Chilean police have arrested a pair of con artists who had constructed an elaborate pyramid scheme based on the sale of "magic cheese". OhMyNews reports:
The fraud consisted in selling people packs of "Yo Flex," a powder that, she claimed, would ferment milk into a special cheese. Giselle said that this "Magic Cheese" was the latest fashion in France, where women used it as a skin cosmetic, and which in Africa was used as a food supplement...
In Chile, a pack of Yo Flex sold for US$500, but chemical analysis determined that the powder was a dairy ferment worth only US$4. Mella and Jara told victims that Yo Flex should be mixed with milk and that the cheese should be returned to Fermex, which would export it to France and Africa. The agents promised the people that they would double their money in three months. Initially, Fermex did pay victims profits, but this was a ploy to convince more to invest their money. Soon, many were investing sums ranging from US$5,000 to US$40,000. Many would sell their cars or property or get bank loans to buy the packs of Yo Flex.
Ponzi would have been proud. I think someone should collect samples of all the worthless junk that's been sold through Ponzi schemes (magic cheese, bioperformance pills, etc.), and then display it all in a Ponzi Museum. Or this would be a cool gallery to have in an actual Museum of Hoaxes, should such a thing ever come into existence. (Anyone want to donate a million dollars or so to help me build it?)