TVI Express a well established pyramid scheme in China
Last week the the Australian Competitive and Consumer Commission (ACCC) went after TVI in an Australian federal court claiming the company was a pyramid scheme.
As a result of this action an injunction was awarded to the ACCC prohibiting Laulhati “Teddi” Jutsen, Tina Brownlee and David Scanlon from marketing or recruiting new members for TVI Express in Australia.
As a result the marketing blitz that was underway was halted.
Despite appearing to be the first country to put a stop to TVI Express operating it seems Australia is a bit late to the game. And by late I mean nearly a year.
Back in August 2009 it seems China of all places decided TVI Express was a pyramid scheme. Since then China have been vigorously prosecuting TVI Express members trying to market the business on Chinese soil.
Here’s a brief timeline of instances where TVI Express members have been pulled up for trying to market the business locally.
Note that the following news articles are translated from Chinese hence the translations can be a bit hard to follow. The general gist of the stories are easy enough to understand though.
12th June 2009, Interesting dialogue between Chinese TVI Express member and a reporter published.
10th August 2009, further investigation underway after TVI Express promotional material found in hotel;
Law enforcement officers in the × × hotel second floor of a woman is promoting “TVI Express” relevant content, on-site and another four people.
During the inspection found “TVI Express” promotional materials related to a notebook computer and a projector one.
Branch of law enforcement officers conducted the inquiry suspected pyramid schemes officers, and contact the female members of the Branch on the development of “TVI Express” and related matters for further inquiry, the present case is a further investigation.
10th August 2009, Chinese government report on people being scammed by TVI Express;
Recently, the network has hit “the British tourist TVI Express” for suspected pyramid selling, have to slam the brakes in Wenzhou, Wenzhou is the business sector in the investigation.
The survey found that the temperature of the organization has developed a skeleton staff of 11 downline members 22, involving up to 200 million.
“In fact, we found none of these people who enjoy travel concessions and so-called five-star accommodation.”
Wenzhou business sector, told reporters about a look at the name, “British TVI Travel Express,” giving the impression that very high-end, actually cheated on joining the scheme, these people mostly do not know English, did not understand the computer operation in the older women to self-employed, family dominated by women.
10th September 2009, Huang Mouli arrested;
After months of careful investigation, police identified and acquired citizenship of Shanghai, led by the suspect Huang Mouli, gathered Kasumigaura nationals suspected Chenmou Jing, Zhang Mouping, Linmou Ping and others, through the network to join the “British TVI Travel Express” project grounds.
Within the organization to others in the Kasumigaura illegal pyramid schemes, fraud, money, involved more than 300 people, amounting to more than 470 million criminal facts and evidence.
The irony is that the gang leader Huang Mouli justice, and faced police officers handling the case asked, truthfully confessed that even she did not understand “the British TVI Travel Express” project in the end what is, what more did not enjoy the “benefits treatment. “
11th September 2009, Chinese police issue alert warning about TVI Express;
According to preliminary investigation, in June of this year has been cheated by adding a small number of people to sell “British TVI Travel Express Company” travel card in the name of the organization of illegal pyramid scheme, was cheated in the name of swindlers to Gouka rebate more than 30 million in cash.
The police are now full investigation, also reminded the general public, marketing is illegal, any “overnight riches” type of commitment are the criminals of the “gimmicks” must clearly see the alert.
21st May 2010, Han Qiang sentenced to 1 year 6 months jail for recruiting for TVI Express in China;
June 2009, and the development of South Korea quarter juan joined Strong as “the British travel company TVI project” members.
The court held that the defendant quarter juan, Han Qiang common organization, leadership pyramid schemes, disturb the economic and social order, their behavior constituted organization, leadership activities of the crime pyramid.
Whilst I certainly don’t agree with a lot of what China does government wise, it’s refreshing to see some common sense prevail. I myself had a look at the TVI Express compensation plan and wondered how they’d managed to run their business for so long.
Shortly after the ACCC announcement last week the TVI Express website went down pending a ‘scheduled update‘. At the time I wasn’t sure if this was in relation to the ACCC announcement or something else.
Today the TVI Express is back online and appears to be back with little to no change. The FAQ section still clearly states
3. Do I need to sell any products?
No. You don’t need to sell any products. TVI Express is a unique e-commerce opportunity allowing you to build the Business around the globe sitting at your home.
As it stands you can still join TVI Express and solely focus on recruiting new members and getting them to pay a new membership fee. If you recruit enough new members you’ll then cycle through the company’s Express board, earning $10,000 each time you do so.
Earning large sums of money for doing nothing more then recruiting people and charging them a membership fee… what’s that sound like to you?
If you had asked me I’d have let you use my properly translated Chinese versions of those reports you quoted instead of that atrocious Google Translate, which is often wrong…
I broke most of those stories months ago, on my website.
Wow there’s a lot of updated information on TVI Express on your website Kasey. The international coverage is quite interesting.
Keep up the good work.
If I have evidence of a pyramid scheme being conducted in mainland China, who do I report this to? Is there a user friendly website or contact form that I can send the information to?
Gday Sandy, sorry about taking so long to get back to you.
If you’re based in China I’d head down to the local police station and try your luck.
If you’re based offshore you could try the local embassy for China. Consumer Fraud Reporting also has a little section on reporting scams in China with a few email addresses listed.