Medifast and Take Shape For Life: Appeals, Pyramid Schemes, Truth, and Lies

Yesterday my attorneys filed my response to the appeal in the lawsuit brought against me by Medifast, Inc. for my non-defamatory writings about the company and its Take Shape For Life multi-level marketing business. Medifast sued me on February 17, 2010, lied repeatedly to the court about my writings leading up to the lawsuit, and ultimately the judge dismissed me from the lawsuit on March 29, 2011.

You can read an important filing related to our anti-SLAPP motion here, which details what did and did not happen prior to the lawsuit. Medifast is appealing my dismissal from the lawsuit. Below is our response to Medifast’s appeal, and a pdf of the filing is found here.

My favorite quote from the brief: “Medifast claims that Coenen published false information, but it is Medifast that continues to make false accusations against Coenen.”

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Sam Antar on Green Mountain: Inventory Changes Signal Trouble

Sam Antar Crazy Eddie CFOSam Antar, former CFO of Crazy Eddie, a massive fraud in the 1980s, has been following Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) for a long time. He has pointed out red flags of fraud over and over, and the current problem is with the level of inventory. Sam has noted that the inventory of Green Mountain has grown to “toxic levels,” even when the company was beating revenue and earnings targets.

Here’s a recent interview in which Sam details the inventory issue at Green Mountain, along with a few other criticisms of management.

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On Becoming a Big 4 Audit Partner

This was left as a comment to an article here, but I didn’t want it to get lost in the shuffle. It gives good insight on becoming a partner at a Big Four firm.

I joined PwC as a director, with explicit expectations that I’d have a leadership role building a new consulting practice. Along with that, I was told I could make a run at partner if my sales numbers were good. Even when the leadership role and the new practice never materialized, I had great numbers and terrific reviews.

After over a year of solid performance and high praise, I found out only by chance that the partnership isn’t an option for me because of my age. Of course this came as a shock. When I asked about my only other option for advancement, the Managing Director role, a partner told me it has similar revenue targets as the partnership but with greater risks.

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Dooce Will Sue You

Ever since Get Off My Internets (GOMI) scooped Heather Armstrong (the blogger known as Dooce) on her trial separation / divorce news, (announcing it January 4th, Dooce announced it on January 17th,) Heather has been looking for a chance for payback. She delivered big with the threat of a lawsuit.

On April 26, 2012, GOMI posted an article regarding a tip received about Armstrong. The article stated that the author received a tip that Dooce was not on the announced “blog break,” but instead was in Los Angeles filming a video for YouTube.

The article noted that the information came from a “source,” and that if it was true, the author thought Heather was being manipulative when she said she was taking a break on April 17. In fairness, Dooce never defined what a “break” meant to her, so we don’t know if taking a break from blogging but still participating in work activities qualifies as a break.  Nonetheless, GOMI gave their opinion that the (alleged) acts seemed manipulative:

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A New Look at Herbalife

Yesterday the stock of Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) dropped 20 percent when David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital began asking questions during the company’s earnings call. Herbalife is a multi-level marketing company which sells vitamins. The company describes itself:

We pursue our mission of “changing people’s lives” by providing a financially rewarding business opportunity to distributors and quality products to distributors and customers who seek a healthy lifestyle. We are one of the largest network marketing companies in the world with net sales of approximately $3.5 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011. As of December 31, 2011, we sold our products in 79 countries through a network of approximately 2.7 million independent distributors.

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