A clean website and the promise of a 30 to 60% return on investment within three months in the field of medical cannabis. This is what seduced and deceived Geoffrey, 24. Like thousands of victims in Spain, Luxembourg or Germany, the young Colmarian was scammed by the Juicy Fields company (juicy fields in French).
Created in 2020, the company launches its fundraising campaign via Telegram and specialized cryptocurrency forums. The Netherlands-based company offers to buy medical cannabis plants online (50 to 180,000 euros in cryptocurrencies), promising investors a very high return. Last June, Geoffrey invested € 25,000 in the online platform. “I had already invested twice and have always received my money well”, he explains to our colleagues at the Actu.fr site in Strasbourg, on Monday 1 August.
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The young man first placed 4,500 euros a first time, then 7,000 euros a second. But this time, not everything goes as planned. Since mid-July the problems have multiplied: investors no longer have access to the platform, payments no longer go through, no one answers messages or calls. The “e-growers”, the investors, receive newsletters that want to be reassuring. A company “emergency team member” specifically assures them that repayments are forthcoming.
On July 27, another piece of information promises a “formal process to repay the capital investments of the affected electronic growers, having legally invested with JuicyFields”. “We don’t know if this is a ploy to save time, if there are conflicts between the different owners, if they really intend to reopen a new platform in September, in short, we don’t know anything”, Geoffrey confides in annoyance to our colleagues.
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Arnaud Delomel, lawyer of the Rennes bar, collects testimonies and advises disappointed investors, in view of a collective complaint with Junalco (national court competent for the fight against organized crime), in September. “We would be talking about tens of millions of euros lost by investors,” he says. For his part, Geoffrey filed a pre-complaint with Colmar and contacted his bank in hopes of being able to recall the funds.
In Spain, a collective complaint of more than a thousand victims, addressed to Juicy Fields, concerns alleged acts of “fraud”, “embezzlement” and “money laundering”, indicated Me Norberto Martinez, lawyer of the Martínez-Blanco firm, who initiated this procedure. For the master Delomel there are two hypotheses: “We could be faced with a scam, in which case the goal was from the beginning to defraud investors”. Another possibility: “The company is the victim of embezzlement by some of its managers or employees.”
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