A neat website and the promise of a return on investment between 30 and 60% within three months in the field of therapeutic cannabis. This is what seduced, and deceived, Geoffrey, 24 years old. Like thousands of victims in Spain, Luxembourg or Germany, the young Colmarian was defrauded by the company Juicy Fields (juicy fields in French).
Created in 2020, the company launches its fundraising campaign via Telegram and specialized cryptocurrency forums. The Dutch-based company offers to buy cannabis plants for medical use online (from 50 to 180,000 euros in cryptocurrency), promising investors a very high return. Last June, Geoffrey invested 25,000 euros in the online platform. “I had already invested twice, and I always received my money well”, he explains to our colleagues from the Actu.fr Strasbourg site, Monday August 1st.
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The young man first placed 4,500 euros a first time, then 7,000 euros a second time. 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 responds to messages or calls. The “e-growers”, the investors, receive newsletters intended to be reassuring. A “member of the emergency team” of the company assures them in particular that reimbursements are forthcoming.
On July 27, another information promises a “formal process to reimburse the capital investments of the affected e-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” , entrusts, annoyed, Geoffrey, to our colleagues.
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Arnaud Delomel, lawyer at the bar of Rennes, collects testimonies and advises disappointed investors, with a view to a collective complaint with Junalco (National Court responsible 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 in Colmar and contacted his bank in the hope of being able to recall funds.
In Spain, a collective complaint of more than a thousand victims, targeting Juicy Fields, relates to alleged acts of “fraud”, “embezzlement” and “money laundering”, indicated Me Norberto Martinez , lawyer from the Martínez-Blanco firm, who initiated this procedure. For master Delomel, there are two hypotheses: “We may be facing a scam, in which case the but was from the start to defraud investors.” Another possibility: “The company is the victim of embezzlement by some of its managers or employees.”
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