In our initial BehindMLM review of Race Cycler, it was noted that affiliates were naming Kent Brown as the owner of the company.
As is typical with the MLM underbelly, the amount of smog surrounding Race Cycler is as thick as a Beijing Monday.
In the aftermath of the failed August 8th launch, Race Cycler affiliates “in the know” have been holding calls where a combination of server errors and payment processor problems have been cited for Race Cycler’s launch delay.
When exactly Race Cycler will launch is up in the air, with affiliates confirming problems with both Paypal and Solid Trust Pay being largely behind the delays.
Paypal have a strict no MLM policy (which extends to its MLM underbelly variants), but the problems with Solid Trust Pay are an eye-opener. Solid Trust Pay aren’t exactly known for their adherence to regulatory compliance, so if even they won’t have anything to do with Race Cycler, make of that what you will.
I have seen iPayout touted as a possible replacement, but nothing concrete. If they do decide to get on board, it’d certainly be sending mixed messages to the industry.
It was only a few weeks ago iPayout kicked Argent Pay to the curb, with the scheme later confirming they had compliance issues in the US.
Anyway, while Race Cycler scramble to find a payment processor desperate enough to take on the risk of managing backoffice transactions for their cylcler pyramid, new information suggests the scheme might be more closely related to TNT Rotator than first thought. [Continue reading…]
Nyloxin is a product of Nutra Pharma Corporation. MyNyloxin is an MLM business opportunity that was attached to the Nyloxin product, circa 2012.
In a press release dated October 2013, Nutra Pharma Corporation reveal that they essentially outsource the MLM marketing for Nyloxin to the True Cash Network (formerly the Text Cash Network).
October 8, 2013 – Nutra Pharma Corp. is providing updates on the sales and marketing activities of TCN, a distributor of Nutra Pharma’s over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever, Nyloxin
In September 2012, Nutra Pharma announced the beginning of distribution efforts by the TCN group of direct distributors. Since that time, TCN has worked diligently to introduce Nyloxin to approximately 40,000 distributors in the United States and almost 400,000 distributors globally.
In August 2013, TCN re-launched their company as the “True Cash Network” and have subsequently expanded their internet presence.
They have been working to overhaul their product offerings and have allowed their distributors personal websites under their MyNyloxin.com portal. Additionally, TCN has scheduled marketing efforts in the US that will include internet, radio and television.
Text Cash Network are a long running matrix-based scheme who appear to have gone through as many product changes as they have management.
I first reviewed Text Cash Network back in 2011, when the company initially attached itself to a voucher/savings network. Affiliates weren’t charged to join, but had to watch 5 SMS ads a day to maintain their account.
If they recruited any new affiliates, they were paid $1.50. Advertising commissions were also touted, but at the time of launch there were no specifics provided.
Initially not disclosed on their website, it was later revealed the Brett Hudson was running things as President of the company.
By 2012 the savings/coupon site idea was dead, and as per the Nutra Pharma Corp press-release above, TCN was marketing Nyloxin through their opportunity.
Management seems to have changed by that point too, with the Nutra Pharma Corp release citing a Dalton Johnson as CEO:
The Nyloxin products continue to represent a wonderful opportunity for our distributors,” commented Dalton Johnson, CEO of TCN.
In the same year the MLM opportunity Noca Now appeared. This company initially looked to be a standlone but analysis of the compensation plan made multiple references to TCN.
Noca Cola and Tea were the products behind the Noca Now opportunity, having been merged with TCN’s compensation plan in the same manner Nyloxin was.
The Noca Now website still exists, however the opportunity itself appears to be all but dead.
Again, as per the Nutra Pharma release, TCN renamed itself to True Cash Network in 2013 and continued to market Nyloxin.
Today the MyNyloxin website credits Steve Gewecke (right) as the President of the company, indicating yet another change of management at TCN.
Exactly how many products TCN have attached themselves to over the years is unclear. They still maintain a website over at “truecashnetwork.com”, however the website only mentions affiliates being able to join “many TCN Opportunities”.
No specifics on the current management structure of the company are provided either.
If you find all of this as confusing as I do, a major contributing factor is that all of TCN’s incarnations are a result of serial-scammer Phil Piccolo (aliases Felice Angelo and Felix Angelo Piccolo) running TCN without actually putting his name to anything.
Earlier this year Rod Cook over at MLM Watchdog reported,
Phil is back under the name: Felice Angelo at MyNyloxin.com. If you get on their webinars you can see him under felice. Rik Dietch, the waiora scientiest (sic) is behind it as well.
They say the product is good, But, phil is selling his stock to individuals and giving it away as incentives under the table illegally and running $500 co-ops scamming people out of their money.They only have 300 members.Stop him before it becomes 3,000 or 30,000 scammed, please!
Patrick Pretty then wrote a followup piece on Nyloxin and Piccolo, observing
Piccolo is known as “the one-man Internet crime wave.” If there’s a Piccolo signature, it’s his ability largely (though not exclusively) to remain in the shadows while engineering scams within scams or within dubious “opportunities” in which an affiliate’s success chances are exceptionally low going in.
Piccolo appears to be particularly keen on “programs” ostensibly in the health-maintenance and electronic-technology fields. The “programs” may remain in “prelaunch” phase virtually indefinitely while gathering cash and gaining a head of steam.
Another part of Piccolo’s MO includes suggestions that “opportunities” he pitches soon will “go public” or already are part of public companies. In the TextCashNetwork scheme, for instance, the Piccolo group suggested that TCN was part of Johnson & Johnson, the famous pharmaceutical company.
Both articles are worth a read in their entirety.
Meanwhile I’m left slightly confused over the recent emergence of MyNyoloxin. As per the Nutra Pharma press-release, TCN began marketing Nyloxin back in 2012.
Yet is it only recently that traffic to the MyNyoloxin domain took off:
What the story is there I have no idea, but mid-July is also around the time MyNyloxin review requests trickled in.
In any event, read on for a full review of the MyNyloxin MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]
When a new scheme comes along touting the matrix cycler business model, upon launch one of two things happens;
- the scheme launches, early promoters pump their money into it and snatch up the lion’s share of what is deposited after – with the scheme slowing and then collapsing a week or two after, or
- the launch is botched and those who were poised to jump in first are left frustrated and angry.
Guess which best describes the recent launch of Race Cycler… [Continue reading…]
One of the more prominent reload scams to rise to prominence after the TelexFree shutdown was EmGoldex.
Shrouded in mystery, the company operates your typical European-based gold Ponzi/pyramid hybrid scam. Affiliate investors buy matrix positions for 540 EUR a pop, and once enough new positions have been purchased (by existing and recruited affiliates), a ROI commission is paid out.
Now, from the guys who brought you TelexFree is a billion dollar Ponzi scheme, comes the announcement that EmGoldex is being investigated. [Continue reading…]
There is no information on the SwissGolden website indicating who owns or runs the business.
The SwissGolden website domain (“swissgolden.com”) was registered on the 22nd of May 2012, with the registration simply listing the company’s name as the domain owner.
An address in London, England is also provided, however this is a virtual mailing address provided by Regus (£59 a month).
Meanwhile in the SwissGolden service agreement, the company claims to be registered in the British Virgin Islands (a known tax-haven).
As always, if a MLM company is not openly upfront about who is running or owns it, think long and hard about joining and/or handing over any money. [Continue reading…]
Viral Angels launched a while ago but earlier this year rebooted the company as a fully-fledged MLM business opportunity.
Primarily targeting Europe, the company appears to be based out of Sweden and is headed up by CEO Anthony Norman (right).
According to Norman’s Viral Angels corporate bio:
Following the dot com collapse, Anthony worked as a consultant for a number of VC firms in Europe and the US, restructuring tech companies. After selling off his main business to a Swedish public company where he stayed on the management team for three years, he formed his stand alone venture capital firm in early 2006.
Anthony has in the past 15 years formed and managed over forty private companies and has been on the board of a number public companies as well as the advisor for over 15 public companies on various markets in the UK, Sweden, Poland, Germany and the United States.
Tracing Norman’s MLM history is tricky, but it has its origins dating back to early 2012 with the companies SpinGlo, Synkronice and Enwire.
SpinGlo was a shopping portal MLM opportunity. On the side they offered investment opportunities in other companies – which was intertwined with Anthony Norman’s company, Viral Angels.
Synkonrice was the company behind SpinGlo (appears to be a parent relationship), and was renamed Enwire in early 2013. SpinGlo shortly thereafter was renamed Trig.
Enwire kept on marketing Trig but a few months after launch the opportunity collapsed.
According to a message published on the Enwire website, they appear to have tried to salvage the company through a partnership or some such with OPN, however that also seems to have fallen through.
Who the “dream team” are is not clarified. Which is a little strange considering Enwire appear to blame them for the collapse.
In a Facebook posting dated 12th of September 2013, whoever was left running the company attempted to clarify exactly what went wrong.
It is in this update that Anthony Norman (appearing as “Tony Norman”) is referenced:
The Synkronice history to why we all had to do what we had to do. You should have been told the truth a very long time back. But here it goes.
In June 2012 we got, as you all know, if you where in Synkronice and Spinglo, into issues with our social media vendor for the Spinglo platform in Sweden.
We had meet Tony Norman at that time and Tony Norman was working at the dating company Jagodu as CTO. It was suggested to us that Tony Norman could handle the exit of the Spinglo DB to be in our own control (it was eventually messed up also with over 600.000 emails and accounts being empty).
Tony Norman initiated and also suggested the new product (that Tony had ran a few years back and failed miserably) called Viral Angels. We where all very excited and told Tony to set it up.
At this time, June 2012 we where also introduced to Phillip Cook, the person Tony knew since several years back.
Phillip Cook was living in UAE after crashing in the financial market in the UK a few years earlier. (Ozedit: This explains why Enwire claimed on their website that the company was “managed and run from the United Arab Emirates”)
New ideas were brought to the table that Phillip would be in charge of. One was the auction-bidding site Justbid.
The Justbid site was created and programmed by people hired by Tony Norman. It was financed by investors from Finland (they never got anything from that either) and like other development that Tony Norman was in charged of, he never paid for it.
One debt for developing Justbid.me was put on to Spinglo and had to go to court, where Spinglo had to defend its innocence regarding what Tony Norman ordered in the name of Justbid. The company is owed over 15.000€ and yet another programmer not paid by Tony.
In August 2012 the Tony Norman and Phillip Cook RAID started for real (even though we never saw it coming at that point in time).
Tony Norman took over the responsibility for the payment gateway and started to run it through DWW International GmbH, the same company Tony Norman used for Viral Angels. Justbid also used the same payment gateway when it was launched in September 2012.
Suddenly we started having issues paying networkers in the Synkronice network (you might all remember that).
Tony’s excuses were always that we had development costs for the money coming in through the network (we still wonder what was developed when we build the new Spinglo for less then 2000€ using Social Engine as core for the social media platform. See link here to the software license and stats postimg.org/image/jop2utt9j/).
Without all the investments brought in by others and us in Aug/Sep 2012 Synkronice and Spinglo would never have made the cruise for 120 people to the Caribbean.
The money coming in through DWW was now controlled by Tony, and besides that he made two smaller transfers to our banking system in September and October that was used to pay bonuses out, NOTHING came in to pay anyone. Over 130.000€ vanished! Where did it go?
Tony Norman was always saying it was used for developments!? He has yet to answer that question.
In this process it was also suggested that we should make Cellpoint into Synkronice (or Enwire as its called today). This so we quickly could become a listed company, since Cellpoint already was listed on Aktietorget in Sweden.
That idea was voted down and a new idea came up by Tony Norman and Phillip Cook that was sold to us all. Lets start fresh and new.
Enwire was thought up of. No papers were ever signed, the only thing was to focus on listing the company and that was no problem according to Phillip Cook and should happen in January 2013.
Again we all collectively started brining money into the company. Enwire struggled and could not even get a bank account or payment gateway opened and still is having issues paying its bills. Where did all the money go?
Over 600.000€ came into Enwire during the month of Dec 2012 to May 2013, through direct investments, through co-operations in Millioo, through Viral Angles monthly payments and through selling of shares received on deals made with Cellpoint and via the network.
And still many bills where unpaid and networkers where not getting paid. Where did it go?
Enwire has several black marks in Sweden for not paying its bills. Information about listing was promised every week by Phillip Cook and Tony Norman but nothing came out.
They slowly just tried to get the founders of the network and the investors out of the game. Manipulating information being sent to people and lying to people. New companies was formed that they controlled and funded using money you all brought to the table.
Many things are yet to be answered but if you start asking yourself questions of your own you should not be so cleaver to figure out that this has been a systematic plan directed by Tony Norman and Phillip Cook from day one.
They have put in their friends and relatives in the board of the companies. The chairman of the board for Enwire resigned in beginning of August 2013 since he felt the situation was getting out of control. He knows there are no real equity in the company or values, just a pumped up vision of Viral Angels owning large parts of none listed and delisted companies.
In fact not a single Viral Angels company is anymore listed. The one that was listed in January was delisted (IQMoney) and Cellpoint has been put on the observation list and have to reapply for listing since it is not meeting the criteria for a listed company.
Now to the questions again;
• Without a network, Tony Norman and Phillip Cook cannot sell anything. They can’t sell shares; they can’t sell Viral Angels (or any of the projects that are controlled by them).
• Not paying the network but instead paying themselves is rule number ones in business.
Where did Phillip Cook get money to pay for his cosmetic surgery in beginning of June 13?
He had nothing when he came to all of us. We send him money several times on Western Union so he could pay his phone bills.
10.000€ he used company funds to pay the cosmetic surgery. Is that what you do when you are not paying the networkers? Your money!
• Why has Tony transferred over 120.000€ in 5 months from Viral Angles to his personal account?
According to him, it went to all cases? The cases are Tony Norman’s and Phillip Cook’s! Besides investing in companies that are not listed on Viral Angels through a private company called Grey Knight Capital AB.
• Why has the Viral Angels Company in Sweden got its tax status revoked (well, for not keeping the records in order and field any tax declarations or yearly books).
• Why has Cellpoint got put on the observation list at Aktietorget? That’s because its clear that the audit did not go well and they cant really show what values they have in the company.
• Why have not Enwire listed yet? It was said in January, then February then March etc!
Tony Norman and Phillip Cook have different meanings here. Tony says that it has not been focused on (because he had to clear his own debt to the tax office and did not really have time to do it).
Phillip on the other hand is saying its because of the owners and people behind it (us all).
Looking at what he is communicating to others then Phillip Cook through Justbid FZE is the sole owner of all Enwire shares. Its my company Phillip roars!
• Why was all networkers promised to get their e-wallet money paid out and gift-wallet money? That was a way to keep people in the game directed by Tony and Phillip.
They have paid some leaders really well to keep them in the game. Some in Sweden (you know who) and some in Portugal (you know who) and that is why Viral Angels still are being promoted.
Not because it is working, just because some leaders are being groomed into the false picture they have been painting.
We were naïve and believed in it also. We were also stupid and very ignorant. We thought they could deliver on the promises we had been given by Tony Norman and Phillip Cook.
The truth will always prevail and the truth is what it is. We all got set up; you got set up and everyone else. They stole your money and our money! These two raiders came in and took advantage of all of us.
Neither of them has brought one euro to the table, or any one person that has build this up. You have all been a part of that and now they are trying to justify a re-start of the Network Enwire again?!!?
They have no experience at all and will fail again, like they have in the past.
If you choose to believe in what they are saying, good luck.
Call my cynical, but it would appear this latest incarnation of Spinglo/Enwire is Norman’s attempt to salvage whatever remains of his Viral Angels empire.
Phillip Cook is also still involved, listed as the head of “Strategy and Business Development” over at Trig. Trig itself still appear to be active, but are only mentioned on the Viral Angel’s website as a separate company (Trig Media Group AB).
Viral Angels today describe themselves as ‘the world’s largest private equity and business angel network‘. Given that, I’d assume there’s some way for Viral Angels affiliates to pump money into Trig once they’ve joined (via virtual shares or otherwise).
Anyway, now that you’ve got an idea of the mess Anthony Cook has been a part of these last few years, let’s take a look at his latest offering.
Read on for a full review of the Viral Angels MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]
So uh… occasionally I run into an MLM company where I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a joke or they’re actually serious.
Trivaren is one of those companies.
Launched in late 2011, Trivaren was evidently founded by someone who played one too many games of D&D growing up.
The company refers to some of their affiliates as “knights of the round table” and appears to communicate to them in ye olde English speak.
Back in 2011 the company had its founding affiliates pay large amounts of money to join the company. In exchange, Trivaren promised them commission qualification for two years.
There was a catch though, in that all founding affiliates had to attend a Trivaren “knighting ceremony” to get “knighted”. Some affiliates complained they couldn’t attend the ceremonies to become “honorary knights”, and so Trivaren put the matter to a vote in early 2012 (click to enlarge):
I thought that might have just been a silly inside joke… but here’s how Trivaren describe themselves on their website:
America’s health care system is broke. No cures have been provided in over 60 years. The cost of hospital stays, drugs, surgeries, and insurance are soaring.
The rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory disorders and diabetes have more than doubled in the last 30 years. Obesity is an epidemic and now even our children are paying the price.
Something must be done.
Trivaren believes the only real answers will come in the form of prevention and support through proper nutrition allowing the body to do what God designed it to do, stay healthy and heal when damaged or diseased.
By becoming a Citizen of the Healthy Kingdom you can improve the quality of your life and the quality of other people’s lives all over the world.
Heading up this Healthy Kingdom freakshow is Roy Williams. In his Trivaren corporate bio, Williams (right) describes himself as a “natural health guru”:
Due his knowledge in natural health Roy has been interviewed on radio and TV over 1000 times. He also does a radio program called This Weeks Health Update that has helped thousands learn how to become and remain healthy.
He has been known as the Guru of Good Health on a local TV program for over 15 years, writes a Weekly Health Update newsletter and writes articles for newspapers and magazines.
I wasn’t able to find a concrete MLM history for Williams (too many people share the same name), but his Trivaren bio suggests Trivaren is his first network marketing venture:
Roy researched the network marketing industry and realized he could reach more people by having successful distributors share the story and be paid from their own efforts instead of paying huge amounts for radio, TV and print advertising.
Read on for a full review of the Trivaren MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]
One of the recurring questions that arises whenever a shadier MLM company attempts to market itself on the reputation of their lawyer, is “what on Earth are they thinking?”
Often times these are individuals who have practicing law for decades, yet there their names are – intertwined with what are obviously business models bound to fail regulatory scrutiny.
It’s a question many of our readers ask and, not being an MLM lawyer, it’s one I really don’t have a concrete answer to. These are professionals who are supposed to know MLM regulation both inside and out, so why does this keep happening?
Well, from an amended complaint filed by the Zeek Rewards Receivership yesterday, here’s one reason:
Grimes and MLM Compliance received approximately $843,000 from RVG.
There is no information on the Race Cycler website indicating who owns or runs the business.
The Race Cycler website domain was registered on the 24th of June, however the domain registration is set to private.
Research into the company reveals affiliates naming a “Kent Brown” as the owner of Race Cycler in their marketing presentations. Brown (right) can also be heard hosting several Race Cycler affiliate update calls, so this seems to fit.
Brown appears to be no stranger to the MLM “cycler” niche, mentioning he’s been in “some other programs in the past” on a Race Cycler affiliate call ([1:17], July 31st).
One example appears to be TNT Rotator, for which Brown left a glowing testimonial on the company website:
TNT Rotator is a matrix-based opportunity that uses 2×2 and 2×3 matrices. Under the guise of selling “text-ads and software”, affiliates pay $89.97 and are then paid to recruit new affiliates into the scheme.
A Facebook account that appears to be run by Brown shows his progression datewise from TNT to Race Cycler:
Whether Brown is still involved with TNT Rotator is unclear, but his participation in the scheme (and other “programs”) has likely influenced the setting up of Race Cycler.
Read on for a full review of the Race Cycler MLM opportunity. [Continue reading…]
When I first began researching Leafit, I wasn’t sure if I was looking at a reincarnation of 2012s vLeaf Ponzi scheme or if it was something else altogether.
Digging up the archives, I headed over to vLeaf’s old website domain (“vleaf.com”), which confirmed that these two companies were indeed one and the same:
Why the vLeaf and Leaf International branding was abandoned I have no idea, but today the company is going by the name Leafit.
One possible reason is vLeaf’s business model:
Building on the traditional Ponzi scheme “buy advertising and earn a ROI” model, Leaf International introduces a retail offering to the recipe, throws in some online marketing tools and pairs it with a 3×9 pyramid scheme.
That vLeaf was destined to collapse was a given, however when exactly that happened is unclear.
The Leafit website domain (“leafit.com”) was first registered way back in 2006, however the domain details were only recently updated on July 27th. This is probably a good indication of whereabouts the domain was re-purposed to begin marketing Leafit as an opportunity.
That said, the Leafit website in its current state isn’t all that helpful:
What are we about? Well, we are creating a new type of social network that helps users actually make money from their content!
By posting content socially, like people do everyday on other social networks, Leaf It users will automatically be able to earn from what they post themselves, and even from what they share from others!
The website Leafit affiliates are pushing, “leafit.biz” is a bit more useful, offering up some basic information about the opportunity.
One pleasant change from vLeaf is that ownership of the company is now fully disclosed. Heading up Leafit is Founder and CEO Lawrence Sowell (right).
Somewhat curiously, on his LinkedIn profile Sowell only cites involvement with Leafit beginning January 2014.
Sowell’s Twitter meanwhile reveals he was most definitely involved in vLeaf:
Sowell’s background appears to be in marketing and promotion. Before vLeaf and Leafit, Sowell launched Get2Marketing in 2007.
Taken from Sowell’s Get2Marketing corporate bio:
Lawrence’s passion for marketing and promotions began when he was 18 years old in College. Little did he know, by the age of 22 he would have done 2 musical tours and over 20 promotional events with headline names like Nelly (hip hop), Sawyer Brown (country).
Lawrence has since moved his passion to the internet where he is an expert at ad concept creation, branding strategy’s, website analysis, online and offline marketing, ad placement, and reporting.
This advertising background is probably what laid the foundation for the failed vLeaf Ponzi/pyramid hybrid attempt.
As far as MLM goes, I wasn’t able to find any involvement by Sowell on the affiliate or executive side. This indicates that vLeaf was Sowell’s first MLM venture.
Some of Sowell’s co-workers are also worth mentioning too. On Leafit’s Fundable investor page the company advises that it’s ‘interested in raising funds from accredited investors.‘
At least one investor seems to have jumped in, with Sowell noting in a July 16th update about a “Private Placement Memorandum” (PPM) that
The PPM has been launched after recently closing the Friends and Family Offering. On it’s first day one investor purchased stock in the amount of $50,000.
If you scroll down the main Leafit Fundable page, management is listed along with Leafit’s master associate, Vaughn Tarver.
Research reveals that Tarver was heavily involved in the penny-auction scheme BidXcel:
After being in the industry for 24-plus years, I would say in the last six months I have seen more change than I did in the previous 20 years combined.
BidXcel wasn’t as bad as some of the more obvious Ponzi scheme penny auctions that launched in the post Zeek Rewards era, but still permitted affiliates to directly invest and receive a ROI if they created dummy customer accounts.
Launched in September 2012, BidXcel ran out of new affiliate funds to pay off existing affiliate investors a few months later in March 2014. Abruptly and without forewarning or clear communication to its affiliate-base, BidXcel management did a runner and left those who had invested hanging.
Speaking of Zeek Rewards, also listed on the Fundable website is Mike Green. Green is credited as Leafit’s VP of Sales and lists his location as Spokane, Washington on his LinkedIn profile:
Green also currently appears to be one of the net-winners in the Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme. Clawback litigation was recently launched against net-winners in the Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme who failed to negotiate a settlement with the Receiver.
Green’s name appears on the Receivership’s list of net-winners who earned $1000 or more and refuse to return the stolen Ponzi funds they were paid back to the scheme’s victims.
Steve Heiman is named Leafit co-founder and COO, and is also co-owner of Sowell’s Get2Marketing company. MLM wise I’m not entirely sure but Heiman might be an ex-affiliate of StemTech International. Various replicated affiliate pages for a Steve Heiman in StemTech (affiliate ID: 1004901) are currently cached by Google (they are otherwise no longer publicly available).
Heiman’s LinkedIn profile also credits him with involvement in vLeaf.
As is clear from the above, Leafit’s management and master associate certainly have a colorful history. We know what’s attracted them as MLM marketers in the past, but has Leafit changed from vLeaf’s original advertising-based Ponzi points model?
Read on for a full review of the Leafit MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]