Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world are said to have invested in JuicyFields, a firm that pledged to connect online investors with cannabis farms. But now there are suspicions that it was a Ponzi scheme.
The two Lamborghinis were impossible to ignore. Printed with the company logo, the company JuicyFields had parked them in front of a hotel in Barcelona when the international cannabis industry gathered there for a conference in March. The message was clear: this is where the real money is made.
JuicyFields, a firm originally based in Germany but which moved to Amsterdam earlier this year, promoted itself as a business that would make investors, named “e-growers”, rich by putting their savings into legal cannabis plantations. But now, JuicyFields is looking like being the biggest cannabis industry scam of all time.
Since mid-July, investors have no longer been able to log into their customer accounts. Up to 500,000 investors – that’s how many there were at last count, according to JuicyFields – could be affected. The potential damage could be somewhere between tens of millions and several billion euros.
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JuicyFields had a large presence in the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish law firm Martinez-Bianco is representing 1,400 people who say they have lost money due to JuicyFields. It used data from crypto-analysis platform Etherscan to estimate that more than €5 billion (around £4.2 billion) passed through JuicyFields’ crypto wallets. In Spain alone, Martinez-Bianco estimates 28,000 people have been affected, with some investors suspected to have lost the maximum of €180,000 (£150,000).
The then Berlin-based company went online in early 2020 with its self-described “cannabis crowdgrowing platform”. JuicyFields’ marketing team used messaging app Telegram, small news sites and online forums specialising in cryptocurrencies to spread the news: people would be able to gain financial stakes in cannabis farms by making investments of anything between €50 (£42) and €180,000 (£150,000).
Read more at https://www.vice.com/en/article/7k88by/juicyfields-cannabis-scam