Opinion: Worldwide Solutionz is over, it’s not coming back.
That South Africa is a haven for Ponzi investment fraud, so long as the schemes run around calling themselves “Private Member Associations”, might sound ridiculous… but it’s exactly the narrative WorldWide Solutionz would have you believe.
Not surprisingly, and shortly after the two-year period at which most online Ponzi schemes show signs of collapse or being shutdown, Worldwide Solutionz ran into regulatory problems in late October of last year.
ROI payments to Worldwide Solutionz investors were suspended and have been ever since.
Not surprisingly, this has left those who invested thousands into the business furious, with a recent update from owner Marelize van Niekerk-Venter providing some insight as to where the company is currently at.
On January 15, 2015, we sent an update explaining that KYC and AML documentation is required of all members.
This was met with a variety of responses ranging from immediate cooperation by some, total disregard by many, and thousands of repeated emails from angry individuals refusing to comply.
We understand the emotions people experience in times like this. We understand the fear, the frustration, the anger, and the desire to lash out something doesn’t go as hoped.
We receive upwards of 500 emails per hour at times from people expecting to hear feedback and then demanding responses to inquiries asking about feedback.
The update van Niekerk-Venter refers to was the shutting down of the Worldwide Solutionz website a few weeks ago. The company claimed this was voluntary and urged its affiliates to send in their personal details for “compliance reasons”.
A message on the Worldwide Solutionz website currently informs visitors that
WWS is NOT being investigated nor has it been closed down by any government or other entity.
And here’s where things fail to add up.
Let’s begin by looking into the ROI payment problems Worldwide Solutionz has faced for nearly six months now.
As per van Niekerk-Venter’s update;
Since mid-2014 we have been advising the membership of the difficulties regarding money movement across borders.
We have been blocked by STP for some of our benefits due to people reporting us, (but) we still have a good relationship and work with them.
Our payment gateway had to stop operating due to all the bad press. E-Global has gone above and beyond to help us, but there is only so much they can do.
Bad press? Payment processors have to protect themselves legally, and certainly a global Ponzi scheme laundering money throughout the world would trigger any reputable processor’s internal fraud filters.
By the nature of their fraudulent business models, Ponzi schemes bring these problems down on themselves.
But of course it’s much easier to blame “bad press”.
So we know Worldwide Solutionz has had their payment processor services suspended. Fair enough. So why haven’t they done what other dying scams have done and signed with dubious processor channels in China?
If we could move bank accounts, it would make the money mangement (sic) process easier for sure. Unfortunately, that is not an option available to us at this time.
Oh right… Worldwide Solutionz bank accounts are apparently frozen to.
Which brings us back to the claim that “WWS is NOT being investigated”.
Does anyone really believe banks and payment processors are suspending Worldwide Solutionz’s accounts without conducting thorough due-diligence investigations of their own?
Elsewhere in van Niekerk-Venter’s update she claims:
As you all know, we always worked with the authorities, financial and others and was never told that we were on the wrong track until late last year when we immidiately (sic) started taking action as we got information and guidance.
Working the authorities? About what? And again, does anybody actually believe authorities got in contact with Worldwide Solutionz to inform them they were running a Ponzi scheme without first conducting an investigation?
To put it bluntly, Worldwide Solutionz proclamation that it “is not under investigation” is a bald-faced lie.
All signs point to an ongoing regulatory investigation (funds frozen, online operations shutdown, the seeking of additional information from the company about its investors), pending an eventual closure and civil/criminal penalties.
I’m just going to call it: Ponzi schemes don’t recover from this, Worldwide Solutionz is over.
I know it. You know it. Marelize van Niekerk-Venter knows it.
So why the stringing along of investors and providing of false hope the scheme might one-day restart?
Well, the prospect of jail will do that to people.
By her own admission, Marelize van Niekerk-Venter has been in contact with South African regulatory bodies since mid-2014. Yet today, over a half-year later, she won’t even acknowledge an investigation into Worldwide Solutionz.
If I might make a prediction, sometime over the next few weeks their newly hired lawyer is going to bail on them:
Advocate C. Viljoen has gone above and beyond to help and assist but the overwhelming masses of repeated mails cause delays.
He asked people from the start to please understand and help. Even so, his office is overrun with hundreds of repeat emails.
I’m guessing the only thing keeping Viljoen around at the moment is the large sum of money he’s either been paid or promised.
The purchasing of a resteraunt for one of van Neikerk-Venter’s sons, along with claims that what little actual charity Worldwide Solutionz was engaged in continues to run, albeit “starting to feel the pressure”, suggest she has personal funds stashed away somewhere.
As mentioned before, this process is extremely expensive, and more pressure means more costs and delays.
What, you thought Marelize was above stuffing her own Ponzi scheme with pre-loaded positions and withdrawing the lion’s share of funds?
At some point though, once South African regulators have gone over the identity documents provided to them by van Niekerk-Venter, they’ll conclude the data in no way explains the Ponzi scheme she has been running since 2012.
Following on from that, civil and/or criminal charges will be filed (this is one of the bigger MLM Ponzi scams of late, certainly one of the biggest in South Africa), and that’ll be that.
Unfortunately, van Niekerk-Venter appears to be hell-bent on keeping her angry investors in the dark until that happens:
As from now, response time on all emails, messages, etc will be 10 – 14 days. Duplicate emails within this timeframe will be charged fees depending on departments and skills needed and involved.
The fees will be deducted from the member’s WWSz accounts meaning account values will be affected in line with due fees, empty accounts will be charged by invoice or closed.
We are following up on forums and all public places, social media, Skype, text messages, emails and calls, etc. to evaluate the extent to which members have breached the Membership Agreement, E-Mail Agreements, Spam Policy Agreement or PMA rules.
Breaches are being dealt with. Several hundred accounts have already been closed and others will follow as deemed necessary to enforce the agreements.
Anybody who dares ask where their money is will likely have their Worldwide Solutionz account closed. And any investors requiring prompt answers to their inquiries, will have their investment accounts drained and their accounts and also closed once the invested balance reaches $0.
Come on Marelize, it’s time to stop hiding behind the children. Face your investors and come clean as to what’s happening.
To those who follow the MLM underbelly scene, what’s happening to Worldwide Solutionz is par for the course. But you’re leading a lot of otherwise naive people down your rabbit hole.
You alone are responsible for the creation of the Worldwide Solutionz Ponzi scheme. And you alone subsequently bear responsibility for all that follows.