Ponzi schemes are investment frauds that pay existing investors from money paid in by subsequent investors rather than from any actual profit earned from the operation of a business
Ponzi schemes follow the same basic steps:
1. Convince a few investors to place money into the investment
2. After the specified time, return the investment money to the investors plus the specified interest rate or return.
3. Use success of earlier investors to convince more investors to place their money into the system. Usually, majority of the initial investors will return.
4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 a number of times. During step 2 at one of the cycles, break the pattern. Instead of returning the investment money and paying the promised return, escape with the money and start a new life.
These pyramids have been in Nigeria for quite some time with over N300 Billion naira lost to the fraudsters. Many Nigerians still fall victim to these schemes because of the need to make money very fast. Others are convinced because some media houses and influential people have endorsed some of these schemes.
1. MMM (2016) – N12 billion
Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox MMM is a Ponzi scheme started by Sergei Mavrodi. The pyramid scheme which started in Russia was launched in Nigeria in 2011. Participants are to register, and invest a particular amount in the form of “providing help” and “get help” with their investment and interest back after 30 days. The scheme crashed in December 2016; with millions of naira belonging to Nigerians trapped in the scheme
2. MBA Trading and Capital Investment Limited – (2020) N171 Billion Naira
This is another investment fraud that promised a 15% return on investment every 30 days. It became another sad news for investors in December 2021 as the FOREX company crashed, leaving all those who have invested millions into the trade to run into losses.
3. Wales Kingdom Capital Limited (2020) – N40 Billion Naira
Wales Kingdom Capital Limited is allegedly owned by Adewale Daniel, who is currently on the run. He allegedly collected about N1 billion from several unsuspecting investors after promising to invest their funds in forex, real estate, and automobiles among others. The offer of 55% ROI after one month of investing across these sectors was enough to lure his victims into suspending common sense in pursuit of some quick bucks.
4. Ultimate Cycler – (2016) N2 billion naira
This is a peer-to-peer donation business model created by Peter Wolfing, a United States-based network marketer. The hook for Ultimate Cycler is members get a return of N50,000 after paying N12,500 to a fellow member he/she is registered under. It wasn’t long before the site crashed and didn’t come back up like other Ponzi schemes. Investors were promised that they would at least get their capital back, but the handwriting was already on the wall.
5. Pennywise (2020) – N1.93 billion
Pennywise wealth Management, a pyramid scheme that promised a 2% daily return on investment in dollars crashed in late august 2020 leaving with investors’ funds. They had claimed they were undergoing a maintenance upgrade and will be back but they never did.
6. Benignant Forte Nig Ltd – (2020) – N10 Billion naira
Benignant forte Nigeria limited was another Ponzi scheme to bite the dust in 2020. The company headed by Philip Akor posed as a corporation “that engages in investments, real estates, haulage and warehousing services and logistics”. Nigerians lost 10 billion naira to the platform when it crashed in 2020.
7. Quintessential Investment Company (2020) – N10.8 Billion Naira
Quintessential Investment Company limited was run by 22 years old Joshua Adeyinka Kayode, who allegedly defrauded 170 people of the tune of N10.8 billion. The platform promised a ROI of 25%/month on all investments and many people actually thought it was genuine until its inevitable crash.
8. Voltac Global Capital (2020) – N1.8 Billion Naira
Following its establishment in May 2020, Voltac Global Capital (VGC) a finance and asset Management Company owned by businessman Dapo Abiola, kicked off its operations with packages and offers that were eagerly embraced by investors.
The company promised a monthly ROI of 20% on all investments and was doing so for about nine months before things went sour, leaving thousands of investors stranded.
9. The Map.ng Investment – (2018) – N7.5 Billion naira
The EFCC arrested Mr. Ayanso Mma, CEO of Themap.ng, an investment platform after he defrauded over 3000 Nigerians and obtained them about N7.5 billion naira under the pretense of business and promise of a mouthwatering return on investment.
10. Imagine Solutions Limited – (2020) – N22 Billion Naira
Investors looking for high-yielding returns lost billions of naira in funds invested through a local “holding company” Imagine Global Holdings Company Limited. The company was founded by an ex-banker Mr. Bamise Samson Ajetunmobi, and his wife Elizabeth Ajetunmobi.
Investors in the fund were told that the money was invested in a boutique of investments ranging from real estate, bonds, forex, equities, etc. However, it appeared the company had been perpetuating a large-scale Ponzi scheme after the platform crashed with the couple on the run.
Invested in any of these platforms? Share your experience with us in the comments 🙂