Earlier today I reported that I had been threatened by Gerald Nehra, attorney for multi-level marketing company ShopToEarn for writing about my opinions on the company here. I am not the first blogger that he and Shop To Earn have threatened, and the threats continue.

The blogger writing Everyday Finance has been threatened more than once by Gerry Nehra because he posted his personal review of Shop To Earn and the ShopToEarth program. He had some concerns about the program, the Shop To Earth products, how commissions are paid out, and the MLM structure. I quoted from his analysis here. He found some positives and negatives with the program.

More threats have been issued to this blogger, so he now has this posted on his blog:

Scam? I am not classifying STE a scam, but here’s a review and my personal experience, which may help you in determining if this is a company you want to be involved with.

Legal Threats:

Unfortunately, my original post from several weeks ago, which had a balanced, yet critical review of the business process, had to be taken down due to the threatening emails sent to me by the legal counsel of Shop To Earn. Until I investigate my rights/risks further, I have removed parts of the post as of July 14, 2008 to comply with the uncompromising, bullying (in my opinion) behavior of this company. Readers had benefited from the important information displayed, but I really don’t have the time or energy for a prolonged legal battle to defend my free speech. Fortunately, I have an LLC firewall between this attorney and my personal assets, but I really don’t want to spend the time, nor would I like to lose the blog, over this issue unless I have further assurances from my legal inputs, so for now, here’s the abridged version that, for any reasonable individual, has nothing that could invite legal action for OPINIONS:

I certainly understand the blogger’s concerns. Unfortunately, this is the exact results that companies like Shop To Earn and attorneys like Gerald Nehra want. They know full well that people in the United States have the legal right to voice their opinions. Yet they don’t want the public to hear those opinions or the arguments supporting these negative opinions.

They know that if they make threats, most bloggers will remove the negative comments. Even if a blogger is following the law, the possibility of an expensive legal battle is frightening, so most acquiesce to the unreasonable and unfair demands of the attorneys.

It seems that the more companies like ShopToEarn try to silence critics, the more reason there is to believe that they have something to hide.  Why else would they be so intent on stopping people from voicing negative opinions about the program?


  1. Michael Goode 07/15/2008 at 6:31 am - Reply

    It appears that like most people, the blogger at Everyday Finance does not understand the limited liability shield of an LLC or corporation. If the blogger has his blog in an LLC, that offers no protection whatsoever, because his or her own actions are at question. The LLC would only shield that blogger from nonrecourse debt or the actions of employees.

    If the blogger has his/her assets in the LLC and blogs as an individual, the assets could still be seized in the case of the blogger losing a defamation lawsuit. I am not a lawyer, but I have talked with a few over these issues.

    That being said, I do not think the Everyday Finance blogger has a need to worry. In my non-lawyerly opinion, nothing that blogger has said even approaches defamation.

  2. GD 07/16/2008 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    This guy is a career MLM shill. A snip of his work:

    “”What percentage of sales to non-representatives do I need to be legal?” You do not want to ask the question, and you do not want it answered for you by government agencies.”


  3. Pedro Menard 07/16/2008 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I’m almost tempted to hire Mr. Nehra to prosecute a handfull of million-dollar budjet, multinational MLM companies, because the things he estates in this article (as in others he has written) are the ones that demostrate they are illegal, if (big IF here) taken into account seriously and propperly addressed by the authorities (regulatory agencies, like FTC).

    However, there are serious flaws in his logic, one being the complete lack of information about actual retail sales done by distribuitors, as companies do their very best NOT to register them (and that would put an end to A1), and other being the rewarding of downline purchases rather than downline sales (and that would put an end to C2). No MLM company pays comissions based on actual sales. C’mom, M. Nehra, who are you trying to fool here?

    Finally, I should point out that Mr. Nehra’s saying that the non compliance with this basic set of rules will lead to a “dis-allowece to continue long-term activity in the United States or Canada” (presumably because of the prompt actions of regulatory agencies – haha) doesn’t make it so!

    How many companies brake this rules and remains untouched for years (and for decades)?

    I wonder who else, besides Shop to Earn (or Earn to Shop), is a client os his…

    Best Regards.

  4. […] And I’ve been down this road before with a company called Shop To Earn. They were trying to scare bloggers into not writing about their opinions and criticisms of the company, even when they had no legal basis for doing so. (No, I’m not a lawyer and I […]

  5. […] know exactly what window dressing they need to appear to be legitimate. There are even attorneys (clowns?) who make their livings teaching MLMs how to make it appear that they are not violating laws […]

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