SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Cannabis investment platform hit with Ponzi scheme lawsuit in Spain

Nearly 1,200 investors have filed a class-action lawsuit in Spain against a medicinal cannabis investment platform operating worldwide, accusing it of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering, their lawyers have announced.

SPAIN-CANNABIS-LAWSUIT
The lawsuit accuses JuicyFields of operating like a Ponzi scheme, in which early investors are paid out by receipts from later investors.(Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)

JuicyFields, which is based in the Netherlands, promised high returns to invest online in medicinal cannabis plants, said Norberto Martinez from the Martinez-Blanco law firm that filed the case.

A spokesman with Spain’s National Court, the country’s top criminal court, confirmed the lawsuit was filed over the weekend.

This is believed to be the first class-action lawsuit against JuicyFields, which according to media investigations allegedly scammed investors around the world.

Established in 2020, JuicyFields offered investors the chance to participate in the cultivation, harvesting and sale of cannabis plants, promising returns of between 29 percent and 66 percent, according to the law firm.

But JuicyFields suddenly stopped operations in mid-July, froze cash withdrawals and vanished from the internet, according to several investors.

The lawsuit accuses JuicyFields of operating like a Ponzi scheme, in which early investors are paid out by receipts from later investors.

It estimates that there are nearly 4,500 victims in Spain alone, who each lost an average of €6,500 ($6,645). Some individuals lost as much as €200,000.

The minimum investment was €50, and the money could be deposited and withdrawn via bank transfer or cryptocurrencies.

The overall scale of JuicyFields’ alleged fraud is unclear. A woman has already filed a police complaint against the firm in France’s northern city of Tourcoing.

The 58-year-old woman, who did not want to be identified, said she started by investing €50 in December 2021 and in just three and a half months she earned a profit of €25.

“This gave me confidence so I immediately reinjected the money and I invested larger sums,” she told AFP, adding she had lost €3,600.

She is part of a group on mobile messaging service Telegram in France for people who want to take legal action against JuicyFields which has over 1,600 members.

A class-action lawsuit against JuicyFields is expected to be filed in a French court before the end of the year, according to Arnaud Delomel, a lawyer who represents hundreds of investors.

AFP was unable to contact JuicyFields for comment and the company has issued no official statement.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

Spanish court approves extradition of UK murder suspect

A court in Spain has approved the extradition of one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, sought for his suspected role in the murder of a teenager in 2015.

Spanish court approves extradition of UK murder suspect

The decision will now go before the country’s cabinet for approval.

Spanish police arrested David Ungi in May in the town of Coin near the southern resort of Marbella on May 5th as he signed up at a gym at a shopping centre.

British police believe Ungi, 30, was involved in the fatal shooting in 2015 in Liverpool of 18-year-old Vinny Waddington.

Ungi, who left Britain less than 24 hours after Waddington was killed, is also wanted by the British authorities for alleged heroin trafficking.

Spanish police carried out the operation to arrest Ungi in cooperation with Britain’s National Crime Agency, which had put Ungi on its most-wanted list.

The Spanish coast has long been a popular bolthole for British criminals fleeing the law, because they can blend easily into the thriving expatriate communities.

There are about 290,000 British nationals officially registered as living in Spain, making them the fourth-largest foreign population in the country, according to national statistics institute INE.

SHOW COMMENTS