Cochran v. Dellfava
City Court, City of Rochester, New York
517 N.Y.S.2d 854 (1987)
Despite knowing that it was illegal to participate in a pyramid scheme, Cochran (plaintiff) agreed to take part in the “airplane game” at the urging of Dellfava (defendant). She gave Dellfava $2,200, which he passed along to the “pilot” of the game. Participants in the scheme solicited “passengers” and gradually moved up the pyramid to become “flight attendants,” “co-pilots,” and eventually the “pilot.” When the status of pilot was reached, that person received $17,200. After providing the $2,200, Cochran was surprised and dissatisfied with her level within the pyramid. She fruitlessly sought a return of her money. Eventually her plane “crashed” and Cochran lost her entire investment. She brought suit against Dellfava, and the trial court considered her claim.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Schwartz, J.)