Crowd1 pyramid & Ponzi failings exposed by BBC Africa Eye
BBC Africa Eye has premiered a documentary exposing Crowd1 as a pyramid cum failed Ponzi scheme.
Aware of the BBC’s upcoming documentary, Crowd1 executives have issued a non-response response video of their own.
BBC Africa Eye’s documentary begins with an introduction to Crowd1, and follows through with investment into Crowd1’s €2499 Titanium package.
Full access to Crowd1’s “education package” pseudo-compliance provided about an hour and forty-five minutes of content, stolen verbatim from elsewhere on the internet.
With the education package nonsense disposed of, the documentary then moves onto what Crowd1 is actually about; investing and collecting a passive return.
This begins with blowing open the ruses Crowd1 claims to generate external revenue from, one by one.
We’ve previously covered how Crowd1’s gaming links are a sham. BBC Africa Eye wrote to the same gaming companies and confirmed there was no partnership.
Miggster and Epic1 Lotto haven’t launched. The Crowd magazine is full of plagiarized content.
BBC Africa Eye tested Crowd1’s recently launched LifeTrnds booking engine, only to find the bookings were made through third-parties “booking.com” and Expedia.
Further research revealed LifeTrnds was just a white-labeled platform scouring deals from third-parties. Safer Africa is a white-labeled security service from PanicGuard LTD.
In short and as we’ve previously pointed out, Crowd1’s entire “product” catalogue is pseudo-compliance for the investment scheme.
And even that isn’t paying well. BBC Africa Eye’s first quarterly ROI payment amounted to €3.36 EUR. Remember, that off an initial €2499 investment.
BBC Africa Eye eventually concluded the real money in Crowd1 lies in recruitment. Or, as they put it, a “classic pyramid scheme”.
As part of their investigation, BBC Africa Eye put a list of question to Crowd1 management.
In their response to BBC Africa Eye’s findings, Crowd1 stated;
[46:00] Crowd1 is not a scam or pyramid scheme, and does not break any South African law.
It’s a legitimate network marketing company that offers products to its members, and enables them to earn money by marketing those products.
Crowd1 does not make money from recruitment but only from these sales.
Lars Johan Magnus Staël von Holstein denied being CEO of Crowd1, despite bountiful evidence to the contrary.
Jonas Werner denied involvement in SiteTalk/OPN, again despite there being plenty of evidence to the contrary. Werner also claimed he had nothing to do with OneCoin.
BBC Africa Eye concludes that Crowd1’s business model sees money stolen from victims and funneled into the hands of Johan Staël von Holstein and Jonas Werner. As well as promoters such as Udo Deppisch, Kenny Nordlund, Tor Anders Petteroe, Angelo Black, Masilo Mokone and Renze Deelstra.
Aware of BBC Africa Eye’s documentary, Crowd1 filmed its own response.
Titled simply “CROWD1 BBC response“, Crowd1’s video was uploaded to a random YouTube channel on November 1st, 2020.
Predictably, Jonas Werner dismisses BBC Africa Eye’s entire documentary as them “not understanding what Crowd1 is.”
Despite Ponzi schemes being around since early last century, Werner goes on to claim “what Crowd1 does is completely new”.
The first question posed to Crowd1 executives pertains to their products, and whether they actually generate revenue.
No evidence of any of Crowd1’s products generating external revenue is provided, or that revenue being used to pay affiliates is provided.
In response to GritHub (home of Crowd1’s educational packages) being full of plagiarized content, Johan Westerdahl gives a long-winded response but fails to address plagiarism.
Jonas Werner doesn’t deny Crowd1 lied about having affiliations with third-party gambling companies. Instead he takes issue with them being referred to as companies instead of brands.
Westerdahl claims Crowd1 isn’t misrepresenting Epic1 Lotto, because tickets are purchased through a third-party locally (in the US).
Werner claims Crowd magazine is a “PR tool”. Werner claims that content that appears plagiarized in the magazine (or is available freely elsewhere on the internet), was “purchased”.
Despite both LifeTRNDS and SAfer being white-labelled products (I can personally vouch for this), Westerdahl claims that stating so is “totally wrong”.
Westerdahl fails to address the fact that these products can be put white-labelled with no effort. Instead he defends white-labeling as a concept, despite this not being a concern of BBC Africa Eye’s.
Bookings made under LifeTRNDS showing up to vendors as “booking.com” and Expedia is not addressed.
With respect to Crowd1 not having any retailable products (within its MLM opportunity), Johan Westerdahl states “this is absolutely false information”.
Wasterdahl holds up Crowd1’s free membership option as evidence of this, despite that having nothing to do with Crowd1 having nor retail products.
If an MLM company generates the majority of sales revenue from its affiliates, that revenue is tied to recruitment. In Crowd1 the percentage of revenue generated from affiliates is 100%.
Wasterdahl goes on to lie about Crowd1 not offering an investment opportunity (see BehindMLM’s Crowd1 review for evidence of investment scheme).
Jonathan, head of Crowd1’s international expansion flat out lies about Crowd1’s numerous regulatory warnings and action around the world.
This is incorrect. The investor warnings that had been issued are based on incorrect presumptions.
As they did with BBC Africa Eye, Crowd1 management dismiss securities fraud warnings issued the world over as regulators “not understanding” Crowd1’s business model.
Finally, Jonathan once again lies about Crowd1 targeting third-world countries. I’ve covered Crowd1 from its early days. If you look at where the majority of regulatory warnings and promotion took place, a clear pattern emerges.
It’s not a coincidence Crowd1 isn’t promoted in the US or Europe.
For the most part, rather than actually address the BBC’s concerns, Crowd’s response video is instead an excuse to market yet to be released promises.
Whereas BBC Africa Eye’s documentary appears to have been researched when Crowd1 was primarily targeting investors in Africa, the scam has since migrated to Russia and Azerbaijan.
Crowd1 is not registered to offer securities in any jurisdiction, and continues to commit securities fraud the world over. The company has also failed to provide legally required audited financial reports proving external revenue generation.
Crowd1 also has no retailable products or services, with all revenue generated internally via affiliate membership fees.
Crowd1 has failed to prove to any of these regulators that it is not simply recycling newly invested funds to pay existing affiliate investors. Or paying commissions on the recruitment of new Crowd1 affiliates.
Crowd1 is run by Jonas Werner and several other executives from Sweden. To date, Swedish authorities have failed to take any action against the Ponzi scheme.