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Money Now Funding Scam Victims Receive Money Back

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Money Now Funding Scam Victims Receive Money Back

Money Now Funding Scam Victims Receive Money BackThe Federal Trade Commission is mailing 2,031 checks totaling more than $436,000 to people who lost money to Money Now Funding, a work-at-home scheme that conned people, including many seniors with limited income and savings, into thinking they could make money by referring merchants in their area to a non-existent money-lending service.

Here is how they described their business opportunity:

Money Now Funding Scam Business Opportunity

The crunch in the lending market has made it even more difficult for Business owners to stay competitive in today’s economy. Lack of cash flow is the number one reason that businesses fail to succeed.

At we offer a simple way for you to get the money your business needs. It’s quick, it’s easy, there are no fixed monthly payments, and there are no personal guarantees.

Your Business could be approved within 24 hours, and get the funds you need in as little as 7 days. Traditional lending sources are costly, and often unavailable to most merchants, plus traditional lenders always look for collateral and personal guarantees.

With you now have the opportunity of obtaining the money your business needs when you need it with no collateral or personal guarantees! – Source

“Money Now Funding,” tried to avoid detection by law enforcement by changing product names, office locations, and merchant identities. They falsely claimed consumers would earn up to $3,000 per month by referring small businesses to the defendants to obtain loans. After victims paid up to $499 to buy the business opportunity, the defendants told them that, to succeed, they had to buy sales leads that cost tens of thousands of dollars but turned out to be worthless.

They cheated American and Canadian victims out of more than $7 million.

Here are the people and the companies that were involved in this scam:

Lukeroy K. Rose, Leary Darling, Solana DePaola, Lance Himes, Cordell Bess, Cynthia Miller, Clinton Rackley, and Richard Frost, and 10 companies: Money Now Funding LLC, Rose Marketing LLC, DePaola Marketing LLC, Affiliate Marketing Group LLC, Affinity Technologies LLC, Global Network Marketing LLC, Precise Payroll Services LLC, Strategic Media Advertising LLC, Legal Doxs LLC, and US Doc Assist LLC.

People who lost money will get an average of $214.68. Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash refund checks.

If you have questions about the case, contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc., at 800-419-5336. To learn more about the FTC’s refund program, visit

The post Money Now Funding Scam Victims Receive Money Back appeared first on Ethan Vanderbuilt.

02/17/2017 |

THW Global Scam Purchased By 888 Travel For Less

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THW Global Scam Purchased By 888 Travel For Less

THW Global Scam Purchased By 888 Travel For LessAfter recruiting over 1.5 million representatives to watch videos for $25 per hour and not paying them, THW Global has sold themselves to 888 Travel For Less. It is time to cash in on all the people they scammed.

Here is their latest excuse for not paying people that viewed videos:

THW Global will be launching a 100 million dollar plus lawsuit against the 3rd party companies that did not pay THW Global the promised monies for their IV viewing of over 900 million ads monthly. In addition to costing THW Global millions of dollars in expenses to build and promote such a system on a global platform. It also caused over 500,000 IVs not to be fairly compensated for their time in effort invested in creating such a viewing success. THW Global believes that the 3rd party company received multiple times from their customers what they were to pay THW Global. THW Global is very confident that the VERY SUCCESSFUL 3rd PARTY GIANT will settle out of court. However nothing is guaranteed except that launching such a lawsuit in FEDERAL COURT will be EXPENSIVE and TIME CONSUMING.  THW Global is not just doing this for itself but for the sake of the 1.6 million THW Global IVs. – Source

888 Travel For Less is expected to buy THW Global with the deal closing on March 1st, 2017.   They claim that any & all non-viewing funds owed will be issued prior to 2/27/2017.

After providing an inspirational video from Joel Osteen about moving forward, THW Global in their latest update provided the details of the new opportunity you have with 888 Travel For Less.  Everyone knows that travel and watching videos for $25 per hour go hand in hand (sarcasm).

Joel Osteen Moving Forward Video


(Editor: I thought I was getting a better life by watching videos for $25 per hour?)

If you are looking for a way to travel the world, and change your current financial situation, then you are in the right place! Get out there and Start Your Journey Today with! is exclusively offered through THWGlobal has a worldwide membership base of over 1.5 million representatives.


As an agent of you will have access to “A Travel Saving Benefits Package” at an agent cost of $100 annually (which is less than $8.88 monthly). The suggested retail price is $149 annually (which is less than $12.50 monthly). Each sale can generate up to $49 in retail earnings when you retail the package to your Customers. Each wholesale sale generates 10,000 Points.


There is absolutely no limit to the amount of money you can earn. We truly believe in free enterprise, and we believe in you. Therefore, the more you do the more you can earn. With you can start making hundreds of dollars immediately while building a residual stream of earnings that will continue to grow for years to come.

In addition to Retail Earnings and Customer Reward System there are also Management Bonuses offered for building a team.

All Bronze through Diamond Agents qualify for Management Incentives up to Ten Levels of Sales as follows:

  • Bronze = receive up to 2 levels of Management Bonuses when qualified.
  • Silver = receive up to 4 levels of Management Bonuses when qualified.
  • Gold = receive up to 6 levels of Management Bonuses when qualified.
  • Platinum = receive up to 8 levels of Management Bonuses when qualified.
  • Diamond = receive up to 10 levels of Management Bonuses when qualified.
  • Level 1 = Earn 500 points ($5.00) per sale made by your team.
  • Level 2 = Earn 200 points ($2.00) per sale made by your team.
  • Level 3 = Earn 200 points ($2.00) per sale made by your team.
  • Level 4 = Earn 200 points ($2.00) per sale made by your team.
  • Level 5 = Earn 200 points ($2.00) per sale made by your team.
  • Level 6 = Earn 200 points ($2.00) per sale made by your team.
  • Level 7 = Earn 200 points ($2.00) per sale made by your team.
  • Level 8 = Earn 200 points ($2.00) per sale made by your team.
  • Level 9 = Earn 200 points ($2.00) per sale made by your team.
  • Level 10 = Earn 400 points ($4.00) per sale made by your team.

Management Bonuses are calculated and displayed in real-time and are released to your Virtual Account ten days later.


In Traditional Marketing Plans – You sell something that costs $100 for $150 and you earn a $50 commission.

 Imagine A Marketing Plan where You sell something for $150 and you have the potential to earn up to $50 commission plus up to $150 in CRS for a total of $200 in earnings per sale.

 Imagine A Marketing Plan where Even if you sold it at cost for $100 you would still have the potential to earn up to $150 in CRS for a total of $150 per in earnings sale.

With the CRS Program, when qualified, you have the potential to earn from all Travel Saving Benefits Packages sold by the company agents regardless of where the sales falls within the company. The company offers five levels of CRS as follows

Companywide Contributions Made:

100 Points from every sale made are contributed to the Level, which is then divided among all those Agents that qualify for Bronze CRS each month.

200 Points from every sale made are contributed to the Level, which is then divided among all those Agents that qualify for Silver CRS each month.

300 Points from every sale made are contributed to the Level, which is then divided among all those Agents that qualify for Gold CRS each month.

400 Points from every sale made are contributed to the Level, which is then divided among all those Agents that qualify for Platinum CRS each month.

500 Points from every sale made are contributed to the Level, which is then divided among all those Agents that qualify for Diamond CRS each month.

Pre-Launch Qualifying Special Until 02/17/2017
All CRS Bonuses Are up to $200 per Membership Sold from Bronze to Diamond
Each 888 Travel For Less Membership Sale = 10,000 Points Toward Award Levels!

Bronze = up to $110 in CRS Bonuses per Membership Sold up to (5)
Qualify by simply accumulating 50,000 Points, earn a maximum of 55,000 Points ($550)
Special Pre-Launch Added CRS Bonus until 02/17/2017, earn a maximum of 100,000 Points ($1000).

Silver = up to $120 in CRS Bonuses per Membership Sold up to (25)
Qualify by accumulating 250,000 Points, earn a maximum of 300,000 Points ($3,000).
Special Pre-Launch Added CRS Bonus until 02/17/2017, earn a maximum of 500,000 Points ($5,000).

Gold = up to $130 in CRS Bonuses per Membership Sold up to (50)
Qualify by accumulating 500,000 Points, earn a maximum of 650,000 Points ($6,500).
Special Pre-Launch Added CRS Bonus until 02/17/2017, earn a maximum of 1,000,000 Points ($10,000).

Platinum = up to $140 in CRS Bonuses per Membership Sold up to (100)
Qualify by accumulating 1,000,000 Points, earn a maximum of 1,400,000 Points ($14,000).
Special Pre-Launch Added CRS Bonus until 02/17/2017, earn a maximum of 2,000,000 Points ($20,000).

Diamond = up to $150 in CRS Bonuses per Membership Sold up to (250)
Qualify by accumulating 2,500,000 Points, earn a maximum of 3,750,000 Points ($37,500).
Until 02/17/2017, thereafter earn a maximum of 5,000,000 Points ($50,000).
All Diamond Agents will also share in a 10% Leadership Pool on all Travel Related Earnings from Non-Membership Sales.

Important CRS Notes:
An Agent may participate in all 5 levels until they reach the total maximum CRS earnings for each level.
Maximum CRS Earnings are Not Accumulative. Meaning if a Bronze becomes a Silver, the maximum CRS total would be $3,000 (not $550 + $3,000).


No commissions are paid for the act of recruiting. Compensation is earned only when a sale of our products or services is made. Any purchase of any our products or services are completely optional, no Independent Representative is required to sell or purchases a product or service.

Any examples of earnings potential written herein are intended as educational material only and are not to be considered as projections of your actual earnings. They are intended only to explain the method of compensation. Your actual earnings will depend on many factors such as personal effort, ability, and the sales efforts of your down-line. Earnings will vary from individual to individual. Some Independent Representatives may earn much more than others. Some Independent Representatives may earn nothing. NO EARNINGS ARE GUARANTEED. While your up-line Independent Representatives are expected to help you with training and support, it is not reasonable to expect earnings without significant ongoing personal effort. Any promises to the contrary from other Independent Representatives should be disregarded. You should carefully consider your level of commitment before becoming involved.

There are no commissions paid for the act of referring people into the Opportunity and there is no requirement to purchase products or services to earn. We strongly encourage you not to join purely based on what any one of our Compensation Plan has to offer. Instead, focus on the complete package which includes our products and services, the practicality of our business opportunity and the fairness of our Compensation Plans. Before joining, you must fully read our full Compensation Plan, Earnings Disclaimers, Independent Representative Agreement, Terms of Use, Policies and Procedures, Privacy Policy and Refund Policy which can be found on our Website.

THW Global Scam Purchased By 888 Travel For Less Conclusion

THW Global is a perfect example of a free scam. They used deceptive claims to get your name, email, and country. They gathered demographic information through surveys sent to their mailing list. Then they rolled out paid options to make money from the people that thought they were getting involved in a totally free money making opportunity. Now they have sold themselves to 888 Travel For Less to cash in on the over 1.5 million representatives they fooled with a bogus offer. I would avoid the THW Global scam.

The post THW Global Scam Purchased By 888 Travel For Less appeared first on Ethan Vanderbuilt.

02/09/2017 |

The Little Black Book Of Scams

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The Little Black Book Of Scams

The Little Black Book Of Scams

I love a great scam busting idea and this is one of them: The Little Black Book Of Scams.  This book has been put together to help people avoid the many scams that are out there trying to take advantage of them.  By reading this book you can learn to spot, avoid, and protect yourself against scams.

It is a free download and I will provide you with a link to it below.  I think you will enjoy it and find it of value.

Here are some key sections from The Little Black Book Of Scams:

Everyone is vulnerable to scams so everyone needs information about how to identify and avoid being scammed. Some people think that only the gullible and greedy fall victim to scams. The truth is scammers are clever and if you don’t know what to look out for, anyone can fall victim to a scam.

How Scams Work—The Anatomy Of A Scam

If you look carefully at all of the different types of scams, you’ll soon notice that most scams go through three stages: (1) approach; (2) communication; and (3) payment.

Understanding the basic parts of a scam will help you to avoid the current crop of scams and to be on guard against new scams that emerge in the future.

1. The Approach

When scammers approach you it will always come with a story designed to make you believe a lie. The scammer will pretend to be something they are not, a government official, an expert investor, a lottery official or even a romantic admirer.

To deliver these lies to you, scammers will use a range of communication methods:

  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Online Shopping
  • Classifieds
  • Auction Sites
  • Dating Sites
  • Online Forums
  • Phone Calls
  • Text Messages
  • Door-to-door
  • Mail

2. Communication And Grooming

If you give them a chance to talk to you, they will start using tricks in their scammers’ toolbox to convince you to part with your money.

  • Scammers spin elaborate, yet convincing stories to get what they want.
  • They use your personal details to make you believe you have dealt with them before and make the scam appear legitimate.
  • Scammers may contact you regularly to build trust and convince you that they are your friend, partner or romantic interest.
  • They play with your emotions by using the excitement of a win, the promise of everlasting love, sympathy for an unfortunate accident, guilt about not helping or anxiety and fear of arrest or a fine.
  • Scammers love to create a sense of urgency so you don’t have time to think things through and react on emotions rather than logic.
  • Similarly, they use high pressure sales tactics saying it is a limited offer, prices will rise or the market will move and the opportunity will be lost.
  • A scam can have all the hallmarks of a real business using glossy brochures with technical industry jargon backed up with office fronts, call centers and professional websites.
  • With access to the internet and clever software it is easy for scammers to create counterfeit and official-looking documents. A document that appears to have government approval or is filled with legal jargon can give a scam an air of authority.

The scammer’s tools are designed to get you to lower your defenses, build trust in the story and act quickly or irrationally and proceed to the final stage—sending the money.

3. Sending The Money

Sometimes the biggest clue you will have that it is a scam is the way the scammer asks you to pay.

Asking for money can come within minutes of the scam or after months of careful grooming. Scammers have their preferences for how you send your money.

Scammers have been known to direct victims to their nearest money remittance location (post office, wire transfer service or even the bank) to send money. They have been known to stay on the phone, give specific instructions and may even send a taxi to help with this. Scammers are willing to accept money by any means and this can include direct bank transfers, preloaded debit cards, gift cards, iTunes cards or virtual currency such as Bitcoin. Any request for payment by an unusual method is a tell-tale sign that it is part of a scam.

Credit cards usually offer some protection and you should also look for secure payment options where ‘https’ appears in the web address and the site has a closed padlock symbol.

Don’t send money to someone you have only met online or over the phone—especially if they are overseas.

Be aware that scammers can also ask for payment in the form of valuable goods and expensive gifts such as jewellery or electronics. Paying money to scammers isn’t the only thing you should worry about—if you help transfer money for a stranger you may unwittingly be involved in illegal money laundering activities.

The Golden Rules To Protect Yourself

Be alert to the fact that scams exist. When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it’s over the phone, by mail, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Know who you’re dealing with. If you’ve only ever met someone online or are unsure of the legitimacy of a business, take some time to do a bit more research. Do a Google image search on photos or search the internet for others who may have had dealings with them.

Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or emails—delete them. If unsure, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Don’t use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.

Keep your personal details secure. Put a lock on your mailbox and shred your bills and other important documents before throwing them out. Keep your passwords and pin numbers in a safe place. Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social media sites. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.

Beware of unusual payment methods. Scammers often ask for payment by wire transfers, preloaded cards and even iTunes cards and Bitcoin. These are nearly always a sign that it is part of a scam.

Keep your mobile devices and computers secure. Always use password protection, don’t share access with others (including remotely), update security software and back up content. Protect your WiFi network with a password and avoid using public computers or WiFi hotspots to access online banking or provide personal information.

Choose your passwords carefully. Choose passwords that would be difficult for others to guess and update them regularly. A strong password should include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for every account/profile, and don’t share your passwords with anyone.

Beware of any requests for your details or money. Never send money or give credit card numbers, online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust. Don’t agree to transfer money or goods for someone else: money laundering is a criminal offence.

Be careful when shopping online. Beware of offers that seem too good to be true, and always use an online shopping service that you know and trust. Think twice before using virtual currencies (like Bitcoin)—they do not have the same protections as other transaction methods, which means you can’t get your money back once you send it.

The following types of scams are covered in detail:

  • Dating and romance scams
  • Investment scams
  • Threat and penalty scams
  • Unexpected money scams
  • Prize and lottery scams
  • Online shopping, classifieds and auction scams
  • Scams targeting computers and mobile devices
  • Identity theft
  • Job and employment scams
  • Charity and medical scams
  • Small business scams

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the creator of The Little Black Book Of Scams.

Click Here to download The Little Black Book Of Scams.

The post The Little Black Book Of Scams appeared first on Ethan Vanderbuilt.

01/23/2017 |

350,000 Victims of Herbalife’s Scam Receive Checks

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350,000 Victims of Herbalife’s Scam Receive Checks

350,000 Victims of Herbalife’s Scam Receive Checks

The Federal Trade Commission is mailing checks to nearly 350,000 people who lost money running Herbalife businesses. The checks are the result of a July 2016 settlement with the FTC that required Herbalife to pay $200 million and fundamentally restructure its business. This represents one of the largest distributions the agency has made in any consumer protection action to date.

“We are pleased to announce that hundreds of thousands of hard-working consumers victimized by Herbalife’s deceptive earnings claims will receive money back,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Along with changes the company will make to its business structure, this is a win for consumers.”

The FTC used Herbalife’s records to determine who would receive a refund and the amount of each check. Generally, the FTC is providing partial refunds to people who ran a Herbalife business in the United States between 2009 and 2015, and who paid at least $1,000 to Herbalife but got little or nothing back from the company. Most checks are between $100 and $500; the largest checks exceed $9,000.

Here are some lessons MLMs can take from this:

False or unsubstantiated earnings claims violate the FTC Act. Established truth-in-advertising standards apply to all companies within the FTC’s jurisdiction, and that includes MLMs. Every MLM case the FTC has brought to date has alleged – among other things – misleading money-making representations. Some MLMs use limos, luxury, and lavish lifestyles as the bait to lure consumers, but their pie-in-the-sky promises turn out to be half-baked. Others try a subtler approach, appealing to consumers’ desire to be their own boss, spend more time with their children, or secure their families’ financial future. Regardless of whether it’s hard sell or soft soap, deception is deception. And let’s face it: The facts bear out that very few MLM participants earn more than a small amount of supplemental income. That’s why it’s unwise for MLMs to make earnings claims – expressly or by implication – that don’t reflect what typical participants achieve.

Monitor the claims your distributors are making. Some industry members may respond, “We never make earnings claims!” Maybe not, but what are your distributors saying? Even a truthful income testimonial can be misleading if typical distributors are unlikely to achieve those results. And if your distributors are making misleading claims, you could be liable. MLMs should have an effective monitoring program to ensure that distributors comply with the law and aren’t conveying misleading claims. In addition, MLMs should provide sufficient information and training so that prospective recruits have a realistic picture of the business.

At the heart of a legitimate MLM are real sales to real customers. For companies acting within the law, the business is driven by selling products to real customers. Who do we mean by “real customers”? People unaffiliated with the company who actually buy and use the product the MLM sells – real retail sales, in other words. And by “real sales,” we mean sales that are both profitable and verifiable – retail sales that can be confirmed. Contrast that with MLMs built primarily on bringing in more and more recruits and racking up sales to other insiders. Very few people are going to make money and most participants will be left in the lurch.

Make sure compensation and other incentives are tied to real sales to real customers. The FTC complaints against Herbalife and Vemma challenged compensation structures that rewarded distributors without regard to retail sales. The court-enforceable orders in those cases require the companies to dismantle those systems. In their place, Herbalife and Vemma must implement systems that incentivize participants to sell products to people outside the network. Is it time to take a closer look at your MLM’s compensation structure?

Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash refund checks. If you have questions about the case, contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Analytics Consulting LLC, at 855-561-1178.

– Source FTC

Herbalife Settlement FAQs

The post 350,000 Victims of Herbalife’s Scam Receive Checks appeared first on Ethan Vanderbuilt.

01/10/2017 |

Onecoin Scam Halted In Italy

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Onecoin Scam Halted In Italy

Onecoin Scam Halted In Italy

The Italian Competition Authority has halted One Network Services Ltd. sales activities, the company which has been promoting the OneCoin scam in Italy.

This follows an investigation of the One Network Services Ltd. system and its representatives in Italy. These representatives promoted the program for OneCoin which they claim involves the purchasing of training packages “which should enable consumers to achieve significant economic returns…”

Here is what the Italian Competition Authority had to say:


The Antitrust Authority, following the opening of a preliminary investigation, it adopted an interim injunction against the company One Network Services Ltd., active in the promotion and dissemination of criptomoneta OneCoin, and the two individuals who had registered sites connected to it and (the third following the start has been overshadowed).

The investigation, which has originated from reports received by Consob and by the CTCU of Bolzano, corroborated by some preistruttori findings of the Special Unit Antitrust Guardia di Finanza, it is time to assess the unfairness of the system designed and operated by One Network Services Ltd. and its representatives in Italy. This system would seem designed to promote adherence to a program of dissemination of criptomoneta OneCoin – linked to the purchase of training packages – which should enable consumers to achieve significant economic returns (for example with an investment of EUR 140 promises a return 2800 Euros in two years).

From the evidence gathered so far shows that the representation of the advantages, as well as highly random, both in functional reality to attract the entry of a large number of consumers, who are required a significant economic investment, tracing a pyramid sales system prohibited by law .

In the face of evidence that demonstrate the relevance and diffusivity of the promotion of “criptomoneta OneCoin”, none of the professionals involved in the proceedings provided explanations and adequate defenses to understand the likelihood of the promised results, as well as on the functioning of the system promoted. Because of the adoption of the precautionary measure, in order to limit the damage to consumers pending the conclusion of the proceedings, the professionals will have to suspend any activity to the promotion and dissemination of criptomoneta OneCoin as well as training packages linked to it.

Rome, December 30, 2016

– Source

The post Onecoin Scam Halted In Italy appeared first on Ethan Vanderbuilt.

12/31/2016 |

Xocai Settles Pyramid Scheme Lawsuit

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Xocai Settles Pyramid Scheme Lawsuit

Xocai Settles Pyramid Scheme Lawsuit
MXI Corporation the makers of Xocai “healthy” chocolate and the operators of a MLM business opportunity were taken to court back in May of 2015 for running a MLM scam that makes it impossible for salespeople to make any money while forcing them to continue paying membership fees and buying the product known as Xocai chocolate to advance. On March 9th, 2016 U.S. District Judge Miranda Du said if the class’ claims are proven true, it’s provided enough detailed facts to support a fraud finding. They have now settled this lawsuit against them.

Here are the details of the lawsuit and settlement:

Although the wholesale price of MXI’s chocolate is far higher than the retail price of most chocolate, MXI is able to sell its chocolate to the Participants because MXI tells Participants that its business model will provide them an income-producing opportunity “unlike any other,” “with little risk of failure,” and that will allow Participants to “pick the kind of income they want to earn.” More than just chocolate, MXI sells Participants a dream of financial prosperity.

But the supposed path to financial prosperity is not based on selling chocolate at retail. Because MXI’s wholesale prices are too high, Participants have little—if any—genuine chance of selling the chocolate at even higher retail prices. Thus, Participants earn very little money from retail sales. Instead, the money that flows through the MXI system is generated by recruiting. Participants make money, if at all, by recruiting new Participants (who pay fees and buy chocolate), and not by selling MXI’s overpriced chocolate at retail.

MXI is based on Participants endlessly recruiting. This is why MXI does not meaningfully encourage or reward retail sales. Indeed, the compensation paid to Participants by
MXI is largely unrelated to retail sales. Instead, MXI pays financial rewards to Participants based on their success in recruiting new Participants. 100% of your income comes from what? Recruiting, right. 100% of that income. The more new Participants a Participant recruits, and the more wholesale chocolate those recruits buy from MXI, the more the Participant is paid. Thus, MXI’s true business model is based on roping in more and more Participants, each of whom is required to purchase minimum amounts of chocolate from MXI at inflated wholesale prices—and to pay mandatory fees for the privilege. Retails sales are so irrelevant that MXI does not even track them.

As explained in MXI’s Compensation Plan, the “duplicative process” of having current Participants recruit new Participants (each of whom must pay mandatory fees and buy chocolate from MXI at wholesale) “is the foundation” for MXI’s “Heathy Chocolate Business.” But the business is not financially healthy for the Participants. Few, if any, Participants even cover their costs. Because the scheme promoters and managers take a significant cut for themselves, Participants necessarily make less than they invest. MXI’s own documents demonstrate that at least 95% of Participants lose money.

Despite the fact that all but a miniscule percentage of Participants are doomed to incur financial losses, MXI and their representatives disseminate false and misleading statements about MXI’s business to lure new Participants. In addition, the few promoters at the top of the pyramid scheme—the less than 5% who have succeeded in lining their own pockets at the expense of the greater than 95% of Participants who lose money—cynically display their own illgotten gains to entice new Participants.

– Source Enrique Martinez MXI Corporation Class Action

Settlement Details

If you were an Associate or Distributor with MXI Corp. (“MXI”) in the United States at any time between May 1, 2011,  and November 3, 2016, you could get benefits from a class action settlement, and your legal rights could be affected by the settlement.

The proposed Settlement Agreement categorizes Class Members as “Income Members” and “Consumer Members.” Income Members are Class Members who principally participated in the MXI program to earn income. Income Members may receive a cash award. Consumer Members are Class Members who are not Income Members. They may receive a Product Award.

The proposed Settlement Agreement provides that the defendants will establish two funds to provide two different types of compensation for Class Members:

  • Cash Settlement Fund: $4,332,000 in cash will be used to pay Income Members. This fund will also be used to pay service awards, attorneys’ fees and costs, costs to administer the settlement and any cy pres payment.
  • Product Fund: Up to $1,750,000 in MXI credits or gift certificates will be used to compensate Consumer Members.

Your legal rights are affected even if you do nothing. Read the information on this Settlement Website carefully. Your rights and options, and the deadlines to exercise them are explained on this Settlement Website.

The Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. Proposed payments to Class Members who do not exclude themselves from the Settlement will be made if the Court approves the Settlement. Please be patient and check this Settlement Website to find out when the cash payments may be available.

Click Here for the Settlement Website.

The post Xocai Settles Pyramid Scheme Lawsuit appeared first on Ethan Vanderbuilt.

12/24/2016 |

Vemma Agrees to Ban on Pyramid Scheme Practices

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Vemma Agrees to Ban on Pyramid Scheme Practices

Vemma Agrees to Ban on Pyramid Scheme Practices

Under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Vemma Nutrition will end the business practices that created a pyramid scheme.

Vemma, which sells health and wellness drinks through a network of distributors called “affiliates,” will be prohibited under a federal court order from paying an affiliate unless a majority of that affiliate’s revenue comes from sales to real customers rather than other distributors. The order also bars Vemma from making deceptive income claims and unsubstantiated health claims.

“Unfortunately, extravagant income claims and compensation plans that reward recruiting over sales continue to plague the MLM industry,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “MLM companies must ensure that their promotional materials aren’t misleading, and that their compensation programs focus on selling goods or services to customers who really want them, not on recruiting more distributors.”

In August 2015, the FTC brought a federal court action against Vemma Nutrition Company, Vemma International Holdings, Inc., CEO Benson K. Boreyko and top affiliate Tom Alkazin The companies’ “Young People Revolution” campaign targeted college students and other young adults with materials that presented Vemma as a profitable alternative to traditional employment and depicted young affiliates surrounded by conspicuous displays of wealth, such as luxury automobiles and yachts. Vemma allegedly failed to disclose that the program’s structure ensured that most participants would not earn substantial income, and provided affiliates with false and misleading materials for recruiting others.

Under the order announced today, the Vemma companies and Boreyko are banned from any business venture that:

  • pays any compensation for recruiting new participants;
  • ties a participant’s compensation or an ability to be compensated to that participant’s purchases; or
  • pays a participant compensation related to sales in a pay period unless the majority of the revenue generated during that period, by the participant and others the participant has recruited, comes from sales to non-participants.

The order also bars them from involvement in any pyramid, Ponzi, or chain marketing schemes and prohibits them from making misrepresentations about the profitability of business ventures or the health benefits of products. The order imposes a $238 million judgment that will be partially suspended upon payment of $470,136 and the surrender of certain real estate and business assets. It also requires Vemma to provide compliance reports from an independent auditor for 20 years.

A separate order provides similar conduct provisions against Vemma affiliate Tom Alkazin and his wife, Bethany Alkazin and imposes a judgment of more than $6.7 million, which will be partially suspended upon payment of more than $1.2 million and the surrender of certain real estate and business assets.

– Source FTC

Vemma Scam Conclusion

I was right when I made the following statement back in July of 2013 about Vemma: “There are a few things that really make me furious.  One of those things is companies that target college students with scam “Business Opportunities”.  These young people are the future creators of amazing new companies that can change the world, but instead they are conned out of their time and money.”

This is the response I received from BK Boreyko about my Vemma scam claims:

BK Boreyko
October 24, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Ethan, To say I disagree with your opinion is an understatement. You are a critic, and like any critic you profess the negative side of business, culture and life. I’m sure if you focused on small business opportunities, you’d point out that there’s up to an 80% failure rate and the average small business takes an after tax investment on average of $30k. Sounds like another scam yet it is the backbone of this economy and the American Dream. You say what you think and I can tell you what I know, this network marketing industry ($30 billion domestic, $167 billion worldwide) can change a person’s life. It took a bankrupt insurance salesman (my dad) and got him debt free and wealthy. I’ve seen it happen thousands of times and you are correct, it doesn’t happen for everyone or even the majority, but what on this planet does? A job, nope, people get fired or a business closes down. Owning your own business, ugh, the odds are really against you. What else is there for the average person? Even you have to admit there’s limited options for people in this economy. I just read that 88% of the jobs created over the last 12 months are part time jobs. You say nothing good about what I do for a living, yet I pump almost $2 million a week back into this economy by putting dollars that would normally get spent with Madison Ave ad execs and instead, put it into the hands of hard working people that believe in the Vemma brands and tell their friends about them. If I wanted to make you happy, I’d ‘go legit’ and start buying traditional advertising. Sorry, I’d rather continue to make my Brand Partners happy. So, you do your videos and blogs and I’ll do my thing. My dad used to tell me we find out how big of difference we make in people’s lives by seeing how many people show up at our funerals. My dad had standing room only at his and my hope is I’ll be able to top his. He’d have wanted that.

BK did have standing room only for his court case for running a pyramid scheme.

The post Vemma Agrees to Ban on Pyramid Scheme Practices appeared first on Ethan Vanderbuilt.

12/16/2016 |

MMM Nigeria Freezes Payments

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MMM Nigeria Freezes Payments

MMM Nigeria Freezes Payments

MMM is the scam that never seems to die.  After MMM Global shutdown and MMM South Africa froze accounts, MMM has now frozen payments in Nigeria.  MMM is not a community. It is a Ponzi scheme that takes advantage of the greed and need of individuals.  Now that the dreams of these individuals are starting to shatter,  they are now losing hope.  In poor countries Ponzi schemes drive people to suicide.

Here is the MMM Nigeria announcement:

There have been many reactions to this news.  Here are a few of them:

What is the meaning of the shit? When am I getting back my money?.

The beauty of this whole issue is…by February, we all will be smiling. I wanted to get help this morning and got the msg it was frozen. I understand why the system did that. So lets be patient.

What you don’t know about mmm Nigeria
The owner of the website has many agent in Nigeria
And those agent has multiple blank account
On this note all the money you have been paid in within last 3weeks was delivered to those agent account
Finally the man has meet his target
Bye bye to mmm Nigeria

Nigerians are very very very gullible… MMM is going to crash sooner than later… If it doesn’t crash this December it’ll crash later next year.. Count ur losses now

mmm south africa was frozen in may till now it has not been unfrozen!!! truth they say is bitter, when a ponzi system got saturated!! it breaks down, google Achieve community of Troy and Kristi Johnson, Zeekreward, Justbeenpaid or Michael Freeman….Sergey Mavrodi cant be different…accept the truth and move on!!!!!

MMM has disappointed a lot of us now, this is not encouraging at all! Now that it’s like this who will like to PH nw? The admin should have told us before now about this latest development, cos I for 1 have plans for that money.. Now I have to start planning afresh for d festive, so annoying… Who knows if they r not even crashing..

Suicide mode activated…

– Source MMM Nigeria Facebook

This all happened shortly after a supposed letter from Sergey Mavrodi:

Honorable authorities,

So far MMM has come under a constant attack from you. In this regard, I would like to ask you a few simple questions. Since you are concerned with the interests of millions of your fellow citizens, I hope that you would be so kind to answer them.

1. What are you trying to get? Do you want the MMM System to collapse and millions of people to suffer? Who will support them then if now MMM is their only means of livelihood? Will you? You even don’t pay wages to people? Or might you not care about them? Might you be using a trendy topic to make a good name for yourselves? What will you say to a mother who will have no money to buy food for her child? Will you let her child die for the sake of the higher interests of the economy?

2. You say that MMM is a scam. What is the scam here, if all members are warned in advance about all the risks, the possible and impossible ones? They know there are no investments at all. The warning is a red text on a yellow background placed on most prominent place of the website.

3. You say that MMM is bad. Why? Yes, it produces nothing, but nothing gets out of the country either. The money is just redistributed among the citizens of Nigeria. It gets from those who are richer to poorer ones, in this way restoring social justice. What”s wrong with that?

4. You have repeatedly stated that “it should be investigated!.. researched!..” It means you know nothing about this System yet; you even haven’t understood how it works. Isn’t it completely irresponsible of you to make all these allegations and play with the lives of millions of ordinary people?

5. And finally. If you know what is right for people, why is the life so bad in the country?

Sincerely yours,
Sergey Mavrodi

MMM Nigeria Conclusion

Do not let Sergey Mavrodi take advantage of you.  He is a scam artist that has taken advantage of people around the world with MMM.  He is a fraud and his MMM community is a fraud.

12/13/2016 |

Crackdown On The MMM Scam

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Crackdown On The MMM Scam

Crackdown On The MMM Scam

The MMM global cash gifting/Ponzi scheme crashed some time ago. The sad reality is that it just moved from a global scam to a country by country scam. It lowered its rate of return from 100% per month to 30% per month.  The scam is the same.

Dear participants!

We regret to inform you that we have to close down the Republic of Bitcoin. It was an experiment, and, unfortunately, it failed. We turned out not to able to pay 100% per month.

Any money making opportunity that offers regular returns of 30% per month is a Ponzi scheme. Do not waste your time.

The problem with this type of scam is that it pays some people while it is running and this keeps people joining and supporting it.  In the end, the vast majority of people will end up losing their money when the cash gifting/Ponzi collapses.  Most governments do not act until the scam collapses because few people complain.

One country is taking action before it is too late.

The Nigerian parliament ordered a crackdown on promoters of the MMM scam.  The House of Representatives on Wednesday 11/9/2016 called on law enforcement agencies to track down promoters of MMM.  This is a very important step in letting these scammers know that it is not OK to take advantage of the people that are hard hit by an economic downturn. – Source

MMM launched a website targeting Nigerians on 10-28-2015 . Since its launch, a massive percentage of Nigerians have invested in the scheme and more people are still joining.

Regulatory and anti-corruption agencies had earlier warned Nigerians against participating in the scheme.  This normally does not work because the representatives of this type of scam will show people stacks of cash or new cars and say you can have this too.  People in need go with what they see and do not listen to warnings.


Here is a video from the founders of MMM Nigeria trying to convince people it is not a scam:

The Nigerian House of Representatives understand the threat of MMM. Here are some choice comments from them:

Akinlade Fijabi from Oyo State, said the operators of MMM are exploiting the economic situation of Nigerians that had left them desperate for income through any means without considering the implications.

Enugu lawmaker, Dennis Amadi, said The House will not wait until these crooks defraud Nigerians of billions of naira or until people start committing suicide.

– Source

In poor countries this type of scam not only takes peoples money it takes lives.  They have no way of getting all the money they invested back.  For some it is their entire life savings.


With the help of the internet, scams like MMM are able to spread globally very quickly.  It is very important more and more governments take an active roll in protecting their people from these scams.

For all the MMM scammers that think they are not hurting anyone. Let me break this down for you. MMM is a direct payment Ponzi scheme. For someone to get their money back someone else has to be fooled into giving them their money with a false claim of them getting a 30% return in one month. To get your 30% return others have to be fooled into giving you their money. This goes on through an endless chain of people until no more suckers can be found. When this happens the scam collapses and the huge amount of new people that joined and the people waiting to get help get nothing. Then you get a statement like the following: We regret to inform you that we have to close down MMM. It was an experiment, and, unfortunately, it failed. We turned out not to able to pay 30% per month. I am sorry you are unable to understand the scam, but this is what you are participating in. Old investors are victimizing new investors with a scam. This is not OK and it is the abuse of others and you should be ashamed of being apart of it.

The post Crackdown On The MMM Scam appeared first on Ethan Vanderbuilt.

11/11/2016 |

John Oliver vs MLM Scams

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John Oliver vs MLM Scams

John Oliver vs MLM Scams

John Oliver, on his show Last Week Tonight, did a wonderful job exposing the MLM scams that are functioning as product-based pyramid schemes. Billions of dollars are being extracted from people that think they are getting the opportunity of a lifetime. Instead they are getting ripped off.  This video is comedy, but it contains a lot of truth.

Here are some of the key quotes I want to share with you:

DSA estimated retail sales $36.12 billion 2015.

Vemma Representative: It is shaped like a pyramid, but it is not an illegal pyramid scheme.

From the outside these companies have the trappings of legitimacy.

The dangling of lifestyle improvements is at the heart of the MLM pitch.

Denise and Tom Chenault are Youngevity. You don’t let someone embody your company if you don’t agree with them.

MLM’s hold out the hope that if you work hard you can take control of your life, start your own business, and help your family. But, how real is the opportunity?

Herbalife Distributor: You don’t make money from selling the products. You make a little. Not much. Not enough to pay the bills that are racking up. You make money from signing people up.

Robert FitzPatrick: Almost all of these schemes say that you can make money by recruiting 2, 3, 4 or 5 lets say 5. Then you let the 5 do their 5 that gives you 25. What they don’t show you is that you can only do that 13 cycles and you would exceed the population of the earth.

The FTC finished a multi-year investigation into the company (Herbalife) and filed a blistering complaint walking right up to the line of out right calling it a pyramid scheme. They alleged that the Herbalife compensation program doesn’t incentivise retail sales, but rather the recruiting of additional participants who fuel the enterprise by making wholesale purchases of products. Which sounds like how pyramid schemes work.

MLM’s might present themselves as a great opportunity, but your chance at success is actually remote. Just look at the income disclosure statements.

Kyani’s shows that just under 40% of active distributors received a check for $10 or more.

Nu Skin’s says that around 18% of active distributors earned commission checks which is actually worse than it sounds because active distributors represent only around 36% of total distributors. So if you do the math which they conveniently did not, that would mean that 93% of all Nu Skin distributors received zero commissions from the company in an average month.


John Oliver understands how MLM scams are taking advantage of people. I hope you do now too.

The post John Oliver vs MLM Scams appeared first on Ethan Vanderbuilt.

11/08/2016 |

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