In late 2015 former affiliate Dennis Gray filed a class-action RICO lawsuit against Talk Fusion.
In his lawsuit Gray alleged he had been
deceived by the Talk Fusion’s misleading business opportunity, falsely believing it was a legitimate way to earn money, and did lose money as a result of Defendants’ unfair and unlawful business practices.
Gray (right) alleged those “unlawful business practices” are the operation of ‘a pyramid scheme disguised as a multi-level marketing (“MLM”) company‘.
The case played out and in August, 2016, was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction in California and transferred to Florida.
There the case continued for almost another year, before it was dismissed again on July 25th, 2017.
As per the Florida case docket;
- on September 13th Talk Fusion and defendants filed a motion to compel arbitration and stay proceedings
- on October 3rd Gray filed an opposition to the arbitration/stay motion
The next entry on the docket is dated 7th April, 2017. Between October, 2016 and April, 2017, things get incredibly murky.
On April 7th, 2017, Talk Fusion and Robert Reina filed a motion to dismiss for lack of case or controversy.
In that motion they reveal
On February 6, 2017, without prior notice to Talk Fusion, Gray voluntarily decided to rejoin Talk Fusion as an Associate using Talk Fusion’s standard internet protocol.
He agreed (again) to be bound by the terms of Talk Fusion’s “Associate Agreement.”
Since then he has been active and successful in marketing and selling Talk Fusion products and is earning commissions paid by Talk Fusion.
He has requested and received personalized product training by Talk Fusion and is actively hosting “webinars” promoting Talk Fusion and its products.
While I can accept Gray didn’t inform Talk Fusion or Reina he was going to sign up again prior to doing it, are we expected to believe there was absolutely no communication between Gray and Talk Fusion prior to his re-signing up as an affiliate?
To put Gray’s decision to sign up as a Talk Fusion affiliate again into perspective, it’s important to note that Talk Fusion’s MLM offering is largely unchanged since 2015.
Back in 2015 Gray alleged
The majority of Talk Fusion’s products are individually available for free (or at much lower monthly rates than Talk Fusion) on the Internet, through commonplace programs such as Skype, YouTube, and Google.
Additionally, nationally-recognized, long-standing brands such as Adobe, Webex, Centrix, and Cisco offer a product similar to Talk Fusion’s–without the $250, $750, and $1,450 signup fees.
The supposed path to financial prosperity through the Talk Fusion Opportunity is not based on selling videoconferencing technology.
Because Talk Fusion’s prices and signup fees are extraordinarily high, retail sales are not feasibly profitable.
With little-to-no name recognition, Talk Fusion Associates’ jobs are made even more difficult in their attempt to earn meaningful sales commissions.
Many of the supposed competitors of Talk Fusion, in the area of business videoconferencing, have never even heard of the company.
Whether Dennis Gray signed up as a new affiliate or was given his old downline is unclear.
Regardless, in 2017 nothing has since changed. If anything, Talk Fusion’s products are even less retail viable considering advancements in video integration across social media.
So why on Earth did Dennis Gray sign up again to the pyramid scheme he’d spent almost two years at the time fighting?
The cynic in me has to point out the obvious; that it’s highly likely that money changed hands.
What other possible reason could it be?
And what about all the Talk Fusion affiliates who Gray alleged were scammed he wanted to join up with via a proposed class-action?
What, their losses don’t matter anymore?
Gray’s decision to re-sign as a Talk Fusion affiliate timed perfectly with a decision to pull out of the RICO lawsuit.
This was something Talk Fusion had no problem exploiting in their controversy motion.
Obviously, Gray’s decision to rejoin Talk Fusion as an Associate and his active support of Talk Fusion and its products refute the allegations made on his behalf in the First Amended Complaint.
Defendants were subsequently advised that Gray no longer wants to continue as the Plaintiff in this action, has advised his lawyer of same, and apparently instructed his lawyer to dismiss any claims he has asserted against Defendants.
Despite seemingly recovering his own losses and wanting to move on, others who felt scammed by Talk Fusion and were interested in Gray’s proposed class-action had no such remedy.
On October 3rd, 2016, Gray, through his attorney, filed a memorandum in opposition of Talk Fusion’s controversy motion.
In it, Gray alleged Talk Fusion’s motion firstly
ignores the fact that a class action and the interests of putative class must be protected.
Second, it ignores the inherent authority of this Court to allow the proposed class the opportunity to amend the complaint and add a new class representative.
One victim of the Talk Fusion pyramid scheme, Eric Einholz has expressed interest in serving as a class representative on behalf of the putative class’ federal claims, and potentially New Jersey consumer protection statutes.
Mr. Einholz was victimized by Talk Fusion’s patently unlawful dispute resolution clause.
In fact, defense counsel, the same counsel in this matter, obtained a default judgment against Mr. Einholz after he complained about Talk Fusion’s products and their lack of training and customer support.
Unfortunately, Mr. Einholz, as an individual, did not have the financial resources to appear and defend himself against TF in a
faraway foreign forum.
He submitted a declaration detailing his experience with the TF pyramid scheme, and would make an excellent class representative.
This motion saw Talk Fusion’s controversy motion denied, on condition Gray’s attorney file an amended complaint naming a substitute class representative.
For reasons not on the public record, that didn’t happen prior to the June 26th deadline.
On July 3rd Talk Fusion tried again with a new Motion to Dismiss for Failure to Substitute Plaintiff.
The motion was granted on July 25th. And just like that, Gray’s RICO lawsuit against Talk Fusion was over.
What’s particularly interesting is Ming Ho and Julie Campagna, plaintiffs in another lawsuit alleging Talk Fusion is a pyramid scheme, settled and rejoined Talk Fusion around the same time Dennis Gray re-signed.
Co-incidence, or is Talk Fusion paying off and backroom dealing with affiliates who’ve filed lawsuits against it?
And if so, what does that say about the credibility of affiliates like Gray, Ho and Campagna, who’ve alleged Talk Fusion is a pyramid scheme and then elected to rejoin it?
Nothing about this adds up. And if I was a Talk Fusion affiliate competing in the field against this nonsense, I’d certainly want answers.