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.
QuestNet, Alias: Gold Quest, Prosecuted as Fraud in India; Thousands Lose their Savings
Thaindian News, Chennai, May 6th, 2008 (http://www.thaindian.com/)
At least 1,500 people, duped by a multi-level marketing (MLM) firm, queued up at the police commissioners office here Tuesday to lodge complaints, officials said. A separate counter was set up to receive complaints against Quest Net, eyewitnesses told IANS.
Police sources said the number of complaints increased vastly following television channels broadcasting the issue.
So far, gold worth Rs.235 million has been seized and seven employees of the company have been arrested since Saturday when action was initiated against the firm.
Scores of complainants have alleged they were taken in by the pep talk by the companys sales staff.
Not only did I sell my business, but also I pledged jewels of my mother, sister and wife to join the business. Further, I introduced others into this, believing in the scheme and helped them borrow money from banks to the tune of Rs. 100,000. Now we have lost everything, said Manikandan, a carpenter who lodged a complaint.
Believing that I was scheduled to get huge returns after receiving a cheque for Rs.2,300, I introduced 30 others who have cumulatively lost over Rs.200,000, said A. Lakshmi, a resident of the northern suburbs here.
Gold Quest, the parent company of the MLM firm based in Hong Kong, however, has denied any wrongdoing, claiming it was involved in a legitimate commercial enterprise in over 100 countries.
The entity has been banned in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines. Action has been initiated against it in Bangalore as well, police sources added.l
Thaindian News,Chennai, May 13
Two of the arrested employees of the multi-level marketing company Quest Net, which has been accused of fraud, may be detained under the Goonda Act, the Tamil Nadu police said. The police have received 8,277 complaints from all over south India against the company, Police Commissioner Naanjil Kumaran told reporters here Tuesday.
So far, Rs.35 million in cash and 87 kg of gold and silver coins besides valuables worth more than Rs.100 million have been seized from the offices of the company.
Quest Net managing director Pushpam Appala Naidu and her assistant S. Augustine may be jailed for up to a year under the Goonda Act, said the police.
In all, seven employees of the company have been arrested on charges of cheating.
Quest Nets principals in Malaysia have denied any wrongdoing on its or its subsidiarys part.
Granted police custody by a local court until Thursday, Pushpam and Augustine have been taken to Hyderabad and Bangalore to facilitate opening of bank lockers, the police said.
PSA President Public Radio in Charlotte, NC
On December, 4, 2006, Robert FitzPatrick, Co-author of the book, False Profits, and the founder of Pyramid Scheme Alert, was interviewed on public radio, WFAE, Charlotte, NC. The 55-minute interview covers many aspects of multi-level marketing. For consumers interested in an overview of the scams, tricks and myths surrounding multi-level marketing, this interview provides a good primer course. -- MP3 Recording
See the Presentation delivered in Sri Lanka about Gold Quest by PSA President, Robert Fitzpatrick
In 2005, Pyramid Scheme Alert president, Robert FitzPatrick, was invited to Sri Lanka by that country's Central Bank. The country was plundered by the MLM scheme, Gold Quest. The speech delivered by FitzPatrick offers an exposé of the scheme and how most MLMs operate. Sri Lanka subsequently passed its first anti-MLM/pyramid scheme law.