Norwegian Gaming Board suspects Lyoness is a pyramid scheme

July 31, 2017 0

Citing the ongoing receival of ‘many tips and questions from the public asking if Lyoness is a pyramid scheme‘, the Norwegian Gaming Board has provided an update on their current investigation.Following their first investigation into Lyoness in 2013 the Gaming Board concluded that, while they might have once operated as one, Lyoness’ current business model didn’t classify them as a pyramid scheme.Unfortunately it was later revealed the Gaming Board’s decision was primarily based on marketing material Lyoness had provided.This didn’t address the root of the problem (that Lyoness operates as a pyramid scheme), and so the Gaming Board continued to receive complaints and…

VictoriaBank’s Zeek Rewards Ponzi funds to remain frozen

July 31, 2017 0

A decision to grant VictoriaBank a Motion to Dismiss back in May potentially placed $13.1 million dollars of stolen Zeek Rewards investor funds on the line.While the court granted VictoriaBank a dismissal, it maintained a freeze order pending conclusion of the Receiver’s anticipated appeal.The Receiver did indeed file an appeal, which will and slowly play out and reexamine the case in the Fourth Circuit.In the meantime VictoriaBank filed a motion seeking to vacate the original freeze order, granting them access to the disputed Ponzi funds.The Receiver filed a response in opposition and a decision on the matter was made on July…

Final Judgment sought in SEC vs. James Merrill (TelexFree)

July 31, 2017 0

With the criminal side of TelexFree wrapped up (for now), the SEC’s civil proceedings have resumed.Back in September, 2014, the DOJ were granted a stay on all civil proceedings involving TelexFree, pending the outcome of their criminal case.With Merrill sentenced to six years in prison back in March, the SEC are now looking to close their civil case against him.In a July 21st consent filing, the SEC and Merrill (right) have reached an agreement regarding Final Judgment.As per the agreement, Merrill is prohibited fromcommitting further violations of the Securities Exchange Actoperating a pyramid schemeacting as an officer or director of any…

The Moolenaar Amendment: Why is the DSA pushing pro-pyramid law?

July 30, 2017 0

Personally I think MLM regulation in the US is in a pretty good place.Other than the host of affiliate autoship recruitment scams that still need to be cleaned up (nutrition niche, I’m looking at you), there hasn’t been any major Ponzi or pyramid scheme launches in the US since the Vemma and Herbalife busts.With 50% or more retail sales volume the cornerstone of current regulatory enforcement (other than outright securities fraud on the Ponzi side of things), all the FTC and SEC need to do is enforce the law.Not so according to the DSA, who for some reason believe the industry…

Tracto Venture Network Review: Tracto Ponzi points scheme

July 29, 2017 0

Tracto Venture Network provide no information on their website about who owns or runs the business.The Tracto Venture Network website domain (“tractoventure.com”) was privately registered on November 4th, 2016.In a FAQ published on Tracto Venture Network website, the company claims to be an “Australian investment fund and platform”.A search of the Australian Business Register turns up nothing for Tracto Venture Network.An address in Sydney provided on the Tracto Venture Network Facebook page belongs to Servo Corp. As per their website, Servo Corp sell virtual office space at Tracto Venture Network’s provided address.As such it appears Tracto Venture Network’s only corporate connection…

BitQwik Review: 4×6 matrix gifting scheme

July 29, 2017 0

BitQwik provide no information on their website about who owns or runs the business.The BitQwik website domain (“bitqwik.net”) was privately registered on June 23rd, 2017.Further research reveals a BitQwik marketing video featured on the BitQwik website is hosted on a YT channel bearing the name “opitimusX”:This is one of the YT channel name variations used by Sherm Mason, who also goes by “OptimusX”.Sherm Mason first popped up on BehindMLM’s radar as the admin of Magnetic Builder.Magnetic Builder was a $29.95 recruitment scheme launched in 2011.In 2015 Mason (right), launched at least five dubious schemes:In 2016 Mason doubled down on his efforts and…

OneCoin whitepaper author regrets getting involved, admits mistake

July 29, 2017 0

Remember Marcelo Garcia Casil?He’s the guy OneCoin hired to write a blockchain whitepaper back in May.Given it’d previously been all but confirmed OneCoin didn’t have a blockchain, Casil’s appointment generated significant interest.In the aftermath of the whitepaper announcement, Casil confirmed the work he did had nothing to do with OneCoin’s “existing IT”.This seemed to further confirm OneCoin didn’t have a blockchain.However less than a week after that exchange, Casil (right) pushed out a decidedly conflicting statement:In recent days there has been publicity on the Internet suggesting that I have questioned the existing technological capabilities supporting the OneCoin cryptocurrency.Any such suggestion is false and misrepresents…

1000 BTC Ezy Review: Five-tier bitcoin gifting scheme

July 28, 2017 0

1000 BTC Ezy provide no information on their website about who owns or runs the business.The 1000 BTC Ezy website domain (“1000btcezy.com”) was registered on July 10th, 2017. Jermaine Cato is listed as the owner, through what appears to be a bogus address in the US.The email address used to register the 1000 BTC Ezy domain is the same used to register that of BTC Fast Double.BTC Fast Double was a Ponzi scheme that promised affiliates a 200% ROI in on bitcoin investments within 72 hours.The BTC Fast Double website domain was registered on May 5th, 2017.Despite the same email address used…

Pluggle Review: Trademark infringement with pyramid recruitment

July 27, 2017 0

Pluggle provide no information on their website about who owns or runs the business.The Pluggle website domain (“pluggle.com.ph”) was registered on April 6th, 2017. Alexis Palma is listed as the owner, with an address in Quezon City, Philippines also provided.Possibly due to language-barriers, I was unable to find anything further on Palma.Alexa currently estimates that 69% of traffic to the Pluggle website originates from the Philippines. That and the Philippine domain choice suggest Pluggle is operated from and primarily marketed within the Philippines.As always, if an MLM company is not openly upfront about who is running or owns it, think long…

Apostelos’ sister and niece sentenced to probation

July 27, 2017 0

Although we knew various members of William Apsotelos’ family had plead guilty in relation to the Genesis Acqusitions Ponzi scheme, we didn’t really know much about their individual circumstances.At a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, July 26th, it was revealed that William Apostelos’ sister and her daughter “were in fear” of Apostelos and his wife.Rebekah Fairchild (sister) and Rebekah Riddell (niece) both worked for Apostelos in “minor roles”.Apostelos’ Ponzi scheme was busted in November, 2014. Spanning multiple companies, BehindMLM came to know about it through Genesis Acquisitions.For their part in helping perpetuate Apostelos’ Ponzi scheme, Fairchild and Riddell were charged with conspiracy…