Calling Sann Rodrigues its “TOP PROMOTER IN THE WORLD,” the alleged TelexFree pyramid scheme curiously has announced that Rodrigues will be a headliner at a TelexFree rah-rah session in Spain on March 1 and 2.
An image of Rodrigues now rolls across TelexFree’s website. But the promo does not mention that Rodrigues was successfully sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in federal court in Massachusetts in 2006. The agency alleged that he was presiding over a pyramid scheme known as FoneClub and engaging in affinity fraud targeted at the Brazilian and Brazilian-American communities in Massachusetts.
A federal judge held Rodrigues, also known as Sanderley R. De Vasconcelos, “jointly and severally liable” with FoneClub for “$3,269,459 in disgorgement plus $151,928.49 in prejudgment interest,” the SEC said in 2007.
Prosecutors in Brazil have alleged that TelexFree is a massive pyramid scheme. The purported “opportunity” operates from Massachusetts, the same venue from which Rodrigues was sued by the SEC.
Massachusetts also was the venue from which the U.S. government brought a successful criminal prosecution against the infamous World Marketing Direct Selling (WMDS) and OneUniverseOnline (1UOL) pyramid- and affinity-fraud scheme targeted at Cambodian immigrants. The SEC also filed suit.
In the AdSurfDaily Ponzi-scheme case in 2008, the U.S. Secret Service alleged that neither ASD nor a business partner disclosed that the partner had been an SEC defendant in a successful 1997 prosecution that alleged the partner had pitched three prime-bank swindles, including one that advertised a return of 10,000 percent.
ASD was a $119 million Ponzi scheme targeted in part at the Christian community, federal prosecutors alleged.
In the $850 million Zeek Rewards’ Ponzi- and pyramid scheme in 2012, former SEC defendant Keith Laggos emerged as a key cheerleader. Laggos was sued by the SEC in 2004 in a case that alleged he didn’t disclose he was being paid to tout stock.