The moms used their PTA status to add credibiity to their two year scheme. They claimed they had the exclusive right to distribute dairy products to Disneyland. One of the three was arrested and convicted on charges of an earlier similar scam shortly after the three started scam #2. Total involved: $14 million. All investments were required to be delivered in cash.
None of these investors checked with the local dairy or Disneyland to confirm the distributorship. No one asked to see the inventory of products, or the supporting agreements. No one aske to se see records of gross receipts from sales. No one questioned why only cash would be accepted. The amounts were between $5,000 to $208,000 and were made by 40 investors, some of whom drew from their life savings, maxed out credit cards, and took out second mortgages.
Having met a few PTA moms myself many years ago when I served at my daughter's middle school as the lone male PTA member, I am probably less surprised than most.