If I’ve learnt one thing over the past year it’s that if you want to launch a Ponzi scheme targeting South Americans, you definitely need to have the “god factor”.

Forget speaking Spanish or Portuguese, forget having a local presence, forget even having a business model that makes financial sense, as long as you profess that god sent you there’s a seemingly endless queue of South Americans waiting to throw their life savings at you.

These people don’t give a damn where the money you promise them comes from and, particularly once the “god factor” has been established, they’re also inclined to believe anything you say.

Speaking at the Legislative Assembly of Acre, by invitation of State Representative Moses Diniz (a TelexFree affiliate inevstor), Carlos Costa declared that “god used him” to create TelexFree and that “nobody will take it” away from him.

Really, god used Costa to start up a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme that will inevitably collapse and fleece thousands of people of their money? Mmmmhmmm…

Costa’s declaration comes on the back of fellow Ponzi schemer Phil Ming Xu using Christ the Redeemer imagery to pimp WCM777 back in June. The extent religion plays in Xu’s “Christian appeal” marketing efforts can be seen on his Twitter account, which is flooded daily with religiously themed tweets:


Earlier this month Xu also accepted a giant Jesus sword at a religious event, proudly brandishing it He-man style for the cameras:


Whether Xu shares Costa’s “nobody will take my Ponzi scheme away” sentiment is unclear. Still, any SEC agents who are possibly thinking of confronting Xu might want to bring a few riot shields with them. Y’know, just in case.

In addition to declaring God to be behind TelexFree, Costa also presented the Legislative Assembly with some rather bizarre arguments in defense of the scheme.

Costa compared the Telexfree business with companies like Google and Facebook, claiming that such companies “only sell communication and entertainment,” but they are not closed for justice, unlike Telexfree which he sells a service of Voip.

Telexfree sells Voip, which is a conversation system by IP. Facebook and Google are 50 times larger than Telexfree and only sell communication and entertainment, have no product, are billionaires and no one closes the two.


As far as I’m aware of, neither Google or Facebook accept investments from affiliates and guarantee a $20 a week ROI if they spam the internet.

Meanwhile why Costa mentions neither company having “no product” is a mystery. The product issue in regards to TelexFree is a problem specific to MLM companies.

TelexFree do indeed offer a VOIP service, however it clearly serves as nothing more than a front for affiliate investment – which is the primary contributing revenue source for the company’s $20 a week ROIs.

Costa’s argument gets even more strange when you consider a November 15th TelexFree conference call, during which Steve Labriola (representing TelexFree in the US) advised

TelexFree members who wish to maintain their position in the “program” and are nearing their one-year anniversary dates will receive an invoice from the company for 20 percent of their program “income” and must pay it within 10 days.

“On all the existing contracts, there is a 20 percent renewal fee, which will be based on your income generated from the previous year”.

Disguised here as an annual “renewal fee”, mandatory re-investment is a common tactic of Ponzi schemes to trap as much real money in the system as possible.

Facebook and Google also charge their affiliates an annual re-investment renewal fee, so why hasn’t anyone shut the… oh wait, no they don’t.

In other TelexFree news, there was a bit of an uproar in Brazil after broadcaster Globo aired a television show that appeared to associate TelexFree’s logo with banking fraud:


What you’re looking at above is a male character attempting to access somebody else’s bank account. TelexFree’s logo appears on the top left of the screen, underneath the fictitious bank “Inter Accounts”.

This sparked calls for litigation against Globo from TelexFree affiliates, which then appears to have led to the uncovering of TelexFree’s logo being ripped off from the 2010 Badminton World Federation Championships event:


TelexFree’s website domain was created in January of 2012, with the investment scheme launching shortly thereafter.

Both logos look pretty similar to me, although I suppose one can hardly blame Costa and his fellow TelexFree owners for that oversight. God’s probably responsible for that too…