uFun scammer Nicolas Giannos facing additional charges
Following an attempt to transfer over $100,000 locals were scammed out of and then flee the country, Samoan authorities arrested Nicolas Giannos at Faleolo airport on May 26th.
Giannos had been sharing his attempts to promote uFun Club in Samoa on Facebook throughout May.
Following a police investigation, Giannos and two other uFun Club investors have now been charged with promoting an illegal pyramid scheme and additional “cyber-crime charges”.
Following the filing of complaints from local investors, Attorney General’s Prosecutor Ms. Rexona Titi claims that ‘more charges have been filed and more are likely to follow.‘
She also confirmed that more local investors are coming forward aside from the ones already noted, to lodge complaints against the trio.
Giannos (right) has since been granted bail, with a hearing held yesterday seeing Chief Justice Patū Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu order the
prosecution to provide all necessary documents to the defence lawyer and for police to finalize their charges.
Those facing charges in addition to Giannos are Rosita Stanfield and an unidentified “74-year-old Pastor.”
All three have applied for “name suppression” in the case, permissible under Samoan law.
The application by defence lawyer Leota Ray Schuster means if granted, the three defendants cannot be named in any publication relating to the case.
The application has been opposed by Titi, who argues that “open justice” outweighs the interest of suppressing the names of the accused.
Chief Justice Patū agreed that open justice is important especially when it is of public interest.
“I do not think the applicant added sufficient in-depth information to assist the Court whether to continue this interim order or not,” said His Honour.
A decision on the matter is to be made next Monday, after which we’ll also hopefully have a better idea of the formal charges Giannos, Stanfield and the pastor face.
Interesting isn’t it how much they love publicity when they are pimping their Ponzi de Jour, but how shy they become when their Ponzi de Jour gets exposed.
So much for Samoa being a backward country.
Being named in a lawsuit doesn’t fit in with his long term marketing plans. He has spent YEARS building up an image of himself on the internet. 🙂
All his “meeting with the Central Bank Governor” and “meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister” photos may be completely ruined by the wrong type of exposure.
Should have a list of these scammers with their photos stamped with status: Jailed, Charged, Warrant Issued, Hiding, Partying in Malaysia, etc. Easier to share on social networks.
speaking on a radio program called 2AP, the day before yesterday, the samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, revealed information about the arrest of giannos and others:
APIA, SAMOA: FRIDAY 12 JUNE 2015:
I’d guess “business proposal” was something along the lines of:
“Hay guys, uFun Club is getting heat in Asia and we want to come hide out in the Pacific. We’re willing to pay top dollar for the same protection we get in Malaysia, whaddya say?
Jail… wait, what?! I thought we were selfie besties nooooooooooooo….”
The last line sticks out a bit, I wonder if Interpol did indeed have anything to do with it.
i wonder how giannos feels about being dato dans BFF at this point.
the warm fuzzy feelings may have faded a bit, i think.
Well Dato Dan thinks Samoa is some backwater hellhole doesn’t he?
Imagine what he thinks of a minion on a secret mission who went there and failed…
I guessed it could have been something like that, but then they released information supporting the pyramid scheme theory.
Samoa reacted quite correctly … and fast.
I have no idea what that “business proposal” was about, other than that uFun was looking for a “safe haven in a friendly jurisdiction” of some type, and that Samoa probably popped up as one of the alternatives.
Giannos’ local contact may have been an important factor, but there must have been some other factors involved.
I believe that will be illegal in some countries, e.g. in Europe. It’s about “collections of data” (databases), “privacy rights” and other areas of law.
Their lawyer is seeking to have their name suppressed from the news.
a hearing was held on monday, june 22nd:
apparently the delay by one week, by the prosecution for framing charges, made one of the ‘name suppressed’ defendants react like this:
are these guys treating samoa courts and police a bit lightly?
one of the defendant’s [rosita stanfield] sister, named perenise puna who resides in samoa, is actively promoting ufun/utoken online, even with the case in progress in the samoan supreme court!
Thanks for the update, tracking it is a bit hard due to neither the defendants or uFun Club being named in the coverage.
I’ll try to be more timely next week.
I think these guys still think they’re just going to get a slap on the wrist. I’m not overly familiar with the Samoan legal system, but you’d want to hope not.