It Just Gets Jucier! Now Facebook Owner Mark Zuckerberg Dragged into JuicyFields Legal Wrangling as Swedish Court Rules He Can Be Sued
Swedish lawyers are gunning for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, saying his Meta Platform data centre in Sweden was the “scene of the crime” in the JuicyFields scam in which thousands of investors were fleeced of over 2,5 billion Euros in one of Europe’s biggest scams ever.
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Swedish attorney Lars Olofsson was granted the right to move ahead with the case by a court in Luleå, Sweden, where Meta Platforms Inc.’s first data center outside of the United States was established in 2011.
The lawsuit is the first of several planned by Olofsson against regulators, media and attorneys he alleges facilitated a scam against investors, 800 of whom he is representing in class action litigation.
Olofsson said the quick decision by the court, handed down within 36 hours of the filing, is a “massive win” that will “send a message to the others we have in our legal path that we are proceeding ahead, full steam, with other cases in the meantime.”
The lawsuit arises out of a growing scandal in Europe over JuicyFields, a fintech company that offered “per plant” shares of cannabis crops. JuicyFields went public in April 2020, and imploded about six weeks after the German regulatory authority BaFin banned the selling of its shares to German investors this past June.
Scene of the crime
Meta servers in Luleå, located in the far north of Sweden just within the Arctic circle, “cover about a billion Facebook and Instagram users, which includes most of my clients,” Olofsson said. “The argument is that this is the place where the crime was committed. It is via these servers that my clients have been exposed to JuicyFields’ fraud.”
In his application to the Swedish court, Olofsson wrote:
“That META with its operative manager does not after several months of major publication that Juicy Fields has been an investment fraud cannot have escaped them, and on their own platforms their customers and users have extensive communication around the fraud and their personal situation – and despite this, it still allows Juicy Fields and individuals to do continued marketing for something that others on the platforms tell us is a fraud.
This is also a basis for the motion for the court to rule for failure. Evidence of all accounts on Facebook and Instagram belonging to Juicy Fields as of November 24th of The, 2022, is attached to the notification”.
He said “By allowing a criminal activity to be able to carry out sales and marketing efforts to a large extent and that after it became publicly known that Juicy Fields was a large-scale investment fraud, the company continued to be able to expose itself and a large number of people continued marketing, META and its operative responsible have partly been accomplices to serious fraud and partly failed to report or prevent the crime both during the time Juicy Fields was active and even after Juicy Fields shut down its internet platform.
Facebook “allowed individuals to spread disinformation”
“To this should be added that both Facebook and Instagram allowed individuals to spread disinformation that Juicy Fields was not an investment fraud and most likely it is the individuals behind the scam who continue to deceive and spread incorrect information in order to hide their criminal act. The evidence reports the regulations for Corporate Governance”.
Olofsson said he has identified as many as 170 individuals, banks, companies and lawyers with connections to the massive cannabis fraud, which he claims bilked investors out of nearly $2.5 billion in the expanding international scandal based in Europe.
Observers say JuicyFields is a classic Ponzi scheme in which operators pay out high dividends to early investors with funds from those who invest later.
The suit against Zuckerberg, technically a private criminal prosecution, charges him, as Meta’s CEO, with being grossly negligent in failing to control who has used the company’s platforms. The suit also charges that his negligent behavior included the company violating its own terms of service – a crime under Sweden’s penal codes on fraud. Violation of such statutes carries a mandatory jail sentence of two to six years.
Olofsson said subsequent lawsuits will be filed both in Sweden and internationally.