2013 to 2015 were seemingly wild years for Ponzi schemes in Portugal. With regulators asleep at the wheel, seemingly anyone could launch a fraudulent scheme and have thousands of gullible investors line up.
After TelexFree, GetEasy was the most prominent of these scams operating in Portugal.
Under the guise of renting GPS trackers to non-existent customers, GetEasy solicited used new affiliate investments to pay off existing investors.
Amid claims GetEasy was “the world’s first legal investment-based MLM opportunity“, the scheme inevitably collapsed in February, 2015.
Total losses by investors have never been clarified, with there being an uneasy silence from Portuguese authorities regarding the scam.
Former GetEasy CEO Tiago Fontoura was arrested in Tunisia mid last year, but to date nothing much seems to have come of it.
With not so much as a peep from Portuguese authorities, an unexpected investigation in Spain has lead to raids and several arrests. [Continue reading…]
PlanNet Marketing operate in the travel MLM niche and are based out of Georgia in the US.
Identified as Founder and CEO of the company on the PlanNet Marketing website are Don Bradley and Andy Cauthen respectively.
Donald D. Bradley has over two decades of “in the trenches” experience in marketing, sales and product distribution.
He has achieved top ranking positions in the network marketing industry, being numbered among millionaire earners for the past 15 years, while helping others reach their financial goals.
Prior to launching PlanNet Marketing, Donald Bradley (right) was Vice President of Marketing and the purported top income-earner in Paycation.
Paycation also operates the travel niche and primarily pays affiliates to recruit new affiliates.
Paycation website Alexa traffic estimates for 2015 show a brief recruitment bubble followed by a steady decline:
Prior to Paycation Bradley was promoting Pro Travel Network, yet another travel niche business opportunity.
PlanNet Marketing CEO Andy Cauthen also has some experience with travel MLMs.
Cauthen (right) joined YTB International in November 2004 and by October 2006 had been appointed YTB’s President and COO.
Cauthen was again appointed President and CEO of YTB in May of 2012.
YTB International began operations as a pyramid scheme in 2001.
In 2008 the company was sued by California Attorney General Jerry Brown.
An out-of-court settlement required changes to the company’s business model, and generated a decrease in membership attributed to bad publicity.
In late 2008, YTB laid off 17 employees, a move that was part of a reorganization. In 2008 the company’s revenues were $44.8 million.
YTB said its independent audit at the end of 2008 expressed “substantial doubt about our company’s ability to continue as a going concern”, sentiment the company itself later echoed.
In 2009 the company was operating at a loss of $1.9 million for the first three months of the year.
Revenue in that quarter dropped 49% to $21.8 million and then to $18 million in the second quarter.
The company’s paying members also declined substantially in number, from a high in April 2008 of 138,000 to 60,414 in mid-2009.
Andy Cauthen assumed his role as President and CEO at YTB International in May of 2012.
On February 1, 2012 founder J. Kim Sorenson died at the age of 62.
In March 2012 the YTB announced a plan to merge with LTS Nutraceutical, another MLM firm. In May the company began a major restructuring, and stated that the President and CEO, Robert Van Patton, had submitted his resignation.
In September YTB called off the merger, and announced that founder and chairman Scott Tomer was also resigning.
On March 1, 2013 YTB International filed for Chapter 11 protection in federal court in St. Louis.
Cauthen left YTB International in June of 2014.
Read on for a full review of the PlanNet Marketing MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]
Despite reports late last week suggesting the NCC were going to publish their findings on several investigated MLM opportunities, the agency has today clarified there will be no public updates on the outcome.
Despite the overall lack of comment, NCC spokesperson Trevor Hattingh did give one of the companies investigated the all-clear. [Continue reading…]
Kyäni launched in 2005 and claim to combine ‘the world’s most powerful Superfoods to create the most compelling nutritional supplements in the industry’.
The word “Kyäni” itself means “strong medicine” in Tlingit, spoken by the Tlingit people of Southeast Alaska and Western Canada.
Based out of Idaho in the US, the Kyäni US website is surprisingly absent of any information about Kyäni’s executive management.
In order to suss this out, I had to run a Google search on “kyani ceo” and found the information published on Kyäni’s Asian website portal.
Kirk Hansen, Carl Taylor and Dick Powell are listed as Kyäni’s Founders, with Michael Breshears (right) named as CEO.
Michael has served in many management and executive roles during the many years he has been in the network marketing industry.
He has served as President or COO for multiple companies, including companies that had sales up to $200 million.
Michael has developed the internal processes and led teams to provide for rapid company growth. He also has been and continues to be active in the industry trade group, the Direct Selling Association (DSA).
Breshears’ Kyäni corporate bio doesn’t specifically mention which companies he has been involved in.
A Google search on Breshears prior to 2000 returns two results, neither of which are accurately date stamped (one is LinkedIn and the other a PDF from 2013).
2000 to 2005 is equally devoid, with Google serving up mostly LinkedIn results.
For someone who claims to have been President or COO of “multiple companies” prior to Kyäni’s launch in 2005, I found this strange.
On the regulatory front Kyäni was pinged late last year in Sweden. An investigation by the Swedish Gaming Board found Kyäni suspected of operating a “chain letter game” (pyramid scheme).
It is the Gaming Board’s overall assessment that the main purpose of Kyäni business is recruiting to generate growing revenues to individuals placed at higher levels within the organization and that the profit potential is related to how many members gradually enters into the concept and not primarily on the sale of products or goods.
The Gaming Board forwarded their findings to local police for further investigation. As at the time of publication the status of the investigation is ongoing.
Read on for a full review of the Kyäni MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]
Although they seemingly have no problems with their affiliates raiding other companies, turns out Jeuenesse aren’t so blase about the issue in their own backyard.
A lawsuit first filed by Jeunesse on January 8th names Darren Jensen as defendant, and accuses him of raiding the company.
For those unfamiliar with the term, “raiding” in MLM refers to a former executive or affiliate plundering one company’s affiliate-base to populate another. Typically the company benefiting is one the affiliate or executive doing the raiding recently signed up with.
Named defendant Darren Jensen in this particular alleged instance of raiding, was President of Jeunesse until May, 2015. [Continue reading…]
There is no information on the 3to600 website indicating who owns or runs the business.
Recognizing the 3to600 website design layout, my first thought was this was a reboot of Angela Dumais’ 1 Million Fast.
The 3to600 website domain registration however lists Robert Mcatamney as the owner. An address in Queensland, Australia is also provided.
Mcatamney first popped up on BehindMLM’s radar mid last year as the admin for One Time Infinity. Two days later we reviewed another of Mcatamney’s schemes, Cash Money Bucket.
Both One Time Infinity and Cash Money Bucket saw affiliates invest funds in matrix positions, which were then passed through multi-tier Ponzi cyclers.
As at the time of publication, Alexa statistics on the One Time Infinity and Cash Money Bucket websites suggest both schemes have collapsed.
Read on for a full review of the 3to600 MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]
There is no information on the BestCycler website indicating who owns or runs the business.
The BestCycler website domain (“bestcycler.com”) was registered on the 25th of September 2015, however the domain registration is set to private.
Further research reveals BestCycler affiliates naming “Ivana Vasiljevic” as admin of the company, however I was unable to independently verify this information.
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…]
The Prosper Everyday website domains (“joinprosper.com” and “prospereveryday.com”) were respectively registered on September 16th and July 18th, 2015. Both domain registrations however are set to private.
Further research reveals Prosper Everyday affiliates naming Stephen Seppinni (right) as Founder and CEO of the company.
The Prosper Everyday Terms and Conditions state:
This website is operated by Digital Door, LLC, doing business as Prosper Everyday.
On his Facebook profile, Stephen Seppinni identifies himself as Founder and CEO of Digital Door.
Everyone Prosper was a social network MLM opportunity launched by Seppinni back in 2012. BehindMLM briefly touched on it in our review of Malibu Mastermind, a failed investment scheme launched by Seppinni back in early 2014.
Read on for a full review of the Prosper Everyday MLM business opportunity.
On top of a felony indictment, guilty plea and 46 month prison sentence, Charles Wang and Francis Yuen have now also been fined $26.5 million dollars.
The latest blow to Wang and Yuen, owners of the eAdGear Ponzi scheme, was handed down on February 1st, as the SEC’s case against eAdGear came to a close.
First to bring regulatory action against the scheme, the SEC shut down eAdGear back in September of 2014. [Continue reading…]
After being found guilty of promoting the the uFun Club Ponzi scam to Samoans, Nicolas Giannos and Rosita Stanfield were ordered to attend a sentencing hearing on February 2nd.
Chief Justice Palu remanded Giannos and Stanfield at liberty, which meant they were free until the sentencing hearing.
Yesterday saw the scheduled sentencing hearing take place, with both Giannos and Stanfield failing to appear. [Continue reading…]