Over the past twenty-four hours I’ve been seeing a lot of genuine concerns raised by TelexFree affiliates being answered with the proclamation that tommorow April the 17th, the company will be given permission to restart business operations.
Mostly pushed by Portuguese speaking TelexFree affiliates, social media related to TelexFree has been flooded with claims like this:
Santiago D Apostle: the motion for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is approved… and the company is given the chance to reorganize and restructure inspite of the SECs complaint filed against TelexFREE.
The root of the blatant misrepresentation of what was actually granted is an order granting TelexFree a “shortened time” to hear their “first day motions and applications” in the case. The hearing has been scheduled for April 17th at 1:30pm, with the order signed off on by Judge August B. Landis.
All signs point to the Massachusetts Securities Division stopping the application dead in its tracks. [Continue reading...]
Ever since the SEC investigation into TelexFree was officially confirmed, I’ve found myself repeatedly pointing out to disillusioned TelexFree affiliates that the running of a Ponzi scheme for nearly two years cannot be negated by cosmetic product changes.
Nor can it be erased by a “too little too late” compensation plan change.
Hell, not even a shutdown and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy can wash the stink of what Carlos Wanzeler, Carlos Costa and Jim Merril have spread over the MLM industry.
And now, having concluded their investigation into TelexFree – the Massachusetts Securities Division has finally played their hand and agreed. TelexFree is a “billion dollar Ponzi scheme”. [Continue reading...]
In the wake of TelexFree’s emergency filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy over the weekend, Steve Labriola was once again abandoned by TelexFree’s owners and left to face the company’s affiliates alone.
Appearing telephonically on a hastily announced call and sounding more spectator than corporate management, Labriola tried to appease TelexFree affiliates with what little information he had.
There are tons of questions out there I know, and I don’t have all of the documentation back from our lawyers on the things that I can and can’t say.
All I can tell you is that the Chapter 11 we filed was to help us reboot, rebuild and reformat our company, so we can move forward and build.
This is what we want as a team. This is what we want as a corporation and this is what all of you will see will be the best thing going forward.
TelexFree’s CEO in hiding Stuart Macmillan was absent from the call, with Labriola stating this was conveniently due to his being “on a plane, heading down to meet with the new platform company”.
Right. [Continue reading...]
It wasn’t even a week ago that I wrote about the maths behind TelexFree’s 2013 profit and loss statement not adding up.
Using conservative figures, I estimated that by the close of 2014 TelexFree would be liable for around $1.14 billion dollars. With the company taking in $689 million in 2013 (what would probably be their biggest year investment wise), it was obvious that the company was going to collapse.
Even if we ignore every commission except AdCentral ROIs, and attribute TelexFree’s entire commission payouts ($622 million) to AdCentral ROIs, that still leaves a deficit liability of $518 million going into 2014. And remember, we’ve totally discounted any other commission payouts.
The latest round of problems for TelexFree investors began a few days ago when their payouts were delayed. Typically paid on the Friday, affiliates were still left wondering where their money was come Sunday.
Unofficially this was apparently due to issues with their payment processor, however the real reason finally surfaced a few hours ago.
TelexFree is bankrupt. [Continue reading...]
Roughly two weeks ago we saw the SEC finally move in and shut down Ming Xu’s WCM777 Ponzi scheme. As I understand it, these last few weeks Xu has made himself available to the SEC as they continue to tie up any loose ends pertaining to the case.
In a series of tweets that hint at a finality to Xu’s personal input into the SEC case, a much more sombre sounding Xu shed the briefest of light on his side of the story. [Continue reading...]
Someone I don’t ever see myself envying on a professional level is the Zeek Rewards Receiver.
Charged with wading through the haphazard mess of records and accounting that Paul Burks and his crew kept, Kenneth Bell is now working on recovering Ponzi funds from some of the MLM underbelly’s worst serial offenders.
And true to their nature, Zeek Rewards’ top Ponzi pimps refuse to go down without a fight.
Shameless and hell-bent on keeping the money they stole, they’re still doing everything they can to delay the returning of money to their victims.
Due to the lack of information that usually surrounds regulatory investigations in the US, this one’s going to be brief.
Last we checked in with Herbalife’s regulatory woes, the company acknowledged that they were under an FTC civil investigation.
Now comes the news that the FBI and Department of Justice are also involved… [Continue reading...]
When Zeek Rewards burst onto the scene and began promising affiliates a 125% ROI over 90 days, people were naturally suspicious of where the money was coming from.
Despite appearing to already have covered this base with the attached Zeekler penny auction, Paul Burks would infamously go on to insist that how Zeek Rewards generated 125% for every dollar invested with it was a “proprietary information”.
Of course this later revealed to be complete baloney by the SEC who, after shutting down the $600M+ Ponzi scheme, observed:
Approximately 98% of ZeekRewards’ total revenues, and correspondingly the purported share of “net profits” paid to current investors, are comprised of funds received from new investors.
Burks is solely responsible for determining the amount of “net profits” to share in the Retail Profit Pool.
Burks unilaterally and arbitrarily determines the daily dividend rate so that it averages approximately 1.5% per day, giving investors the false impression that the business is profitable.
Zeek Rewards’ “proprietary information”?
Mastermind Paul Burks sat in his office each day and told the system to use new affiliate money to pay out existing investors.
Now, almost two years later, another scheme that promises a >100% 90 day ROI is also claiming the source of their ROI funds is “proprietary”. [Continue reading...]
Origin Unite launched around late 2011 early 2012 and on their website name a “Fred P. Stege” as the company’s CEO.
The Origin Unite website domain (“originunite.com”) lists a Mark Moller-Bengtsson as the domain owner, with a supplied address in Tripiotus, Cyprus. No corporate address is provided on the Origin Unite website, so presumably Cyprus is where the business is located out of.
Bengtsson’s name doesn’t appear anywhere on the Origin Unite website, however his LinkedIn profile lists employment with “Origin Pure Corporation Limited” from June 2011 to December 2013.
Origin Pure appears to be a sister company to Origin Unite, offering different products. I’m not entirely sure whether it’s a completely separate opportunity, as the compensation plan link on the Origin Pure website was not working at the time of publication.
That said, further research reveals both companies come under the parent company “Origin”, which is claimed to be based out of Switzerland:
The Origin online store, functioning at the internet address originunite.com (hereinafter referred to as the “online store”), is operated by and belongs to the company Origin (hereinafter referred to as “Origin”), with its registered office in Switzerland, Grabenstrasse.
Origin is the sole distributor of Origin’s products and marketing ideas bearing the “Origin” trademark. Origin is the sole authorised online store which offers marketing materials with “Origin’s” trademarks. The trademarks of “Origin’s” include: Origin’s, Origin.
Clear as mud. Why the need for two separate companies I can’t say, but it might possibly be due to the donation-based nature of Origin Pure’s business model.
On the executive side of things, Fred P. Stege appears to have been primarily involved in MLM lead generation and marketing. One of the earliest examples I was able to find was a paper Stege wrote in 2002 called “How to write so people buy like crazy”. The paper was published by “Madison Touche Publishing”, which I believe is a company Stege owns.
Another publication Stege published under the Madison Touche Publishing banner is “How to recruit your way to millions“.
In the publication Stege, who claims he is a “top 1% money earner and master trainer”, promises to reveal ‘doable down to Earth, no holds barred, raw, and real network marketing recruiting methods‘.
When you learn and apply the strategies revealed in these pages, recruiting will become easy, fun and enjoyable.
You will never again have to beg anyone to take a look at your MLM opportunity – instead, they will move heaven and Earth to meet with you.
As the title suggests, the paper focuses on the recruitment of new affiliates, and promises success if enough new people are recruited into a downline, irrespective of the MLM opportunity being pushed.
There is no mention of focusing on retail product sales anywhere in the book’s 133 pages.
Later opportunity launches of Stege’s include “MLM dynamite” (1998) and “Traffic Oasis” (2002). Both of these opportunities revolved around lead generation and are now defunct.
Read on for a full review of the Origin Unite MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading...]
A profit & loss statement recently filed in the US state of Alabama provides some insight into the financials of TelexFree.
Marked as an exhibit of an “application for interexchange authority”, the statement reveals that for the year 2013, TelexFree took in $689 million USD from their affiliates.
Affiliate commissions and other expenses ran up a liability of $652 million, leaving TelexFree with a “net income” of $36 million.
On paper that sounds great… until you consider TelexFree’s business model. [Continue reading...]