An online and mobile marketing company is being sued over allegations it conducted a pyramid scheme to lure new investors into giving money to the company.
Viviane Rodrigues filed the lawsuit against the Wings Network on March 9, claiming the company's main business was to get more investors and not to offer online and mobile marketing services. The lawsuit said executives from the company were hit with a complaint from the Massachusetts Secretary of State in May 2014, claiming its principals were targeting minority communities in the state.
“The principals offered a multilevel marketing business opportunity called 'Wings,' which is a multilevel marketing scheme to target minority communities,” the lawsuit said.
Wings raised more than $12.5 million from about 8,914 Massachusetts investors in its first five months of operations. The company allegedly offered services for technologically advanced and innovative mobile marketing platforms for a fee. However, the lawsuit claims the product was “ancillary” to the actual business of “recruiting other investors.”
“The marketing materials, online selling presentations and assertions by the principals make it clear that the primary purpose of Wings is to recruit additional members,” the lawsuit said. “Wings is a multilevel marketing business opportunity, which is actually a thinly veiled pyramid scheme.
Memberships started at about $49, but additional packages could be purchased for $299, $749 and $1,499.
Rodrigues said she invested about $20,000, and also invested about $175,000 for other Wings' investors. She is seeking class status for Massachusetts investors in the company.
Rodrigues is represented by Evans J. Carter of Evans J. Carter, P.C. in Framingham, Massachusetts. The Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts case number is 1:15-cv-10733.