SEC orders $7.7 million in payments in Wings pyramid scheme
March 1, 2017

By Beth Healy, Boston Globe

Federal securities regulators have ordered the operators of an alleged pyramid scheme called Wings Network to pay a combined $7.7 million for their role in swindling investors in Latino communities in several states, including Massachusetts.
Wings, which had a Framingham office, voluntarily closed its offices in the US in 2014, facing a civil investigation by the Massachusetts Securities Division.

The Securities and Exchange Commission the next year filed charges against two Portuguese companies, three company officers, and 12 promoters of Wings Network, alleging that the company raised at least $23.5 million in the investment scheme — using money from new investors to pay off earlier participants.

The scheme allegedly involved selling internet cloud storage.

Under a US District Court judgment made public on Tuesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered defendant Andrew Arrambide of Sandy, Utah, to pay $106,569 that includes profits earned from the scheme, as well as interest and a civil penalty.

The agency also ordered three Florida companies to return profits, including $4.8 million from Uninvest Financial Services Corp., $2 million from RST5 Investments, and $312,185 from Parkway Real Estate. Paulo Hideki Koga of Brazil was ordered to pay $528,344 in the case.

Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.