Juicy Fields set the bar high when it first launched as a global cannabis investment platform. It offered users the opportunity to purchase cannabis plants that were supposed to be grown in countries where plantations of medical marijuana are legal. In return, it provided exceptionally high return rates. But its textbook pyramidal Ponzi Scheme collapsed earlier this month, cutting off investors access to their funds.
The company established itself during the pandemic and was nothing short of a sensation. A small investment of only 50 euros (around £42) for a single plant was bound with a return between 68 and 83 euros, 108 days later, or after reselling the harvested cannabis. The scheme “lured” almost half a million users, mainly from Europe and Latin America.
The plants were said to be grown in legal countries. Juicy Fields even claimed it was possible to visit the partner facilities where the cannabis was grown.
The company had four investment modalities: Juicy Flash (the 50 euros investment), Juicy Haze, Juicy Kush, and Juicy Mist (investments of 2000 euros). Overall, it was possible to invest up to €180,000 (around £151,000). Transactions were accepted both via bank transfer and crypto.
In the beginning, investors were able to recoup their profits with the money from new entrants. And it all worked really well until too many investors wanted to get their money back at the same time. This caused the pyramid to collapse.
Calls from some experts, industry specialists and several financial authorities across Europe that Juicy Fields was a scam it seems were largely dismissed over the last couple of months. Until, all of a sudden, at least $17 million went missing from a Juicy Fields wallet in mid-July.
The Spanish publisher El País Financiero, which is investigating the case, met with former CEO Alain Glanse and was able to retrieve documents (see below) that suggest three people who hold Russian passports were involved with the alleged scam. According to the documentation, these three men in large part controlled the Juicy Fields Group.
“I am not afraid of anything because I’m innocent”, Alain Glanse told El País Financiero. “I just want to find these people. I have only met them five times. They hired me, and that’s it”.
El País Financiero reports that the documentation, allegedly leaked by subsidiaries Juicy Holdings B.V. (Netherlands) and JuicyFields AG (Switzerland), contains valuable information about Juicy Fields suspected decision-makers. The papers also include info about their associate middle managers, who could as well be responsible for the siphoning of funds. There has been widespread dissemination of the leaked document as of now.
The Juicy Fields scam has resulted in huge losses for many investors, especially in France and Spain. Even more, on the French website of Juicy Fields and its related web channels, people are offering investors help on how to get their money back. And this just might be another scam.