Archive for Wednesday, January 11, 2012

25 years ago: Law enforcement officials look back on Culture Farms case

January 11, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 11, 1987:

The books were pretty much closed on the Culture Farms fraud case, and it was time for the analysis. Now that all 12 defendants had entered pleas of guilty or no contest, investigators were praising the work of the state's law enforcement entities. "I think they may have underestimated the aggressiveness of law enforcement authorities in Kansas," said L. Stephen Garlow, a Lawrence resident and an assistant Kansas attorney general who had worked on the case. Larry Cook, whose duties as a special deputy U.S. Marshal had taken him to California and Nevada to investigate Culture Farms' sister company, agreed. "If they had stayed out there they would have been a little fish in a big pond. Instead they came to Kansas and became a big fish in a little pond and drew our attention right away," Cook said. At least 27,000 people were believed to have invested in the $80 million pyramid scheme.


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Actually, I think the Culture Farms fraud was a Ponzi scheme, rather than a pyramid scheme. But the subtle distinction between the two is very fine and probably not worth discussing here. In some cases they really are on the line between the two, and Culture Farms might fall into that category.

In both of those types of fraud, you give someone your money and then it's gone. The difference between the two is only mathematical.

A while ago in one of my comments I explained exactly how one person I know lost $80,000 in what was so obviously a Ponzi scheme. I tried so hard to talk him out of it, but he simply told me that I was stupid, and that he had made a very good investment in the Ponzi scheme.

Two years later, he learned that I was right, very right.

And then, about 15 years later, he looked me right in the eye and said this: "Ron, I think you're pretty smart. Almost as smart as I am."

I didn't say a word, I just looked him in the eye and thought to myself: 'No way in Hell am I dumber than you.'

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

So many people have told me I should write my autobiography,,,

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Correction: it wasn't about 15 years later, it was more like 20 years. But the $80,000 amount is accurate.

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