Lyoness investors face pyramid scheme charges in Greece
Following similar charges filed against Lyoness in Australia, five Lyoness investors have now been charged with conducting pyramid scheme fraud in Greece.
At this stage only three of the investors have been named, Herbert and Anna Teissel, two Austrians and Fokion Fountoukidis, a Greek national.
Anna Tiessel has been identified as the current CEO of Lyoness Greece, following her husband’s holding of the position. Presumably Fokion Fountoukidis sits somewhere at the top of Lyoness’ Greek investor genealogy.
Public Prosecutors in Greece allege that all five Lyoness investors engaged in the offense of “fraud felony” in violation of consumer protection laws.
The charges stem from an investigation launched back in 2010, which uncovered five companies set up to defraud the general public, one of which was a direct local branch of Lyoness itself.
According to Public Prosecutors:
The aim of the companies was the active participate in getting potential victims to pay large amounts of money, into a deliberately complicated and obscure program that is open to various interpretations and has the potential to be amended according to the needs of the company.
Longtime followers of Lyoness here on BehindMLM will be familiar with the above, as what little shopping takes place is often used to justify the “large amounts of money” dumped into direct AU investment.
Conducting seminars and elaborate meetings at various venues, new partners were attracted – customers, who were promised a luxurious life and increased economic benefits, through a company with a global presence and activity.
Using pyramidal growth to form the company, they convinced professionals that their inclusion in this promotional program, which constituted affiliation with up to five of the aforementioned companies.
This would in turn widen their customer base and provide discounted services and products marketed between transacting businesses.
Moreover, with the assurance of the company to members that they could spontaneously depart anytime they wished, taking the original amount paid into Lyoness, they removed any potential prejudice from their victims, causing their immediate inclusion in the program.
Prosecutors allege the fraud took place between November 2010 to September 2013, with the five Lyoness affiliate defendants fleecing around twenty Greek Lyoness investors for around 81,000 EUR ($89,000 USD).
Investigations are ongoing to identify additional victims.
At present Prosecutors are seeking comment and information from victims of Lyoness in Greece, with the case against the five Lyoness affiliates set to resume on August 17th.
A decision on the Lyoness pyramid scheme case in Australia is also expected later this month.