« Previous | Main | Next »

Pyramid schemes: update

Post categories:

X-Ray production team X-Ray production team | 19:32 UK time, Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Since November 2008 X-Ray has warned viewers about an illegal pyramid scheme operating in South Wales.

The Give & Take scheme started in Bristol in 2008 but by Christmas we'd gathered evidence that dozens of people in the Chepstow and Caldicot area were buying into the classic pyramid scheme.

Investors were asked to pay £3,000 to guarantee themselves a place on the chart. They then had to recruit another two people who could invest the same amount in order to secure themselves a payout of over £20,000.

But for some, like David Parfitt, the payout never happened. He got in touch to tell us his family had lost thousands.

He said, "In my family there was £20,000 invested. That's with my daughter, she had a couple in there, then my son in law had another one in there, my granddaughter, my grandson, son-in-law and myself - and it works out about £21,000.

"It doesn't seem to be anyone's going to get that back now."

Other viewers have contacted us since then to say they've also lost money. And over the past few weeks there have been some interesting developments.

In recent weeks the authorities have taken action against the illegal scheme. Eight women from the Bristol area have now been arrested and the Office of Fair Trading say they are continuing their criminal investigation.

They estimate that up to eighteen million pounds may have passed through the scheme since May 2008.

X-Ray is monitoring the developments and we'll bring you more on that story as soon as we can.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.