Jeunesse RICO settlement appeal hits $70,000 roadblock
The cost of appealing what has been condemned as a “paltry” settlement that ‘will inevitably result in the vast majority of (Jeunesse victims) receiving nothing‘, has been set at $70,000.
Having lost around $10,000 herself, Helen Xiong filed a class-action against Jeunesse in August, 2018.
The problem for Xiong was that one of the clauses in the Aboltin v. Jeunesse RICO class-action settlement, requires claimants to give up their right to participate in any subsequent class-actions.
In effect Xiong’s class-action participation is likely to be severely weakened by the approved RICO settlement.
Not a problem if the RICO settlement was adequate, but the numbers behind the settlement strongly suggest the it will be meaningless.
Under the terms of the RICO settlement, Jeunesse will pay $2.5 million to victims. Just under half of that amount is expected to go toward legal fees.
The original RICO lawsuit filed against Jeunesse alleged affiliate losses running into hundreds of millions of dollars.
With Jeunesse victims believed to have collectively lost hundreds of millions of dollars having to share around $1.38 million, one gets a sense of where Xiong is coming from.
Xiong’s sentiment is supported by Truth in Advertising, who after analyzing the settlement concluded it “protects Jeunesse” rather than
address the fundamental elements of plaintiffs’ complaint, namely that Jeunesse uses deceptive marketing tactics to lure consumers into an illegal scheme in which they are destined to fail.
Xiong’s objection to the settlement was overruled based on her already having excluded herself as a claimant.
Upon approval of the RICO settlement, Xiong filed an appeal.
Last last month plaintiffs and class-representatives James Aboltin and Pamela Knight, filed a motion requesting Xiong cough up a $70,000 bond if the appeal was to proceed.
The motion was filed with the consent of Jeunesse.
Xiong filed an opposition response on January 31st, which was followed by a magistrate’s recommendation report on February 15th.
The report states ‘Ms. Xiong’s appeal prevents the entry of final judgment and distribution of the settlement proceeds as ordered by this Court’, and concludes that
Because Ms. Xiong does not have standing (in the case), there is no merit to her appeal.
Considering the delay in completing the settlement caused by Ms. Xiong’s appeal, and the parties’ anticipated costs to defend her appeal, a $70,000 bond is reasonable.
In her objection filing, Xiong stated she doesn’t
have the personal financial resources to post a bond of $70,000. I (live) paycheck to paycheck.
And so with an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars in losses hanging in the balance, that’s where the Jeunesse RICO settlement is at.
Either Helen Xiong finds $70,000 to pursue the appeal, or Jeunesse washes itself of its victims for a proportionate song.
A decision on the bond motion remains pending as at the time of publication.
Update 10th March 2019 – A March 7th filing has revealed Helen Xiong’s appeal has been voluntarily dismissed.
Update 14th March 2019 – As per a March 13th order, the court clerk has been directed to close the Aboltin vs. Jeunesse case file.