QNet: Ferriera, six others misled court by submitting 'fake' document, says EOW

Have QNet team leaders misled the Mumbai Sessions Court by submitting a fake document along with their bail application? The Economic Offences Wing has made this sensational disclosure. The police official, whose signature is on the document has also denied having prepared or signed it

 

In a sensational new development, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police, in their objection to the anticipatory bail application filed by seven team leaders of the shady QNet scheme have accused them of submitting fake documents. The EOW has told the Sessions Court that a document submitted by the QNet leaders is bogus and concocted. The Police Sub-Inspector (PSI), under whose name the document was submitted, has, in an affidavit, denied having prepared it.


According to EOW, the team leaders of QNet, including former world billiards champion Michael Ferriera, Srinavas Rao Vanka, Magarlal Viravali Balaji, Malcolm Nozer Desai, Navjyot Mahesh Das, Chinar Surendra Shinde and Mereilla Kamal Dutta have misled the Court by submitting a fake document while seeking bail. This is in connection with various charges made by the intrepid whistleblower Gurpreet Singh.


The document on which the Court relied for granting anticipatory bail pertains to a report allegedly prepared by PSI Vishnu Pandu Rathod of Oshiwara Police Station in Mumbai. It states: Since complainant Parmit Anand Kaur had gone to Hyderabad, her husband Gurupreet Anand, in his statement on her behalf has stated that his wife has no complaint against e-commerce company QNet.


However, PSI Rathod, in an affidavit has denied having recorded any such statement. He said, "I state and declare before this Court that the documents which were relied upon by the applicants in their anticipatory bail applications as the statement recorded by me and the report prepared by me are not the documents prepared by me and I have no knowledge whatsoever in respect of the said documents forwarded under my name and designation."

 

 

The EOW of Mumbai Police, which is probing the MLM fraud, had so far arrested nine team leaders of QNet for allegedly duping investors by offering to sell products such as magnetic disks, herbal products and holiday schemes through fraudulent practices. The accused have been charged with cheating and forgery under relevant sections of the Prize, Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act 1978.


The complainant, Gurupreet Singh Anand, a computer consultant from Lokhandawala, Andheri in his first information report (FIR) before the EOW stated that his wife was duped for Rs30,000 by some people who had introduced themselves as the independent representatives (IRs) of QNet. Anand told the police, “They (IRs) had said that one of the bio-products my wife bought could be used to treat my 12-year-old son's brain-related diseases.”


Earlier in February 2014, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India, registered a case in the Rs425 crore QNet scam for money laundering.


The ED has named QNet Ltd from Hong Kong, its official franchisee Vihaan Direct Selling Pvt Ltd, Vijay Eswaran, the founder of QI group and three other independent representatives (IRs) of QNet from Mumbai.


In a media statement, QNET called the money-laundering probe by ED against it as 'allegations that are preposterous and completely baseless'.


You may also want to read...


QNet: EOW seizes documents from Vanmala's 'hidden' office

 

QNet: The Suresh Thimiri link between Vihaan and Transview
 
QNet: When India CEO Suresh Thimiri denies relations with the company
 
QNet: Six bank accounts frozen, more arrests soon, says EOW

QNet: EOW freezes Rs45 crore in two bank accounts of the MLM
 
QNet: Mumbai police register fraud case against the MLM
 
QNet, the MLM has resurfaced in India; will people be duped again?
 
QNet, the MLM company, has no answers to Moneylife’s simple questions
 
QNet: The “money game” played by MLMs to lure the gullible
 
Forbes magazine's strange activism on behalf of the shady MLM QNet
 
MMM India, QNet ‘cult’ growing. Why government is dragging its feet in tackling this MLM menace?

Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

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

2 years 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

2 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

2 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

2 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

2 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

2 years ago

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

jitu moni

2 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

2 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

2 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

Illegality in MLMs and recommendations for law enforcement
An open letter from MLM expert Robert L FitzPatrick of Pyramid Scheme Alert to the US FTC exposes illegality of multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes and how law enforcement agencies can curb it. The same applies for India where thousands of pyramid or network marketing schemes are duping gullible savers everyday and also lobbying for legitimacy 
 
In an 'open letter' to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), pyramid scheme expert Robert L FitzPatrick, co-author of the book, 'False Profits', president of Pyramid Scheme Alert and co-founder of the International Coalition of Consumer Advocates, has provided a set of recommendations to the FTC on how to identify illegal multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes and to enforce consumer protection laws on pyramids disguised as 'direct selling'. The paper was sent following a conference call with officials of the FTC Consumer Protection Bureau in which an invitation for suggestions and recommendations was made by FTC officials.
 
The FTC recently prosecuted one of the larger MLMs, Fortune High Tech Marketing, but only after it had scammed more than 300,000 households and operated openly for nearly 12 years. Currently, the FTC is investigating one of the largest of all MLMs, Herbalife that has operated for more than 30 years.
 
Bright Lines of Illegality:
 
The paper submitted by FitzPatrick, entitled, Identifying 'Bright Lines' for Determining Illegality of Any Multi-Level Marketing Company under Section 5 of the FTC Act, lists telltale signs of illegality (unfair and deceptive trade practices):
 
1. Endless Chain Structure - The sales management chain has no sector of sales people that is focused directly and only on end-users. The sales chain expansion is without limit and without geographic restriction. All new participants, upon payment, are awarded the right and offered financial incentives to recruit more salespeople and extend the chain to multiple levels, usually six to infinity. This reward plan and structure indicate the use of the inherently deceptive“endless chain”, infinity factor” and “unlimited” income claim to induce purchases and fees.
 
2. Pay-to-Play – Despite providing no territorial protection or even historical saturation data provided to new salespeople, sales/ purchase quotas are imposed with specific dollar volumes of product purchases (either by the distributor personally or his/her recruitment chain). In some cases, there are structural recruiting requirements also imposed in order to maintain a position in the endless chain payment plan. These volume and recruiting quotas are signs of “pay-to-play” factors that operate in tandem with an endless chain structure and recruiting-based rewards to drive purchases and fee payments.
 
3. Money Transfer - The MLM employs a reward formula that overwhelmingly rewards chain extension activity that is recruiting-based over personal retail sales activity that is market-based. Evidence includes formulas that allocate higher aggregate rewards, per transaction, to those at the upper end of the chain, over those at the base and allocate total commission payout to recruiters in excess of total verified retail profits. Special bonuses and rates on total “group” volume are based on position on the endless chain. They money transfer formulas directly result in an extreme concentration of payments – 50% to 80% – of total payouts to those at the extreme upper end of the recruiting chain. As an example, the report referenced hard data on Nu Skin’s payment of 82% of all its commissions to the top 1.29% of its “active” sales force, which is 0.5% of the entire sales network.
 
4. Recruitment-Driven  - The actual activity of the business is characterised by relentless recruiting, churning and transferring funds from later participants to earlier ones.
 
5. Little Evidence of Market-based Retail Selling - Little evidence, gained from an examination of marketing materials, website, and reports from participants or researchers, of market-based retail sales, per salesperson, and little evidence of retail profit gains among the sales force.
 
6. No Income Opportunity for Nearly All Participants -  Large-scale losses are evident in the sales force, even among those in the upper one-third of sales chain.
 
Law Enforcement Guidelines
For law enforcement, the report offered specific reforms that would put any MLM on the legal side.
 
1. Limit the number of levels that any individual salesperson can personally recruit and gain override commissions to one or several. In combination with other reforms, this measure would eliminate the infinity factor.
 
2. Require that commissions be awarded only on consummated retail sales, that is to persons who are not signers of the company’s sales contract and are not eligible for recruiting-based rewards. 
 
3. Allow no commissions to be paid on any purchases made by other salespeople or on the salesperson’s own account. This reform eliminates a major incentive for recruiting and for making personal purchases. It would also clearly indicate that all purchases made by the sales force are market-based. 
 
4. Eliminate all purchase/ sales volume or recruiting requirements in order to maintain sales and recruiting authorization. With no geographic limitations or protections placed on MLM salespeople, and no information available on market saturation factors, volume and recruiting requirements serve no other purpose than as recruiting inducements. 
 
5. Establish limited territories for distributors who want to develop sales teams with authorisation based upon management selection. The current practice of open-ended, even global territories and escalation on the sales chain being based purely on volume/ recruiting performance is a telltale indicator of the “endless chain” inducement and the lack of a real-world market basis for sales. 
 
Principles of FTC Law Enforcement and Consumer Protection from Illegal MLMs
 
1. The establishment of an understandable and consistent “bright line” requires that the FTC take a clearly stated legal stand against the groundless and nonsensical claim of MLM promoters that purchasing products by the participants in multi-level marketing exempts the enterprise from an illegal pyramid definition. The bogus identity of “direct selling” by pyramid selling schemes and the claim of exemption from a pyramid scheme definition based on product purchases have confused and misled millions of consumers (“If the MLM sells a product, it’s can’t be a pyramid!”). 
 
MLM lobbyists have claimed that pyramid scheme definitions must exempt enterprises in which rewards are gained through product sales “to participants.” They have lobbied for this “product exemption” in state laws and tried to get a federal law passed in 2003. In fact, in case after case of MLMs prosecuted by the FTC, the selling products was the disguise of choice, and “direct selling” turned out to be a false identity.
 
2. FTC must establish and publish a set of recognizable actors indicative of the use of the endless chain as a marketing device, once the endless structure is identified as part of that MLM’s business model.
 
The evidence of the use of endless chain marketing to induce purchases and fee payments is found in the MLM’s pay formula and in the statement of policies and procedures, both of which are generally published.
 
Additional evidence can be found in income disclosure documents, website, webinars and in SEC filings.
 
Evidence of the use of the endless chain is manifested in verifiable loss and churn rates and absence of profitable retail selling. Referencing these classic elements of a pyramid disguised as a sales company can be done in a matter of hours or days. Pyramid fraud is frequently in plain sight.
 
Mandate for Action Now
 
By offering bright lines and recommendations for law enforcement, the “Open Letter” supports the message of urgency that the International Coalition of Consumer Advocates delivered to the FTC in October, 2013 with it White Paper and petitions.
 
Currently, the FTC lacks a consistent or understandable standard for determining illegality of any MLM, rendering effective FTC prosecution and law enforcement in MLM sector essentially impossible and, indeed, virtually non-existent.
 
By any standard, this position for a law enforcement agency is intolerable. It leaves millions of people in America and around the world without any means of distinguishing legitimate direct selling opportunities from pyramid swindles. In recent years, these schemes have begun targeting the most vulnerable sectors of the public, students and immigrants. The FTC’s untenable position has also generated a dangerous uncertainty in the securities markets, putting pension funds at risk that are invested in MLM enterprises that are being openly challenged for operating illegally.
 
The scenario in India 
 
Coming back to home, Moneylife has been continuously writing about the inaction by government and regulators regarding MLM companies, money circulation schemes, pyramid-marketing schemes and other similar companies that swindle the unwary public by offering them misleading inducements and depriving them of their hard-earned savings.
 
In April 2013, after the collapse of Saradha group, the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) in a face saving measure has decided to hand over probe of such chit-fund, MLM, Ponzi and pyramid scheme operators to a Special Task Force under the Serious Fraud Investigations Office (SFIO). The ministry said the probe has been ordered in view of a larger public interest involved in the issues, although the state governments are the appropriate authorities for regulation of such chit fund companies and schemes under the Chit Fund Act, 1982.
 
Here are some of the important stories written and representations made by Moneylife over the years…
 
 
In May 2011, following the exposé by Moneylife on Speak Asia Online Pte Ltd and its MLM scheme, Moneylife Foundation sent a representation to prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, (the then) finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, finance secretary Sushama Nath and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor D Subbarao urging them to ban all MLM companies and their schemes in the country, or to bring all MLM companies under the regulation of either the RBI or the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), to stop them ensnaring gullible people.
 
 
The massive money, which is raised surely shows somewhere on the balance sheet of the company, filed regularly with the MCA. The primary recipient of the information about these companies is the MCA, and surprisingly the MCA is the least proactive in the entire process of bringing these perpetrators to regulatory focus, sooner before tonnes of money vanish.
 
 
Dubious pyramid schemes or money-circulation schemes are looting Indians across economic strata, finds Sucheta Dalal. This will continue since Central and state governments seem unconcerned.
 
 
Pyramid marketing companies are looting the public easily, while the government watches. Many countries have banned them outright.
 
 
A strange deposit scheme that is proliferating in the states of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Maharashtra has already collected almost Rs1,000 crore and is expanding virtually unchecked. The scam has elements of money-laundering and possibly the use of fake and forged currency as well; however, the banking regulator would like to pass off the investigation to the respective state governments for investigation under the antiquated Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act.
 
 
An international network marketing scheme hawking expensive limited edition coins is attracting a huge following. Sucheta Dalal examines this strange quest.
 
 
Moneylife readers know how MLM schemes ensnare lakhs of people by promising extraordinary returns. We learn from the ministry of consumer affairs that the government is now waking up to the need for better regulation of MLMs and ponzis. At the same time, the powerful Direct Selling Association of the US is lobbying hard for an amendment.
 
 
Pyramids are pure fraud. Their business is unsustainable-they promise payment for goods or services of dubious value. The hallmark of these schemes is the promise of sky-high returns in a short period of time, for doing nothing other than simply handing over your money to them, and getting others to do the same.
 
 
Even as India bans pyramid schemes under a statute called the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978, the country continues to be a happy hunting ground for pyramids because our legislation is deliberately unworkable.
 
 
Investors losing money, or falling for dubious Ponzi schemes, is not a recent phenomenon; this has been happening for decades and it is not restricted only to India. Why is it that people repeatedly fall prey to such schemes in spite of being aware of the frauds perpetrated by conmen under different guises?
 
 
EAS Sarma, former power and finance secretary, said the ministry of finance, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and the investigating agencies should collectively tackle this problem without any delay, as every day of procrastination will only result in thousands of hapless families cheated by the promoters of these schemes.
 
 
Spokespersons and dealers of multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes or network marketing schemes respond to questions about their legitimacy by brandishing a 2003 letter issued by the then secretary, ministry of corporate affairs (MCA). What they omit to mention is that the letter was subsequently annulled following complaints about its misuse. This means, the letter used by these scamsters is no more valid.
 
 
While there are existing laws such as Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 (PCMCS Act) and others under which concerned agencies could prosecute the culprits, there is no effective mechanism in place to ensure a coordinated approach to identify the fraudulent operators in advance and book them well before they destroy the livelihoods of thousands of households and launder the ill-gotten funds to unknown destinations.
 
 
A set of powerful MLMs, which are part of an exclusive closed club, called the Indian Direct Selling Association or IDSA (on the lines of the Direct Selling Association of the US) has been lobbying hard to make a distinction between their operations and those of others, who they call, fly-by-night operators such as SpeakAsia and Ad Magnet.
 
 
QNet, the controversial Hong Kong-based multi-level marketing (MLM) operator with multiple names (GoldQuest, QuestNet, QNet, QI Ltd and QI group are the better known names) refused to answer simple questions like how much money their independent representative (IR) earns on an average every month and why their products are priced so highly. Instead, it sent us a threatening and defamatory mail that raises more questions as to their real motive.
 
 
If 2010 was the year of great Indian scams, 2011 was rather of ponzi and multi-level marketing (MLM) frauds. SpeakAsia managed to top the chart, but soon many others joined the bandwagon, duping gullible investors for several thousand crores.
 
 
Nothing comes free in this world, especially money. The universal truth is you need to earn your money by hard labour all the time and there are no shortcuts to double it in the shortest span of time. Therefore, even if your near and dear ones tell you he/she will double, triple, quadruple your money within a few days/months, politely reply to them that it is not possible and what they are advocating is a pure 'get-rich-quick' type of scam.
 
 
Herbalife, a global MLM scheme also prevalent in India, is believed to be worthless according to hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, who made a detailed presentation on why consumers should avoid buying the company’s products and stay away from the MLM.
 
Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

Tex

4 years ago

The problem isn't nearly as complicated as FitzPatrick describes it. There are only 2 things that need to be done:
1. Enforce high levels (at least 50%) of retail sales, and
2. Get rid of tool scams.

Also, the "unending chain" theory has been thoroughly debunked. There is MUCH damage being done without saturation.

For the details how these scams work, see http://www.stoptheamwaytoolscam.wordpress.com

Ponzis Continue To Rule the Roost

Chain marketing schemes are still having a nice time, despite SEBI’s enhanced powers 

 

The Direct Selling Association of India and the high-profile, multinational multi-level marketing (MLM) companies have stepped up the pressure on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to frame new rules to give them legal cover. After the arrest and long incarceration of the chairman & CEO of Amway India (since 27th May), and the virtual crackdown on QNet, promoted by a Malaysian national, the industry is in serious disarray.  
 
The MLM industry’s argument is: frame tough rules but remove the ambiguity about the legitimacy and legality of MLM companies operating in India. They also insist that they do not fall under the purview of the Prize Chits & Money Circulation Act, 1954. However, Moneylife has held the view that all MLMs lure people with the promise of high returns and their very structure requires them to entice people to become agents or distributors. 
 
While powerful foreign companies in the MLM business are lobbying the government, the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is struggling to initiate action against hundreds of ponzis and ‘collective investment schemes’ that are destroying lives and savings. Consider just one example. KBC Multi Trade, a Nashik-based company, seems to be a repeat of West Bengal’s Saradha scam. It is reported to have collected Rs2,000 crore from unsuspecting victims and the promoters are now absconding. Two of its agents have committed suicide under pressure. The scheme promised to triple the investment in 30 months on an investment of Rs1 lakh each.
 
Unfortunately, the greed for high returns is so pervasive that these schemes manage to garner a few thousand crore rupees each. It is important for the government to keep this in mind before it allows itself to be influenced by those who are lobbying for legal protection for MLMs and chain schemes.
Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

Vaddi Venkata Dorayya

2 years ago

How the all mlm's will be defined as fraud,is it correct that the concept or idea of MLM is classified as fraud practise.

gurupreet

4 years ago

Today QNET advocates scored a second self goal in court :)

Ever Since my fight started against QNET SCAM I have faced the following lawyers in court by appearing in person:

1. Nitin Pradhan
2. Mahesh Jhetmalani
3. Abad Ponda
4. Haresh Mohan Jagtiani
5. Divya Bahl
6. Rajendra Mokashi
7. Kuldip Patil
8. Sandeep Karnik
9. Sudatta Patil etc…

All these are senior advocates with teams of juniors below them but till date QNET did not get any single favorable order from any court.

The FIGHT enters a “new phase” now….Ganpati Bappa Morya :)

Shashi Sridhar

4 years ago

These disclosures are shocking,more so to know that the RBI instead of protecting the common man is protecting the rich.Money Life is doing a great job,making all these public,the common man ought to know how he is being taken for a ride.

Amit Kumar

4 years ago

I read few of you replies. And like to clarify one thing that I have not discussed anything about Amway. Though I have not used any of the amway proucts as well as I have not joined this company. The products are however very costly. Though I once fell prey to Qnet from Which I got my refund and leave it. One of the most interesting thing which the member of this MLM companies say that they had removed the middle man or distributor and they themselve became the distributor of the the company and thus cutting the rates. But when I check any item whether from Amway or any other company they are very much expensive sometimes even 5-6 times as compare to products by other normal companies offer. Then how this is useful. This is only a networking business and product is beint used of circulating money. None of the MLM company has any ethics nor their Representatives or members. They are all greedy people who try to irritate you and force you to join this chain system. Just Avoid this cheap mind set and do some real work to earn money. Because only the upliner will make good money in this chain system who are their for some time now. Newbies are only working hard to make them rich enough not themselves. So don't waste Time.

Koyalgeet

4 years ago

Amit you need to step back and have a 'Rational View' of things. Amway just like Coke or Pepsi is a credible company delivering very high quality products to the world including India. when people dont understand something they belittle it, that is what is happening to Amway. There is more to it that meets the eye and Amway is not in the fault here.

REPLY

MOHAN

In Reply to Koyalgeet 4 years ago

Amway is like coke and Pepsi?

I dont think coke and Pepsi are chain money companies.

Both coke and Pepsi are household names. But what about exorbitant Amway products?

Russ Stewart

4 years ago

Why would your 'MLM companies operating in India' hyperlink be an affiliate link (Plus numerous other opportunity links on the link rotator).

You put down MLM then you promote it.

Why do so many business's have 2 faces?

MOHAN

4 years ago

It is an oft repeated lies of chain money fraudsters that their company operates all over the world since the beginning of life on earth etc etc.

These are all misleading propaganda.

Don’t fall prey to the lure of chain money games.

Russ Stewart

4 years ago

Whether it is MLM or a traditional business/franchise the scams are omnipresent.

Amway, if any; has the most creditable track record. As Amit mentioned in a comment that maybe India is not ready for MLM just yet, and I think he is right.

Even in the UK they have very strict guidelines as to the entry level when joining an MLM/direct sales company.

Unfortunately, whether a company has been around a long time or not this does not necessarily mean the consumer is protected.

EG. Herbalife is undergoing extreme scrutiny in the USA at present. People losing money and a CEO who, 2 years back was the highest paid CEO in the country $89.5 Million.

The basic MLM model is good, just like the model for a community for example, but it is human greed that unfortunately takes over and spoils the essential element of fairness.

MANOJ MOHANTY

4 years ago

11.8 Bn dollar global company Amway operates in the following countries since last 56 years, but what is the problem in India?

##Anguilla
##Antiqua
##Argentina
##Australia
##Austria
##Azores
##Bahamas
##Barbados
##Barbuda
##Belgium
##Bermuda
##Brazil
##British Virgin Islands
##Brunei
##Bulgaria
##Canada
##Canary Islands
##Cayman Islands
##Channel Islands
##Chile
##Colombia
##Costa Rica
##Croatia
##Czech Republic
##Denmark
##Dominica
##Dominican Republic
##El Salvador
##Estonia
##Faroe Islands
##Finland
##France
##French Antilles
##French Guiana
##Germany
##Grenada
##Greece
##Guam
##Guatemala
##Guernsey
##Haiti
##Honduras
##Hong Kong
##Hungary
##Ireland
##Russia
##India
##Indonesia
##Italy
##Japan
##Jersey Island
##Korea
##La Reunion
##Macau
##Madeira
##Malaysia
##Mexico
##Monserrat
##Namibia
##Netherlands
##Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Dutch St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius)
##New Zealand
##Norway
##Palau Islands
##Panama
##People's Republic of China
##Philippines
##Poland
##Portugal
##Puerto Rico
##Romania
##Russia
##Singapore
##The Slovak Republic
##Slovenia
##South Africa
##Spain
##St. Kitts and Nevis
##St. Lucia
##St. Vincent
##Sweden
##Switzerland
##Taiwan (Republic of China)
##Thailand
##Trinidad and Tobago
##Trust Territories of the Pacific (Mariana, Marshall, and Caroline Islands)
##Turkey
##Turks and Caicos Islands
##Ukraine
##United Kingdom
##United States of America
##US Virgin Islands
##Uruguay
##Venezuela
##Vietnam
##Wake Islands

REPLY

gurupreet

In Reply to MANOJ MOHANTY 4 years ago

The problem with India is that it has a anti money circulation act called PCMB act in place well in advance...so all these illegal money circulation schemes fall into its ambit...that is the problem dear :)

MOHAN

In Reply to MANOJ MOHANTY 4 years ago

.

Oh my dear ! now you have reduced the list to 96?

okay!

It really funny that Wake Islands, US Virgin Islands etc etc are finding place in this "great" list of 96 countries!!!!

Many of the countries you have mentioned are Caribbean islands !!!

Dear, you are so clever and you have mentioned Antigua and Barbuda separately !

Dear, are you comparing Turks and Caicos Islands with a country like India? !!

Dear, you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time !!!!!!!!!!!!

MANOJ MOHANTY

In Reply to MOHAN 4 years ago

Most Indians are always busy in all substandard activities like corruption, manipulation,murder, rape, back biting, leg pulling and they understand those better. It is difficult for them to understand that the secret of living is giving. The secret of success is helping others to be successful. So Mr Mohan, you need to just grow up in healthy and positive manner. All the very best.

MOHAN

In Reply to MANOJ MOHANTY 4 years ago

Oh dear this is how Chain money fraudsters are helping their colleagues, by giving a list of Caribbean islands where MLM Ponzi fraudsters can hide and avoid arrest after defrauding innocent Indians. In India the Money chain/ MLM fraudsters are very busy in all kinds of activities like corruption, manipulation,murder, rape, back biting, leg pulling.

Amit Kumar

4 years ago

Qnet is the worst in the list. Their IR's are forcing their own near and dears to fall in this trap. MLM business should be banned in India. Our country is not ready for this yet. Also those who are falling into the prey should check their greed and do some hard work to earn money inspite of wasting their energy in MLM Schemes.

REPLY

malcolm

In Reply to Amit Kumar 4 years ago

@Amit Kumar - Hi Amit, You said India is not ready for NM yet? Are you really sure about making an opinion for the country? I am not into Amway or such other MLM companies though I have been offered. I believe the NM business model is a powerful one and has produced results for more than 60 years. There is no industry where fraud has not happened.

MOHAN

In Reply to malcolm 4 years ago

@ malcolm,

It is great to know that you have been doing "research" for the last 60 years on Chain Money / MLM (you call it NM ? )

Please do a India specific "research" on chain money schemes. Then you will understand the real "powerful business model" of chain money schemes.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

online financial advisory
Pathbreakers
Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
online financia advisory
The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Online Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
financial magazines online
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
financial magazines in india
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)