The Price of Free Speech is $200,000

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medifast-lawsuit-check-to-tracy-coenenFree speech is a privilege we enjoy in the United States. But it is anything but free. My personal price for the right to express my opinion about Medifast, Inc. was 5 years of my life and nearly $200,000. (Of course, that doesn’t include the emotional toll that the case took, as Medifast’s malicious pursuit of its meritless case against me was clearly designed to ruin me professionally.)

Case Summary

To summarize Medifast’s bogus case against  the defendants:

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MLM Lawyer Kevin Grimes Pays $1.175 Million to Settle ZeekRewards Claims

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Last year, infamous “MLM Lawyer” Kevin Grimes was sued by the receiver in the Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme case. The gist of the suit was that Grimes knew or should have known that Zeek Rewards “…was perpetrating an unlawful scheme which involved a pyramid scheme, an unregistered investment contract and/or a Ponzi scheme.” The lawsuit alleged that Kevin Grimes and his firm Grimes & Reese PLLC  (that firm is now R&R Law Group, while Grimes has joined the scumbag MLM attorneys at Thompson & Burton) knew that ZeekRewards was perpetrating a Ponzi scheme and provided the company with a bogus “compliance program” meant to make the company look legitimate.

The case has been settled, and Grimes will pay $1.175 to the receiver. Via Patrick Pretty: Continue reading

An Ounce of Prevention

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If you haven’t heard by now, internal fraud is expensive, costing companies an average of 6 percent of revenues each year. Employees are in an excellent position to steal the company blind. Particularly for those in upper management, access to assets is easy to come by.

With an estimated $3.7 trillion stolen annually by employees around the globe, companies should be highly motivated to invest in fraud prevention. Creating and implementing effective policies and procedures is not cheap, but it is far less expensive than exposure to internal fraud.

Companies should develop a comprehensive fraud prevention program that impacts all areas of a company. Such a program has three critical parts: education, investigation and proactive prevention. Continue reading

Lifestyle Analysis in Family Law Cases

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LifestyleAnalysisInDivorceCasesSmallThis article was originally printed in the ABA Section of Family Law eNewsletter, November 2011.

One of the chief concerns in a divorce or child custody case is identifying the true income of one or both of the parties. It is not unusual for such a case to include allegations of hidden income or assets. It is common for a closely held business to suspiciously encounter declining sales and profits following the filing of a family law case.In each of these instances, properly determining the income of the party is critical to getting a fair and equitable settlement, maintenance award, or child support award. Until you have the correct numbers, the attorney may find it very difficult to decide what is fair or in the best interest of the client.
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Man on Top, a Film About Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)

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man on top movieMan 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.

Fraud Prevention on the Cheap

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One common misconception among small business owners is that fraud prevention is expensive. And like anything else in this world, it can be expensive. A company that strives to eliminate virtually all opportunities for fraud by employees can spend a chunk of money doing so.

But it’s not always necessary to spend lots of money on fraud prevention. And it’s not always possible for a small business owner to spend a lot on fraud prevention. Let’s face it… budgets are tight and big new projects aren’t often possible. Continue reading

Areas of Financial Abuse in Divorce

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Tracy Coenen talks about some of the common ways spouses “abuse” financial items during the divorce process. These things include manipulating salary, selling assets to related parties, and more.

Jennifer McKinney Fraud Update

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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