Pigeons point to Ponzi scheme

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SALEM, Ohio — The Iowa Attorney General‘s office has wrapped up its most recent investigation of Pigeon King International, the Canadian-based pigeon breeding company, and warns potential breeders to look twice before signing with the company.

Demands

Late last year, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller demanded PKI owner Arlan Galbraith provide various details about his operation and plans for the future amid concerns the entire operation was a fraud.

In examining documents Galbraith provided, “we did not receive information that eliminated our concern this was a Ponzi scheme,” said Iowa attorney Steve Moline.

A Ponzi scheme is defined as an investment fraud in which early investors are paid with money obtained from later ones in order to create the illusion of profitability.

Moline also said that in Canadian media interviews, Galbraith admitted he had not sold any pigeons to anyone other than new investors since 2005.

How it works

Pigeon King International, which bills itself as the world’s second-largest pigeon breeder, invited investors and buyers to invest as much as $50,000 to $100,000 or more to buy hundreds of pigeon breeding pairs.

Galbraith, in turn, contracted with the growers to buy back the offspring. He told them the pigeons would be sold to new investors, and on the marketplace for meat or as pets.

Monitored

Moline said Galbraith has agreed not to solicit new growers in Iowa, and to fulfill payment for all current contracts. He said he was not aware of any other states investigating the matter.

A spokesperson for Ohio’s attorney general said there have been no complaints about the company reported here.

Related articles

Pigeon idea may not fly: Iowa investigating company for scheme (2/21/2008)
You’re raising what? Pigeons! (9/13/2007)

About the Author

Former staff reporter Andrea Zippay wrote for Farm and Dairy from 2001 to 2009. More Stories by Andrea Zippay

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