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From: S Holmes
Aspiritus; Renamed version of the infamous WGI pyramid scam.
Aspiritus is a direct descendant (or renamed version) of World Games Incorporated (WGI), a pyramid scam which was very active in Scandinavia, UK, and Canada from 2001 to early 2005. It originated in Australia, as Virtual Games Global (VGG), but changed its name and its "hunting grounds" after the Australian authorities stopped its operation in Australia.
The "chairman" and owner of this pyramid scam is the Australian fraudster Gregory James Kennedy, who was previously operating property and loan frauds in Western Australia. You may find some information about him at these links:
Debates from the state parliament in Western Australia, where Gregory James Kennedy's frauds became a political issue: www.reca.com.au/hansard/H19991116.html www.reca.com.au/hansard/H19991124.html www.reca.com.au/hansard/H19991221.html www.reca.com.au/hansard/H20000314.html http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/hansard/hans35.nsf/(ATT)/26EEE05CE0D3B7DA48256838001B3310/$file/A1124010.PDF
Various newspaper articles about Greg Kennedy's property frauds: www.reca.com.au/media/jun00/20000602WA1.html www.reca.com.au/media/jun00/20000609TA.html www.reca.com.au/media/jun00/20000609WA2.html www.reca.com.au/media/jun00/20000609MA1.html www.reca.com.au/media/jun00/20000616WA.html www.reca.com.au/media/jan01/20010116WA.html www.reca.com.au/media/jan01/20010117WA1.html
WGI used to claim that propery/loan fraudster Greg Kennedy is not the same person as WGI pyramid scheme boss Greg Kennedy, despite the fact that the names are exactly the same, "both" are of the same age, and "both" were involved in illegal activities.
Initially, WGI had large growth (around 450 000 members maximum), and early entrants earned money from recruitment rewards and rising "share" prices in a Ponzi-style "Stock Market Game".
However, recruitment fell in 2004, and payout to members (except for a few top dogs called World Leaders) virtually ceased in August 2004, and the "share" price dropped by more than 90%. As with other Ponzis and pyramid scams that are in the collapse phase, the payment problems were blamed on the banks etc, and payment was always promised to come "very soon".
WGI stopped operating in early 2005, and it was announced that its "assets" had been bought by a company called Aspiritus N.V., based in the Netherlands Antilles (well-known tax evasion and money-laundering haven).
In reality, this takeover was only a renaming and reorganisation of the pyramid scheme, because the majority of Aspiritus is owned by Greg Kennedy's company Pacific Delta Investments Ltd, which previously ran the pyramid scam WGI.
Aspiritus is run by the same people that ran WGI; Notable personalities are WGI "president" (now Aspiritus Operations Director) Greg Young, WGI press spokesman (now Aspiritus Marketing Director) Conall McSorley, a swiss Aspiritus figurehead Jost Steinbruchel (involved with VGG/WGI since 2001), and with Gregory James Kennedy lurking in the shadows behind it and controlling all, as 'Non-executive Chairman'.
WGI owed large sums of money to its members when it stopped operating. The money in the members' accounts was not paid out, but were converted to "units", which (it is claimed) can later be sold or converted to shares in Aspiritus. However, these "units"/shares are extremely overpriced (by a factor of at least 10), and no members have managed to sell such "units", so the money the members had in WGI must be regarded as lost.
There have been convictions against WGI and its promotors for illegal pyramid selling activities in Australia, Canada, Sweden and Finland, plus a trial in preparation against WGI promotors in Denmark.
Here are links to court decisions in Brisbane, Australia: WorldPlay Services (the company which originally ran WGI) and its director Gregory James Kennedy were convicted of illegal pyramid selling. They also lost the appeal. www.findlaw.com.au/news/default.asp?task=read&id=21545&site=LE www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/federal_ct/2004/1138.html (full text of the court decision)
Appeal reference: http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/682257
"Full Federal Court upholds finding Gold Coast company part of international pyramid selling scheme
Gold Coast company Worldplay Services Pty Ltd breached the Trade Practices Act 1974 by participating in an international online pyramid selling scheme, the Full Federal Court upheld today.
The decision also upheld that the company's director, Mr Greg Kennedy, was found to be knowingly concerned in the contravention.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission began proceedings in December 2003 alleging that World Games Inc, which operated internationally using a website, was an illegal pyramid scheme."
Link to court ruling convicting Canadian WGI promotors of pyramid selling: www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams/pyramid_warning_e.htm www.lotterypost.com/news-102404.htm
"The eight people in the Alberta scheme were charged in September with conducting or managing a pyramid scheme and an illegal lottery for their alleged involvement with an organization known as World Games Inc. Investigators allege that World Games took in millions of dollars in illicit revenues. The organization at one point boasted an international membership of over 400,000. The total number of Canadians victimized by this activity is as yet unknown."
In order to try to appear as a legitimate gambling site, Aspiritus claims "Aspiritus is not associated with WGI." However, very few believe this statement. Even some prominent WGI/Aspiritus promotors openly state that Aspiritus is the same as WGI, as one can see in this link: http://www.petebillac.com/index2.htm Quote: Aspiritus N.V. (formerly World Games Inc)
By Pete Billac
However, it is quite likely that Aspiritus will disappear in a few months, as one can see from this Alexa graph: http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?&range=4y&size=large&compare_sites=www.worldgamesinc.com&y=r&url=www.aspiritus.com#top
When this scam finally dies: Good riddance!