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May 30, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

FTC Halts Pyramid Scheme on Internet: The Federal Trade Commission said the scheme advertised on the Internet bilked thousands of investors of more than $6 million. The agency said the case was its largest to date involving fraud on the worldwide computer network. It obtained a federal court order temporarily halting the scheme, which it said was carried out by the firm Fortuna Alliance of Bellingham, Wash. The FTC also asked the court to issue a permanent injunction that would provide remedies for consumers hurt by the alleged scam. The agency said the scheme's promise of huge investment returns spurred thousands of investors to plunk down anywhere from $250 to $1,750 to join. Company executives were not immediately available for comment.

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