DES MOINES — A Florida man accused of operating a “pure pyramid scheme” and taking more than $51,000 from older Iowans must make refunds to the victims and stop his solicitations under a settlement with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

Attorney General Tom Miller accused Jhon Palacio, a.k.a. Richard Diamond Sr., of Lake Worth, Fla., and his company, Reliable Data Solutions, Inc. (DBA “RDS Success Team”) of violating the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act and Older Iowans Act.

Palacio sent Iowans verbose mailers that were headlined “$5,000 a week cash and gold generator!” For an investment of at least $750, the mailer recipient could become an “independent dealer,” and the company promised to send out more mailers for him or her. Every time someone joined the offer, the recipient was promised to receive $250 and a gram of gold “to infinity.”

Consumers paid thousands of dollars to Palacio and received no returns, according to interviews of some of the participants. Palacio lied to consumers by claiming that participation in the scheme would result in “guaranteed income,” and his actions financially harmed older Iowans in particular, the attorney general alleged.

This press release was sent to the Herald.

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