Cyprus Mail

Prison and €200,000 fine for pyramid schemes

PARLIAMENT on Thursday unanimously approved an amendment to the penal code, criminalising the organising of, and participation in, pyramid schemes.

Persons found guilty are liable to up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to €200,000.

It is illegal to organise, operate, participate or promote a pyramid-type scheme, as well as encourage or attempt to encourage others to participate.

A pyramid is where a person pays into the scheme with cash or in kind for a reward in return, provided he or she introduces others to the scheme.

Police may build a case and file charges irrespective of whether the promised reward for participating in such a scheme has been given, or is expected to be given, in Cyprus or abroad.

Police may also bring charges against people irrespective of whether a pyramid agreement is verbal or in writing.

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