Javajune's Blog

Someone once said… “Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

Gifting Circles and other Illegal Stuff


Here is a confession of my own. Let me get comfy on the sofa. Ahhh, okay here goes:

I wasn’t born yesterday, far from it, but why do I feel so tempted to do something so stupid and very illegal? I was approached a few days ago about joining a Woman’s Gifting Circle. The invitation came from an old friend for a girls night of food and sharing. She said it was a gifting club for woman where they get together and talk while exchanging gifts. Okay here’s how that conversation went:

This is me: “Okay, sounds like fun, what sort of gift should bring?” Friend: Well it’s kind of hard to explain but we give each other money.” Me: “Money, how much money?” Friend:“Most groups give 5k each. (yeah thats right 5 thousand) and our  8 names form a heart. The woman at the point or bottom of the heart gets the 40k. Then she drops out and everyone moves down a spot.” Me: “What 5k are you crazy?”

Well you can imagine how the rest of that conversation went. I just couldn’t get over the fact that she wanted me to bring 5k in cash and hand it over, all in hopes that I would eventually receive 40k, if we get enough suckers, I mean woman, to join.

I asked around a bit and did a little google search but I still wasn’t satisfied with what I heard or found. The net said pyramid scheme and very illegal. People I know said,” oh yeah I heard so and so did it and made 40k or did it twice and made 80k.”

My brain says; what a scam and Junie girl you would have to be one crazy bitch to get involved with that. I can just see it now, after the money is exchanged the swat team will bust through the windows, swinging on ropes, put me in handcuffs and then hall me away to share my new digs with my new roomy, Big Bonnie.  😮

Ohhh, Did I forget to tell you about my vivid imagination. Yeah it’s pretty bad. Throw in a little anxiety and a lot of caffeine and you have the rambling version of Java June. But seriously readers, what should I do? I am sooo curious and who wouldn’t want to make a quick and painless 40k?  Yes Janet, I am well aware of the old add-age; if it sounds to good to be true it probably is, but, but I just want to go to see what kind of women are involved. Should I go and leave my check book at home or should I just stay away, all together, because I know how easily suckered I am?… And of course there is the illegal part. Have I ever done anything illegal before, you ask?  Well that’s an entirely different post 🙂


December 3, 2008 - Posted by | confessions, me, should be illegal, Uncategorized | , , , , , ,


  1. I have heard about these parties but have never been to one. I dont understand who in this economy and around the holidays has 5K or more to shell out.

    Comment by BABYG25 | December 5, 2008

  2. It’s sort of like gambling babyg25. Thank you for your comment.

    Comment by javajune | December 6, 2008

  3. Dear S.M.P.
    Thank you for the clarification. Your group sounds like a trustworthy bunch. I am curious as to who decides your position in the circle and how quickly you make it to the receiving position. I hope you get a return on your money very soon. Thanks again for your visit.

    Comment by javajune | December 9, 2008

  4. Thank you S.M.P
    For the updated information. Good luck with your group; let us know if it works out for you.

    Comment by javajune | December 10, 2008

  5. “the swat team will bust through the windows, swinging on ropes, put me in handcuffs and then hall me away”

    LOL! I would be thinking the EXACT same thing!!!! I have the same type of imagination.

    I really have never heard of this and I would be pretty worried about getting shanghaied! And can you leave the circle? I can just see trying to leave it and getting whacked under mysterious circumstances. Be careful.

    Comment by Ricardo | December 14, 2008

  6. There are some crazy things happening out there and not all make the evening news. Thanks for your comments.

    Comment by javajune | December 16, 2008

  7. S.M.P. is wrong. Gifting schemes are illegal in Michigan and the rest of the USA.

    Here’s a notice from the Attorney General of Michigan.

    Comment by Hecate | December 28, 2008

  8. I wonder why these groups have become so popular in recent months, perhaps the economy? I am amazed at the amount of traffic this topic has recieved over the past few weeks. Thank you Hecate for your input.

    Comment by javajune | December 29, 2008

  9. I am in the gifting circle. I can guarantee in the state of Michigan this is not illegal. In my gifting circle i have a judge. Along with this judge she has brought three other females who also work for the state to join. Im pretty positive they wouldn’t jeopardize their jobs. Like S.M.P stated you are allowed to gift $12,000 dollars a year. You are only gifting $5,000 to a single person. No wrong doing their. Its a great opportunity, I strongly suggest joining. It does seem too good to be true but believe me, its all true. You technically don’t have to put the full 5K in you can be sponsored by someone or share with someone where you would put 2,500. I strongly suggest going to a meeting, you cant do anything but benefit from this situation.

    Comment by ksp | January 6, 2009

  10. Dear ksp,
    thank’s for the info. Have you reaped the full benifits yet. Please come back and let us know when you have.

    Comment by javajune | January 8, 2009

  11. […] to talk a little about a hot topic here on Javajune’s blog. Some time ago I posted my confession about being tempted to join a gifting circle of friends and since then we’ve had a confession […]

    Pingback by Gifting Circle Madness « Javajune’s Blog | January 9, 2009

  12. My best friend is in the same circle as 2 of the women here, that are going by initials, this circle is based out of the muskegon area and the women around here are very wide-eyed to what’s going on. My friend wont come on here and comment because she is a district attorney in the area & wants no part of anything traceable! She is involved in the circle and she is very involved. She knows the boss of the women on here, who is also from the muskegon area and owns a very successful resturant in the area! She doesnt want her resturant to be investigated. I guess we need to know from another lawyers point of view. I was thinking about joining today, meetings are on sundays and now I’m just not so sure eventhough I believe my friend. It seems perfectly allright over here in the west side of Michigan, we even have some ladies who travel from Minnesota, so I guess I’m really unsure now. We know xxx and xxx and these women are well known in G H & W H.

    Comment by Patricia | January 11, 2009

  13. i found this on google website and i am in a circle in detroit. i have had great luck with it. im sorry to those who havent, because i have not heard of any bad stories so far only good.

    i saw something on the news about this and decided to google it to see what i could find.

    please, dont look at me any different, im a mother of 5 and my husband died in this bloody war that’s going on. i have used money given to me to join this with a friend. its really giving me hope and hleping me cope with the loss of my husband. i owe this to my children and their future. i hope this once ‘blessing’ to me isnt going to turn into a horrible thing. i really want help with my life and this was my way of getting it. the meetings bring me happiness and closeness with other women, networking and whaotnot. i really havent felt this way in a long time around other women in the same boat as me.

    is anyone else in my position? is this really doomed? im so sad & lost feeling.

    Comment by Mommy of 5 | January 11, 2009

  14. Dear Mommy of 5,
    I don’t think any of us are in a position to judge you or anyone else. I am sorry for your loss and I do hope that this group brings you comfort and friendship. Let us know if it pays off for you. I hope that everyone who has taken this route can reap the benefits. This blog is all about supporting eachother- we all have our secrets or skeletons in the closet. Take care.

    Comment by javajune | January 12, 2009

  15. Bottom line here is that If the gifting is done in the correct manner it is considered legal with that said let’s be careful not to expose anyone to undo investigation. Remember any comments made here are just that comments and they may be fact or fiction. I say this with the best intentions toward you all. I really love each and every one of your comments but I do want to protect the privacy of others. Let’s keep everyone safe and happy. Live and let live and all that other hippy chick stuff.

    Comment by javajune | January 12, 2009

  16. […] is an excerpt of my original post on the subject. I wasn’t born yesterday, far from it, but why do I feel so tempted to do something […]

    Pingback by I’m Alive but Still Crazy « Javajune’s Blog | February 10, 2009

  17. I’m also in a gifting circle, which has among its members one person who once had a turn in the ‘abundance’ position, (the center) of a previous circle. The structure is important: everyone moves into the center within 3 to 6 months, and gets “gifted.” I joined it because I am unemployed, and cannot find new work in this ecomony. The focus of these groups is to offer much-needed support to others in the group. All members are invested in its continuance, and I have complete faith that it will function as promised. I feel good about bringing in my required two members. It actually is legal, and in terms of investment risk – it’s a lot safer than my 401k and the stock market.

    Comment by Kathryn | February 13, 2009

  18. I am currently in several Gifting Circles and love, love, love it. There is plenty of energy to be received from the parties that I attend. It is my understanding that part of what may make this illegal is to guarantee results or to indicate that you are then obligated to do something after you join (like bringing in new members). It makes sense to me that if you are looking at this as a gift you are not expected to do anything in return. If you are giving a gift I believe there is a form to be used to indicate the someone willingly gave a gift and someone willingly accepts said gift. The attorney in our group told us about using this form. I am seeing many other circles opening up in smaller denominations that are moving faster than the 5K ones, for obvious reasons. But it is a good thing, and I think everyone knows someone who could benefit from this. But don’t promise anything.

    Comment by Robin | May 22, 2009

  19. I love the circle I am in and it is not a pyramid. It is as safe as putting your money in stocks In fact I have been in circle for 10 years and lost a cent!

    Comment by melitahead | March 19, 2012

  20. It’s mathematically impossible to be in a ‘circle’ (pyramid) for 10 years….

    Comment by Tammy | October 4, 2012

  21. Tammy, you’re mostly right – except you left out the factor of time. If circles ‘move’ very, very, VERY slowly, then it could last for 10 years. That would mean that it would take years for the circle to ‘pay off’. I awoke from the spell of a circle not long ago, got my money back, and am now in the process of breaking the news to my friends that its a pyramid scheme and advising them of all risks associated with their participation. The dream of the circle is a beautiful dream – but this pyramid scheme is definitely not a way to empower women. All my actions now are in service to the hope that my friends’ participation does not devolve into chaos and sheer ugliness.

    Comment by Wren | January 29, 2013

  22. *Correction: It is not a way to *financially* empower women. There is a lot of real support and love that is shared in the circles, but most women have not considered the reality of ever-increasing number of participants needed to sustain it. Additionally, it would be hard to prove in court that you were truly giving a ‘gift’ when you were also clearly expecting to receive $40,000 because of said ‘gift.’

    Comment by Wren | January 29, 2013

  23. Don’t risk your money, or friendship. I know some women say here that they are “successful” but who has the social capital to bring more people at 5K indefinitely? At the end of the pyramid someone is going to be left holding the bag. If you received money too, you can get sued later, so beware. It only takes one person to feel cheated. See the link below. Just to point something out mentioned by Patricia. If the lawyer was not afraid that this is truly illegal she wouldn’t hide it from her boss.

    Comment by Sandra | July 1, 2013

  24. […] to javajune for the […]

    Pingback by Assisnation | Beginnings | July 28, 2013

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