Iowans are being warned to stay away from an illegal pyramid scheme that’s appeared in two regions of the state. Bob Brammer, spokesman for the Iowa Attorney General, says those involved in the operation try to convince newcomers to give “gifts” to others of up to two thousand dollars.Brammer says there are a couple versions of the scheme, which have appeared in northeast and northwest Iowa. The gifting pyramids are called “The Winners’ Team” and “Life Changes” and are similar to other recent schemes called “Friends Helping Friends” and “The Gifting Board.”Although those who run the scheme claim it’s all on the up-and-up as the amounts of cash exchanged are all “gifts,” Brammer says the operations likely involve breaking theft, lottery and securities laws. If other people are recruited, it may also be a consumer fraud violation. Brammer says people who take part are taking a legal and financial risk.He says potential civil penalties for participants could be up to 40-thousand dollars.
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