Ortus Review: Travel, pyramid recruitment & securities fraud
Ortus fails to provide ownership or executive information on its website.
Ortus’ has two known website domains:
- ortusgo.com – registered in September 2021, private registration last updated on September 14th, 2023
- goortus.com – registered in April 2021, private registration last updated on April 25th, 2023
Ortis’ locked down FaceBook page was created in August 2021. The page is run from South Africa, suggesting whoever is running Ortus is also based out of South Africa.
As always, if an MLM company is not openly upfront about who is running or owns it, think long and hard about joining and/or handing over any money.
Ortus offers access to Ortus Go, a discount travel booking platform.
Compare competitive prices from major online platforms and retain any loyalty programs that the various suppliers offer – ensuring you never miss out!
Ortus Go access is either free or $60 a year as an Ortus affiliate.
Ortus’ Compensation Plan
Ortus hides compensation plan details from consumers. The following compensation breakdown is put together from an official Ortus marketing video.
Ortus’ compensation plan combines recruitment commissions, residual commissions and an illegal virtual shares scheme.
Ortus Affiliate Ranks
There are an undisclosed number of ranks within Ortus’ compensation plan, culminating at Crown Ambassador.
Note that Ortus do not disclose how many ranks there are in its compensation plan, or rank qualification criteria.
Ortus affiliates receive $4 a month per affiliate recruited.
Recruitment Volume Bonus
Ortus pays a Recruitment Volume Bonus if an affiliate meets set recruitment criteria:
- recruit five affiliates and receive a 10% Recruitment Volume Bonus
- recruit ten affiliates and receive a 20% Recruitment Volume Bonus
The Recruitment Volume Bonus is calculated on monthly fees paid by recruited affiliates.
Ortus pays residual commissions via a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of a binary team, split into two sides (left and right):
The first level of the binary team houses two positions. The second level of the binary team is generated by splitting these first two positions into another two positions each (4 positions).
Subsequent levels of the binary team are generated as required, with each new level housing twice as many positions as the previous level.
Positions in the binary team are filled via direct and indirect recruitment of affiliates. Note there is no limit to how deep a binary team can grow.
At the end of each pay-period, Ortus tallies up fees paid by affiliates recruited into the weaker side of the binary team.
Residual commissions are paid as up to 16% of fees paid into the weaker binary team side.
Note that Ortus do not disclose specific commission rates across rank or the pay-period frequency.
Ortus affiliates earn a 100% match on residual commissions earned by personally recruited affiliates.
Ortus takes 1% of company-wide affiliate fees and uses it to fund the Pool Bonus.
The Pool Bonus is distributed annually to each Crown Ambassador ranked affiliate.
Note that Ortus do not provide affiliate rank qualification criteria.
OT-Fund Virtual Shares
Ortus pitches OT-Fund as a “virtual stock options program”.
Ortus affiliates receive virtual shares in OT-Fund based on rank.
Shares entitle Ortus affiliates to receive a periodic passive return, purportedly funded by an undisclosed percentage of commissions received from third-party travel service providers.
Ortus affiliate membership is $60 annually plus $20 a month.
Ortus falls into the common trap of being a travel-themed MLM company that, for the most part, has nothing to do with travel.
With the exception of its illegal OT-Fund virtual shares offering, Ortus as an MLM company operates as a pyramid scheme.
In Ortus’ MLM opportunity, commissions are tied to payment of fees by recruited affiliates. Travel is entirely irrelevant to everything except the illegal OT-Fund virtual shares scheme.
As to the illegal OT-Fund virtual shares scheme, here’s how Ortus pitches it;
Own virtual shares in the OT-Fund virtual stock options program, receiving net profits from global travel bookings from Ortus Go.
Ortus further describes the illegal OT-Fund virtual shares scheme as “one of the most attractive passive income streams that Ortus offers”.
From a regulatory compliance perspective, the problem with Ortus’ OT-Fund virtual shares scheme is two-fold;
- Ortus isn’t registered to offer securities in any jurisdiction, hence the “virtual” nature of the shares being offered; and
- both the offering of shares and annual passive returns paid through the scheme constitute securities fraud.
Ortus represents OT-Fund virtual share dividends are paid using booked travel commissions, but consumers have no way to verify this.
The only way to verify this is through audited financial reports, periodically filed with financial regulators (in the US this would be the SEC). This is a legal requirement for which there is no substitute for.
In summary, with Ortus we have a hidden compensation plan, pyramid recruitment and an illegal virtual shares scheme – run by anonymous individuals.
This isn’t a foundation legitimate MLM companies are built on.