IN the three months since the initial downfall of Juicy Fields, victims have been offered little in the way of reassurance that anyone is being brought to justice.
While promises for a full refund made by the unnamed actors continuing to populate and run the juicyfields.io website continue to remain entirely empty, the tide appears to be turning elsewhere.
A growing number of legal challenges are now being brought against both those directly involved in the scam, and those organisations who helped facilitate it.
However, as pressure builds to cast the stone and see someone held accountable for the missing millions, some investors are now reportedly being implicated themselves by both financial institutions and authorities for their ‘involvement in criminal activity’, whether they were aware of it or not.
Legal Cases Gathering Pace
Lars Olofsson, who alongside his business partner Nina Jansdotter has been meticulously building a class action lawsuit involving hundreds of Juicy Fields victims, has now publicly announced the initial targets of his case.
As Mr Olofsson has previously alluded to, he will be targeting a settlement from numerous large media companies who were crucial in enabling Juicy Fields to advertise, attract investors, and ultimately steal what is thought to be around €1bn of investors money.
He has now revealed that Facebook, Google, Instagram and Forbes will be the initial targets, and that he has sent a letter to each of the company’s respective CEOs, laying out the evidence gathered so far in his investigation, and informing them of the looming legal action.
“The gloves are now off,” Mr Olofsson said in a LinkedIn post revealing his initial targets.
“It’s time now for these large corporations to be selective about who they are doing business with, and what is marketed on their platform and allowed to be paid for search optimization.”
Alongside these big media hitters, Mr Olofsson is also taking aim at the German, Dutch and Swiss financial authorities, who he believes played a key role in allowing Juicy Fields to proliferate.
He told BusinessCann: “I sit on so much information about how the authorities have missed or looked the other way for more than two years before they acted. And not just looked the other way, but from the politicians, they failed to allocate enough resources for the task they have.”
It comes as further legal action gathers pace across Europe. BusinessCann understands that two individuals thought to have been responsible for directing Juicy Fields Swiss operations have now appeared before a Swiss court.
A second class action lawsuit has also been opened in Spain’s top criminal court, seeing Juicy Fields stand accused of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering.
The suit is being filed by the Martinez-Blanco law firm, which estimates there were nearly 4,500 Juicy Fields investors in Spain alone, who lost an average of €6,500 each.
It comes alongside dozens, if not hundreds, of other cases filed against Juicy Fields by individual investors, targeting those who served as the public face of the company.
Mr Olofsson explained that he has chosen to target the facilitators, rather than these representatives, because those who masterminded the scam remain almost entirely unknown.
“The people who you have seen representing Juicy Fields are just actors, or useful idiots as I like to call them. They have no responsibility, the mastermind behind this scam is not seen.
“It’s useless to go after these people because they don’t know anything and they don’t have any money.”
Meanwhile, the juicyfields.io website, which has been continuing to advertise Juicy Fields 2.0 and shift the blame onto a number of isolated bad actors, was taken down at the end of last week, suggesting action may finally have been taken to suppress the ongoing scam.
Investors Increasingly Being Implicated
One such case was reportedly brought to authorities in the Netherlands by one of Mr Olofsson’s clients.
As has been the case for many victims, the police said they were unable to investigate the case due to its complexity.
According to the client, they were then warned by the police that as they had sent money to Juicy Fields account in Cyprus, they were now considered to have been involved in criminal activity.
“It has definitely come from more than one source now that the police authorities are trying to put the blame on the victims,” Mr Olofsson added.
A number of banks are also understood to have taken action against Juicy Fields investors who have approached them in good faith in an effort to retrieve their losses.
Around ‘seven or eight’ clients have now reported having their accounts closed or terminated by their respective banks, after initially being informed they would investigate whether a refund was possible, a complex process which is understood to require a court decision.
Now the rhetoric seems to have shifted significantly, seeing these banks inform investors that they will not only refuse to provide a refund, but that they consider them to have been involved in criminal activity and will no longer be able to provide them financial services.