A woman who borrowed money to join the TelexFree MLM “program” leaped from the fifth floor of a parking garage at the Manaíra Mall, a Brazilian news portal is reporting.
PBAgora.com.br, based in the Brazilian state of Paraíba, reported yesterday that the woman was injured critically, but survived the plunge. She is being treated at a hospital. (See Google translation from Portuguese to English.)
Paraíba is as far east as one can go in Brazil. A pyramid-scheme investigation into TelexFree is centered virtually the entire way across the country in the state of Acre. Acre is as far west as one can go in Brazil. The states’ respective capitals — João Pessoa in Paraíba and Rio Branco in Acre — are roughly what New York and Los Angeles are to each other in terms of distance. The Manaíra Mall is located in João Pessoa.
How deeply TelexFree had penetrated Paraíba is unclear. There are reports that 10 percent of the population of Acre may be involved in TelexFree. In terms of population, Paraíba’s 3.8 million is roughly five times that of Acre.
It is not unusual for HYIP participants to borrow large sums of money, take out second mortgages or other lines of credit or even raid retirement accounts to join a scheme. Some U.S.-based promoters claim a payment of $15,125 to TelexFree returns at least $42,075 in a year and suggest that the “Aunt Ethels” of the world will be thrilled to join TelexFree because friends and neighbors are prospering.
When schemes go bust or are taken down by a government, promoters typically claim that they never encouraged participants to become highly leveraged to join a scheme. (See June 2, 2012, PP Blog story that references “Ping,” a woman who complained her health was suffering and her frustration level was building because the JSSTripler/JustBeenPaid HYIP scheme had put her through customer-service hell and that her sister was a risk of losing her house after joining the “program.”)
How and when the woman in Paraíba apparently joined TelexFree are unclear. Brazil registrations were blocked by an Acre court in June. So were payouts to members in Brazil. The judge and a prosecutor in Acre reportedly have been threatened with death. There are concerns that some Brazilian members of TelexFree have crossed national borders to keep their “program” participation intact and have been encouraged to pretend they’re from another country when enrolling.
Despite the Acre TelexFree probe and incongruities associated with the scheme, the death threats, bids by TelexFree to drive even more money to the scheme by sending members invoices for 20 percent of their year-to-year earnings and now a reported suicide bid, U.S.-based promoters and promoters from other countries continue to solicit for the scheme.