USANA Multi-Level Marketing Activity in China and Hong Kong

usana-health-sciences-chinaGuest Post by USANA Watch Dog

USANA has found a way to possibly expand its multilevel marketing opportunity into every country in the world, including unauthorized regions such as mainland China.

An internal USANA document shows virtually no limit to the number of distributors who can sign up using the same home address as well as the same credit card:

  • With project upgrade complete IT has been able to help this situation with two new enhancements.
  • First, as of January 26th the online enrollment system will not accept any address as a home address if that address has already been used by more than 15 other active associates.

    Read moreUSANA Multi-Level Marketing Activity in China and Hong Kong

Are Herbalife and FHTM Similar?

fhtm-herbalifeWith yesterday’s shutdown of Fortune Hi Tech Marketing, consumers have been asking if Herbalife is a similar operation. Last year Herbalife’s business model was called into question by David Einhorn, and then the company was accused of being a pyramid scheme by Bill Ackman.

Naturally, Herbalife denied being a pyramid scheme. Management has repeatedly said that Herbalife is all about selling products, and that the products are indeed selling, so it couldn’t possibly be a pyramid scheme. But according to this (start at 2:00 mark), no one really knows how much product is being sold to actual consumers. To be clear: Herbalife does not track retail sales.

I previously compared Herbalife and BurnLounge, a company shut down by FTC because it was a pyramid scheme. (BurnLounge is currently appealing, but that is a story for another day.) Today we compare Herbalife and FHTM:

Read moreAre Herbalife and FHTM Similar?

Fortune Hi Tech Marketing Pyramid Scheme Shut Down

Fortune Hi Tech MarketingFortune Hi Tech Marketing (FHTM), a multi-level marketing company I’ve reported on previously (and was interviewed about) was shut down today by the Federal Trade Commission. It is being reported that federal agents raided the company’s Lexington, Kentucky office.

Law enforcement says that 100,000 people across the country were recruited into FHTM, each paying $100 to $300 per year for the right to receive recruiting and sales commissions. A complaint was filed against Fortune HiTech Marketing on Thursday, and the judge issued a temporary restraining order to shut the company down.

Steve Baker, the head of the FTC’s midwest office said “..the plan was set up so that 96% of people lose money.”  He also said:

Read moreFortune Hi Tech Marketing Pyramid Scheme Shut Down

Bankruptcy and Escalades

For some time now, we have been following the Jennifer McKinney bankruptcy trainwreck, in which Jennifer and her husband Israel McKinney were alleged to have falsified information and concealed assets. (In the world of forensic accounting, we call that fraud.) For those new to the site, you can read about the origins of the MckMama fraud, complete with solid proof of the lies.

Today a concerned citizen posted some information about the Cadillac Escalade Jennifer McKinney is now driving. Following a very suspicious car accident in October, MckMama began driving a 2005 Escalade. The citizen retrieved a CarFax report on the Escalade, which showed the vehicle being purchased in January 2012 and registered in Onalaska, WI. The report then showed the vehicle being sold in November 2012, which corresponds to Jennifer’s purchase of it.

Read moreBankruptcy and Escalades

Photography is Not a Crime

Carlos Miller has been a First Amendment Champion for years. He has been unlawfully arrested multiple times for filming and photographing police activity and other happenings in public areas. Marc Randazza alerts us to the latest injustice involving Carlos Miller.

On Sunday night, Carlos Miller was lawfully filming at the Miami-Dade Metrorail, when 50 States security personnel attacked and choked him. The five minute video on Miller’s site, Photography is Not a Crime, shows that he and a friend were minding their own business and shooting some harmless video when they were confronted by security guards.

Read morePhotography is Not a Crime

Anne Coughlan is Wrong on Herbalife

herbalifeAt yesterday’s big Herbalife investor day, the company paraded around Anne T. Coughlan, a marketing professor at Northwestern University, who proudly proclaimed that Herbalife is not a pyramid scheme. No, it is a legitimate multi-level marketing company.

In July, Coughlan published this paper on Herbalife, concluding that Herbalife is squeaky clean. Let’s be clear. Herbalife paid Coughlan to publish this paper. The paper notes:

This document was prepared with the financial and data support of Herbalife
Ltd.

Read moreAnne Coughlan is Wrong on Herbalife

Herbalife Documentary by Herb Greenberg: Selling the American Dream

Herb Greenberg, a stocks commentator for CNBC did a ten-month investigation of multi-level marketing company Herbalife. Its conclusion is this 20 minute documentary, and the timing couldn’t be better. Herbalife has been accused of being a pyramid scheme again, this time by Bill Ackman of Pershing Square. Despite the fact that CEO Michael Johnson claims … Read more Herbalife Documentary by Herb Greenberg: Selling the American Dream

Is Herbalife a Scam?

Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson says he’s never heard anyone refer to HLF as a scam in the last ten years. Funny, but it seems the internet has heard such things. So much that Herbalife distributors write articles and produce videos that attempt to rank well in Google for the search phrase “herbalife scam.” If their pro-Herbalife  information is all that shows up when a potential distributor is searching for the truth about the company, the “negative” side will never be seen.

Thanks for this video, Salty Droid!

Read moreIs Herbalife a Scam?

More on Herbalife, Bill Ackman, and Law Enforcement

As we patiently wait for Herbalife’s “analyst and investor meeting” on January 10 to address the pyramid scheme allegations made by short seller Bill Ackman, there is plenty of good discussion of HLF around the world wide web.

Kid Dynamite said Bill Ackman is wrong about Herbalife, citing that:

  • HLF  is not a pyramid scheme because commissions are paid based on sales of products, not recruitment (Wrong. Commissions are paid largely based on required minimum purchases of products by recruits.)
  • Herbalife has not committed accounting fraud in reporting their product sales. (I’m not so sure about that. The numbers as reported are deliberately and materially misleading.)

    Read moreMore on Herbalife, Bill Ackman, and Law Enforcement