Evolutionary Triangular Community | $100,000 pyramid scheme: 15 months in house arrest

Evolutionary Triangular Community |  $100,000 pyramid scheme: 15 months in house arrest

(Saint-Hyacinthe) The pyramid scam refuses to die. It will always multiply in the form of a “circle of gifts” or an “ascending triangle”. A leading figure in one such community of 2,000 members was sentenced Thursday to 15 months of house arrest for extorting more than $100,000 from innocent victims.

Pay $5000 to get $40,000? This is the promise made to new members by recruiters of the Society of the Evolutionary Triangle, like Lyodmila Minina. Window dressing, obviously. Thanks to secret agents, the scammer fell off his pedestal in 2020.

“Strength of Community and Mme Minina must convince members that they are participating in a solidarity movement to distract them from the sad reality: the community is creating a classic pyramid scheme,” judge Catherine Perrault said in a summary at the Saint-Hyacinthe court on Thursday.

At the end of a long trial last summer, a jury found Lyodmila Minina guilty of fraud and racketeering of lotteries and gambling. The 60-year-old naturopath hoped to escape custody, while the Crown sought an 18-month sentence. A Supreme Court judge finally gave him a suspended sentence (at home). He must pay $100,000 in restitution within three years to avoid a 23-month prison sentence.

In the past, there were “harvests” or “dream weavers”, revealed An investigation Pres In 2019. This time, the fraud group was called the Evolutionary Triangle Society, a nefarious organization that initially had 2,000 members. Lyodmila Minina, aka Milady, is neither the leader nor the founder, but the most prolific member of this “mutual help and sharing” group.

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“Journey to Abundance” and “Sharing the Wealth”. This is how the “providers” portrayed society to employers. A “donation” of $5,000 to the community certainly allowed a recruit to receive $40,000 in what was said to be a “circular movement of money.”

“It’s not if you’re going to have your party, but when,” Lyodmila Minina assured recruits.

Fifteen women are part of each “growing triangle,” one above and eight others, each donating $5,000. When a pyramid is completed, the “birthday girl” at the top receives $40,000 in “gifts” during an abundance and sharing celebration. Lyodmila Minina was “celebrated” six times.

Two new pyramids are formed with the remaining members. Each member moves up one floor in the “triangle”. Those previously at the bottom of the ladder must recruit two people willing to pay $5,000 to continue the scam. There are many “triangles” in society at the same time.

Photo filed with the court

We can see how the completed triangle is divided into two new triangles

At the same time, Lyodmila Minina maneuvered to “develop” faster than others. For example, he negotiated with participants to share more favorable positions in certain triangles. The goal is not to get stuck in a triangle that is “dying” because members at the bottom of the ladder are missing.

“Funny names” to keep a secret

To keep the project secret, members are required to use “funny names” rather than their real names. For example, Milady, Athena, Maximus or Volchok. Exchanges between members took place in the encrypted Telegram app. They were forbidden to record presentations or speak publicly about the “triangle”.

Also, members of the community testified in support of the accused during the trial. The organization still seems to exist.

Photo by Martin Chamberland, The Press

Lyodmila Minina was at the court of Saint-Hyacinthe with several friends.

The Crown reported that Lyodmila Minina benefited from more than $170,000 in fraud of more than $250,000. Amount justifying affirmative custody. On the security side, we made a small amount of progress. However, Judge Perrault estimated the fraudster’s profit at $109,000.

Among the aggravating factors, the judge considers fraud, premeditation, repetition, prominent role of the accused and vulnerability of the victims. However, the judge did not accept that the accused acted in the interest of a criminal organization.

Mitigating factors, however, tended toward a sentence of house arrest. Indeed, Lyodmila Minina is at low risk of reoffending, as she has complied with her release conditions since her arrest and does not represent a danger to society.

The Crown sought partial seizure of the residence of the accused and his accomplice, Dominique St-Pierre, because about twenty “parties” had taken place there. But the judge decided the move would be disproportionate.

Me Simon Lacoste and Me Simone represented the Senegalese public prosecutor, while Me Gabriel Berup-Bouchard and Me Célia Hadid defended the accused. She appealed the guilty verdict.

The story so far

  • January 2019: Lyodmila Minina becomes a leading figure in the Evolutionary Triangle community
  • February 2021: 60-year-old woman charged with fraud
  • July 2023: A jury found Lyodmila Minina guilty
  • May 16, 2024: She is sentenced to 15 months of house arrest

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