Will the UK ever regulate rampant Companies House registration fraud?

March 27, 2018 mlmdetective 0

The level of MLM company registration fraud taking place in the UK is such that, whenever you see a Companies House certificate paraded about as proof of legitimacy, save yourself some time and just assume the company in question is a scam.I can’t recall the last time I came across a legitimate MLM company for review incorporated in the UK, and it’s been this way for years.The primary reason for this is that UK Companies House incorporation appears to be entirely unregulated.Anyone from anywhere in the world can pay the £12 GBP fee and register online. Punch in whatever personal details you want…

MMM Global’s Sergey Mavrodi dead of a heart attack at 62

March 26, 2018 mlmdetective 0

When I first learned of Sergey Mavrodi’s passing earlier today, my first reaction was “What is he pulling this time?”Such has been the staying power of Mavrodi’s MMM Global since it first popped up in 2011.Without a doubt MMM Global is one of, if not the most pervasive fraudulent schemes in MLM history.By now it has been confirmed that Sergey Mavrodi did indeed pass early morning on March 26th.On the evening of March 25th, Mavrodi (right) is reported to have been waiting at a bus stop in Russia’s capital, Moscow.At some point he is believed to have been struck down by a…

Mintage Mining claim to be “pre-compliant” with SEC regulation

March 26, 2018 mlmdetective 0

Mintage Mining is purportedly a partnership between David Childs (cited as owner of the company) and Darren Olayan, CEO of Nui.BehindMLM reviewed Mintage Mining last December. We came to the conclusion that, at best the cloud mining business model would constitute a securities offering.The lack of registration with the SEC at the time meant that, at worst, Mintage Mining could be recycling newly invested funds to pay off existing investors.Likely due to the increasing number of issued cryptocurrency securities fraud cease and desists, Darren Olayan has attempted to brush off regulatory compliance by claiming Mintage Mining is “pre-compliant” with the SEC.Olayan…

Kannaway accused of “illegal pyramid sales” of cannabis oil in Belgium

March 26, 2018 mlmdetective 0

We’re a bit late to this one, but earlier this month Kannaway was accused of illegally selling cannabis oil in Belgium.A March 19th report in Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN), Belgium’s top newspaper, accuses Kannaway affiliates of illegally selling cannabis oil.HLN goes on to call out predatory marketing practices that target “severely ill patients”, as well as Kannaway’s “pyramid sales” business model.Pieter Geens, founder of the Medcan non-profit, is quoted by HLN as stating Kannaway are “flat-out opportunists” who “benefit from severely ill people”.On their website Medcan describe themselves asthe national expertise center and advisory body for medical cannabis.We provide a professional service…

FTC vs. Dluca, Gatto, Pinkston & Chandler close to prelim injunction

March 26, 2018 mlmdetective 0

Back in February the FTC sued serial MLM scam promoters Thomas Dluca, Louis Gatto, Eric Pinkston and Scott Chandler.On March 12th an ex-parte Temporary Restraining Order was granted, freezing Dluca, Louis, Pinkston and Chandler’s assets.On March 21st a “show cause” hearing was held, giving the defendants an opportunity to argue why a preliminary injunction shouldn’t be entered against them.Despite all four defendants being made aware of the hearing, none of them showed.The day after the hearing Magistrate Snow recommended the preliminary injunction be granted, but also gave the defendants until April 5th to object.In the meantime the current TRO has been extended…

Pedro Fort’s dismissal denied, jury trial scheduled for September

March 26, 2018 mlmdetective 0

In late 2017 the SEC filed charges against Ponzi admin Pedro Fort Berbel.Fort, a Spanish citizen, stands accused of causing $38 million in investor losses through his Fort Ad Pays, The Business Shop and MLM Shop Ponzi scheme.In an attempt to weasel out of liability, Fort filed a Motion to Dismiss on December 22nd of last year.In his motion, Fort (right) presented four primary arguments;the relevant transactions occurred outside the United States between only foreign investors, so this means the SEC has no jurisdictionthe SEC failed to show a reasonable likelihood that Fort will commit a future securities law violationthe SEC’s complaint is an…

Payza terminate US payment processing, status of client funds unknown

March 25, 2018 mlmdetective 0

The latest move by Payza co-founder and fugitive Firoz Patel, has been to terminate payment processor services to US residents.It appears now, like Patel, Payza itself is on the run from US authorities.Payza’s abandoning of US clients was announced via email on March 23rd.Dodging the $250 million money laundering lawsuit and Patel’s indictment and fugitive status, Payza simply states their “previous domain is no longer accessible”.Payza clients, many of whom US regulators allege are criminals, scammers and child pornography rings, have been instructed to use the company’s new EU domain.Firoz Patel is believed to have hastily set up Payza’s EU domain…

Scott Warren’s Crypto World Evolution securities memo is deeply flawed

March 25, 2018 mlmdetective 0

In my almost ten years of covering the industry, I’ve come to realize that if an MLM company tries to convince you they’re not selling securities – then they probably are.This of course isn’t a hard rule, but it’s generally applicable to the companies that pay lawyers to convince you otherwise.As far as I’m aware no MLM company with a “we don’t offer securities” legal opinion that has attracted the attention of US authorities, has been cleared of offering unregistered securities.That’s because the securities law with respect to MLM investment opportunities is pretty clear-cut: MLM + passive ROI = security.Over the…

Turkish authorities name and shame 19 audited pyramid schemes

March 25, 2018 mlmdetective 0

The collapse of the Farm Bank Ponzi scheme in Turkey has sparked investigations into sixty-five companies.Thus far thirty investigations have been completed, with the Ministry of Trade claiming nineteen of the companies investigated are pyramid schemes.Farm Bank (Çiftlik Bank) launched in 2016 as an app-based Ponzi scheme that modeled itself on the popular Farmville game.Farm Bank investors downloaded the game and invested in “virtual animals and produce”.By selling “virtual crops” they generated in-game, Farm Bank investors were pitched returns of 200% within a year.CEO Mehmet Aydin (right) claimed investor funds would be used to purchase “agricultural investment”.As recently as December Aydin was…

Scott Warren endorses Crypto World Evolution unregistered securities?

March 24, 2018 mlmdetective 0

Scott Warren is a named partner in the Wellman & Warren law firm.Warren is widely recognized as an attorney that focuses on MLM related matters… which makes his alleged “endorsement” of Crypto World Evolution all the more puzzling.Crypto World Evolution is an MLM company that popped up on BehindMLM’s radar earlier this year.Up until recently Crypto World Evolution was soliciting investment of up to $10,000 per $500 to $2000 position, on the promise of “automated … consistent, significant 24/7 earnings”.In our Crypto World Evolution we of course pointed out this was a blatant securities offering, and that neither Crypto World Evolution…