Deception About the History of Medifast and Take Shape For Life

Standard

UPDATE: On February 17, 2010, Medifast Inc. filed suit in US District Court, Southern District of California, alleging defamation, violation of California Corporations Code, and unfair business practices. On March 29, 2011, Judge Janis Sammartino dismissed all of Medifast’s claims against me in her ruling on my anti-SLAPP motion.

Robert FitzPatrick filed an absolutely riveting anti-SLAPP motion in the case brought against us by Medifast Inc. (NYSE:MED) and its Take Shape For Life (TSFL) multi-level marketing division. Below is probably the most interesting part of the filing. It discusses at lengthy the shady past of the company, efforts to improperly conceal the prior bad acts, and current dishonesty about Medifast and TSFL. It seems that lying to the court has become routine for Medifast.

Proof that Medifast’s Complaint should be viewed as a SLAPP suit arises out of Plaintiffs’ false, self-serving and misleading allegations, devoid of any facts, as well as Plaintiffs’ fraudulent concealment of relevant facts that show what kind of history Medifast and its predecessor companies carry with them, but do not disclose to the public or its stockholders despite orders to do so by the FTC. Continue reading

Atlanta Newspaper Examines MLM Scheme Stream Energy / Ignite

Standard

By Robert FitzPatrick of Pyramid Scheme Alert

In a feature report, a major metropolitan newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, examined the MLM scheme, Stream Energy/Ignite, focusing on the question of whether the company is operating a disguised pyramid scheme. Stream is a reseller of utility services, gas and electricity, and operates in several states. Ignite is the multi-level marketing  sales division.   Continue reading

FTC Staff Take Further Measures to Protect MLMs, Making Consumers Easy Prey for False “Business Opportunity” Solicitations

Standard

From Pyramid Scheme Alert newsletter, by Robert FitzPatrick

The largest of all multi-level marketing companies, Amway, just agreed to pay $150 million in restitution and reform to settle consumer charges of fraud. The heart of the consumers’ complaints is that Amway uses false information to trick consumers into investing in its “business opportunity.” Among other reforms, Amway has agreed to change its “disclosure” of income averages. A similar lawsuit has been filed in Canada.

A front page story, USA Today on Oct. 15, 2010, entitled, “Fortune Hi-Tech: American dream or pyramid scheme?” documents widespread claims of deception, involving tens of thousands of US consumers, leveled against one of the newer and fastest growing MLMs. The MLM scheme has been prosecuted in two states and is under investigation by seven others states, according to the article. Misleading “disclosures” are at the heart of the charges and negative publicity. Continue reading

The Fun Continues in the Medifast Litigation

Standard
Lainie E. Cohen, Esq.

Lainie E. Cohen, Esq. arriving for my deposition (click to see full size)

UPDATE: On February 17, 2010, Medifast Inc. filed suit in US District Court, Southern District of California, alleging defamation, violation of California Corporations Code, and unfair business practices. On March 29, 2011, Judge Janis Sammartino dismissed all of Medifast’s claims against me in her ruling on my anti-SLAPP motion.

For nearly two years, Medifast (NYSE:MED) and its lawyers have known that I am not an appropriate target for a lawsuit. Nonetheless, they have pursued their malicious civil suit against me. Since the suit was filed, Medifast has been made aware of all the reasons why they shouldn’t be suing me:

  • I never said anything false about the company
  • I’m not aware of anything false that my co-defendants said, and which I later reprinted on this blog (and reprinting the writings of others does not make me responsible for those writings)
  • Every bit of evidence produced during discovery shows that I was not part of any conspiracy, and that I actually went out of my way to make sure that false statements or assumptions weren’t made or published about Medifast

But why let a little thing like the truth get in the way? Continue reading

Medifast is Abusing the Legal System to Punish Critics of Take Shape For Life

Standard

Medifast General Counsel Michael Tanczyn, Esq. at the deposition of Sam Antar. (click to enlarge)

UPDATE: On February 17, 2010, Medifast Inc. filed suit in US District Court, Southern District of California, alleging defamation, violation of California Corporations Code, and unfair business practices. On March 29, 2011, Judge Janis Sammartino dismissed all of Medifast’s claims against me in her ruling on my anti-SLAPP motion.

Earlier this year, Medifast (NYSE: MED) filed a $270 million lawsuit against Barry Minkow, me, and several other defendants for what it has alleged are false statements and a conspiracy to damage the stock price of the company. This lawsuit is nothing more than the typical big company suing a critic to shut her up. Medifast has far more resources than any of the defendants, and the company was hoping that by suing us, we’d shut up about the company’s multi-level marketing division Take Shape For Life (TSFL). Continue reading

Medifast Lawsuit: Anti-SLAPP Motions Filed

Standard

UPDATE: On February 17, 2010, Medifast Inc. filed suit in US District Court, Southern District of California, alleging defamation, violation of California Corporations Code, and unfair business practices. On March 29, 2011, Judge Janis Sammartino dismissed all of Medifast’s claims against me in her ruling on my anti-SLAPP motion.

Anti-SLAPP motions have been filed in the Medifast lawsuit by me and by my co-defendant, Robert FitzPatrick. My motion can be read in its entirety here, and Fitzpatrick’s can be read here.

SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.  It’s basically when a big company tries to shut up a little guy with expensive litigation. In my opinion, Medifast sued me and others in an attempt to get us to stop publicly analyzing or criticizing the company and it’s multi-level marketing business model. Continue reading

Marketing Fraud: Why Multi-Level Marketing Pyramids and Financial Ponzis are Ignored By Law Enforcement

Standard

pyramidDear Colleagues, Consumers and Pyramid Scheme Alert Supporters,

A new essay recently posted on the False Profits Blog addresses a question many of you  have raised.

Why are multi-level marketing pyramids and financial ponzis able to ensnare so many people today? What is the power behind this Main Street epidemic?

This question goes beyond the lack of law enforcement, the failure of the FTC and SEC, or the difficulty of grasping “exponential expansion.” Continue reading

Medifast Multi-Level Marketing Scheme Called Into Question By Expert

Standard

tsfl_logo_header
UPDATE: On February 17, 2010, Medifast Inc. filed suit in US District Court, Southern District of California, alleging defamation, violation of California Corporations Code, and unfair business practices. On March 29, 2011, Judge Janis Sammartino dismissed all of Medifast’s claims against me in her ruling on my anti-SLAPP motion.

Robert FitzPatrick, a multi-level marketing expert known around the world for his analysis of the business model, has released a report on Medifast Inc. (NYSE:MED) and its Take Shape For Life division. TSFL is the multi-level marketing arm of the weight loss company, and is the force behind the company’s overall increase in revenue.

FitzPatrick writes: Continue reading

Searching for Shop to Earn Scam

Standard

There are still plenty of people searching for “Shop to Earn scam,” ShopToEarn fraud, “is Shop to Earn legitimate,” Shop To Earth scam, and the like. The company has, for the most part, avoided negative commentary on the internet.

It seems important, therefore, to go over some of the finer points of this newer multi-level marketing (MLM) company that is being promoted as the next big thing. Let’s review… Continue reading

Twin Pyramids: An Analysis of Distinctions and Points of Similarity between Usana Health Sciences and BurnLounge, Inc.

Standard

Introduction
Behind Different Masks, the Same Face

Two companies, BurnLounge Inc.(1) and Usana Health Sciences, are in the spotlight of federal regulators, investors, fraud investigators and business journalists. The fundamental legitimacy of each company is in question. Both are being called calculated and sophisticated frauds. Tens of thousands of consumers are wondering if they have been duped by these schemes.

  • Federal regulatory agencies have announced investigations or prosecutions of both companies. The United Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) announced an informal investigation of Usana. Burnlounge is being prosecuted by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for unfair and deceptive trade practices. Continue reading