The Region

Vice officers in Santa Barbara arrested three men and a woman in connection with an investment "game" they said was a thinly disguised version of illegal pyramid or "endless chain" scams. Fred McMonagle, 33, and Eduardo Jalles, 38, were arrested on suspicion of promoting the scheme, called "Airplane," and Susan Ilovsky, 40, and Oliver Duex, 42, were arrested on suspicion of violating the law prohibiting "endless chain" plans. All were released on their own responsibility. Investigators said the scheme involves a "pilot" and two "co-pilots" who solicit eight "passengers," each of whom pays the pilot $1,500 for a "seat on the plane." The co-pilots then become pilots and passengers also move up--creating the need for new players.

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