Organizers of notorious pyramid scheme arrested

Five people accused of organizing and running a nationwide pyramid scheme have been arrested, prosecutors in Songjiang District said on Tuesday.

Five people accused of organizing and running a nationwide pyramid scheme have been arrested, prosecutors in Songjiang District said on Tuesday.

Investigation showed that in May 2016 the five, surnamed Lu, Wu, Ding, Liang and Zhu, joined Shanxinhui, the company behind a notorious pyramid scheme. They are alleged to have brought in more than 100,000 members.

By June 2017, they were accused of having cheated many people by persuading them to invest in the company by promising high returns and false claiming the money was used to invest in certain programs to help the poor.

Prosecutors declined to disclose further details.

According to Xinhua News Agency, Shanxinhui, meaning "putting kind hearts together," was founded in May 2013 by Zhang Tianming, 42, in Shenzhen City. Later, he opened several branches in other regions. The company is reported to have recruited millions of members across the country, defrauding tens of billions of yuan.

Zhang and other three key members were detained this month and put under coercive measures, including summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention or arrest.

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