The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Tomasz Chróstny, initiated the first proceedings against people promoting pyramid schemes. Among them was Damian Żukiewicz, promoting investments on YouTube, including cryptocurrency. UOKiK reminds that promoting the pyramids is punishable by up to 2 years in prison.
The President of Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (hereinafter referred to as UOKiK) , Tomasz Chróstny, intends to punish not only the creators of pyramid-type promotional systems, but also those who promote them.
The President of the Office initiated the first such proceedings – against YouTuber Damian Żukiewicz and people managing the NTIM company, ie Rafał Krakowiak and Wiktor Zajączkowski, who urged to invest in systems that promise benefits dependent on the introduction of new people.
As part of explanatory proceedings, the Office verifies the activities of yourfitway.com, lucrias.com and AssetsPro, suspecting them of functioning in a pyramid system or using other unfair market practices.
The President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection initiated 2 proceedings for infringement of collective consumer interests against Damian Żukiewicz, also operating under the name INVESTPROVIDER – Damian Żukiewicz in Wrocław. He is a well-known YouTuber who profits from encouraging various investments. The President of UOKiK, Tomasz Chróstny, accused him of promoting the following pyramid-type promotional systems:
– run by FUTURENET UKRAINE from Lviv and BCU Trading from Dubai and operating on the FutureNet portal and the FutureAdPro advertising platform,
– the network of independent representatives called NetLeaders created by CL Singapore from Singapore.
Damian Żukiewicz on his website http://zukiewicz.com and in the recordings available on YouTube encouraged to register on FutureNet and FutureAdPro, promising profits for introducing new people to the system. For example, he wrote that he is “the best partner of FutureNet in the world” and recommends to every interested person the possibility of “earning passively”, including guarantees earnings at the minimum level of PLN 100 per day.
FutureNet and FutureAdPro services tempted with “profits” for persuading other people to buy participation packages or statuses that cost from $ 10 to $ 1000. The benefits depended primarily on the introduction of new members to the system. UOKiK warned about them already in March 2019. In July 2020, the President of the Office, Tomasz Chróstny, issued a decision in which he considered that these were illegal pyramid-type promotional systems.
In a similar way, Damian Żukiewicz could also promote a network of independent NetLeaders representatives. It is an initiative of CL Singapore introducing the DasCoin cryptocurrency to the market. The company offers licenses that cost from EUR 100 to EUR 25,000. euro and promises profits in return for someone persuading other people to donate money. UOKiK warned against CL Singapore in March 2019, and in December 2019 the President of UOKiK issued a decision in which he considered that it was a pyramid-type promotional system.
– The aim of such systems is to rapidly increase the number of members. Usually, most of the money goes to the originators of the pyramid and the people responsible for its promotion. Sooner or later, however, a further increase in the number of users is no longer possible and the system collapses, and consumers lose their money, explains Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.
The President of UOKiK, Tomasz Chróstny, also accused NTIM of Wrocław of violating collective consumer interests, and initiated proceedings against its managers, Rafał Krakowiak and Wiktor Zajączkowski, to impose a fine. The NTIM company promoted the Shields program in Poland. It allowed a person registered on the rockwall.investments internet platform for offering cryptocurrency-related products to receive remuneration dependent mainly on the introduction of new members. According to the President of UOKiK, it could have been a pyramid-type promotional system.
The second allegation is that consumers are misled about the owners and managers of the rockwall.investments platform. In marketing materials and on the Internet, it was presented as “a Polish company founded by Rafał Krakowiak and Wiktor Zajączkowski” which, due to legal and accounting issues, was based outside the territory of Poland. However, consumers were assured that the capital and managers came from Poland. In fact, the owner, administrator and service provider of the portal was Perfect Lion Solutions, based in Charlestown on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean Sea, and NTIM only provided marketing and IT services to it.
– The information about the names of the owners of the rockwall.investments platform, who were to be young Poles, Rafał Krakowiak and Wiktor Zajączkowski, was to inspire confidence in consumers. Potential investors could feel that in the event of resignation from participation in the project, they would be able to direct claims to the Polish owners of the platform. If they knew that this was capital located on an exotic island, probably many of them would have looked for a safer investment. Promoting a pyramid scheme and misleading consumers is an unfair and unacceptable market practice. If the allegations prove correct, I intend to impose financial sanctions on both NTIM and its managers. Any person who, by participating in such a system prohibited by law, persuades others to participate in it and thus exposes them to losses, should not feel with impunity, says Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.
Up to PLN 2 million fine for the pyramids
Pyramid-type promotional systems are a very dangerous, unfair market practice. The President of UOKiK initiated proceedings against managers in companies promoting such systems and against the so-called touts, i.e. bloggers or celebrities who encourage on their websites, in social media or in recordings to invest in such projects and attract more people to them.
– We must eliminate pyramid-type promotional systems faster and more effectively. Promoting them is an unfair market practice that violates the collective interests of consumers. We will fight against the actions of people who encourage investment and participation in such “projects”. These people profit by rebuking illegal systems, lying to consumers and deluding them with their vision of great profits. Without the activity of touts, many financial losses, suffering, and sometimes human tragedies can be avoided. We want to persuade them to stop this malicious activity, and also warn consumers against such practices – this is what the first proceedings in which I accused people promoting pyramid-type promotional systems – says Tomasz Chróstny, President of UOKiK.
Entrepreneurs may be fined up to 10 percent for promoting pyramid-type promotional systems. turnover from the previous year. At the same time, an entrepreneur is considered to be not only a person registered in CEIDG, but anyone – including bloggers, infuencers, who in an organized and continuous manner actually runs a business and generates profits from establishing, running or promoting pyramid-type promotional systems. The law also provides for sanctions for managers who intentionally infringed the collective interests of consumers. It is a maximum of PLN 2 million. A financial penalty against a managing person may be imposed in a decision in which the President of UOKiK will impose a penalty on the company managed by such a person.