To the best of my knowledge there are four claims and allowances matters that are going to be heard next Tuesday.
Alvarez and Marsal initially wanted $876,463.72, Greenberg and Traurig initially wanted $1,044,813.95, Gordon Silver want $230,000 and Stuart MacMillan (interim CEO) is demanding he be paid $107,089.45 for expenses and services rendered.
Following negotiations with the SEC and TelexFree Chapter 11 Trustee, Stephen Darr, Alvarez and Marsal have agreed to a 51.4% reduction ($435,000). Similarly, Greenberg Traurig are now only asking for 37.9% of their initial request ($396,073.82).
Gordon Silver and Stuart MacMillan are still holding out, believing that they are entitled to the full sum of what they are asking.
In a series of filings made yesterday, the Department of Justice’s US Trustee for Massachusetts, William Harrington, advised that he “has no objection” to the adjusted amounts requested by Alvarez and Marsal and Greenberg Traurig.
Not surprisingly, the DOJ have objected to Gordon Silver and MacMillan’s demands. [Continue reading…]
Despite having it’s assets frozen well over a year ago and late last year Brazil’s Ministry of Finance concluding BBOM is a Ponzi scheme, the owner and top investors of the scheme remained at large.
Now, some fourteen months after the scheme had its assets frozen, regulators in Brazil have finally “reported” five individuals.
The Federal Prosecutors Office in the Brazilian state of São Paulo has reported João Francisco de Paulo (owner of BBOM) and Paulo Ricardo Figueiró, Ednaldo Alves Bispo, Sérgio Luís Yamagi Tanaka and Fabiano Marculino Montarroyos (believed to be top investors in the scheme). [Continue reading…]
In an effort to strengthen the criminal case against TelexFree’s owners, the Department of Justice requested a stay on discovery in the SEC’s civil case.
The DOJ reasoned that
without a stay, Merrill and perhaps Wanzeler – charged in both actions – would use the civil discovery process in a manner that impairs proper administration of the criminal case.
At the time of publication, all parties involved in the SEC’s civil case (including the SEC themselves), have indicated they do not oppose the DOJ’s request.
Well, all except one: Faith Sloan.
In their original request dated early September, the DOJ claimed Sloan was waiting to see how her Motion to Dismiss played out before filing her reply.
With that a decision on that motion still pending (Santiago De La Rosa and Randy Crosby have requested their respective Motions to Dismiss be stayed until the conclusion of the criminal case), Sloan has filed a reply.
Sloan’s reason for opposing the DOJ’s request has nothing to do with the pending outcome of her Motion to Dismiss (which will likely be stayed if Crosby and De La Rosa’s are).
Instead, Sloan argues
that so long as she is a defendant in the above entitled action (the SEC civil case), she must pay and continue to pay her attorney for representing her at a time when she is unable to support herself financially.
Say what? [Continue reading…]
There is no information on the Qbule website indicating who owns or runs the business.
The Qbule website does feature an “about us” link, however clicking on it reveals a broken link. I tried clicking the link using multiple locale variations of the Qbule website to no avail.
The Qbule website domain (“qbule.com”) was registered on the 24th of January 2012, however the domain registration is set to private.
Qbule list a corporate address on their website for “Qbule Technologies America” in the US state of Washington.
The address provided, “565 Andover Park W, Tukwila Washington”, is a big unmarked office building. Additionally no suite number is provided, which raises raising the question of whether or not Qbule is actually based there.
Upon browsing Qbule’s website, it wasn’t long before this messaged popped up:
Despite the promised 15th September completion date, a quick visit to “qmybid.com” reveals an unfinished auction site:
There’s no information on the QMyBid website indicating who owns it, with the “about us” page marked “under construction”.
The QMyBid website domain, like Qbule, is also registered privately.
If one looks at the source-code for the website though, clues as to who might be running Qbule and QMyBid are evident:
The site is running the same backend as “bestpricebid.com”, which is a domain owned by a “Parvinder Singh” from “BPS Network Pvt Ltd”. An address in the Indian city of Chandigarh is also provided.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Whether or not Singh and BPS Network are behind Qbule was initially unclear, however it’s highly probable that Qbule is either based out of India or from elsewhere by somebody with a connection to India.
A few Google searches later and I confirmed that Parvinder Singh was indeed behind Qbule:
I didn’t check the Indian local site of Qbule in my initial checks, but when I went back and had a look sure enough Parvinder Singh’s name popped up in the “about us” section.
Why this information is not available on other local Qbule sites is a mystery.
As per Singh’s Qbule corporate bio, he claims to have ‘a vast experience in the industry of Direct Selling and Retail Marketing‘.
No explicit examples are provided and, possibly due to a language barrier I was unable to locate any myself.
The specifics of Parvinder Singh’s “vast experience” in the MLM industry remain unclear.
Read on for a full review of the Qbule MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]
As Carlos Wanzeler fled the US and his partner James Merrill prepared for another day of denying TelexFree was a Ponzi scheme, the FBI, Department of Justice and Homeland Security raided TelexFree’s offices and ‘a local business that maintained TelexFree’s servers‘.
Federal law enforcement seized various assets of TelexFree, including servers used by TelexFree, about 38 boxes of documents, and about two dozen computer drives.
The electronic data alone is believed to be over 400 terabytes of material.
Before regulators can analyze the seized evidence though, standard procedure would see
all of the information seized from TelexFree first reviewed by a team of lawyers and paraprofessionals, whose duty would be to examine all of the documents and remove any materials that appear to be attorney-client privileged before the documents would be made available to the Governmental Authorities for use in Governmental Proceedings.
Under this scenario, firstly who knows what dirty little secrets might be lost. And secondly, the time required to perform such an audit would greatly delay the various regulatory actions against TeleFree being heard.
The trickle down effect of this would then also be a delay in the returning of money to TelexFree’s victim.
A non-desirable outcome for all except TelexFree management.
Thankfully the court-appointed Trustee Stephen Darr has a solution. In a court-filing made yesterday, Darr has requested permission to waive TelexFree’s attorney-client privilege. [Continue reading…]
Ingreso Cybernetico launched in late 2013 and claim to be based out of the city of Medellin in Colombia.
Heading up Ingreso Cybernetico is CEO Dwayne Golden.
Golden (right) first popped up on my radar as a silent owner/partner of Blue Bird Bids. Prior to Blue Bird Bids Golden was running a penny auction named “Green Apple Fridays”.
Green Apple Fridays was used as a backend for Blue Bird Bids, which was a penny auction opportunity hoping to capitalize on the “success” of Zeek Rewards.
Zeek Rewards, the mother of all MLM penny auctions, was an $850 million Ponzi scheme shut down by the SEC in 2012.
Dwayne Golden’s name never appeared on the Blue Bird Bids website but his partner, Mardy Eger (credited as the founder of Blue Bird Bids), publicized his “long-standing association” with Golden on his personal blog.
Blue Bird Bids launched in late 2012 and by early January had become embroiled in an auction bot auto-bidding controversy.
In an email to Mardy Eger, Eric Swaim, who was Blue Bird Bids’ Vice-President at the time, wrote:
We have people that sit and watch the auction basically all day and are accusing us of having auto-bots bidding against the field.
I hope that is not the case. We have enough that we are dealing with at this point.
I have been watching the site most of the day and have noticed that we have had the same usernames bidding all day. When I tried to look them up in our system they do not show.
It was later revealed that the penny auction script Blue Bird Bids were using contained an in-built “auto bidder system”.
In response to Eric Swaim’s initial email to Egar (quoted above), Blue Bird Bids pulled down their auctions in the closing days of 2012. The auctions did return in late January, however the opportunity never recovered from the downtime.
Sometime shortly thereafter, Blue Bird Bids collapsed.
Neither Dwayne Golden or Mardy Eger ever publicly addressed the auto-bid scandal. Likewise the exact circumstances surrounding Blue Bird Bids’s collapse remains a mystery.
After Blue Bird Bids Golden appears to have returned to Green Apple Fridays. However if one visits the Green Apple Fridays website today, a notice promising updates on Ingreso Cybernetico is displayed:
It would appear Golden pulled the plug on Green Apple Fridays sometime after Blue Bird Bids collapsed, and then went on to launch Ingreso Cybernetico.
Read on for a full review of the Ingreso Cybernetico MLM business opportunity. [Continue reading…]
In the last few months of its Ponzi scheme operations, TelexFree took in a staggering fifty million dollars.
And despite being provided with legal advice indicating that they were running a pyramid scheme as far back as August of 2013, management still went ahead and paid themselves in excess of $10,000,000.
When it became clear that regulators were going to shut down TelexFree for being a Ponzi scheme, owners Carlos Wanzeler and James Merrill began to implement their exit strategy.
At the time TelexFree owed $5 billion in Ponzi ROIs to affiliates, had no significant retail revenue source and new affiliate investment, amid rumors of a pending compensation plan change, had dried up.
The initial stages of the exit-strategy saw the need for the removal of Carlos Wanzeler and James Merrill from the public eye. This resulted in the then unknown figure Stuart MacMillan being appointed “interim CEO”. [Continue reading…]
TelexFree is not shut down in Brazil, there’s a lot of news there, it’s liar (sic). Everything you hear from news, it’s not true.
Our company, everything is ok.
Nothing will affect the US. Please continue your continued dedication, this company will persevere.
-Carlos Wanzeler (TelexFree owner, now a fugitive), June 2013
To the very bitter end, TelexFree maintained it was not a Ponzi scheme.
Indeed, down in Brazil and despite all evidence to the contrary, today Carlos Costa (also an owner of TelexFree) still insists that the company is legitimate.
TelexFree (under the name Ympactus) was shut down in Brazil via injunction back in June of 2013. The injunction, granted in the Brazilian state of Acre, prompted Carlos Wanzeler to get on an affiliate phonecall and make the statements quoted above.
TelexFree used the same Ponzi business model in Brazil as it did in the US. Naturally this raised questions over the legal status of the company in the US.
Unknown publicly at the time, US regulators had already began investigating the scheme as far back as April 2013.
While the SEC quietly continued to investigate the company, TelexFree management sought out legal opinions to ascertain the legal status of Ponzi schemes in the US. [Continue reading…]
That the filing of bankruptcy proceedings to escape criminal liability for the running of a billion dollar Ponzi scheme was absurd, is and always will be a given.
Absurder still are the fee claims submitted by firms hired by TelexFree to orchestrate the bankruptcy circus.
Despite being approached and hired only after TelexFree learned a regulatory shutdown was imminent, these firms are now collectively demanding they be paid millions of dollars in fees for their services.
One such firm is Gordon Silver, who the SEC claim do not deserve any of the $230,000 in fees they believe they are owed.
At the core of the SEC’s objection is that the services provided to Gordon Silver were ‘were not necessary to the administration of the estate (TelexFree)‘, which ‘is required for a court to approve an application under Bankruptcy Code Section 330(a)‘. [Continue reading…]
On the eve of the ACCC’s lawsuit against Lyoness being heard in court, ABC News Australia have interviewed some of the affiliates who’ve lost money in the scheme.
Unfulfilled promises, unrealistic AU maturity projections and using well-known merchant names to lure new AU investors in is apparently all in a days work for those sitting at the top of Lyoness Australia. [Continue reading…]