Dave Thornton of crimebustersnow.com has worked to alert government agencies, farmers and banks about the scheme.

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.

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This page last updated on 6/17/08