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Attorney General warns against taking part in pyramid schemes, gifting circles

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden is urging Idaho citizens to avoid participation in a variety of ongoing and illegal pyramid schemes known as “gifting circles.”

Wasden said participants are recruited to pay money – up to $5,000 – with the promise of advancing to the top position by recruiting others into the circle. Those advancing to the top position in the circle receive payments much higher than the initial investment, according to reports. The schemes violate state law, and any proceeds above the amount paid in are subject to state tax laws.

“Taking part in an unlawful pyramid scheme violates the Idaho Consumer Protection Act and is a felony under the state’s criminal code,” Wasden said.  “Make no mistake – taking part in these schemes is illegal.  Anyone who has received money from participating must pay it back.  Failure to do so may result in civil or criminal enforcement action.”


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