Ponzi lawyer Steven Scudder liable for full $425,030 restitution amount

For his efforts in assisting William Apostelos defraud investors out of millions of dollars, attorney Steven Scudder was sentenced to fourteen months prison back in June.

How much Scudder would pay in restitution was deferred, pending legal arguments from both Scudder and the DOJ.

In his response brief, Scudder argued that he ‘should not be held accountable for restitution in this case‘. [Continue reading…]

Trevo Review: $59.99 a liter super juice with 127 ingredients

Trevo launched in 2010 and operate in the nutritional supplement MLM niche.

The company operates out of Oklahoma in the US and is headed up by founders Mark (President and CEO) and Holli Stevens (Director of Finance).

Mark Steven’s Trevo corporate bio claims he’s a ‘well-known as a successful business owner, entrepreneur, leader, motivational speaker, best-selling author and humanitarian.

While still in high school Mark discovered his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for excellence as he became the owner of a soon-to-be nationally recognized music company.

Mark went on to build several successful corporations.

He has successfully built multi-million dollar companies as well as successful network marketing organizations of tens of thousands.

Holli Stevens’ bio states she

is an accomplished businesswoman in her own right. She has been nationally recognized as a top salesperson in the direct sales industry, having received a number of prestigious sales awards for consistently generating millions of dollars in sales.

Holli has also been recognized as a top recruiter in the industry, which is no surprise given her warm presence, her incredible business knowledge, and her unwavering integrity.

Prior to Trevo Mark and Holli ran Vision For Life, a natural supplement MLM company they founded in 1998.

Vision For Life marketed a similar product range to Trevo.

Whereas Vision For Life operated only in United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Philippines though, Trevo has more of a global presence.

I did try to suss out why Vision For Life shut down and was rebooted as Trevo but turned up nothing.

That said if Vision For Life was failing, then Trevo seems to have been a clean reboot.

One point of interest is Trevo getting caught up in a Nigerian money laundering scam mid last year.

One lonely widow from Kentucky was tricked out of more than $1 million by a man she met online at a dating website, the FBI says.

Another widow, from Missouri, withdrew $40,000 from her retirement account to send to an individual she met online, the FBI says. A Kansas woman lost $20,000.

An Oklahoma City man withdrew money from his business operating account, overdrew his personal bank accounts and used funds from a business loan to send money to a woman he met on a dating website before realizing he had been scammed.

The FBI alleges some of the money from those victims and others ended up in the bank account of Trevo LLC, an Oklahoma City-based multilevel marketing company.

The FBI seized $610,800 on July 12 from the Trevo LLC account at Wells Fargo Bank in Oklahoma City.

Not sure how that happened, but Stevens later clarified he himself was not under investigation.

At the time of publication Nigeria is the fourth largest source of traffic to the Trevo corporate website (7%).

Read on for a full review of the Trevo MLM opportunity. [Continue reading…]

LitUpp Review: €197 EUR video-based personal development courses

LitUpp operate in the personal development MLM niche and claim to be ‘located in the heart of London‘.

The company is headed up by CEO and Founder, Kjenneth Holm. On Twitter Holm cites his location as Copenhagen, Denmark.

A Facebook page for “LitUpp Development A/S” also cites a location in Copenhagen, Denmark. On Instagram Holm claims he’s the founder of LitUpp development A/S.

Whether LitUpp is run out of the UK or Denmark however is unclear, but at least as far as management goes it appears to be based out of Denmark.

Elsewhere on the internet Holm (right) is described as an “entrepeneur and speaker”.

LitUpp itself provides no specific information on Holm or his purported business past.

Possibly due to language-barriers, I myself was unable to find any further information.

This puts a big question mark over Holm and his team’s MLM executive credentials.

Read on for a full review of the LitUpp MLM opportunity. [Continue reading…]

Lil Bud 2 Big Dog Review: Two-tier 3×4 matrix bitcoin Ponzi cycler

Lil Bud 2 Big Dog provide no information on their website about who owns or runs the business.

The Lil Bud 2 Big Dog website domain (“lilbud2bigdog.com”) was privately registered on August 17th, 2017.

A marketing video on the Lil Bud 2 Big Dog website is hosted on a YouTube account bearing the name “opitimusx”:

OpitimusX is an alias of Sherm Mason.

Sherm Mason first popped up on BehindMLM’s radar as the admin of Magnetic Builder.

Magnetic Builder was a $29.95 recruitment scheme launched in 2011.

In 2015 Mason (right), launched at least five dubious schemes:

In 2016 Mason doubled down on his efforts and launched Elite Pay Alliance (matrix-based cash gifting), 5 Dolla Money Lines (pass-up chain-recruitment), Adstraordinary (matrix-based cash gifting) and Cash Rally GPS(Ponzi cycler).

So far this year Mason has launched Easy OddsJust Got Bitcoin1 Big Bitcoin Team and Stack My Bits. In the last month alone Mason launched BitQwikI Like Bits and Akashic3.

All of Mason’s MLM underbelly launches this year have either flopped at launch or collapsed.

Read on for a full review of the Lil Bud 2 Big Dog MLM opportunity. [Continue reading…]

MinerWorld Review: 12 month cryptocurrency mining ROI & recruitment

MinerWorld provide no information on their website about who owns or runs the business.

The MinerWorld website domain (“minerworld.com.br”) was first registered on September 7th, 2014. Cícero Saad Cruz is listed as the owner.

On July 23rd, 2017, Cruz (right) appears to have removed his contact details from the domain registration.

Further research reveals prior to the change, the MinerWorld domain registration listed an address in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

This is presumably where Cruz is located and from where MinerWorld is being operated from.

In MinerWorld marketing material Cruz goes by “Cicero Saad” and is credited as CEO and President of the company.

According to the website JusBrasil, Saad has been involved in a number of court cases over the past year.

As of late April/early May, Prosecutors in Paraguay are investigating MinerWorld for Ponzi fraud.

On August 8th it was revealed Brazilian Federal Police were also investigating MinerWorld under suspicion it was a Ponzi scheme.

Read on for a full review of the MinerWorld MLM opportunity. [Continue reading…]

Apriori Beauty Review: Personal care with affiliate autoship recruitment

Apriori Beauty launched in late 2009 and operate in the personal care MLM niche.

The company is based out of California in the US and headed up by co-founders Susan Twellman, Elizabeth Vervynck and Candace Keefe.

As per her corporate bio, prior to founding Apriori Beauty Twellman (right) worked for UPS and Quest Software.

I was very fortunate to also help take Quest public before leaving to start my own wealth management company that I still manage today, along with a wine procurement and storage facility.

Elizabeth Vervynck (right) ran a design and marketing business with her sister.

One of their clients was Arbonne, another personal care MLM company.

After my sister moved to Denmark and two years of focusing more and more time on this one client (not to mention repeated offers of employment), I decided to sideline my business and accept a full-time position.

Over the next 12+ years, I helped this once-small company grow from less than 100,000 independent Consultants in two countries to over a million in four.

I am also very proud of the fact that I was one of four named inventors on the patent for the original anti-aging skincare line that continues today as Arbonne’s best-selling brand.

Apriori Beauty became my next destined step. I love that I can do so much with it … the ability to positively affect people’s lives with products that not only help them to look and feel better, but can also open the door to personal success, should they choose to open it.

I see Apriori Beauty as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not only for me, but for so many that love all things beautiful too.

Candace Keefe had served as Arbonne’s Vice President of Product Development, before leaving with Vervynch to found Apriori Beauty.

Keefe (right) left Apriori Beauty in 2012 amid an ongoing dispute about her position within the company.

As reported by Ty Tribble’s MLM Blog, Keefe at the time stated on Facebook;

I chose not to work with the continued illusion that I held a title I simply did not.

My partners voted me out of my title and the authority that the title held.

The “CEO” title in itself was of no importance to me, but the lack of ability to move forward in a positive and healthy direction was.

It was simply not what I signed up for, and something I was not going to keep fighting for the rest of my life.

About a month after leaving, Keefe filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Apriori Beauty on July 17th, 2012.

Susan Twellman and Elizabeth Vervynck were named defendants in the suit, with Keefe detailing how and why she was outed.

The Company’s Operating Agreement provides the CEO with broad managerial powers and the right to access Company information.

However, Keefe was repeatedly denied access to the Company’s financial information by the other Principal Members and Principal Managers.

In 2011, Keefe discovered vague references in Company documents that appeared to refer to insider transactions of which she had no prior knowledge.

When Keefe requested the back-up documentation from Twellman, she was met with repeated delay in producing documents, and when documents eventually were produced they did not substantiate the insider transactions.

Keefe attempted to fulfill her fiduciary duties to the Company and her obligations to the Company’s investors by making a formal, written demand for documents directed to Tweilman.

Keefe alleges this prompted Twellman and Vervynck to hire outside counsel without consulting her.

For the next nine 6 months, the “Company’s” counsel took direction solely from Twellman and Vervynck, and never once either met with or spoke to Keefe (the Company’s Chairman and CEO).

The “Company’s” counsel repeatedly responded to Keefe’s information requests by sending letters parroting the self-serving positions of the insiders whose transactions were being questioned (without even asking Keefe for input), and by representing to Keefe that the requested documents had previously been produced (when they had not).

Over the next several months, the relationship between the Company’s Principal Members and Principal Managers continued to deteriorate.

In November, 2011, at a Manager’s meeting held (again without Keefe present), Tweliman and Vervynck voted to remove Keefe’s title as CEO.

Keefe learned of the decision several weeks later when the Company’s attorneys sent a letter to Keefe’s personal attorney, informing her counsel that Keefe was no longer authorized to use the title CEO, but that Keefe should not disclose that fact to the Company’s employees or consultants.

Keefe claims she ‘became increasingly alarmed at the direction of the Company and attempted to schedule a Manager’s meeting by notice dated May 23, 2012‘.

In the notice Keefe stated that if an agreement couldn’t be reached, Apriori Beauty was to immediately cease using her name, likeness and brand for marketing purposes.

After initially agreeing to attend, Twellman and Vervynck backed out.

On May 29th, 2012 Keefe resigned. Nonetheless Apriori Beauty continued to use her name, likeness and brand.

This prompted Keefe’s lawsuit, which was confidentially settled eight months later in March, 2013.

A few months after she resigned from Apriori Beauty, Keefe was appointed CEO of Bioceutica – a position she still holds.

Today there is no mention or acknowledgment of Candace Keefe on the Apriori Beauty website.

Read on for a full review of the Apriori Beauty MLM opportunity. [Continue reading…]

Legal opinion claims USI-Tech’s unregistered securities legal in the US?

In what is shaping up the be the latest MLM attorney blunder, the law firm Hart & David have purportedly put their stamp of approval on USI-Tech.

For those unfamiliar with the company, USI-Tech initially combined pyramid recruitment with an automated forex trading platform.

USI-Tech affiliates deposited €600 EUR on the promise of an entirely automated and passive ROI. [Continue reading…]

Belize issues second OneCoin warning

In what appears to be a followup to their initial warning back in March, Belize’s International Financial Services Commission has issued a second warning against OneCoin. [Continue reading…]

NWorld Review: Personal care skin whitening & nutritional supplements

NWorld, also known as Alphanetworld Corporation, was founded in the Philippines in 2015.

The company is registered with the Philippine SEC and appears to be up to date with their registration filings.

NWorld operates in the personal care MLM niche and is headed up by President and CEO, Juluis Nolasco (right).

According to Nolasco’s NWorld corporate bio, he

stumbled upon MLM … more than 15 years ago.

I saw how this great opportunity affords people, regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status and educational background, a fair and promising means to make their lives better.

I took the leap of faith and soon found myself engross with this business.

I started as an agent; a distributor or member as popularly called by many.

I engaged and gave myself to this industry. I focused my energy and passion on my goals.

I climbed up the ladder of success to becoming one of the youngest and most decorated top producers of those companies I was engaged with.

Soon enough, my talent was given further recognition when I was offered a top executive post and to be a co-owner of an MLM company.

Being an MLM practitioner, an MLM top executive and an owner at the same time gained me some of the most intensive and comprehensive experiences that brought me success feat both here and abroad.

I have managed local and foreign companies in several countries, in different time zones and business setups.

The reasonably gratifying wealth I have made and the influence that I wield in this industry came as a bonus.

The day has come when Providence took its course and rewarded me my own MLM company.

The prior company Nolasco is referring to is Royal Business Club.

Royale Business Club was also based out of the Philippines and marketed personal care products and nutritional supplements.

During Nolasco’s tenure as President, Royale Business Club was fined $8.13 million dollars for tax evasion in 2015.

In effect, Royal substantially underdeclared its correct taxable sales by 387% or P151.64 million ($3.43 million) in 2011; 122% or P129.69 million ($2.93 million) in 2012; and by 80% or P157.38 million ($3.56 million) in 2013.

Also charged for the same violations were its officers: Royale president Julius Allan Nolasco.

These charges appear to have prompted Royal Business Club to collapse, with the launch of NWorld taking place a few months later.

Read on for a full review of the NWorld MLM opportunity.

[Continue reading…]

$39.1 million returned to Zhunrize Ponzi victims

Last we checked in the Zhunrize Receiver had sought approval for 2858 victim claim payouts, coming in at $41 million.

Zhunrize affiliates had initially filed for $99 million in losses, however $58 million in claims were deemed bogus.

On March 10th the Receiver’s request was granted, paving the way for victim claim distribution. [Continue reading…]