The dossiers, which grow in size with each passing day, about the Ukrainian criminals Alexander Pan (Prochukhan) and Cheslav Konyukh (Pestyukh), which are being prepared to be transferred to law enforcement officers in a number of countries, would not be complete without a thorough analysis of the main aspects of the personal lives of the employees of the pyramid scheme companies that they founded: Questra World, QW Lianora Swiss, AGAM, and Five Winds. That is why the International Investigations Assistance Center has repeatedly focused on the company’s executives who are particularly active, including people who are actually pawns in the hands of the scammers, but who at the same time have a fairly strong influence on the company’s audience and attract new investors to the fraudulent projects of Alexander Pan and Cheslav Konyukh.
Today, of all four pyramid schemes, one should be singled out in particular: QW Lianora Swiss, since the members of this organization have been the most active during the last 1.5 years even though there have been no additional payouts to investors and the organization itself was officially liquidated several months ago. Despite the fact that the company has become a shell, and the funds of its investors were withdrawn during the autumn of last year by the founders of the pyramid scheme, the agents of QW Lianora Swiss have not only continued to broadcast to the masses their investment-utopian ideas that they are “no. 1 corporation in the world”, but they have gladly continued to collect “tribute” from the naive population, including new investors who have a fresh belief in the bright future of Questra World and its related projects. One of the main preachers of this financial scam has been Kira Antipina of Perm.
The woman has acted as one of the main public figures in Russian pyramid schemes, and she invariably participates in promotional events, which, by the way, are illegal in the country and may lead to the filing of criminal charges under Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Fraud”). Kira Antipina systematically travels from city to city around the country and gives presentations about the “no. 1 corporation in the world”. The main attendees at these events are pensioners.
In addition to her appearance in the offline space, Kira Antipina is also a master of online platforms. She produces weekly broadcasts for the “Morning with Lianora” pyramid project, which is aimed at recruiting users. The second name that has come to be used for the series of Internet sermons is “Business Coffee with Kira Antipina.” This is the topic that I would like to dwell on: how the swindler herself together with her many accomplice friends, including Lyudmila Afonina, Tatyana Tarantaeva, Tatyana Gorbunova, Olga Kleynard and others who have taught the program are able to swindle unsuspecting investors. Or rather, I would like to focus on the general principles that the woman has relied on to create her broadcast.
We previously talked about what methods Kira Antipina used on the investors who attended her classes. We have repeatedly studied the techniques that the swindler uses during her lectures. Basically, it all comes down to simple neurolinguistic programming methods that are able to produce the most powerful psychological impact. As it has turned out, the fraudster has been studying psychology since 2013 to judge from the quotations that she has posted on VKontakte. The woman lists the following “scientific” communities as her main “teachers”: “Men’s Journal” [“Muzhskoy Zhurnal”], “Unforgettable…” [“Nezabyvaemye”], “Academy of the Unique Life” [“Akademiya Unikal’noy Zhizni”], and others. Obviously, there is nothing reprehensible about participating in such groups, of which there are tens of thousands on social networks. However, it’s strange to use content that is intended solely for entertainment purposes as part of presentations by an organization that positions itself as “the world’s no. 1 corporation” and is designed to generate millions of dollars for all of its employees.
Anyone who has ever seen Kira Antipina at least once knows that, perhaps, the main way that the woman is able to exert influence on her audience is her never-ending stream of positive remarks, which, against the background of the chaos that is Questra World, can come across as absurd and crazy. For example, during one of her “Business Coffees,” the fraudster supposedly told a real story from her life. Kira Antipina reported that her friend’s house burned down. Having lost all of his property, the man burst into tears. Kira thought that the reason was because he and his family had lost their home. However, as the man explained to the fraudster (according to her own words), these were tears of happiness, because it could have been worse. Then the woman stated the moral of the story:
Why am I telling you all of this now? Everyone has experienced a similar situation. So when you find yourself confronted with such adversity, just think about how it could be worse, give closure to the situation, and think “Thank God that you only took my money.”
The story of a burnt house and a weeping owner at first sounds a bit histrionic. Moreover, Kira Antipina told this story on November 5 (for those who are interested, you can look up the recording on the Internet and jump to the time 26:45). One month later she told viewers about another person who had lost their house and who also remained grateful after what happened. And, it would perhaps seem to members of the audience listening to speaker QW Lianora Swiss, everyone without exception mysteriously loses their real estate. However, apparently, all of these stories were invented by Kira and carefully summed up under quotes from her favorite sources.
A rather cursory analysis of the entries on Kira Antipina’s social network personal page is sufficient to understand: about 60–70% of everything the woman talks about during live broadcasts is a random hodge podge of quotes. The speaker claims to represent the “no. 1 corporation in the world” and is a successful investor, to use her own words. There is a continuous string of quotes that go back 3–5 years.
The leitmotiv that Kira Antipina has chosen for all of the sermons that she has delivered as part of the “Morning with Lianora” lectures is in fact humility. The scamster encourages all of the investors who have been waiting for the opportunity to collect a return on their investments for more than a year to be grateful for everything: losing their money, not receiving payouts, having taken out loans with unbearable terms in order to make the initial investment, and any other consequences of concluding a deal with Questra World, QW Lianora Swiss, AGAM, and Five Winds. Apparently, she also read this in one of the social network groups.
There are hundreds of such entries on the fraudster’s page, and there are certainly more than enough of them to provide material for another year of useless online conferences, during which the woman will spend most of the time talking about fortunetellers, relating life stories, making beautiful comparisons, and broadcasting motivational quotes.. The actual information content of such broadcasts approaches zero, though this strategy of communicating with potential investors has clearly been chosen for a reason. The fact is that those who push pyramid schemes choose people who are fairly far removed from the world of finance and have no investment experience as their main target audience. It is obvious that people in this audience would be bored to listen to economic and financial indicators, learn terminology, master highly specialized mechanisms, and monitor the market situation. And even if we ignore the fact that Questra World and all of the other companies that are interrelated with it are ordinary scams that do not have any serious foundation to them, then it is important to point out that the majority of investors will simply start abandoning the project if they are not given something that they find interesting.
This is one of the main problems: financial pyramid schemes are extremely popular because they are very good at appealing to a person’s emotions, and in such a situation, everything rational simply falls by the wayside or even becomes superfluous. We have reliable information that one of the founders of the “no. 1 corporation in the world”, Cheslav Konyukh (Pestyuk), was engaged in drafting training presentations for pyramid scheme agents. In them, the criminal taught people that he was able to professionally do it himself: he knew how to choose the right victim and to recruit them into the scheme. Back in 2011, the man wrote on his blog that it is first necessary to give people what they want, and then everything will work out.
Returning to our conversation about Kira Antipina, it is frightening to imagine what thoughts the investors who lost money in Questra World a year ago experience when they listen to the lady from Perm, since they are now obliged to pay large amounts on loans every month. Recall that we have already previously described the horrible tragedy that befell the family of the Questra World investor: the father of a number of children took out a bank loan with his house as collateral. Some time after the termination of the payouts from the pyramid scheme, the bailiffs were forced to foreclose on the family dwelling in order to repay the family debt. The head of the family could not bear such a blow and committed suicide. Would Kira Antipina dare to tell the widow and minor children of the deceased investor what she broadcasts during her sessions?
The International Investigations Assistance Center has every reason to believe that Kira Antipina is liable under Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Fraud”) with the correction that she was acting “together with a group of persons in a premeditated fashion.” Moreover, an aggravating condition is the fact that Lianora Swiss is a financial pyramid scheme (a review of internal documents will confirm this instantly, since even the potential profit from “effective investments” will not cover the costs of interest payments). She is also liable under Article 172 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which covers illegal banking activity. Of course, charges could charges could also be filed under Article 172.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Organization of activities to raise funds and (or) other property”). Of course, here you can add participation in a pyramid scheme, which is also a criminal offense. Moreover, Kira Antipina’s “company” will be of interest to the Federal Tax Service, since “tax evasion” is charged under another article, Article 199 “Evasion of taxes, levies payable by the organization, and (or) social insurance premiums payable by the organization that is liable to pay insurance contributions”.
In essence, the combined charges under these articles entail enormous fines and a total term of 10 years of imprisonment. I wonder if Kira Antipina, the mother of two minor children, as far as we can tell, realizes that she actually deceives people with her smile and upbeat talk as well as rooks them out of money while the management of the pyramid scheme has not the slightest plan to resume payouts that were frozen a year ago?