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"If it's too good to be true, it's too good to be true."
by David G. Hanger


March 18, 2005

P.T. Barnum observed the phenomenon a long time ago, "There's a sucker born every minute."  The only disconcerting aspect about that is how many of those suckers have decided to reside in Ketchikan. 

So far as I can discern dozens upon dozens of local residents have invested substantial sums of money in the scam called PIPS.  I doubt very seriously you will find one qualified investment counselor, accredited accountant, experienced banker, or attorney in this town encouraging investment in this junk, yet somehow the "birdbrain" factor seems to be quite high in town right now, and untold thousands of local dollars have been dumped onto a bunch of conmeisters in Malaysia.

Oh sure, our early local investors really are seeing a return on their investment.  The mine does have to be salted, and local judas goats are indeed necessary for our Malaysian conmeisters to maximize their prospects.  This is a very unsophisticated effort.  It's kind of a cross between a chain letter and a Ponzi scheme, and it is illegal as hell.

Most likely you will just lose all your money, but if you happen to be one of the judas goats who actually profits from this scam, you have another problem entirely.  All that money in your bank account came from someone else's bank account originally, and when they figure out they've been scammed, they are going to be really pissed, and in short order that's going to be directed at you.  That extra money most likely will legally be defined as proceeds from an illegal or criminal enterprise. 

The police and the FBI have been notified.  Remember that other mantra of ancient yore,  "A fool and his money are soon parted."  Talk to your banker, your accountant, and your lawyer (not necessarily in that order) before you invest in this silly scam.  It should finally be noted that income from a criminal enterprise is taxable; deductions are not. 

The preceding is not a matter of opinion; it is a statement of fact.

David G. Hanger
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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