Did Talk Fusion pay off affiliates who made pyramid allegations?
Talk Fusion is an MLM company that primarily markets an email video product suite.
BehindMLM reviewed Talk Fusion in 2014 and concluded the company’s ‘paid video communication services … are entirely redundant.‘
The follow on from this is that retail is likely to be virtually non-existent. And as per the FTC, an MLM company without significant retail activity taking place is operating as a pyramid scheme.
My suspicions about Talk Fusion were seemingly confirmed following the filing of two lawsuits alleging the company was indeed a pyramid scheme.
After making millions of dollars in Talk Fusion as top affiliates, Minh Ho and Julie Campagna were terminated on December 10th, 2014.
Ho and Campagna claimed they were terminated for failing to provide a loan to Mark Genovese.
According to Ho and Campagna, Genovese is/was ‘a falsely placed high-ranking Talk Fusion distributor‘, in addition to being a friend of Talk Fusion founder Bob Reina.
Ho and Campagna even went so far as to claim they were and had been subject to extortion.
On December 22nd, 2014, Ho and Campagna filed a lawsuit challenging their termination and alleging Talk Fusion is a pyramid scheme.
Less than a month later on January 21st, 2015, Talk Fusion fired back with its own lawsuit alleging Ho and Campagna were cross-recruiting.
On or about September 2014, Talk Fusion received complaints from other Associates that (Ho and Campagna) were engaging in cross-sponsoring.
Actual or attempted cross-sponsoring is strictly prohibited by (Talk Fusion affiliate) policies.
The cross-sponsoring increased (Ho and Campagna’s) compensation but damaged other Associates who correspondingly lost a downline Associate.
Cross-sponsoring also damages Talk Fusion as a whole.
Cross-sponsoring is demoralizing to the entire organization, especially when committed by a leading Associate such as each of the Defendants.
After receiving complaints, Talk Fusion began an investigation and confirmed that (Ho and Campagna) had engaged in cross-sponsoring.
In early October 2014, Talk Fusion suspended all of (Ho and Campagna’s) accounts and payments.
(Ho and Campagna) thereafter stopped cooperating in Talk Fusion’s investigation.
Talk Fusion’s investigation progressed and discovered that (Ho and Campagna) had in fact committed other major violations of Talk Fusion’s Policies, including other instances of cross-sponsoring.
Sometime in the fall of 2014, (Ho and Campagna) became distributors for another MLM company named “Dubli” and began to market for the entity.
On December 10, 2014, given the fact that (Ho and Campagna) were not receptive to a sanction that would maintain them as Talk Fusion Associates, and had begun to actively market for Dubli, Talk Fusion sent (Ho and Campagna) a letter stating they had effectively resigned from Talk Fusion and cancelling their Talk Fusion positions.
In their lawsuit Talk Fusion sought injunctive relief to prevent them from cross-recruiting any more Talk Fusion affiliates into Dubli.
A second RICO pyramid scheme lawsuit was filed by Talk Fusion affiliate Dennis Gray in December, 2015.
Gray’s lawsuit sought to establish a class action against Talk Fusion, which he also alleged was a pyramid scheme.
Talk Fusion entered into arbitration settlement discussions with Ho and Campagna in mid 2016.
Around the same time Ho and Campagna voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit against Talk Fusion.
On February 2nd, 2017, a Stipulation of Dismissal was filed in Talk Fusion’s lawsuit against Ho and Campagna.
On February 7th the lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice.
Settlement terms between the two parties are not public, which isn’t uncommon.
What is uncommon however is the revelation that upon settling both lawsuits, Ho and Campagna signed up again as Talk Fusion affiliates.
The startling revelation was made public in an early 2017 filing in Dennis Gray’s RICO lawsuit.
Sometime in or around late 2016, or early 2017, Minh Ho and Julie Campagana settled their individual action (Julie Campgana, et al. v. Talk Fusion, Inc., et al.) against Talk Fusion, which alleged, among other things that Talk Fusion was operating as a pyramid scheme at their time of separation (Minh Ho and Julie Campagana rejoined Talk Fusion and current associates).
Presumably Ho and Campagna weren’t given new affiliate positions, and through backroom wheeling and dealing were reinstated in their previous positions.
Prior to the filing of their lawsuit, these positions were purportedly earning Ho and Campagna around two million dollars a year.
Dennis Gray’s lawsuit against Talk Fusion ended in similar murky circumstances.
Around the same time Ho and Campagna settled and re-signed as affiliates, Gray also re-signed.
Upon re-signing as an affiliate, Gray lost interest in pursuing his RICO class-action suit. The case was dismissed on July 25th, 2017.
For the duration of all three lawsuits, Talk Fusion’s compensation plan in essence remained the same.
This is the same compensation plan Minh Ho, Julie Campagna and Dennis Gray alleged was a pyramid scheme.
Gray’s lawsuit stood out in particular as a proposed class-action, as it sought to remedy losses of ‘any Talk Fusion affiliates who signed up with the company from October 2011‘.
Forget about the legal side of things, from a moral perspective, how do you go from acknowledging you were in a pyramid scheme screwing over people;
The business opportunity and the Talk Fusion “Dream” is not financially healthy for the new Associates.
Few, if any, Associates ever cover their costs.
Because the scheme’s promoters and high level Blue Diamonds take a significant cut for themselves, Associates frequently make less than they invest.
To signing up for the same scheme a few years later?
Was scamming people in a pyramid scheme once not profitable enough!?
Granted Dennis Gray didn’t earn millions like Ho and Campagna did, but that makes his own re-signing even more bizarre.
Especially when you consider Gray indirectly called out Ho and Campagna in his lawsuit;
With their “business opportunity” inherently based on Associates endlessly pursuing to recruit new Associates — Talk Fusion does little to encourage or reward retail sales.
Indeed, the compensation paid to Associates is almost altogether unrelated to retail sales.
Top members of the Talk Fusion pyramid scheme are making a fortune off of the global Talk Fusion pyramid, which is operated by Talk Fusion, Inc., and Talk Fusion International, and is assisted by high level Associates, (such as Blue Diamonds), and various businesses (such as Mane World Productions, Inc).
Some top Associates are making over $2 million a year, primarily generated by way of “internal consumption” from their downline Associates.
Whereas Gray alleged Talk Fusion was operating unlawfully in 2015, Talk Fusion allege that since re-signing in early 2017 Gray is now ‘active and successful in marketing and selling Talk Fusion products and is earning commissions paid by Talk Fusion.‘
What changed? Certainly not Talk Fusion’s products or compensation plan.
Was Dennis Gray given a cushy affiliate position under Minh Ho and Julie Campagna (or another top Talk Fusion affiliate)?
In my cynical opinion, the entire Talk Fusion affiliate-base under Ho and Campagna appears to have been rigged to keep the question of whether Talk Fusion is a pyramid scheme or not out of court.
As I mentioned in our update on Gray’s lawsuit earlier today, if I was a Talk Fusion affiliate I’d certainly want answers.
This isn’t a level field a new affiliate can compete and flourish in, leave alone questions about the business ethics and morals of those involved.