telexfree-logoOne of the common recurring themes in the Ponzi industry, is feigned ignorance as to the going-ons behind the scenes.

Despite being fully aware of what is going on in the schemes they promote, when it all comes tumbling down, those at the top (who made the most money), are usually first to profess their innocence.

“How could we have known it was a Ponzi scheme?”

“I’m not in management, I’m just an affiliate like you guys!”

“How dare they defraud all of us! I hope they go to jail and everyone gets their money back! (just not from my bank account please)” etc.

In what is seen as a landmark shift in how Ponzi schemes are handled once shut down, the SEC has named four of TelexFree’s top promoters as defendants in their civil case.

randy-crosby-and-santiago-de-la-rosa-top-telexfree-promoters-sec-complaintFor their part in collectively convincing thousands of people to invest money in TelexFree, Randy Crosby, Santiago De La Rosa (right with Crosby), Faith Sloan and Sanderley Rodrigues are now finding their heads on the chopping block.

Seemingly working together, De La Rosa and Crosby’s attorneys recently filed respective “Motions to Dismiss”. After two years of scamming thousands, and Crosby and De La Rosa  are now claiming they knew nothing…

At best, the “we knew nothing!” defense raises the question of why a top Ponzi investor didn’t ask where their hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions in the case of Rodrigues, in returns were sourced from.

One year passes… two years pass… exactly how long is “we knew nothing!” argument expected to hold up?

And what if the investor using the argument has a long detailed history of participation in mechanically identical Ponzi schemes? Is it just pure-coincidence they routinely migrated from one Ponzi scheme to another?

At worst, the “we knew nothing!” defense demonstrates the level of deception Ponzi pimps are all too willing to sink to in an effort to shed personal liability.

In his Motion to Dismiss, Crosby alleges (note that De La Rosa’s motion is near-identical):

There is no apparent rationale for why these promoters were singled out of thousands of promoters of TelexFree.

Neither is it evident why Mr. Crosby would be named in the complaint rather than treated as a victim himself, which more aptly describes his role.

Only in Ponzi land can people milk hundreds of thousands of dollars from people they suck into the scheme, and then turn around and cry victim when regulators shut it down.

If I may, the reason TelexFree’s top Ponzi pimps have been singled out, is because they were the most visible of the promoters (someone needs to remind De La Rosa and Crosby’s lawyers that promotion of Ponzi schemes is also illegal).

De La Rosa held regular calls and webinars to encourage their downline investors (to recruit new investors), as well as regularly speaking at and organizing TelexFree promotional events.

Victims my ass.

The argument that any of TelexFree’s top promoters knew nothing is torn apart by the simple fact that none of them had any significant number of retail VOIP customers.

“What’s that, you made millions of dollars in TelexFree selling VOIP services? Well ok then, how many VOIP services did you personally sell?”

“*mumblemumble* not much *mumblemumble*”

“I see.”

Looking forward I imagine De La Rosa and Crosby’s ridiculous “we knew nothing!” argument will be flatly denied. The court has already demonstrated as much in the granting of first a TRO and now preliminary injunction by way of endorsed order.

Sann Rodrigues has previously also tried to make the same argument on Facebook, although he seems to have had the sense to realize the argument was unlikely to hold up in court.

When you have lesser Ponzi pimps (who in many instances are the direct downlines of Rodrigues, Sloan, De La Rosa and Crosby) jumping ship to TelexFree reload scams, perhaps a demonstration of criminal liability pegged to those at the top of TelexFree will give them pause to consider.

What is a Ponzi scheme after all, without its top cheerleaders (who in many instances go out of their way to reassure those they dupe of the legitimacy of the scams they promote)?

Gone are the days you can Ponzi hop from one scam to another feigning ignorance. And after decades of ripping off who knows how many millions from who knows how many hundreds of thousands of people, here’s to Sloan, Rodrigues, De La Rosa and Crosby finally facing the consequences of their actions.

RIP *wink wink, nudge nudge* psuedo-compliance, and may the MLM industry be better off for it.


Footnote: My thanks to Don @ ASDUpdates for providing De La Rosa and Crosby’s Motions to Dismiss.


Update 15th May 2014 – Steve Labriola has now also filed a Motion to Dismiss, similar to that of De La Rosa and Crosby’s. Labriola’s claim is particularly amusing, as it’s basically nitpicking.

Here’s one example:

(The SEC complaint) further alleges that (Labriola) has appeared in promotional videos. Paragraph 31 offers no clue as to what Mr. Labriola might have said in those videos.

That Labriola was appearing in videos instructing people to ignore any suggestion TelexFree was a Ponzi scheme, up until only a few weeks ago is hardly a secret.

Good luck trying to weasel your way out of being the face of TelexFree in the US, Mr. Labriola…