Pigeon King ‘dead in the water’

© AgMedia Inc.

Former Pigeon King International contact producers are being encouraged to attend a meeting in Stratford tomorrow.

UPDATED Friday June 27, 2008, 5:45 p.m. (Links added)

UPDATED Thursday June 26, 2008, 12:03 p.m. (Links added)

UPDATED Friday June 20, 2008, 4:18 p.m.

UPDATED Friday June 20, 2008, 11:11 a.m.


I am commenting on the above article about the Pigeon King going bankrupt. We currently are renting a barn to someone involved with Arlan Galbraith. I just wanted to state that if the pigeon growers opened the doors and let them go they would always return to the barn that they came from. It would not be a good idea. I think that the growers will have to think of some other way to dispose of these birds. Did anyone even think that these birds are hightly inbred. What good would they be to anyone else?


They are not inbred M.N.!! Do you even know what you are talking about?? Maybe you should investigate things a little better before you start typing!!

I think it is horrible to say the least, as to what PKI has done to the 1000 families who fell into this pyramid scheme. Inbred or high-fliers, or squab or whatever the heck these USELESS birds are described as doesn't really matter anymore! The whole thing was and is wrong, and should have been shut down sooner!

I was at a local farm show 2 years back and this sales person from PKI told me "YOU'LL MAKE SO MUCH MONEY YOU WON"T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT". Thats when I thanked God for discernment and left chuckling to myself the old saying my grandfather told me. "If it's to good to be true, well then it likely is"

I'm having a hard time figuring out who's going to reimburse my 78 year old neighbor the $75000 which was promised to "make him so much money he'll yadda yadda yadda...........

By the way, anybody out there know where all the money went???

Right into Arlin's pocket!!!!!...will he be penniless and unable to feed little children or retire with any dignity???? Will he need a food bank or now be even worse off in trying to save the family farm. I don't think so. All those rented facilities...he didn't even put his own money into buying office space!

I truly HOPE that the Federal Income Tax people get involved.....Those who paid money to PKI should get their bills together to give to the Income Tax people - In the USA you go to Prison for Income Tax evasion.....in Canada - we probably slap a guy on his wrist and shake his hand for being so smart
I knew and told everyone I knew - it could NOT work - and NOTHING made any economic sense.........but the people were grasping for stars.....

I feel bad for all the people who were taken in by the Pigeon King, but if they had been smart they would have done some investigating before investing in Pigeon King's scheme. Had they done so and had talked to people involved in raising pigeons either for squab or as a hobby they would have been told that the scheme would never work. The type of pigeons that they were producing were not worth the money they were promised; most of them were not even good enough for the squab market. They would have been told that as soon as Pigeon King was running out of new investors the whole scheme would collapse.

I just wanted to post this. I have two brothers-in-law who got involved with PKI. They are both amish. There are a lot of postings on here saying that people should have checked into this before they got involved. I am here to tell you that when my first brother-in-law wanted to go into this I did come on the internet and check around to see what I could find out about it because amish have no internet access. I could not find one negative article about PKI. So all he had to go on was the word of other breeders. They were all very happy and said that they always got paid and that Arlan had even bigger plans for the future. So he signed the contract and everything was going good until now. So my other brother-in-law started too. He unfortunately didn't even get one check before it closed. I don't know if this was all a scheme or if people making accusations that it was a scheme caused the bankruptcy, but all I know is that there are a lot of people suffering now for it.

You're right, there was not much on the internet during the first six years. Galbraith chose to operate within the confines of the Amish and Mennonite communities knowing they are trusting.

When outsiders began to be drawn into this they were impressed with the extraordinary returns for this seemingly exotic product and the perfect six years of payments.

The computer became a vehicle for news to spread first through pigeon fancier club members, who knew this sounded too good to be true, and then to discussion forums and finally to state officials who began to investigate.

It was December of last year when the first state made headline news by ruling against the pyramid scheme. I hope that government officials will learn the lesson to nip these things in the bud before they get out of hand.

Unfortunately the math alone shows that this scheme won't work. If a pair of pigeons are bought for $250 with a promise that squabs will be bought at $25, each pigeon then has on average 10 squabs a year....each pair of pigeons has a liability of $2500 over their 10 year laying lifetime. With only an internal market there would never be enough money to build a plant - any new money was just paying people further up the pyramid.

Get your facts straight. NOBODY is being innvestigated for income tax evation. There is however some question as to whether GST was handled properly. Not sure why that is even an issue as Revenue Canada (not "the income tax people") return GST to farmers and corporations anyway.

Can you explain "he didn't even put his own money into office space!"?

All his space was rented!!!...not even his landlords there know what is going on...but he can walk away without any obligations.

Who knows where the money flew off to, but usually the person at the top of the pyramid gets it. You have to get in on those types of schemes early if you want to get your return. Any one with any sense would know that people are not going to pay $50 plus the processing profits to eat a lousy pigeon. Try 50 cents.

I, too, was lured by the promises of PKI, talked to reps at our local plowing match, got all the info, paperwork, did some serious investigating. I was entering retirement and looking for an alternate source of income. I was always interested in pigeons, so it all sounded so great. I got so excited about the possibilities that I wanted it all to happen in the worst way, to the point that I was almost blinded by the possibilities. However, being of a skeptic nature, I did do some investigating - talked to Ministry of Ag. reps, contacted pigeon fancier clubs, did some exploring on the internet. When I came across CrimebustersNow postings I knew my hopes had been dashed. What was too good to be true was indeed so.

I am thankful that my family is spared the financial anguish that could have been. However, I do not criticize those who got involved. It's so easy to get blindsided.

To be honest, who knows if they are inbred or not - pigeons were sold in pairs but then put in big barns to make their own pairings. Banding was only done by month and not by pedigree so who knows which pigeons had paired up with other pigeons. The only argument on the side of them not being inbred is the amount of pigeons involved makes it less likely. It also depends on how closely related the original 'seed' stock was - anyone know?

I am one of the Breeders involved in all this. Even though I am not happy with what has transpired, and I sure have to figure out my options now, but I can Verify these birds ARE NOT INBREAD. When we have had eggs in our holding pens for the Babies, under order of Pigeon King International we had to throw those eggs away. We have done that for months. Just want to clear the air on this remark.


bill top needs to shut his mouth.... if it was such a scheme why didn't he say anything when he quit instead of waiting til two years later to step up and say something..... you say that you feel bad for what happened to all those people but i don't think you are... your just trying to sound like a good guy cause if you had of cared about these people you would have stepped up a long time ago no matter what would happen.

I've had friends involved with Pigeon King, and I always thought that it was too good to be true, and once more, the old adage has proved true. I feel really sorry for the people that have been duped by PKI.

There are lesser known uses for strong flying pigeons. They are extensively used by people for the training of hunting (bird) dogs and have been used in the past for Trap shooting competitions. The unwanted birds would be welcomed by people who participate in the pass-times.

Releasing live birds for the sole purpose of being shot is a criminal offence. That's why CLAY pigeons.

Criminal Code of Canada


445.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who

(d) promotes, arranges, conducts, assists in, receives money for or takes part in any meeting, competition, exhibition, pastime, practice, display or event at or in the course of which captive birds are liberated by hand, trap, contrivance or any other means for the purpose of being shot when they are liberated; or

(e) being the owner, occupier or person in charge of any premises, permits the premises or any part thereof to be used for a purpose mentioned in paragraph (d).

I wasnt aware of this obscure law...I am guessing most law enforcement people wouldnt be either...nor would they care. Poor little pigeons. Guess they better just gas them all.

Arlin always thought about everyone else before himself. He is NOT a SCAMMER but a excellant business man who was always getting frowned upon by others who couldnt make a career out of anything.I was going to work for him in sales but he made me realize that I would be giving up more than I would recieve. I dont mean my income. I am proud to say that Arlin is my friend.


He has duped many family farmers out of they're dreams and millions of dollars of investmest and you STILL think he's a great person??!!
He had this ending planned from day one.


Allan.....Maybe he talked you out of it, because he didn't want you "a friend" to get involved. Consider yourself lucky.....To bad for all the others....

I always understood that homing Pigeons returned home. I, for one, was looking forward to Ontario produced Squab.

There has been Ontario grown and processed squab in Ontario for 20 years. They are 16 oz. at 4 weeks old. That's a big difference from PKI hobby birds.

My question is what about the salesmen who were still tring to sell birds and line there pockets as of last weekend? They should be brought up on charges like the individuals from Nortel!


As soon as CBN heard about PKI, on August 2007, Dave Thornton, the CrimeBustersNow.org President (CBN), contacted Arlan Galbraith directly and asked him to immediately stop

If not doing so, Dave clearly let him know that CBN would use all proper tools to shut him down, according to CBN mission, like we have done with others, TTI UK, TTI Canada, The Sum-it Club and now PKI.

CBN has been very honest with Arlan and gave him his chance to stop what we believe is a Ponzi scheme, hurting a minimum of farmers at that time.

Instead of taking the farmers' side, Arlan decided to try to discredit CBN volunteers by all means.

CBN team is happy to have got PKI feathers up before our target date of July 1st, 2008, as previously stated on the Discover Vancouver forum, even if we could not guarantee a date for sure.

We are very sorry for all the farmers involved and their losses, but it's better that 1,000 farmers have trouble than 10 of thousands more.

Thank you to Better Farming and Lancaster Farming Magazines, the Iowa, South Dakota, Washington and Maryland Attorneys General and all volunteers and people that helped bursting what we think, since there is no apparent outside market, is the worst Ponzi scheme to have ever been created in the North American farming business.

Like previously stated, yesterday, on the Discover Vancouver forum, CBN is ready to help farmers that want to be helped.

We can bring a horse to the river but... we cannot drink for him.

You have our email address, phone number and physical address to contact us, on the Business section of the Discover Vancouver forum.

Here, in Quebec, RCMP officers have just arrested Vincent Lacroix, president of Norbourg, alleging fraud around $100,000,000.

Lacroix and his accomplices will have to face the Justice under the Criminal Code of Canada, in the months to come.

Maybe USA will also step in to the PKI situation since around half of the PKI victims are located in USA.

All people that benefited from the Arlan's scheme could also be forced by the bankruptcy Trustee to give him the proceeds back so the money would be given back to the victims on a pro-rata basis, which would be fair and just.

Arlan cannot plead he was not aware since Dave contacted him directly by phone and email on August 20, 2007, to ask him to cease and desist and report himself to proper authorities, before hurting more and more victims.

We always warned potential victims that PKI was in technical bankruptcy, with around $1,000,000,000 hidden liabilities in its books.

CBN volunteers and their friends are proud to have stopped that scheme after nearly 10 months of fighting it.

Remember that CBN volunteers team has business people and a real former American police officer running it, plus friends such as Retired Banker and other honest people helping them.

We understand very well that many farmers are still in denial in front of the last events but I really think it's a lot better that 1,000 farmers are affected than 10,000 or more.

If I was you, I would not fool around too long and I would make sure to contact the Bankruptcy Trustee and make sure he recognizes the whole thing for what it is, and takes all legal actions and means to recover your hard-earned money.

Don't forget you could also sue your own bank and/or accountant, or any other professionals, if they gave you a positive opinion about Arlan's and PKI activities.


Michel J. Grenier

There may have been a few people involved who were naive enough to believe this thing was for real but I'm guessing that most saw through it and then got involved anyway hoping it would last long enough to get their investment back and then profit. There is still hope. Lots of businesses declare bankruptcy and then turn around and buy it back at 20 to 50 cents on the dollar. Maybe Arlan's out but the pigeons are still there and you're free to do with them as you wish. If you really believed this thing would fly (pardon the pun) you would be getting together and taking it to the next level as Arlan supposedly had planned. I don't buy it for a second that this was ever going to happen but if you honestly believed this was for real you would be going ahead with the original "supposed" plan and building your processing plant and hiring marketers. Every other livestock sector has tried producer owned co-operative processing plants-some successful and most not. And these producers even had a legitimate market to sell into . Anyone now stuck with a barn full of pigeons has no market- would this not be a better option or do you really believe in it after all????

It seems very odd that the Bankruptcy Trustee name has not been made public, is there actually a trustee in place?


If, as He said in the letter sent to the growers, Arlin did pay $12,000,000.00 to folks for birds they had raised for him...how much did he take in when he sold them? If we assume, for the sake of argument, that he paid $25.00 per bird,then he bought 480,000 birds. If he "paired" them he had 240,000 pairs of birds he sold. If he sold them for $250.00 a pair , he took in...are you ready for this?...$60,000,000.00. That leaves him with $48,000,000.00. Not a bad profit, I would say. Also, the letter he sent out was dated June 17. The letters the folks in my area recieved were post marked June 12. So, where is Arlin and all that money?

By reading this comment sounds like Bill Top may have put the last of the nails in Arlans (PKI's)coffin. Arlan writes in a recent letter to is supporters "IN THE PAST WEEK ALONE WE LOST SEVERAL VERY LARGE DEALS WE WERE COUNTING ON." From were I am sitting sounds as if Bill may have saved some farmers from losing everything. Bill, your a stand up guy!!!

Galbraith may be a con man, a fool or just an incredably nieve want-to-be-business man. Either way I don't think the millions of piegons who are now left to starve in PKI rented holding barns care. Even if Galbraith honestly believed he had a better mousetrap and talked thousands of investors into backing him, it does not take an MBA to figure out that when a comany's primary, if not only custumer is itself, it ain't going to last long. Conspiracy did't bring this company down, stupidity did. Perhaps like a rogue trader he paniced and kept selling, hoping against hope that a real market would some how magically appear. But personally I find it difficult to believe anyone could be that thick, so I lean towards the deliberate pyramid theory. Either way please do not insult real farmers with accusations of conspiracy to shut down PKI. And what about ligitimate squab farmes who were carefully delibeartely building a market with real busines plans ?
But the bankrupcy trustees are not left with warehouses of usless mousetraps to try to sell as paper weights, they are left with living (now starving) animals who suffer real pain as they starve. That's what makes this fiasco particualrly vial.
I don't want a penny of my tax dollars going to bale out anyone who invested in PKI but I don't mind some of my tax dollars going to reduce the pain and suffering of defensless animals caught in the middle. That's the real story here. Where are the authorities? When the Red River floods in Manitoba we get feed to stranded livestock somehow. But when a deliberate pyramid scam or incredably stupid business plan colapses and its pigeons not cows, nobody seems to care. There will always be some sort of scams, poor business decsions, floods, ice storms, or mad cows, hoof and mouth, bird flu, sars, salmonella in tomatoes (or not). Where are the authorities when we need them? Is Ontario still the only province in Canada not to have animal health legislation? What happened to farm identification and tracing ? Do authorities have any idea, or any way of knowing how many farms how many birds are suffering or where they are ? The Minstry of Agriculture web site seems to indicate that they at least have food safety in hand by checking these birds extra closely at slaughter. I'm glad they are at least doing that. And perhaps even more importantly where are the Press on this story ? Is conspiracy theory the best they can come up with ? Who's asking the important questions ? I do not mean to insult the good people of New Orleans by suggesting this is anywhere near in scale as a desaster to the mismangement of hurrricane Katrina, but to me its the same basic theme of never ever seeming to learn from past disasters. Unbelievable.

As an ex employee of pigeon king and a breeder of high quality racing pigeons I would just like to comment on the scheme of things.
Yes it was a scheme the pigeons he called Homers were nothing compared to the real deal that I am involved with. These birds he had were no match compared to an actual quality bred bird . Us fanciers who take pride in our birds know that there is other basic care required to keep them healthy other then food and water. Vaccinating for PMV for an example. He never did that and sold these sick birds to farmers if their symptoms were not noticeable. He was taking money for sick birds. These birds were also Highly INBRED. Yes I am going to argue with those other comments how could they not be when the stock he started out with was that of his own never bringing in new blood. That sounds like Inbred to me.
Back to the care. Although getting 250 to 500 dollars a pair for these things they only seen one pill for canker when they came into the holding barn. That's only good for three months; long enough for him to pawn them off again. If the average hobby flyer did anything like that he would be frowned upon. His so called "High flyers" were nothing but cross bred mutts Roller Tippler cross or roller what ever crossed these birds were nothing but glorified wild pigeons.
This was a scheme to sucker a bunch of people in to make a quick buck or should I say Million or Two . I feel for these people because their lives are wrecked now I hope Arlan can't sleep. He did it to them and to those people that did it as a hobby with good birds he ruined the market there as well.

Thanks Mike

Editor's note: Thanks for providing your contact information Mike. You could be very helpful to our ongoing investigation. We will be in touch today. Former PKI growers and employees should feel free to contact us in confidence.

Instead of destroying good product and losing all your money, I would advise pigeon farmers to call companies that buy meat for animal feed. These companies include and are not limited to Purina, Royal Canin, Menu Foods... Hope this idea helps.

No surprise to hear that the business is gone. Our opinion was that it was a scheme right from the first - we read his material, contracts, etc and still had NO idea what his market strategy was (ie where these birds were headed). We have been in the fancy for years and can assure readers that the birds being bred would not be used by pigeon enthusiasts. For example - I know NOT ONE single pigeon racer who would ever consider buying non-pedigreed stock. Also since they weren't banded they could not be used in racing. They weren't being used as squab as the larger pigeons (utility king pigeons) are usually the only ones used because of their size. He also had contracts for Birmingham Rollers - a performing bird - again what market? Tested and true birds are the most desirable for any serious pigeon breeder. I feel very sorry for those people who chose to invest and are now left with unbelievable numbers of birds and useless contracts. I have also heard people saying that they will just let these birds go into the wild - a practice that is inhumane and could be detrimental to the pigeon fancy hobby many of us enjoy. The majority of those birds would not survive in the wild - having always been fed, watered and penned. It is my hope that those people left with birds euthanize them humanely and respectfully. Pigeon fanciers have worked for decades to earn the respect their hobby and birds deserve and this could certainly have nasty repercussions.

Does Arlan have a son that is an attorney?

I mean how could farmers have been so dumb-raising pigeons for racing in the middle east-why not raise flying pigs? I feel real sorry for them-imagine it is u walking in that barn filled with thousands of birds-then twisting their necks one wheel barrel at a time-its a sad sad nightmare

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