Chamber News / Consumer Alert

AG Files Complaint Against Local Pyramid Scheme

Consumer Alert

INDIANAPOLIS – Attorney General Curtis Hill this week filed a complaint alleging that a DeKalb County man and his company violated Indiana law by creating and operating a pyramid scheme.

According to the complaint, Michael Wasnich and his company, United Freedom Team LLC, solicited consumers to buy into the scheme with the opportunity to make thousands of dollars if they convinced others to join after them. Wasnich solicited his alleged pyramid scheme through websites and hundreds of videos posted to YouTube.

Unlike legitimate businesses, pyramid schemes base the income a participant can make solely on the number of people they recruit to join the scheme. Most pyramid schemes advertise that its participants can make large amounts of money with little to no effort, but only a select few at the top of the pyramid typically receive significant amounts of money.

Under the Indiana Pyramid Promotional Schemes Act, a person may not establish, promote or operate any pyramid promotional scheme in Indiana. A person who violates this act is subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation.

The Office of the Attorney General is seeking an injunction prohibiting Wasnich and United Freedom Team LLC from further operation of their pyramid scheme. The Office is also seeking restitution to consumer victims of the scheme as well as civil penalties and court costs.

“Our office works daily to protect Hoosier consumers from those who would seek to take unfair advantage of them through unscrupulous methods,” Attorney General Hill said. “If you believe you have been targeted by scammers, please contact our office and let us know.”

Individuals may file consumer complaints at in.gov/attorneygeneral or call the Office of the Attorney General at 1-800-382-5516.