Man on Top is a documentary about multi-level markeing (MLM). It being directed and produced by Paul Mathieu. The film tells the story of MLM and how it has cheated consumers out of billions of dollars with its fake business opportunity:
Man On Top is the story of multi-level marketing, the world’s most notorious business model.
A product of the post-war 1950’s economic boom, the proliferation of these thinly veiled pyramid schemes has enabled companies such as Amway and Herbalife to prey upon the hopes, dreams, and ambitions of millions of unsuspecting citizens, both in the U.S. and worldwide.
These economic cults, disguised as legitimate business opportunities, use coercive psychological tactics to trap the unsuspecting participants into a culture of deceit that promises a false American Dream. The results: empty bank accounts, shattered friendships, and billions of dollars of annual profit for the founders of MLM’s.
The film will feature whistleblowers, industry experts, government regulators, and MLM participants who detail their experiences within the tumultuous, dog-eat-dog business of multi-level marketing.
Our help is needed! Please contribute to the Man on Top Kickstarter campaign here.
It’s been a while since we have looked at the many legal troubles of Jennifer McKinney (aka “MckMama”) and her husband Israel McKinney. In short, Jennifer and her husband have repeatedly stiffed creditors for hundreds of thousands of dollars, losing FOUR houses and having their bankruptcy filing denied after trustee Gene Doeling busted them for lying in their court filings.
This week, the McKinneys lost the fourth house. Marine Credit Union obtained a default judgment against them after they failed to even respond to the lawsuit filed against them for failing to make payments on their house. The bank got a judgment of $334,105 (plus interest) for the house, and $2,528 for attorneys’ fees. The McKinney’s (well, really the bank’s) house at W5441 Innsbruck Road in West Salem, WI will be sold at a sheriff’s auction. Marine Credit Union can pursue the McKinneys for any deficiency (if the sale price of the house does not cover the total that they owe). Continue reading
It’s taken more than five years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to dispose of the frivolous and unethical lawsuit Medifast Inc. (aka Take Shape For Life) and their dishonest attorneys filed against Tracy Coenen and Sequence Inc.
You will recall that I won my anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss, and Medifast appealed, ensuring that the suit would drag on for years. In June 2014, the appeals court affirmed my dismissal and told Medifast to suck it. But of course, Medifast STILL wanted to fight… this time about the attorneys’ fees they were legally obligated to reimburse.
Yesterday the court ordered Medifast to pay nearly $200,000 and never darken my door again:
In accordance with those orders and decisions, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that:
(1) This action is dismissed as to defendants TRACY COENEN and SEQUENCE, INC., and judgment is hereby entered in their favor;
(2) Plaintiffs BRADLEY MACDONALD and MEDIFAST, INC. shall take nothing by way of their First Amended Complaint against defendants TRACY COENEN and SEQUENCE, Inc.; and
(3) Judgment is entered in favor of defendants TRACY COENEN and SEQUENCE, INC., and against plaintiffs BRADLEY MACDONALD and MEDIFAST, INC., jointly and severally, in the amounts of $190,520.50 for attorney’s fees, $7,502.00 for nontaxable costs related to the proceedings in the District Court, and $855.00 for costs in the Ninth Circuit (for a total of $198,877.50).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that plaintiffs, jointly and severally, shall be obligated to pay defendants TRACY COENEN and SEQUENCE, INC. the aforesaid sums, each with interest accruing at the legal rate from the date of entry of judgment until paid in full.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: April 20, 2015
Tracy Coenen on CNBC, talking about business opportunity scams and multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes. Consumers beware! Continue reading
Over the weekend, cracked.com posted an insightful article about the realities of multi-level marketing. Simply put, MLM is the same thing as pyramid scheme. It’s not a business. Almost everyone loses money. The behaviors are cult-like. And you will NOT be successful with MLM, so don’t bother trying to recruit your friends and family.
Author Kathy Benjamin calls pyramid schemes the world’s fastest growing industry, and she is right. You see the evidence all over Facebook. Several of you friends are inviting you to their party, or they’re posting staged before and after pictures and leaving cryptic messages that say “ask me how!” They often will not mention the name of the product they’re pushing, because they know they’ll lose you as a potential victim if you Google the product before they can fill your head with lies about how good the product is. Continue reading
Social media has been exploding over the last year with claims that essential oils have cured all sorts of diseases and illnesses. Obviously, this is a total scam. Even worse, essential oils are being pushed through multi-level marketing (also a scam) with companies such as doTERRA and Young Living.
What is the real story about essential oils and multi-level marketing? As our friend Lazy Man has said: No, Your MLM Health Product Doesn’t “Work.” (This most definitely includes Medifast, Herbalife, Xyngular, Isagenix, Usana, and any other MLM with a “health product.”) Continue reading
Multi-level marketing companies are quick to tout the success of their “million dollar earners.” Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want to make a million dollars?
Except that phrase “million dollar earner” hides the truth:
- What they don’t clearly mention is that this is cumulative earnings over a number of years, typically between 5 and 20 years.
- They also fail to mention that this is gross income, prior to any business expenses. The business expenses in multi-level marketing can get very high, and will include product purchases (in order to stay active and/or meet requirements for certain commission levels), travel, office expenses, training costs, business insurance, supplies, prizes for customers and downlines, venue rental for events, food for events, etc. The expenses can easily equal 40% to 60% of gross income.
This woman says that Primerica Financial Services representatives lie and misrepresent the business opportunity to others in order to get them to join and stay an active part of the plan (even if they’re not making any money).
Hi. My name is Anne and I was a Primerica representative (full time) for about 7 months (from May ’07 to December ’07). I ended up in a multi-level marketing job in Primerica as a young adult.
I like what the company stands for and stuff (as far as helping families with their products), but it’s such a difficult position to be in. A lot of your success is based upon how many people you know. I knew the products backwards and forwards, became a decent sales person, was able to conquer most objections, but because I didn’t have a big warm market to start out with, I sucked.
When I first joined into the company, I was promised that everything was easy and I’d be making as much if not more than I was at my full time steady desk job… so I quit my regular job because at the time when the opportunity was presented to me, it was a “regular” paying job just with very flexible hours. Continue reading
Bill Ackman and Pershing Square produced an educational video about multi-level marketing companies and how and why they are pyramid schemes. Yes, I often hear:
- “Pyramid schemes are illegal!”
- “If XYZ Company was a pyramid scheme, the government would shut them down!”
Yes, pyramid schemes are illegal. No, our government generally doesn’t shut down pyramid schemes masquerading as multi-level marketing. Continue reading
Jennifer McKinney Mugshot
It has been quite a while since I have written about professional con artist Jennifer McKinney, known by some as MckMama from her blogging days. Previously, we have discussed her bankruptcy fraud (debts NOT discharged and forever payable by her thanks to her dishonesty about her income and assets), her repeated lies about paying off her debts, and her shilling for Xyngular (a multi-level marketing program which peddles crappy and possibly dangerous diet supplements).
Despite bragging repeatedly that she makes $30,000 per month with Xyngular, Jennifer Howe Sauls McKinney now has entered a FOURTH foreclosure on a home. Previously she lost three homes to foreclosure :
- 316 W. 2nd Street, Chaska, MN – Purchased 8/30/04 for $210,000; Notice of Foreclosure 12/2/08
- 6016 Beachwood Road, Mound, MN – Purchased 6/30/07 for $465,000; Notice of Foreclosure 2/5/09
- 14464 98th Street, Becker, MN – Purchased 8/28/09 for $485,000; Taken by bank 4/19/11
In the past, MckMama has bragged about how they stopped paying the mortgage and instead “saved” the money to buy another house. No doubt she is doing the same thing this time around. Continue reading