MAXIMUM KABOOM? Woman Found Guilty On 122,000 Counts In Pyramid Case; Tells Psychologist She Could Have Saved Firm Had Government Not Interfered

Is it the maximum case of Kaboom! — coupled with the maximum case of denial?

The government of South Africa hit Maritjie Prinsloo with a whopping 122,000 counts of fraud, racketeering and money-laundering in a pyramid-scheme case that involved an estimated $205 million. (R1.5 billion.)

Prinsloo was found guilty last month. South African media now are reporting that she is blaming the government and an accounting firm for interfering in her business affairs while at once insisting she could have turned things around.

It was not immediately clear if the filing of 122,000 counts established a record. Prinsloo has been referred to in local reports as the “Pyramid Scheme Queen” and the “Krion swindler.” Members of her family also have been implicated in the scheme.

It is not unusual for Ponzi and pyramid schemers to blame the government for their legal predicaments and to claim the government made matters worse by taking action to stop a scheme before it could consume even greater sums of money. Online Ponzi forums, for example, are filled with claims that operators can turn things around if given more time, and victims routinely are discouraged, ridiculed and threatened with banishment by operators and their shills for contacting authorities and filing complaints.

A psychologist told the the Pretoria High Court that Prinsloo believes she did nothing wrong and could have turned around the business had the government not filed charges, according to this account in the Daily Dispatch.

Prinsloo was charged with more counts than there are seconds in a day (122,000 counts/86,400 seconds in a day). Had she been charged in the United States — and had she not waived the reading of the complaint — the court official tasked with the duty of ticking off the counts would have left voiceless.

Had the judge ordered one count read per second — and had the employee magically been able to comply with the order — the employee would have consumed 24 straight hours in reading the counts and still been left 35,600 counts short of finishing the job. The job then would have carried over to consume almost 10 straight hours of a second day, at one count per second.

During the first 24 hours of the reading of the complaint at the impossible rate of one count per second, the world’s population would have increased by about 220,000, according to estimates.

In the often bizarre and incongruous world of Ponzi and pyramid schemes, the fact that the world’s birth rate exceeds its death rate has been seized upon by some advocates as purported “proof” that it is impossible to operate such schemes and the government therefore cannot “prove” that a Ponzi or pyramid scheme exists.

Such claims were made by at least one member of AdSurfDaily, which the U.S. Secret Service described as a Ponzi scheme. Some members of ASD defended the firm by claiming that no Ponzi existed and that the government was interfering with commerce.

ASD President Andy Bowdoin, meanwhile, told members that the government had seized their money. In court filings, however, he told the presiding federal judge that the money belonged to him.

Prosecutors called Bowdoin “delusional.”

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