Michigan AG’s Office investigating Achieve Community
In order to get to the bottom of allegations I’d received that Michigan’s Attorney-General Office had been in contact with Achieve Community’s owners, I reached out to them via email a few days ago.
I received a reply today, which informed me that my email had been turned into a Freedom of Information Act request.
In response to my query, the Michigan AG’s Office informed me that their Consumer Protection Division currently has an open investigation into Achieve Community.
As per the Michigan AG’s Office, the Consumer Protection Division investigation was opened in 2015. Going by the number assigned to my request and the number assigned to the investigation, it would appear to have been launched in January but I can’t say for sure.
In addition to my query, two others were received by the division back in 2014. And one of them indeed confirms that Troy Barnes has been contacted by the AG’s Office.
In December of 2014, a concerned member of the public wrote to the Michigan AG’s Office;
I only share this because I have a friend who has been sucked in(to) the Achieve Community on FB…
The male partner lives in Detroit and has been involved in many such get rich quick pyramids, so has the woman who is now in Denver.
They have a site on FB and are soliciting members through gaming friends of games on FB.
It is a matrix buy in position program… no real product but they loophole with offer of information to start own website to start selling product.
Members are not encouraged to sell anything but recruit new members.
As I said I did not buy in butI have a friend who was sucked in who cannot afford to lose her money and i cannot convince her that this is a scam and likely illegal.
Please look into this as they have 1300 members on FB.
Kristi Johnson, Troy Burns or Byrnes… he is from Detroit and they are soliciting business from FB and not licensed in as far as I can tell in Michigan?
What exactly the Michigan AG’s Office forwarded to Troy Barnes, who is based out of Michigan, I can’t say. But on February 3rd 2015 Barnes replied to the AG’s Office with the following:
In Regards to AG-(removed)
I have no clue wh (sic) (name removed) is.
She is not in our business. I have no record of her at all.
I would be glad to reply but I just don’t know what you’re asking.
If the AG’s Office sent the email they received verbatim, then why Barnes attempted to look up the sender in the Achieve investor database is unclear. The sender clearly states she is not an investor in Achieve.
Why Barnes didn’t address the concerns raised over Achieve Community’s business model or registration in Michigan is also unclear.
The second query from the general public was received by the Michigan AG’s Office back in October 2014.
Hello, I stumbled upon this amazing opportunity where you supposedly can make you hard earned dollars multiple by 8 in only 60-90 days.
I started to ask a bunch of questions and before I knew it my uncomfortable post was removed from the site.
I have not invested in this but I would hate to see millions being scammed from poor people that actually believe this.
The query includes pages of since deleted Facebook postings on the now defunct Achieve Community Facebook group.
Sender: How is it possible that $50 can turn in to $400 without any purchase or effort what so ever… money just don’t make itself?
Please explain how this is possible cuz I’m interested to make my hard earned $$ duplicate like that to.
Achieve Investor #1: It’s like this, we all purchase $50 positions.
When you purchase your position your purchase is TIME STAMPED.
Let’s call these $50 positions “tickets” to go on a ride (think Disney land).
Sender: I understand the program and how you move through the matrix, but no one have yet been able to explain how money can just multiply by 8 without any effort at all.
Achieve Investor #2: We all don’t have the formula either but many of us, myself includes, have made $400 for every $50 position we started with.
Sometimes it is okay to just believe and not know the how’s in life.
Achieve Investor #3: It’s simple, people are purchasing and repurchasing and so the matrix keeps moving. Thats the simple terms of it.
Achieve Investor #1: The more positions purchased the faster this moves!
Sender: So if I will buy 500 (for my retirement that is currently $25,000) positions and about 60-90 days later I will cash out $200,000 without even lifting a finger?
And is that taxable income or is that all in my pocket?
Achieve Investor #4: Please everyone!!! Don’t use the word investment… we purchase here only!!! Thanks!
Achieve Investor #2: Yes, each $50 position will equate to $400 without lifting a finger.
Although we encourage you to share so we can speed up the process and help others Achieve!
And yes this is taxable income because it is a legitimate business.
Sender: Well the math just does not add up… the positions we all buy are 50 dollars, so who is paying the additional 350 since we are not required to spend more than 50.
So if a million people spend 50 dollars so you get 50 million dollars somehow those 50 million dollars need to become 400 million dollars in only 60 days.
Explain how that is possible since no extra purchase or investment is needed.
Also I don’t know about you but if I knew how to make my money multiply by 8 times in 60-90 days I would not tell a soul.
So if I send this to the Attorney-General in the United Sates he will say that this is legit?
At this point the admins of the now defunct Achieve Community Facebook page moved to delete the conversation.
No response from Achieve Community, Troy Barnes or Kristi Johnson is recorded in the file.
What would be interesting is whether or not the Consumer Protection Division have further queried Barnes on Achieve Community’s business model (compensation plan).
Unfortunately no further details of the division’s own investigation into Achieve Community were provided.
Nonetheless, along with the investigation confirmed in Colorado last month, we can now report that at least two states are investigating Achieve Community.
The news comes as Achieve Community request their affiliates to send personal information to their latest payment processor.
Binary Wallet (who sometimes refer to themselves as AeraPay), appears to have roots in a church community in the US state of Florida.
One person listed in the church’s articles of incorporation — but not in the articles of organization for Binary — is James T. Lovern.
This perhaps is because Lovern had been implicated in a telemarketing/government-grants swindle. The case was prosecuted by multiple states, including Florida and North Carolina.
Also involved in the prosecution of Lovern, according to a document on file at the Federal Communications Commission, was the state of North Dakota. Massachusetts also prosecuted Lovern.
On Jan. 28, 2009, The Tampa Tribune reported that Lovern had pleaded guilty to tax evasion. The church, Florida records show, would come later.
The dubious nature of Achieve Community’s latest payment processor has raised concern among its investors, with some questioning why they are being required extremely intrusive personal information.
Update 13th February 2015 – As per a “how to” guide video uploaded by Troy Barnes, Achieve Community’s new payment processor are demanding affiliates provide them with
- a notarized copy of a passport or driver’s license, or an unnotarized copy with a photocopy of the front and back of a valid credit card, or a copy of another type of government-issued ID that shows a signature and birth date
- source of funds (being invested in Achieve)
- verification of the address of the investor by way of an original or notarized copy of a bank or credit card statement or utility bill (no older than 3 months)
- employer’s name
- employer’s address
- estimated annual payment from employer
- a letter from the employer confirming employment, stating expected annual income and turnover of the business that employs the investor
I’ve read reports of at least one Achieve investor complaining about having to state where they work, and provide proof of employment by way of a letter from their employer.
Earlier this week we raised the question of whether Achieve Community’s admins were going to address regulatory investigations currently open against them.
To date, neither Kristi Johnson or Troy Barnes have disclosed any communication between themselves and US regulators to Achieve’s investors.
Instead, Troy Barnes is busy encouraging investors to sign up with their new processor – through which it is hoped more $400 ROI payments will be made.
Wednesday Night Update – February 12 2015
Hello Achieve Community,
I just got off of a Great call with the owner of our processing Company and all I can say is WOW. This is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Achieve Community.
Tomorrow afternoon your instruction video will be ready. I will let you know as soon as its done.
If your (sic) getting this message when you try to sign up email support at (removed):
(There was an issue activating your account. Please contact customer support for more information.)
I also want to know if your (sic) not getting a confirmation email.
Please wait for the video for instruction it will be step by step instruction. Easy is a good thing.
That’s all I have for tonight I’ll be looking forward to giving you tomorrows update.
To Your Success
that’s pretty cool, oz. well done.
i cant get over troy writing to the AG office, that he doesn’t know what they are talking about!
i’m sure the consumer protection dept will be shortly sending him an information request, which he will bloody well understand.
why has troy taken over the updates duty again? where is kristi?
someone had posted in an achieve thread recently, that troy was looking to get his passport ready, and leave the US, in order to set up the business from abroad. in between all the noise and excitement of signing up some shady processor, i hope he doesn’t split from the back door. the guy IS dodgy.
Article updated with screenshot of actual Achieve Community personal information ewallet requirements.
Oh wow, Barnes is advising investors to list themselves as their employers, and he makes no mention of only if they have indeed set up a company to employ themselves under.
The fraud never stops with this one!
Full video screenshot in the article was captured from:
(Ozedit: Within 24 hours of this article going live, Troy Barnes deleted his “how to” video from his YouTube channel.)
It could be worse, the new payment solution could require you to send a book of pre-signed blank checks, with verification of balance from your financial institution.
o well, look who’s getting peeved with the achieve flock, for having problems signing up and complaining. troy got pissed, and removed the entire post under which members were complaining and just posted [a few minutes ago]:
well then troy, why isn’t achieve ‘support’, supporting the members? where do they go for help? the AG’s office?
And the comedy/tragedy goes on.
Wow this sounds great, now nsa and lots of hakors and whatnot can get your info as well as Achieve Kristi and Barnes and can make themselves additional money having your verified info and can open lines of credit in your name and empty your $ from lines of credit that they may or may not take out.
When you gotta be dumb, you gotta be tough!
And how dumb do you have to be before you are considered responsible for you own actions, and therefore not a victim?
Dumb of me not to proofread, “your” own actions. But seriously, how many reviews does OZ have to write before something is done to PREVENT and educate about this kind of fraud? It’s out of control.
When you have people who make it their whole life’s job of stealing from others without them paying any consequences, this stuff will never go away.
Them and the people who run these are not called con men/con women for nothing. They are really good at what they do. The admin is always the most honest, trustworthy person they know, or so the claim goes while they know the admin is a crook.
I have been exposing these illegal programs for over 10 years and have spent the last seven years with our nonprofit corporation helping educating and warning the public, and assisting law enforcement agencies worldwide to close these programs down and seize a much assets as they can to return to the victims of these illegal programs.
When the Ponzi pimps/promoters start having to pay a heavy price for their role, this will continue unabated.
For every program that is shut down, there are at least 20 that take its place immediately. My guess is there are over 12,000 of these illegal programs operating right now on the Internet, and that doesn’t count all those that are not on the Internet.
In shourt law enforcement agencies worldwide are short on manpower, resources, and overwhelmed with all the crime they have to deal with on a daily basis.
To fully answer your question would be pages and pages of information, and I still would not be able to cover it all. Hope this was of some help.
Nope, it’s nowhere NEAR out of control. Fraud is but a TINY portion of the US economy. A fraction of a percent.
Once upon a time in Albania, 10% their economy is believed to be tied up in two of the largest smuggling-backed HYIP / Ponzi schemes that promised as much as “double your money in 2 weeks”.
THAT would be out of control.
Char, Lynndel, K Chang, I salute you. I really do. And this Oz guy.
Oz, your site is a joy to navigate. Simple to use, densely populated, lots of good reporting. You others, and all the people here: seeing a problem, trying to do something about it, working many hours typically without pay.
“12,000 programs like this on the Internet.” Wow. And I cannot say otherwise. I just wanted to put a stop to this one little, lonely, dark corner of the Internet – the Achieve Community. These Achieve kingpins who are thieves of Hope itself, after their poor victim has been robbed.
I am very grateful for all the people that expose criminals like Kristi and Troy.
I am doing my part to report this scam to every single state in the United States to their attorney general’s office with our help will put these crooks in jail for stealing peoples identity, money laundering in china and taking 86 year old ladies money.
Thank you Lyndale, OZ, Douglas law, Patrick pretty and the many other good people trying to protect us and don’t forget the sheepdog over at Facebook.
Kristi’s FB page is gone. Guess she’s hightailed it outta dodge. How soon before Troy’s goes MIA as well?
yes, i think kristi wont be found at her home address. if she has fled to the UK, then she’s gone out of reach.
michigan and colorado authorities need to step in before troy does a runner too.
where is the money ipaydna has collected over the last two months from the achieve doozies? i wont be surprised if it has been transferred to overseas accounts.
Yes, both of Kristi’s FB pages are gone but her Twitter account is still live: twitter.com/Kjinvest
She seems to be upset about the IRS and the seizing of bank accounts.
Of course Kristi can be touched if she fled to the UK. The US has brought people back from all over the world to stand trial. She will be no exception if the states want her back, and especially if the Feds step in as well.
Kristi’s twitter seems to be defunct also…
yeah, it says: ‘Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!’ it was live this morning!
why is kristi scampering across the net, pulling out all the plugs, connected to her?
a] she fled
b] she’s in the grip of a colorado investigation
that she’s shit scared, is obvious as obvious.
I might have a sense of why. Stay tuned for pending updates next week.
The story is still brewing.
Sounds to me like Kristi has beem contacted by either Michigan or Colorado, and pending legal action is near, against her and Troy Barnes. stay tuned
Well…SOMETHING has split wide open: Troy’s FB page/followers are in complete meltdown about an update posted in Achieve community.
Sounds like Kristi is being pegged for running off with their money. People posting poor Troy, blah blah blah.
Anyone have any idea what’s been posted. Whatever it is, Achievniks clearly know they won’t see their money: THAT much is clear.
Here’s the latest ‘Achieve Update’:
Tonight’s update from Troy Barnes:-
Buster Gut just posted this at RS:
Brings a tear to you eye doesn’t it feeling his pain and having such an evil partner. Yeah me neither.
Update from achieve, Glad I only put 100 in but damn.
This is being reported as a very recent update by Troy. I don’t have access to their forum so can’t verify but if it’s legit, Achieve is over.
Troy has posted on the Achieve forum that Kristi has left the country and left him holding the bag. Accounts have been frozen and that now he may be facing jail.
His FB page is imploding as I type this. Several achievniks have posted on Sheepdog’s FB page.
Acheive Community Done
Achieve Community Ponzi Scam is Done……..
Oh, sure, now the heads are pointing fingers at each other.
Could have told you that LONG time ago. Duh.
I don’t know why Troy is so upset. After all Achieve is totally legal. I know this because he and Kristi told everyone so.
Besides, all he has to do is go to court and show them Kristi’s magnificent, never been done before, brilliant 3-tier algorithm and case over and he is not guilty.
Even a court appointed attorney can win this case with the magic algorithm formula.
Oh yeah, the never seen before 3-tier matrix cycler formula Johnson invented, that’s the same as every other matix cycler Ponzi out there, being presented in court should be a hoot.
This is a business between consenting ADULTS and has fuck all to do with Michigan or any trumped up attourney guy with a badge up his arse.
Whether you consent to participate in criminal activity is irrelevant. Ponzi schemes are illegal in the US.
Sorry, Zeek Rewards guy Paul Burks used that excuse a few years back. And an Arizona ponzi scammered used that excuse in court. Judge threw it back in his face.
Look up “Bolze Arizona” and read it for yourself.
You’re just pissed that you joined a Ponzi. You’re just as deluded as the people who posted signs at Zeek “Please reorganize and save our dreams” after SEC and USSS shut them down.
To borrow another bust… WAKE UP NOW!
I agree This is a business between consenting ADULTS People of faith also in the lottery in hope to win millions they go spend their hole paycheck at casino and lottery card but are they being shut down or spyed on or having AG’s Office investigating them. Heck no goverment want that money.
Lottery != Ponzi scheme.
But please, keep trotting out Ponzi excuses 101.
You don’t get to run your little Ponzi schemes because you “consent” to. Ponzi schemes are illegal for good reason.
and as with every scam like this…….not one mention of a product in all these scammers excuses.
It was never a “business”
It was always a fraudulent scheme disguised as a “business”
All your rationalizing and justifying can’t disguise (or excuse) that fact
to set up a casino or lottery, you have to take permissions from the the relevant authorities. after that, the casino or lottery is watched and regulated by the authorities.
to sell ‘securities’, as achieve was doing, they would have to register with the SEC, and make public disclosures of the risks of their business.they would have to file their financials with the SEC, which would clearly show a ponzi scheme and achieve would be shut down anyways.
you are free to consent about anything which is Legal, not Illegal.
This such thing as sex between consenting adults, but there is no such thing as business between consenting adults (maybe barter on small scale).
In business everything is regulated.
Let’s see you say that when you found you’re a net loser instead of a net winner.
If you want to do a consenting adult, go buy a prophylactic.
What is it that people don’t get about these schemes?
At AC or Vegas the odds of winning are clearly stated and casinos are LEGAL. Stocks and bonds show you a history of prices, yearly and 5 year trends and the business gives you a prospectus.
Yes, it’s gambling but you are informed of the odds, ups and downs, negatives and positives.
These Pyramid, Ponzi, matrix, cyclers give you NO verifiable information. Most of the time they’re run by people you don’t even know and can’t even research.
They are not legitimate businesses or companies, so please stop calling them that. They are ILLEGAL!!!
Join Avon or any other legitimate MLM if you feel you must go that route, something with an actual product and a business that will issue actual 1099s.
Be smart, educate yourself, stop acting like children. This is absolutely ridiculous.
I’m amazed and appalled at what I’ve seen in the last few months. This isn’t funny, it’s sad.
Oh By the way. I got a 1099. Now reply to that.
This achieve thing is weird. I got paid out several thousand dollars and got a 1099-MISC. WOW. I paid taxes on the money made. Wow. Capitalism.
Zeek Rewards issued 1099. There’s nothing stopping a Ponzi scheme from issuing them.
If anything, it will raise red-flags over at the IRS and hasten regulatory intervention.
1099s can be falsified like any other scrap of paper. Two of the insiders at Zeekler plead guilty on charges of criminal conspiracy to defraud the government (for sending out false 1099s… among other things.)
Bottom line, you may have paid taxes on money you did not actually earn. Time will tell.
i want to see both of them in orange jumpsuits….
Stevie Wonder wants to see the same. But he didn’t specifically mention “orange jumpsuits”.