Danny Gauthier’s Appi Travels Ponzi scheme has collapsed.
On or around June 30th, owner Gauthier shut down Appi Travels’ website.
Appi Travels’ website domain now redirects to a “website closed” image:
Gauthier, a Canadian citizen and resident, launched Appi Travels as a travel-themed pyramid scheme in 2016.
In 2018 Appi Travels was rebooted as a bitcoin gifting scheme. And by 2019 Gauthier (right) had morphed Appi Travels into a full-blown crypto Ponzi scheme.
This third Appi Travels iteration attracted Russian scammers. This saw Gauthier, who doesn’t speak Russian, nonetheless pivot Appi Travels’ marketing dramatically.
Gauthier even went so far as to set up an Appi Travels vKontakte profile:
Gauthier’s Appi Travel’s Ponzi scheme spreading across Russia eventually attracted the attention of local authorities. In October 2021 the Central Bank of Russia issued an Appi Travels fraud warning.
Nonetheless recruitment of new mostly Russian victims persisted, until Gauthier “website closed” exit-scammed a few days ago.
At the time of its collapse, SimilarWeb ranks top sources of traffic to Appi Travels’ website as Russia (53%), the Democratic Republic of Congo (24%), France (15%) and the US (9%).
To date Canadian authorities have shown no interest in investigating Appi Travels or Gauthier.
Total Appi Travels investor numbers and financial losses are unknown.