Business

Wings Network charged with running pyramid scheme

The civil fraud charge comes days after Wings Network had voluntarily offered to suspend US operations.

Beth Healy/Globe Staff

The civil fraud charge comes days after Wings Network had voluntarily offered to suspend US operations.

Secretary of State William F. Galvin on Thursday charged Wings Network and three Central Massachusetts individuals with fraud in a multi-level marketing scheme that targets Spanish and Portuguese-speaking communities.

The civil fraud charge comes a day after the company voluntarily suspended US operations, and as Galvin and federal authorities pursue a different company, TelexFree Inc. of Marlborough, for allegedly running a similar type of operation, only much larger.

Advertisement

Wings, which is based in Portugal, purportedly sells Internet cloud storage plans, but has been selling securities without a license, according to Galvin’s administrative complaint. Within five months, Wings Network collected more than $12.5 million from 8,914 Massachusetts investors, the complaint says. The alleged pyramid scheme emerged in Massachusetts late last year, the state said.

A lawyer for Wings Network was not immediately available for comment.

Get Business Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's latest business headlines delivered every morning, Monday through Friday.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The complaint centers on a pair of promoters in the Boston area. It also names a number of related business entities.

“This case is another example of unscrupulous operators preying on vulnerable immigrant communities with promises of great riches, in this instance a bogus means of downloading electronic content,” Galvin said. “In reality, these operators only sought to rope more participants into their scheme.”

Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.
Loading comments...
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.