Kevin Trudeau Bankruptcy Filing

Serial charlatan Kevin Trudeau is up to his old tricks. Despite being caught by regulators violating consumer protection laws many times… despite being fined and sanctioned multiple times…. despite repeated violations of injunctions and orders….. Kevin Trudeau continuously invents new ways to avoid the long arm of the law.

Kevin Trudeau just filed for bankruptcy protection. And wouldn’t you know it, his lawyers say that the bankruptcy filing means the government can’t enforce an order that he pay a $37 million fine and that sanctions for non-payment cannot occur.

From a previous article about the Kevin Trudeau shenanigans:

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My Spouse Is Hiding Assets In Our Divorce…

One frequently asked question from divorcing individuals is what to do if the spouse is suspected to be hiding assets. I recently outlined the steps that should be taken if a spouse is worried about the other spouse manipulating assets and income: If you think your spouse may be attempting to hide income or assets … Read more My Spouse Is Hiding Assets In Our Divorce…

Dave Ramsey Officially Sucks

dave-ramsey-sucksI have always been a big Dave Ramsey fan, and believed that his financial advice for consumers is first rate. But today Dave Ramsey got it wrong in a big way. On his blog, he published an article about making money in multi-level marketing.

The article failed to acknowledge the fact that over and over again, it has been proven that 99% of people involved in MLMs lose money. Front and center in the article was this lie:

Truthfully, if you have a go-getter personality, and you can follow some basic business and personal etiquette, you can make a lot of money in an MLM. The trick is to avoid all the potential pitfalls along the way.

Truthfully? No, there is no truth in what was said.

Read moreDave Ramsey Officially Sucks

Is Usana Running an Illegal Pyramid Scheme?

usana-health-sciences-chinaAll good multi-level marketing companies have one thing in common: They fail to disclose enough information to allow consumers and regulators to determine if they are in the business of recruiting or selling products. They disclose just enough facts and figures to make it appear that they are being transparent. But they hide enough information that no one could ever determine definitively if they are running pyramid schemes.

MLMs cleverly avoid the pyramid scheme issue by making it impossible to determine the level of retail sales of products to consumers.  The companies effectively use the technique of plausible deniability: They purposely do not track retail sales, so when the business model is challenged with the assertion that few retail sales occur (and therefore they are recruiting schemes), executives can claim that they know no such thing!

Usana Watchdog has released a report on Usana Health Sciences, challenging the company’s failure to reveal meaningful facts and figures that would allow consumers and law enforcement to determine whether the company is running an illegal pyramid scheme.

Read moreIs Usana Running an Illegal Pyramid Scheme?

Scott London’s Other Crime: Tax Fraud

Former KPMG audit Partner Scott I. London brought great shame to the accounting profession this week by being charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud through insider trading. After nearly 30 years with KPMG, London went down in flames after being caught passing insider information on audit clients of the Los Angeles office to his “friend,” Bryan Shaw.

Proving once again that there is no honor among thieves, Shaw got caught first, and then sold out his friend Scott to the Feds.  He helped them get a gorgeous trail of evidence, including phone calls and photographs of the crime.  Both are now charged with insider trading.

Read moreScott London’s Other Crime: Tax Fraud

Timothy Sykes: Millionaire Trading Challenge

I recently joined the Trading Challenge being run by Tim Sykes. I introduced you to Timothy Sykes in 2008 when I reviewed his book An American Hedge Fund. He took about $12,000+ that he got for his Bar Mitzvah, and turned it into $1.65 million as a young high school and college student.

And then he did it all over again… Starting with the same amount in 2008, and growing it again just to prove that he can profit from the stock market without a huge capital base to start.

For several years, Tim has been teaching students how to trade using his core strategy. The strategy involves short selling  penny stock pump and dumps. He finds penny stocks (defined as trading at less than $5 per share) that are worthless at the core. The companies are shams, which generally tout some amazing product or service, but have no revenue, no profits, and often no real operations.

Read moreTimothy Sykes: Millionaire Trading Challenge

Finding Hidden Income and Assets In Family Law Cases

This article was originally printed in the On Balance, the magazine of the Wisconsin Institute of CPAs, March/April 2013.

Divorce and child support cases often are highlighted by disputes over money. One party may be accused of artificially depressing earnings, hiding assets or manipulating the finances to lower the financial obligation to another party. Understanding the complete picture of the finances is necessary before a fair settlement can be reached.

Chicago divorce attorney Jeffrey Knipmeyer, partner at Nottage & Ward, cautions that spouses of individuals hiding income and assets rarely have the financial sophistication to recognize that manipulation is occurring. He adds that during the marriage, they typically have been hands-off, and their only knowledge of the finances depends on what the spouse has communicated.

Read moreFinding Hidden Income and Assets In Family Law Cases