pyramid scheme

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pyramid scheme

n.
A fraudulent moneymaking scheme in which early participants are paid out of money received from later recruits, with the final recruits putting money in and getting nothing back.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pyramid scheme - a fraudulent scheme in which people are recruited to make payments to the person who recruited them while expecting to receive payments from the persons they recruit; when the number of new recruits fails to sustain the hierarchical payment structure the scheme collapses with most of the participants losing the money they put in
scheme, strategy - an elaborate and systematic plan of action
References in periodicals archive ?
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings against Lyoness International AG, Lyoness Asia Limited, Lyoness UK Limited and Lyoness Australia Pty Limited (together Lyoness ) for operating a pyramid selling scheme and engaging in referral selling.
She dismisses claims by some in America that the New York stock market-quoted group is no more than a pyramid selling scheme that exploits vulnerable people while making its senior executives very rich.
this time a rich guy conned everyone in a pyramid selling scheme.
Girlfriend Nicki (Nicola Reynolds) and baby Sanjeev move in to take care of him, while his mother Sheila (Beatrice Kelley) becomes involved in a dangerous pyramid selling scheme.
The battle for votes in Birmingham's inner city wards erupted into a bitter election-eve row last night, with Labour demanding the Liberal Democrats sack a candidate because of his alleged involvement in a pyramid selling scheme.
ANGRY Ulster business people are hunting a man who got them involved in a 'republican' pyramid selling scheme - and then vanished owing a massive pounds 1m.
ANEW pyramid selling scheme in the Midlands is persuading hundreds of people to pay pounds 1,600 each - with the promise of making them millionaires in less than a year.
In February 2013, the Federal Court made declarations by consent that a former director of Crimeguard International Security Systems Pty Ltd was involved in a pyramid selling scheme.
The financial system is like a global pyramid selling scheme, built on greed and gullibility, and it is falling down.
Lyons, MP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: "I have brought the Record's campaign to the attention of Patricia Hewitt whilst alerting her to a new pyramid selling scheme.