Beware of Gifting Club Schemes

Image of hands trying to grab money that is on a stringThe Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) warned Oregonians about a type of pyramid scheme called gifting clubs. DFR said Death Row gifting club advertised online as a “community wealth share group.” More than 20 Oregonians lost investments of $1,400.

According to AARP, gifting clubs or cash-gifting clubs require new members to provide cash “gifts” with the promise that as more new members join, the members who joined earlier will have their initial investment repaid, plus an investment return. Pyramid scheme or gifting club victims may have a right to bring a claim against the perpetrators of the scheme, along with anyone who facilitated the scheme.

In Oregon, pyramid scheme or gifting club victims may have claims under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act (see ORS 646.608(1)(r) and 646.609 (defining “Pyramid club”)), the Oregon Securities Law in ORS Ch. 59, common law fraud, and other claims. Some of these claims have a short statute of limitations, such as the Unlawful Trade Practices Act, which ordinarily requires that a claim be brought within one year after the discovery of the unlawful method, act or practice.  ORS 646.638(6).

This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon Investments.

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Cody Berne

Cody Berne is an attorney at Stoll Berne in Portland. Cody’s practice focuses on representing investors who lost money because of fraud and other misconduct, class actions, and business litigation. He is a member of the Public Investors Advocate Bar Association and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.


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The information contained in this blog does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this blog.