He said, “There’s no point in taking money to heaven; you’ve been alive for 70 years and you don’t even know that.
The elderly people in the audience burst into laughter as the man explained his lucrative business methods with tongue in cheek.
The man is Shoji Minegishi, 58, president of G-PEX (Minato-ku, Tokyo), a company that sells health foods and other products. Minegishi operates “Minna no Tamago Club,” a Ponzi scheme in which members are allegedly rewarded simply for buying eggs. On November 30, he was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Consumer Affairs Division on suspicion of violating the Infinite Chain of Fraud Prevention Act for collecting more than 300 million yen from approximately 10,000 members.
The “Everybody’s Egg Club” was launched in October 2009. The suspect, Minegishi, held about 150 seminars nationwide. He was selling “high-grade eggs” under the guise that the club was “created to improve the lives of the economically vulnerable who had lost their livelihood due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Here is how it works. For an admission fee of 10,000 yen and 13,900 yen for 90 eggs of exceptional nutritional value, members would receive 25,000 yen a month. In addition, if he introduces one new member, he is said to get 240,000 yen. According to Minegishi, the eggs were fertilized and had “firm and thick yolks,” so he had them purchased for 150 yen each. In reality, however, the eggs can be purchased at supermarkets for as little as 15 yen.
The Business of Warriors Who Share Their Love
Many of the members were elderly people over 60 years old. At the seminar, Minegishi verbally solicited the elderly as follows: “Even if you are an old man or a woman, you are a member of the Ponzi scheme.
At the seminar, Minegishi verbally solicited the participants, saying, “Even grandpas and grandmas can make money. Without love, it is not a business. It will not be transmitted. This is the business of warriors who convey love.
However, in November 2009, just one month after the launch of “Minna no Tamago Club,” there were a number of problems with delays in payment and delivery of eggs. The National Consumer Affairs Center (NCC) received a number of inquiries about the delays, and 80% of the members reported late deliveries.
At the seminar, the suspect Minegishi made bitter excuses, saying that he would not deliver eggs until six months later because he had to prepare the parent birds, and that he would put the payment on the points. The elderly members of the club must have casually participated in the seminar because the total cost of the admission fee and eggs was relatively affordable, about 20,000 yen.
The suspect Minegishi apparently told the police that he had learned the method from a man who had been caught in a fraud case. He also boldly stated, “I am a genius at making money. The members were repeatedly told the recorded explanations at the seminar, which was like a kind of brainwashing.
The self-proclaimed “profit-making genius” had earned about 80 million yen from the money collected from members. He denies the charges when questioned by the police.
Photographed by： Shinji Hasuo