Kiev, Uralia, Earth -- 29 Apr. 2057: After an intensive 3-month pursuit, notorious confidence tricksters Loyola Martanian and Eygus Klimm -- aka. Dina and Flagen Pursuivant, aka. Tanis Beekrep and Sten Pilliamsen, aka. Amalintheya Rainn and Tegen Glerfnard -- have been arrested on charges of larcenous fraud, neuromanipulation under false pretense, and operating an unaccredited educational institution with intend to defraud. The bulk of the monies allegedly defrauded by the couple have been recovered and are being held pending trial with the intent, in the event of conviction, to return them to their rightful owners. A class-action suit has also been filed in Uralia Regional Civil Court against Mx. Martanian and Mre. Klimm by the firm of Blarntzen Stacklove & Root Pi.
The pair are accused of operating a fake hypnogogic-education business in dozens of small townships and stations. According to Bureau of Public Safety Senior Criminologist Cpt. Kile Blitner, the scammers targeted remote centers with high unemployment, where many people were seeking to train in-demand skills such as robot management, link-farming and content curation, nano-engineering, or exogeology. "These two clowns would set up as a hypno-school with forged credentials," Cpt. Blitner stated at a press conference earlier this day, "and offer one-on-one classes. They'd put their 'students' under, dope them up with dendritic growth enhancer, squid them up in alpha-wave stimulation gear which was three generations obsolete, and play an audiotape from a Time-Life kiddie guide to them. They'd leave feeling like they'd really learned something. After a couple weeks of 'lessons', when they'd got as much cash as they thought they could milk out of the poor desperate folks or thought people were starting to catch on, they'd disappear and pop up again somewhere else." The Bureau estimates that Mx. Martanian and Mre. Klimm bilked their clients of close to 500 centicredits, primarily denominated in local currencies and bartered items.
Dr. Plam Blannigan, a hypnogogic-education expert and professor of neuropsychology at Asimov University, expressed a guarded admiration for the scammers. "These two clearly had a significant understanding of the operation of real hypno-schooling techniques," he stated in an email response to our requests. "They were able to perfectly replicate the feelings engendered by a true hypnogogic learning experience with the minimum possible cost outlay. Slightly higher-quality equipment, a tailored neurostimulation program, genuine training material, and a bit of pedagogical technique is all it would have taken to change their operation from a scam into a genuine, accreditable hypno-school. I just wish they'd chosen to use their talents and knowledge in the service of genuine education rather than trickery and fraud. There is a desperate shortage of talented teachers; the education system is being overwhelmed."