Thompson Burton: Support Company of the Year from Academy of Multilevel Marketing

lolThompson Burton, a law firm providing services to multi-level marketing companies, provides our comic relief today, along with “The Academy of Multilevel Marketing” (TAMM).

The Academy of Multi-Level Marketing is an organization created by MLM industry supporters to make up some awards to give legitimacy to those involved in the grand scam that is called multilevel marketing, direct sales, network marketing, or other clever names (generally used to disguise the fact that these companies are nothing but endless chain recruiting schemes).

The multi-level marketing industry is no stranger to ruses that make it look legitimate. The Direct Selling Association (DSA) that has held itself out as an MLM industry watchdog. In fact, it is essentially a lobbying organization whose job is to convince lawmakers to keep their scams legal. And so it follows that “TAMM” would give out silly awards to those who perpetuate multi-level marketing scams.

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“MLM Lawyer” Sued For Legal Malpractice

MLM Lawyer Kevin Grimes
MLM Lawyer Kevin Grimes

This may be old news to some of you, but I’m finally getting around to writing about it. In June 2014, the receiver in the Zeek Rewards Ponzi scheme case sued the infamous MLM lawyer Kevin Grimes (and his law firm) for legal malpractice, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. The lawsuit initiated by receiver Kenneth Bell names Kevin Grimes and the law firm Grimes & Reese PLLC, and alleges damages of $100 million. (A separate lawsuit against Howard Kaplan also makes similar claims.)

The lawsuit alleges 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.”

Background

The Securities and Exchange Commission sued RVG Venture Group, LLC (dba ZeekRewards) in 2012, alleging that it was a $600 million Ponzi scheme (also called pyramid scheme). Of course, up until that point, participants in the multi-level marketing industry were claiming that ZeekRewards was a legitimate and legal MLM. (That’s what the lawyers said, anyway!) The company was forced into receivership later that year, with the receiver seizing assets to attempt to pay back victims of the scheme.

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