Herbalife wins Belgian pyramid scheme appeal

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In November 2011, after seven years of litigation, the Commercial Court in Belgium ruled that Herbalife was a pyramid scheme.

The case was brought forward by the non-profit organisation “Test Aankoop” and claims that Herbalife breached the WPMC (market practices act) by running a pyramid scheme.

Herbalife filed an appeal against the case, arguing that their ‘sales model is in full compliance with Belgian law’. Yesterday a decision was made on Herbalife’s appeal, with a Belgian court granting it and effectively reversing the earlier pyramid scheme decision.

As with everything Herbalife these days however, the finer details are murky and there’s much to be said about the the basis the appeal was granted on. [Continue reading...]


Immunotec Review: Immune system optimization

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Immunotec launched in 1996 and market nutritional supplements, based on glutathione research conducted by Gustavo Bonous in the 1980s.

In 2007 Immunotec went public (IMM:CN), with shares in the company currently trading at 28 cents Canadian.

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Immunotec is a Canadian company based out of Quebec, and is headed up by CEO Charles L. Orr (right).

In his Immunotec corporate bio, Orr is credited with having been an Immunotec “director” since 2006 and the CEO of Shaklee (health and wellness) from 1993 to 2000.

Mr. Orr is a seasoned professional with 23 years of experience in the direct selling field. Additionally, his work history includes extensive leadership responsibility in the financial services and computer industries.

Charles Orr signed on as Immunotec CEO in May 2013, replacing Robert Henry, who “departed” four days earlier on May 13th.

A later “corporate update” from Immunotec in June reveals Henry did not depart from the position but was infact “terminated” on May 10th.

The Board asked for the resignation of Mr. Henry as a director of the Corporation and its subsidiaries.

As Mr. Henry declined to resign, the Board also approved the calling of a special meeting of the shareholders of Immunotec for the purpose of removing Mr. Henry from its Board.

Immunotec did settle with Henry for $500,000 after he was terminated:

Immunotec Inc. and Mr. Robert Henry, its former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, are pleased to announce that they have amicably concluded a final settlement to their mutual satisfaction with respect to the claims regarding Mr. Henry’s past involvement with the Company, for a total amount payable to Mr. Henry of USD$522,000.

What the story there is I have no idea, but it’d certainly be interesting to know why Henry refused the Immunotec Board’s request he resign, and why they then terminated him.

Whether we’ll ever find out unfortunately seems doubtful, with the above agreement notice ending in flowers and sunshine:

The Company thanks Mr. Henry for his contribution to the Company. Mr. Henry also expresses his appreciation to the Company’s founders, the management team and the Company’s employees, distributors and customers.

In anycase, read on for a full review of the Immunotec MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading...]


Cycler Buzz Review: $10 cycler that can’t stall?

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There is no information on the Cycler Buzz website indicating who owns or runs the business.

The Cycler Buzz website domain (“cyclerbuzz.com”) was registered on the 19th of November 2013, however the domain registration is set to private.

As always, if an 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...]


Auto Recruiting Platform Review: SMS leads?

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There is no information on the Auto Recruiting Platform website indicating who owns or runs the business.

The Auto Recruiting Platform website domain (“autorecruitingplatform.com”) was registered on the 7th of August 2011, however the domain registration is set to private.

Further research reveals Auto Recruiting Platform affiliates naming Don Glanville as the owner of the company:

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Why this information is not available on the Auto Recruiting Platform website is unclear.

Glanville (right) first popped up on my radar back in 2010 through his involvement in GiveOpp.

GiveOpp tried launched with a super-secret marketing strategy under the guise of providing ‘communities with sustainable agriculture, water resources and social well-being‘. This approach ultimately failed to gain any traction, resulting in GiveOpp flopping shortly after launch.

Read on for a full review of the Auto Recruiting Platform MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading...]


Superior Court rejects TelexFree desertion appeal

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Fourteen, fifteen, sixteen appeals rejected – I’ve lost count of the exact number of times TelexFree have had their various appeals dismissed, but I’m starting to think they found their lawyers in one of those 20 cent skill-based claw machines.

TelexFree’s latest appeal was filed in the Superior Court and appears to be an objection to a ruling in São Paulo.

According to the Superior Court website,

Desertion occurs when the part does not collect or collects less judicial fees required for filing an appeal.

So as I understand it, an administrative decision was made in São Paulo against TelexFree for either not paying or not paying in full, fees incurred via the filing of appeal(s) there.

This latest appeal was an attempt to overturn that decision, which has also failed. [Continue reading...]


Does limiting levels legalize a pyramid scheme?

The reasons participants in pyramid schemes come up with to justify their participation in one are just as numerous as the schemes themselves.

Here on BehindMLM we regularly bear witness to all sorts of logic-fails, ranging from the tired “everything is a pyramid scheme” to “why hasn’t X company been shutdown if it’s a pyramid scheme?”

Typically these excuses ignore an opportunities business model, and instead attempt to shift focus onto something else. Whatever “something else” turns out to be is then typically used to override the recruitment driven nature of the business model.

One such argument I’ve seen of late however does actually focus on an opportunity’s business model, asserting that the restriction of payout levels somehow negates the recruitment driven nature of the scheme. [Continue reading...]


Earn With Yin Review: $10 and $30 “tokens” Ponzi

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There is no information on the Earn With Yin website indicating who owns or runs the business.

The Earn With Yin website domain (“earnwithyin.com”) was registered on the 15th of October 2013, however the domain registration is set to private.

As always, if an 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...]


Wenyard Review: Stock market trading game?

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There is no information on the Wenyard website identifying who owns or runs the business.

The Wenyard website domain (“wenyard.com”) was registered on the 23rd of September 2013, however the domain registration is set to private.

Wenyard’s website does have an “about us” page, however the company only provides the following marketing copy:

Over the recent years, the two small European countries of Malta and Gibraltar have become the heart of the global online gaming world. Many of the world’s most famous gaming companies reside in these places.

In the pubs and in restaurants the brilliant minds of the IT developers, the business management and operational staff meet to enjoy the vibrant life of the Mediterranean.

During these meetings and informal talks, some of these brilliant young people decided to create a new game. It should be based on different levels of skill, real world events and the dynamics of the real financial world.

A whole new concept based on virtual stock trading with real life input was to be invented.

Out of the collaboration between several brilliant businesses and IT developers Wenyard was born.

Riiiight.

A parent company name is provided, “Leonard Virtual Property Ltd” operating out of Gibraltar, however this company is not mentioned anywhere else on the internet outside of Wenyard’s website.

The address provided for Leonard Virtual Property Ltd is that of “HLB Gibro Group”, who advertise on their website that they can ‘can help you incorporate and manage onshore and offshore companies in almost any international jurisdiction‘.

For all intents and purposes it would appear Leonard Virtual Property Ltd is little more than a virtual operation.

As always, if an 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...]


Xseed Prelaunch Review: More info required!

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No information is provided on the Xseed website indicating who owns or runs the business. Infact, no information about the business is currently provided at all. Visitors to the Xseed website are only able to “pre-enroll” or watch a marketing video.

The Xseed website domain (“xseedhealth.com”) was registered on the 12th of June 2013, however the domain registration is set to private.

Further research reveals that the Xseed Facebook page names a “John de Vries” as Xseed’s CEO:

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Marketing videos from Xseed Media on Youtube go on to announce that the company is currently in prelaunch, with an expected launch date of January 2014.

In another video, hosted by Jason Lyons (presented as an Xseed affiliate), an office building referred to as Xseed’s “worldwide headquarters” in Las Vegas, Nevada is shown:

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Prior to Xseed, John de Vries (credited as John Devries and listed as Xseed’s Director, Secretary, President and Treasurer in official company documents), was the initial master distributor for Nutrie.

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Nutrie, who appear to have official launched earlier this year operate in the health and nutrition MLM niche.

The marketing copy attached to the above Nutrie marketing video provides some additional insight into de Vries’ MLM career:

Prior to joining Nutrié, Mr. de Vries was CEO of Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar. He was the lead in developing the hottest and most profitable unit franchise system worldwide.

Prior to Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar, Mr. de Vries was President of Extreme Investment Group, where he provided consulting services to turn around companies, developed business plans, raised capital for startup companies or helped with the refinancing of companies.

He worked with clients ranging from quick service restaurants, payroll companies, Real Estate companies, cosmetic companies, etc. .

Prior to being President of Extreme Investment Group Mr. de Vries became a distributor with Monavie. While at Monavie, Mr. de Vries became the fastest growing distributor in Monavie history, breaking every previous record from growth, to volume, to rank.

Why de Vries left Monavie and his master distributor position at Nutrie is not immediately clear (I wasn’t able to find anything specific).

Read on for a full review of the Xseed prelaunch MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading...]


The lies of Satish Pal

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Following on from the arrest and interrogation of Speak Asia mastermind Ram Sumiran Pal on Tuesday, news broke today that his accomplice Satish Pal (no relation) had also been arrested.

Following a grilling by Indian authorities, Satish Pal revealed that he ‘played a major role in’ the business operations of Speak Asia, working closely with Ram Sumiran Pal.

On October 11th 2011, I received an email from Satish Pal with an attached PDF. In this document Satish Pal claimed that the content in the BehindMLM article “Who is really running Speak Asia” was ‘false, fake, defamatory, disreputable, baseless, scandalous and unjustified‘.

Satish threatened that if the content was not removed, he would

be constrained to intimate, approach, seek redressal from all available forums including but not limited to seeking forceful restraint, stoppage of your website, cancellation of domain etc. Needless to say both civil and criminal.

Apart from making the correction that was not related to Ram Sumiran Pal or Ram Niwas Pal (brothers), I didn’t remove the content.

Now, just over two years later Satish Pal has been arrested for his part in the Speak Asia scam. Let’s take a look at what he sent me back in 2011 versus what he yesterday told the police interrogating him. [Continue reading...]