I’ve had the pleasure to come into contact recently with Eric Scheibeler, a former “independent business owner” for Amway. He did well by all public accounts, rising quickly up the ranks with his wife. I’ve been reading his book, Merchants of Deception, which details his rise and fall in Amway.
The story is disturbing in so many ways. Here is a page from Eric’s website, reprinted because I think it’s really interesting to see this overview of what multi-level marketing (MLM) businesses are really like.
I was employed as a Federal auditor for the US Department of Energy. Following that I worked in management for a large insurance company. My wife and I were recruited by friends and quickly rose through the ranks and found ourselves in the top 1/25th of 1% (Founder’s Emeralds) of the multi-billion dollar Amway then Quixtar Corporations. For nearly a decade, we developed a “business” that expanded from North America to Europe, South America, and the Philippines. We spoke to thousands from stage and worked intimately with the Kingpin distributors through whom as much as 90% of Amway/Quixtar’s $6 billion dollars in annual revenue flows. My wife and I spent personal time with the company’s billionaire founder Rich DeVos.
To make a long story short, at the highest level, I inadvertently discovered what documentation now appears to reveal as two decades of systematic, global fraud running into a sum currently in excess of forty billion dollars. When I initially discovered the deception, I naively thought it only involved Kingpin level distributors in the field. I immediately reported it to Amway/Quixtar senior management with nearly 50 pages of corroborating documentation. The documentation of the fraud was also reported directly to then President Dick DeVos (incredulously now running for Governor of Michigan) by both fax and certified mail. What was the response under Dick DeVos’ leadership? The details are well documented in the book which includes the correspondence sent directly to Mr. DeVos.
Their response was more shocking than the fraud I had discovered. Instead of taking action against the Kingpin level distributors that were clearly defrauding the masses, they began to make threats of taking punitive action against me. Fortunately, I had them do it all in writing. I had begun to make details of the deception known to other distributors, to whom I was accountable. They ultimately shut off my sole income in what appeared to be an effort to starve me into silence. This went on for almost a year. We lost our medical insurance and were forced into bankruptcy. Just when they knew we were about to lose our home, I was strongly “encouraged” to sell “my business” to a member of my upline for approximately $75,000. At the same time, my sponsor was attempting to pressure me to sign a legal agreement to never speak publicly of our experience. Neither our silence nor or character were for sale and we walked away from the offer(s). It felt like we were dealing with the Mafia. Is this the same leadership that the people of the State of Michigan are now to trust?
I knew, from being an auditor, that without solid documentation I would be crushed by this powerful, wealthy, politically well connected organization. I spent literally thousands of hours in research, culling documentation from global sources as this deception has spread like cancer to over 80 countries and territories. In its wake are countless bankruptcies, foreclosures and broken marriages all happening under the guise of “free Enterprise”. I secured a cache of well over 1,000 hours of legally recorded tapes and videos. Internal Amway documents surfaced revealing that the Billionaire founder, Rich DeVos, has been aware of these illegal activities for well over twenty years. All this documentation was put together in a compelling, meticulously documented 296 page book I wrote titled Merchants of Deception. It was written specifically to be a road map for regulators and prosecutors worldwide.
This book was used to initiate the current, active FBI investigation. It is also is the resource utilized when I initiated the recent NBC Dateline expose. In a few days with undercover cameras, the crack team of reporters at NBC were able to document in real time the fraud that has been perpetuated for twenty years as documented in Merchants of Deception. The book documents that Amway’s billionaire founder and senior management not only were aware of two decades of systematic fraud, but that they aided, abetted and financially rewarded the most egregious offenders. This statement is supported by almost 20 safety deposit boxes of documentation, including financials and confidential internal documents, the most critical of which has been turned over to the FBI. Merchants of Deception reveals the methodology, manner and global scope of the fraud. It also details long term, intentional, systematic violations of FTC regulations. The FBI, the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS and foreign governments and/or counter cult organizations are all utilizing this book as a resource.
The question you must be asking yourself is, “If this could possibly be true, how could it have gone on this long?” The answer is one I wish I did not have to share with you. As a life long conservative, I am disheartened at what I discovered and documented regarding the political party I have voted for my entire adult life. I am embarrassed to reveal that the principals in the above scheme have donated over the years, as much as $4,000,000 annually either directly to the Republican Party, Senators, PAC’s or 527 organizations that support them. The FTC has refused to take action despite having the very same documentation you can download for free below. The FTC has been petitioned by myself, at least one credible fraud expert and the former US Assistant Attorney for the State of Wisconsin(who prosecuted Amway) for over four years. Sadly, it appears the millions in annual donations have functioned well as regulatory protection money, but that is my opinion based upon the documentation and my personal interaction with the FTC.
Far too many people are being hurt. I was used as an unknowing dupe to take millions of dollars from good, honorable people and cannot simply walk away and let this persist. I wish I could. As you turn each page ,you will learn the terrifying details of the journey several of us have traveled, for years, in an effort to expose the truth. As you read this, the perpetrators of this scheme are most likely are amassing a legion of attorneys to descend upon me. This experience has already taken all my assets so there is little else they can do to punish me, at least financially. However, they will most likely succeed in getting an injunction to at least temporarily shut this site down. If you have an interest, download your copy of the book immediately and feel free to mirror this site. Someone had to “step in front of the bus” or it was never going to stop. This is my leap of faith.
The response to the book and sheer number of international downloads has been staggering. Over 1,000 victims of the fraud have contacted me with 1-4 pages detailed testimonials of their experiences. Many allege they were defrauded of as much as $50,000 or more over time. The responses have come in from near all of the US, France, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Russia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Poland, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Brazil, India, Philippines, Canada, South Africa and Thailand. Most of the reports reveal a deception replicated with franchise like precision.
America cannot afford to continue to export fraud and cultism to other nations under the false veil of “free enterprise” or capitalism as the documentation seems to clearly reveal that this is neither.
In the US there is near a 100% loss rate for those induced to “invest” in “their own business” in any given Amway/Quixtar motivational organization. Amway has been aware of this for nearly 20 years.
There is no legitimate “business opportunity” with a near 100% loss rate for participants. This appears to have been a well organized investment scam, which has culled billions from the public, for the last twenty years. The truth is in the tax returns of the IBO victims and Amway/Quixtar may soon be forced to make those public. If you are contacted by anyone to see Amway or Quixtar, ask them for their last three years tax returns before you consider investing a penny of your money or time into “the business”. Ask them if you will be expected to spend near $6,000 a year on Amway or Quixtar products, books, tapes, CD’s, DVD’s seminars, travel, phone bills, hotels, online services, e-commerce meetings, training sessions and voice mail systems to receive your “average IBO income” of about $115 a month.
The good news is that there are far more victims in the Amway Quixtar motivational organizational scam than victimizers and we now have a collective voice. This house of cards may soon be brought to a screeching halt. Bernard Ebbers was just sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the $11 billion accounting scam at WorldCom. John Rigas and his son Timothy were recently sentenced to 15 and 20 years respectively in the Adelphia Communications scandal involving billions as well. A former top executive at Cendant Corp., E. Kirk Shelton, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a $500-million accounting fraud. Ex-Tyco International Ltd. Chief Executive Dennis Kozlowski and his finance chief, Mark Swartz, who were found guilty of looting Tyco of over a hundred million dollars and were each sentenced to 81/3 to 25 years in prison. How do you think the perpetrators of this fraud would do before a jury?
In my opinion, based upon the documentation I have received, these corporate frauds pale in comparison to the tens of billions culled by Amway, Quixtar, the IBOAI and their related motivational organizations that have been financially incenitvized to continue defrauding the public. The political tide is shifting in America and the public is fed up with corporate pirates who loot billions from hard working, honest people.
I encourage you to read your free copy of Merchants of Deception, review the supporting documentation (including pro-Amway and pro-Quixtar information), and form your own, educated opinion.