Owensboro man among three convicted of pyramid scheme
OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) – An Owensboro man was one of three convicted by a federal jury in a pyramid scheme case.
Officials say Richard Maike, 55, of Owensboro, Doyce Barnes, 73, of North Carolina, and Faraday Hosseinipour, 54, of Florida, were convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and securities.
They say it was related to the sale of positions in Infinity 2 Global (I2G), a multi-level marketing company, which US officials say they proved at trial operated like a pyramid scheme.
Maike, Barnes and Hosseinipour were also convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with the sale of $5,000 emperor positions in the company as a form of passive income.
Maike was also found guilty of money laundering and tax evasion in connection with his use of approximately $3.2 million in I2G funds.
Officials say some of those funds were transferred to and from an Infinity 2 Global bank account in Hong Kong and used by Maike to purchase 1,800 acres of ranch land in Kansas for personal use.
Evidence at trial showed that in approximately 15 months, I2G sold nearly 5,000 of the $5,000 Emperor sets, generating, along with other less expensive sets, more than $30 million in revenue.
Officials say much of that was paid out as commissions to promoters at the top of the pyramid structure.
Commissions were generated based on recruiting new members to the company. Over 90% of people who bought an I2G subscription lost money.
Maike, Barnes and Hosseinipour are due to be sentenced on December 12.
Officials say Maike faces a maximum sentence of 125 years in prison.
Barnes and Hosseinipour each face the maximum sentence of 25 years.
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