QNet: EOW to probe Wizcraft International over IIFA sponsorship deal
While the QNET funded the glitzy IIFA awards, the money belonged to the victims of the MLM scam, alleges a complaint to the EOW of Mumbai Police
 
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police has started a probe into alleged deal between Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd that organised the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards 2015, and QNet, the multi-level marketing (MLM) company facing several cases in India.
 
Dhananjay Kamlakar, joint commissioner of Police (EOW), told DNA that the EOW has started an inquiry into the allegations. He however refused to share details with the newspaper.
 
Gurupreet Singh Anand, who earlier had filed complaint against the MLM, alleged that the money gone into organizing the IIFA awards from QNET belongs to innocent victims from India. "The whole Bollywood link to the QNET SCAM needs to be investigated thoroughly as many prominent stars have directly promoted various companies and activities of QNET in India and abroad," he alleged in his complaint.
 
QNet, against which a probe is going on across several police stations in India, is listed a direct selling partner on IIFA website (http://iifa.com/partners-sponsors/ ).
 
According to Anand, the complainant, QNet is using the IIFA platform to further its business in India. In his complaint to Mumbai Police, he requested a thorough investigation into the trail of the money that went into the IIFA award function.
 
Last month, the EOW of Vijaywada police arrested four people, V Bal Reddy, Gautam Desai, Dasari Nagaraju and Cheemakurti Manikanta, and seized from them Rs15 lakh, deposited in different bank accounts. However, one Gangadhar, the key person, who owned Vihaan Direct Marketing, a franchisee of QNet, was absconding, the Police said. According to Vijaywada police, the agents had appointed 134 first level salesmen by collecting Rs1.17 crore, another 13,400 second level salesmen were joined by the 134 sales persons.
 
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COMMENTS

gurupreet

21 hours ago

Hello Friends,
We have been receiving hundreds of enquiries from QNET VICTIMS across India asking on how to join the FINANCIAL FRAUDS VICTIMS WELFARE ASSOCIATION (FFVWA) which is fighting for the LEGAL RIGHTS of the QNET SCAM VICTIMS in SUPREME COURT of India. You can contact us on WHATSAPP on 9137721819 .

Congratulations to all FFVWA on our major mile stone and success in Supreme Court of India.

Before proceeding further I would like to mention that we are contactable on WHATSAPP on 9137721819 and victims can contact me on Whatsapp on this number only as my two phones were stolen in Delhi and my main number 7498053701 could not be recovered.

A brief summary on the need for forming the FFVWA is summarised in the two news stories below:

https://www.mid-day.com/articles/qnet-forms-financial-fraud-victims-forum-scam-gurupreet-singh-anand/17659179

https://www.mid-day.com/articles/victims-of-fraud-unite-to-catch-qnet-scamsters/19309192

As you are aware we have successfully fought the best criminal lawyers appearing for QNET SCAM till date including lawyers like Kapil Sibbal, Salman Kurshid, Mahesh Jhetmalani, Abaad Ponda…the list is long. The fight is being fought on LEGAL GROUNDS with good FACTS and DATA. The fight has not been easy and but each and every court that I have appeared and argued my case In-Person I have won inspite of BIG MONEY POWER/PRESSURES etc from the QNET SCAM supporters.

You can become part of our organisation FINANCIAL FRAUDS VICTIMS WELFARE ASSOCIATION (FFVWA) which is fighting for the LEGAL RIGHTS of the QNET SCAM VICTIMS in SUPREME COURT of India by downloading the membership form from

DropBox at

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2piy8eudhlz3oj6/FFVWA%20Membership%20Form.pdf?dl=0

and filing it properly and sending it across by courier to:
Anuja Kotecha (Joint Secretary)
Flat no 701, Nazreth Niketan,
Charath Singh Colony, Behind Dragon Fly Hotel,
Andheri-east, Mumbai: 400093
After having completed the form please take snapshots of the same and whatsapp to us on 9137721819.

Please beware there are no short cuts to refund, stay away from individuals who promise you refunds illegally using various tactics. Stay united and fight for your rights LEGALLY.

Regards
Gurupreet Singh Anand
Anuja Kotecha & FFVWA

jitu moni

2 years ago

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/qnet-case-scam-mumbai-news-mumbai-airport-arrest-eow-aditi-mitra/18084164
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police arrested a woman in her early 30s on Thursday for her active involvement in the multi-crore QNet scam. The total number of arrested accused has now reached 47, which includes Billiards champion and Padma Bhushan recipient Michael Ferreira.
In the Rs 1,000-crore scam of Hong Kong-based company QNet, nearly 5 lakh investors across the country were duped. QNet has been accused of using the banned binary pyramid business model for its multi-level marketing schemes to lure investors.

QNet posed as a marketing firm selling bio-discs, watches, herbal products, holiday packages, etc. It also claimed that by using the bio-disc, one could cure cancer and brain diseases, the police said.
Too much baggage
Accused Aditi Mitra was intercepted at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, and subsequently, arrested based on the lookout circular that had been issued against her.

Assistant commissioner of police Arun Jadhav confirmed her arrest said she was sent to police custody till March 23.
Mitra was allegedly trying to flee to Dubai for good. She was carrying eight big bags and two handbags. Of the eight, two contained her belongings; she refused to say what was in the other six, sources said.

Mitra, an independent representative associated with QNet, had been getting hefty commissions in return. She has multiple bank accounts, with one alone having Rs 25 lakh, as EOW officials found, adding that all her bank accounts have been frozen.

Active player
Investigators found that on the instructions of the other accused, Mitra was actively involved in the scam. She had brainwashed victims in order to induce them to invest in the scheme,” said special public prosecutor Pradip Gharat.

A victim, Sewri resident Arpita Majarekar, said, “She would conduct welcome sessions in malls and trap people with her sweet talk.

She had promised me and many others that if we invested in the scheme, we would get double the amount in three years.” Majarekar, who works in a private firm in Andheri, had invested nearly Rs 12.5 lakh in the scheme through Mitra.

She has been booked under relevant sections of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Act, Prize, Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, and the Indian Penal Code.

gurupreet

2 years ago

GOOD NEWS...QNET VICTIMS IN MUMBAI...DEDICATED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS SESSION FOR QNET VICTIMS on Sunday 18th September 2016.

Ever since you lost your hard earned money in QNET SCAM, you all have multiple questions and facing multiple issues like :

1. Where and whom to approach for recovering your hard earned money?

2. How to help fight and stop this QNET SCAM?

3. How to teach your CHEATER UPLINES a lesson?

4. Issues regarding the “so called” “REFUND POLICY”.

5. Are you eligible for “Compensations”?

6. Issues regarding action buy police authorities.

7. What is the status of the court cases etc.

These are an example of just a few issues and concerns you are facing, but there is GOOD NEWS for you all. We have been working overtime to try and bring an end to these woes and issues faced by Victims of Financial Frauds like this QNETSCAM.

So guys and girls tomorrow is the BIG DAY finally , Please do join us tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 1.30 PM sharp at Andheri east, outside Sarangi Restaurant (Just 1 minute from the Andheri station on the east side).

Please do come and also inform other victims of the QNETSCAM.
Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon sharp 1.30 PM, outside Sarangi Restaurant , Andheri-east, Mumbai.

Please note we have limited seats, first come first served basis allotment..so make sure to reach in time __/\__ . You can contact on 7498063701 in case of difficulty in locating us :)

Jai Hind.

jitu moni

2 years ago

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/4-persons-associated-with-MLM-company-arrested/articleshowprint/54204335.cms?null
Four persons, who were associated with Hong Kong-based QNET, a multi-level marketing (MLM) company, and duped 200 persons by promising them jobs, were arrested by Central Crime Station (CCS) officials on Thursday. However, the MD and directors of QNET and its sister company Vihaan Direct Selling are still at large.


Deputy commissioner of police (CCS) Avinash Mohanty said Sreenath Konda, Prasanna Kumar Reddy, V Kanchana, B Dhan Raj were arrested from different locations in the city for cheating people.


Police said the accused had been enrolling gullible people as agents by collecting Rs 10 lakh from a group of 10 persons.


Each person would be given status of promoter, direct them to attract a group (i.e., 10 persons) and make them join QNET by paying Rs 10 lakh, for which the promoter would be assured commission.

jitu moni

2 years ago

http://zeenews.india.com/news/maharashtra/qnet-case-sc-directs-maharashtra-govt-to-file-latest-probe-report_1924693.html
Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra Government to file the latest status report regarding investigation so far on the anticipatory bail plea of World Billiards champion Michael Ferreira and four others, who are facing charges of money laundering in the multi-crore QNet case.

The next hearing in the matter will take place on September 14.

Besides Ferreira, the others whose anticipatory bail plea were rejected were Malcom Desai, Vanka Srinivas, Maganlal Balaji, all directors of M/s Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt. Ltd, and Suresh Themiri, director of Transview Enterprises.
They are facing charges under Sections 420 (mischief), 468 (forgery), 471 (using forged document knowing it is not genuine) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Justice Mridula Bhatkar of the Bombay High Court, who took on record the statement of public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat that investigations were still on, had in May rejected their anticipatory bail pleas.

Ferreira had started the operations of QNet, a multi-level marketing company, in India via his firm Vihaan Enteprises.

The QNet cheating case began with a complaint by Gurpreet Singh Anand, who raised his voice after losing Rs. 30,000.

According to the police, the money involved has crossed Rs. 1,000 crores in the alleged scam with more than five lakh investors allegedly losing their money in the case against QNet which is being probed by the Economic Offences Wing.
ANI

jitu moni

2 years ago

http://www.newsambit.com/eow-of-delhi-police-registered-case-against-qnet-india-and-its-irs/
NewsAmbit, New Delhi
Delhi Police Economic Offence Wing(EOW) has registered an FIR against QNET India/Vihaan Direct selling India Private Limited and its three independent representatives on the allegations of cheating and fraudulently operating the multi level marketing, which is illegal in India. Police have initiated the investigation and suspecting huge scam, which is estimated in crores.
A senior Police officer of EOW said that we received a combined complaint against QNET India and its three independent representatives from more than dozen of people in the month of March this year. As per the allegations of main complainant Anuj Jain alleged that his friend Himashu Aggarwal approached him for an business opportunity. He said that he is an independent representative(IR) of an e-commerce based company. He said that he can arrange an meeting with the other IR’s who will tell you about the business and if they find you suitable you will get chance to be a part of the company. After few days Himanshu called Anuj Jain to come with a CV at a café situated in Nehru Place area on 29 November 2015. Anuj reached there, where he met with Himanshu and his to associates Anita Jaggi and Kanika. Trio told him about the business profile and also assured that this is not a networking marketing company. They demanded Rs 6.5 lakh to be a member of the company. They also said that company has millions of customers. IR of the company is treated as a partner and also got the profit share for each sale. After three four days Anuj gave them 6.5 lakh rupees but after some time he got to know that this is a multi level marketing company and fraudulently cheating innocent persons by roping them in it’s banned business with the help of IRs.
Police said that Anuj is not the only complainant so many more complainants also approached to EOW. After which a preliminary enquiry had conducted. It was found that some persons who are termed as IR contact their friends and close persons to join a new e-commerce business. They don’t tell the name of the company or complete business module at the beginning. After alluring them they set various amounts from the victim. Independent Representatives(IR) get training during the joining and talk to make further members. These kinds of IRs of the company are operated from different cafes and food courts situated in Delhi and NCR.
Those who join the company get user id etc and products like ravel packages, some other items etc are shown purchase from their money. The delivery address given in the portal is also found of overseas area most of the time and mostly that address is too fake type location only which shows that no products are being sold and it is a completely a money circulation scheme. Two websites were found involved in the namely www.unetindia.in and www.cmetindia.net were found mated to Vihaan Direct selling (India) Pvt ltd which is stated Indian Franchisee of Hong Kong based net company. Investigations are on. Police are trying to unearth the whole network of the IRs on which this company is running its business unlawfully in Delhi. A case has been registered u/s 420/120B/34 IPC and 4/5/6 of Prize Chits and money circulation Schemes(Banning) Act,1978 .

Profiles of IRs
Himashu works with Samsung
Anita Jaggi works with RBS

jitu moni

3 years ago


jitu moni
24 minutes ago
Bluru QNet agent who earned 50L a yr as commission held
Mumbai: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has arrested Ram Singh, an accused in the Rs 1,000 crore QNet case, for earning Rs 50 lakh or more as commission each year from proceeds of the crime.

Singh, a Bengaluru resident, was arrested last week after the imigration authorities at Bangalore airport detained him over a look out circular notice (LOC) issued by the Mumbai police. "We are going through all his bank account details and trying to ascertain the source of money to his account," said DCP Pravin Padwal of the EOW.

Singh's name had cropped up during the initial investigation in 2013 but the police could not locate him then. In January 2015, a police team visited his Bengaluru residence but did not find him there. The house was locked. He is the 19th accused to be arrested in this case so far.

"We are working to arrest all the culprits in this case. A special investigation team has been formed to nab the othe accused invovled," said Dhananjay Kamalakar, joint police commissioner, EOW. Singh, said police sources, has been sending money to his daughter who is studying in Canada. "We have to know his source of income. He has sent a major chunk of money to Canada. We suspect this money was gained from QNet. Moreover, he was looking after the QNet business in Dubai and has been shuttling between Dubai and India. We got his passport number late. Soon after getting it, we issued an LOC notice and he was detained," said an officer.

A special MPIDA court in February this year rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Michael Ferreira (77) winner of the World Amateur Billiards Championship and a Padma Bhushan recipient, and four others, Malcom Desai, Vanka Srinivas, Maganlal Balaji, all directors of M/s Vihaan Direct Selling (India) Pvt Ltd and Suresh Themiri, director Transview Enterprises. They all have approached the high court now in the QNet case.

"They posed as a marketing firm which would sell bio-discs, watches, herbal products, holiday packages, etc. They even claimed that by using the bio-disc, one can cure cancer and brain diseases," cops said. Some money has been transferred to Malayasia, Singapore and Hong Kong, too, cops added.

jitu moni

3 years ago


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/EOW-to-now-probe-celebs-role-in-QNet/articleshow/52333087.cms
Mumbai: The city's economic offences wing (EOW) is now looking into allegations that several Bollywood celebrities campaigned for the cheat firm, QNet, through advetisements or by promoting the schemes of the self-proclaimed marketing firm.

Gurupreet Singh Anand, complainant in the Rs 1,000-crore QNet cheating case, on Wednesday said at least four Bollywood actors promoted the Ponzi schemes at different times in the QNet's promotional programs in United Kingdom and Malaysia. He has submitted a 23-page letter wherein he has attached the celebrities' pictures promoting the programs.

"I have submitted letter and all the relevant information to the EOW on May 12. I am hoping some action soon," Anand told TOI. He alleged that the money was laundered from India to Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Anand was speaking at a press conference where suddenly a group of QNet sympathisers appeared with "I trust QNet" placards.. They were later asked to leave the conference room.

jitu moni

3 years ago

QNet: Secret SFIO report says MLM, Ponzi schemes a threat to national security
Read article http://www.moneylife.in//article/qnet-secret-sfio-report-says-mlm-ponzi-schemes-and-lsquo-a-threat-to-national-security-and-rsquo/46817.html

jitu moni

3 years ago

Hello Everyone

The company Qnet is celebrating VCon from 3-7 May. As a present,yesterday late night, I posted lot of comments on numerous pics uploaded on Instagram. I also posted on VChief Pathmans account. Unfortunately, they kept deleting my posts and had to ultimately block me. If each one of us, Indians, takes to instagram and starts posting messages like me, then they would have to either block us or abandon their account, which is their money making tool. You can start with Qnetofficial,TheV, Pathmans account, etc with phrases like Pyramid Scheme, Qnetscam, Franchise Fraud, Police arrests, court cases,Cheating, etc. They cannot stop us if we all work as one unit.

Hope we all teach them a lesson and save other fellow Indians.

Jai Hind

jitu moni

3 years ago

http://www.asianage.com/mumbai/cm-devend...
CM Devendra Fadnavis has assured detailed inquiry into QNet: BJP
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has promised to make a detailed inquiry of the alleged irregularities by the QNet multilevel marketing company and take action against the offenders, said BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari on Saturday. Former union minister P. Chidambaram’s wife was a legal counsellor with the company.

The QNet company, which was earlier known as Goldquest, has cheated 12 lakh people to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees. The court has rejected anticipatory bail to the accused in this case. When the CM was contacted about this, he promised to make a detailed inquiry and take action. If necessary, he said that the CBI’s help would also be taken, said Mr Bhandari.

The party spokesperson demanded that the role of former Union minister P. Chidambaram and his wife needs to be probed in this case. “Mr Chidambaram’s wife was a legal counsellor of the concerned company. Taking note of complaint registered by a lawyer from Chennai, the Central Vigilance Department handed over the case to the CBI. The complaint also has a mention of former Union minister Shashi Tharoor. However, the CBI did not investigate the matter during the tenure of Congress government at the Centre,” he alleged.

In Maharashtra, the wife of Gurpreet Singh Anand had in 2013 filed a complaint of fraud against the company. However, there was not much inquiry during the Congress-NCP regime. But since the court has denied anticipatory bail to other accused, including sportsman Michael Ferreira, the investigation can be expedited. Many sensational things are expected to come out in the investigation as the CM has promised to carry out a detailed probe in the case, said Mr Bhandari.

jitu moni

3 years ago

Mumbai police seeks Zee business help in probe of QNet
https://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RabPkRNutwU

jitu moni

3 years ago

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/...
A group of investors in the QNet multi-level market case on Sunday gathered near Holy Family Church and marched as a protest and public awarness against ponzi schemes. The protesetors reached at the house of accused Padma Bhushan Michael feriera in the QNet cheating case. The protesters were holding placards that read, Michel Ferriera Shame Shame! and Ban QNet".

"We chose Bandra for protest since most of the accused in this scam reside here. We had informed the police in advance and stated that the peaceful march will be for awareness about such fraud schemes and protest against such ponzi schemes," said Gurpreet Singh Anand, the first complainant in the QNet cheating case. He added that thgough it was his birthday but he did not spend time at home and was busy in the awareness drive.
Similar protests were held in New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad on Sunday. Last month a special MPIDA court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Michael Ferreira, winner of the World Amateur Billiards Championship and a Padma Bhushan recipient, and four others in the QNet case. They have approached the Bombay High Court for anticipatory bail. Ferreira, 77, and others had applied for anticipatory bail in 2014.

jitu moni

3 years ago

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/...
The economic offences wing of Mumbai police, probing the multicrore Qnet scam, has issued notices to Indian Super League (ISL) officials to gather details about taking sponsorship from the tainted company.
Qnet had made celebratory association as the official direct selling partner of Goa Football Club (FC Goa) throughout the Indian Super League 2015 season, from October to December. FC Goa is a part of the ISL football league tournament. Sources said the police are trying to find out the how the proceeds of crime of a company under serious investigation, have been used to sponsor the team. Police are also baffled as how the Qnet managed to generate money when its accounts have been seized. "We have sum moned ISL officials to understand the amount and flow of money in their sponsorship from the Qnet company which had defrauded several investors," said an official.

jitu moni

3 years ago

The fight against the Qnet scam wheré more than 7000 crores of rupees has been laundered out to foreign shores from India has just got bigger.

The Saradha Scam which started mainly in Bengal looks relatively smaller compared to the Qnet scam which had defrauded people across various cities like Mumbai,Delhi,Bangalore,Hyderabad etc for over a period of 10 years.

To unite and protest against this MLM scam plaguing India, all victims,activists, are requested that they gather outside Holy Family church,Hill Road,Bandra West at 10.30 A.M. tomorrow 24th April,2016.

Various press and media agencies will be present to cover the event meet and address grievances to authorities.

The current government has taken note of the Qnet scam and matter will be taken up at upcoming Parliament session.

All Indians are cordially invited to support the cause and join in the protest. We need to end the scam by spreading awareness and recover the money taken away by the scamsters.

A request to all to please forward this message on Facebook, twitter and WhatsApp groups... Jai Hind

Saradha scam: CBI grills Trinamool MP
Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Ahmed Hassan Imran was on Friday again grilled by the CBI about his alleged financial transactions with the tainted Saradha group, an agency official said.
 
Imran is the editor of "Kalom", a vernacular daily that was owned by the Saradha Group till 2013 when it was bought by Kalom Welfare Association.
 
Quizzed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) earlier too, Imran appeared at its office at the CGO complex here in response to a summons.
 
"We had summoned him for questioning in Saradha case," said a CBI officer.
 
Launched as a magazine, "Kalom" was turned into a daily newspaper after the Saradha group bought it in 2011.
 
The Enforcement Directorate which too is probing the case, had also interrogated him in August 2014 about his alleged financial transactions with the Saradha Group.

User

COMMENTS

shashi tiwari

1 year ago

Amendment of section 45 of insurance act 138 is applicable retrospectively or it is only applicable for policies which is issued after Dec 2014

shashi tiwari

1 year ago

Amendment of section 45 of insurance act 138 is applicable retrospectivly .or it is applicable for new policy which has been issued after Dec 2014

5 Reasons Herbalife’s Survey Won’t Save It from Prosecution
Deconstructing Herbalife's defense that a survey found most people join for discounts
 
In the recent Bostick v. Herbalife class-action case, which settled in California federal court in May, Herbalife’s primary defense as to why it isn’t a pyramid scheme was a static 2013 survey estimating that approximately 73% of its members joined the company to receive a wholesale price on products. In other words, Herbalife, a Los Angeles-based multi-level marketing company that is also under investigation by federal officials, believes it can shield itself from prosecution by claiming that a majority of people join only to receive lower prices on its dietary supplements and weight-loss products, not to earn money. The Bostick court opined that “this evidence seriously undermines Plaintiffs’ endless chain scheme claim, as it suggests most members did not join ‘for the chance to receive compensation’ for recruiting new members.” But here are five reasons why this defense simply won’t work. 
 
1. Follow the money. Determining whether an MLM is a pyramid scheme or not by analyzing people’s motivation for joining an organization is of little to no value. As Koscot, a cosmetics MLM that the FTC deemed an illegal “entrepreneurial chain” in one of its first pyramid scheme actions, and its progeny have made clear, the real issue is what the company motivates its distributors to do – that is, whether the company focuses on paying distributors for recruitment rather than retail sales. And this is not an analysis that can be isolated to one particular moment in time. Quite to the contrary, in determining whether or not an organization is operating a pyramid scheme, the data must be reviewed over time to see if there is a common pattern and practice of ongoing reward for recruitment with little evidence of sustained consumer demand. See Omnitrition, 79 F.3d at 782 (citing Koscot, 86 F.T.C. at 1181) (“The promise of lucrative rewards for recruiting others tends to induce participants to focus on the recruitment side of the business at the expense of their retail marketing efforts, making it unlikely that meaningful opportunities for retail sales will occur.”)
 
2. Totally irrelevant. Assuming Herbalife’s survey is accurate (which is a big assumption), it simply means that its business can be divided into two primary segments: its retail discount program and its distributor program. That 73% joined Herbalife at one moment in time for a retail discount doesn’t mean that the 27% engaged in direct sales for Herbalife are not involved in a pyramid scheme. And as Bostick made clear, those involved in the distributor program purchased a disproportionately larger amount of products than did the discount buyers. See FTC v. Burnlounge, Inc., 753 F.3d 878, at 881 (“The evidence at trial showed that BurnLounge’s business had two primary aspects – its Retailer program and its Mogul program. . . . The Mogul program was the only aspect of BurnLounge that the district court found to be a pyramid; accordingly, this opinion focuses on the Mogul program.”)
 
3. Prosecutors don’t care. There are two prongs to determining whether a company is operating a pyramid scheme: (1) the right to sell a product, and (2) the right to receive rewards, which are unrelated to sale of the product to the ultimate user, in return for recruiting other participants into the program. The primary reason why someone says they joined Herbalife is of little consequence in determining whether Herbalife’s focus is on recruitment with rewards rather than sales of merchandise. Which is to say that why someone joins a business doesn’t obviate the fact that the business may still be a fraud. (See Webster v. Omnitrition International, Inc., 79 F.3d 776, 782 (9th 1996) in which the court found that MLM Omnitrition was a pyramid scheme because “[t]he mere structure of the scheme suggests that Omnitrition’s focus was in promoting the program rather than selling the product.”)
 
4. Identity crisis. While Herbalife is a multi-level marketing company, for purposes of its pyramid scheme defense it relies on static survey evidence that 73% of its members actually consider it more of a buyers’ club (ala Costco). The argument goes like this: internal consumption by the majority of Herbalife members amounts to sales to the ultimate users so any rewards paid on these sales are related to the sales of products to ultimate users and have nothing to do with recruitment or illegal schemes or the like. But here’s the problem with this argument, there has been and always will be internal consumption in MLMs – it is a constant that can be wholly eliminated from determining if a company is a pyramid scheme because it does not (and never will) answer the question of how an MLM’s bonus structure operates in practice. Moreover, such static survey information fails to capture the true life cycle of these discount customers, who generally quickly become inactive and no longer make any purchases. (See FTC v. Burnlounge, Inc., 753 F.3d 878 at 887, which found that “[i]n practice, the rewards BurnLounge paid for package sales were not tied to the consumer demand for the merchandise in the packages; they were paid to Moguls for recruiting new participants. . . . Rewards for recruiting were ‘unrelated’ to sales to ultimate users because BurnLounge incentivized recruiting participants, not product sales.”)
 
5. Devil’s in the detail. The January 2013 distributor research survey that Herbalife holds up as its golden goose to defend itself against pyramid scheme allegations is largely a mystery as Herbalife keeps the document behind its corporate veil. And while it may not be worth the paper that it is written on, in the end it really doesn’t matter because it cannot prove that Herbalife is or is not a pyramid scheme.
 
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