Morocco Learn and Earn Cosmetics CEO Arrested in Investigation on Ponzi

Rabat – The National Brigade of Judicial Police (BNPJ) arrested Moroccan CEO Zakaria Fathani on Saturday for illegal activities occurring within the operation of his Learn and Earn Cosmetics company.The police arrested the business leader as part of an investigation into the nature of the firm’s business model, which Telquel’s earlier reporting revealed to be reminiscent of exploitative Ponzi schemes.Bank al-Maghrab and an affiliated Moroccan regulatory agency field a compliant against Learn and Earn in April, leading the government to freeze the company’s accounts in June pending completion of the criminal investigation. Telquel reports that hundreds of Fathani’s investors gathered outside the Casablanca regional headquarters of Bank Al-Maghrib on Monday to demand that the accounts be unfrozen. Social media sites have been divided in their stance regarding Fathani’s arrest. Popular Moroccan Youtuber Redaoune Assermouh, who runs the TV Skizofren channel, said the arrests “signaled the return of the arbitrary arrests by the police.” Assermouh urged citizens to join the protests in Casablanca against the CEO’s arrest and called law enforcement’s action a form of “hogra,” or abuse.A victim, who considers the company’s business structure to be a scam, warned Fathani’s supporters to “be careful, as the company is trying to attract you to dangerous actions. Stay Alert,” he said.U.S. political satirist John Oliver did a 30-minute explainer piece on Ponzi schemes, or multilevel marketing structures, as they are sometimes called, last month. Such a business model is formed when the corporate leadership elects to pay earlier investors through funds contributed by newer investors, instead of generated profits.