The FTC asserts that the AMG judgment by the Supreme Court has cost consumers a whopping $1.5 billion.
The losses were obtained through a variety of fraudulent techniques, with the FTC being unable to adequately hold scammers accountable due to the AMG decision.
If you are unfamiliar with or need a refresher on the Supreme Court’s AMG decision, the FTC went after payday lending scammers.
The Supreme Court concluded in April 2021 that the Federal Trade Commission could not recover monetary damages under FTC Act rule 13. (b). Monetary remedies are everything the FTC can do to punish con artists severely. Damages, civil fines, disgorgement, restitution, etc.
The regulator had utilized 13 (b) against con artists without incident for forty years. Currently, the FTC’s MLM cases that we are following have become substantially more complex.
Even if they lose an FTC action, fraudsters get away with millions of consumer dollars obtained fraudulently.
FTC Commissioner Kelly Slaughter (yep, that is her real name) and FTC Chair Lina Khan addressed the present post-AMG situation in a statement released on May 31.
When a firm violates the FTC Act, the Supreme Court’s opinion abolishes the Commission’s primary and most effective weapon for seeking monetary remedies. This tool, referred to by its statutory provision as Section 13(b), enabled the FTC to provide billions of dollars in relief — $11.2 billion from 2016 to 2022 — in a wide range of cases, including telemarketing fraud, anticompetitive pharmaceutical practices, data security and privacy, and senior and veteran scams.
The FTC has seen two predictable outcomes in the year since the Court determined that we lack the capacity to seek monetary compensation under Section 13(b): consumers who have been harmed do not receive restitution, and corporate wrongdoers are emboldened. The defendants against whom the FTC prevailed but was unable to administer adequate punishments include:
A fraudulent investment scheme bilked investors out of “at least $137 million.” The FTC won the lawsuit but was only able to recover $2.4 million because they were compelled to negotiate a settlement after losing 13 (b).
A lending institution duped consumers of “almost $1.5 billion.” After losing 13 (b), the FTC was once again compelled to reach a settlement, securing only $18 million for consumer compensation.
The loan firm retains the remainder.
A pharmaceutical corporation deceived consumers to the tune of $493 million by inflating medicine prices.
The FTC filed suit against the corporation. The court refused monetary remedy in accordance with the AMG decision, allowing the business to retain over $500 million in illicit revenues while consumers received no compensation.
And so the cycle continues.
AMG has already cost customers more than $1.5 billion in relief that the agency could have secured under Section 13 (b), and the costs are mounting daily, according to reasonable calculations.
FTC v. Redwood Scientific Technologies is a case in the MLM sector.
Redwood Scientific and its owner, Jason Cardiff, were found guilty on all counts by the FTC. However, due to 13 (b), I was not required to pay any damages or restitution.
In our comments, Cardiff boasts about not having to pay anything back, confirming the FTC’s conclusion that AMG has “emboldened” con artists.
Even though Cardiff lost the case, he considers it a victory because he was not required to pay any damages or reparations.
FTC v. Neora and FTC v. Success by Health are two further MLM cases that have been rendered moot by AMG. Both proceedings are currently ongoing. Not until this month did the FTC pursue a big fraud lawsuit involving multi-level marketing. FTC v. Financial Education Services continues to include 13 (b), but adds a slew of other infractions.
The fact that this is the first substantial FTC lawsuit launched since AMG (nearly $500 million in alleged fraud) does not guarantee that a monetary remedy will be obtained, however.
Commissioner Slaughter says, in reference to the modifications the FTC has had to make in pursuing lawsuits against fraudsters, that “staff throughout the FTC have done an excellent job of pivoting in terms of tools and techniques to mitigate the consequences for consumers.”
Despite these great efforts, our best results are still diminished justice and delayed justice. Typically, the scope of relief offered by our other tools is substantially smaller.
Section 19 of the FTC Act is an alternate method employed by the FTC. Due to the time required to investigate a consumer complaint and file a lawsuit, the statute of limitations governing Section 19 has typically expired by the time the lawsuit is filed.
This restriction has particularly severe repercussions for consumers who are early victims of illegal activity; frequently, their complaints trigger an investigation, but they are denied relief.
From the sense of consumer protection, that is absurd.
Time is required for longer-term enforcement methods such as mailing penalty offense warnings to businesses and regulatory actions. As has been well-documented, continuing through our administrative procedure can add years to the delay for returning ill-gotten assets to consumers compared to our prior federal court process, and is subject to Section 19’s shortened statute of limitations.
Lastly, the FTC has no other options for monetary redress or disgorgement of ill-gotten earnings in cases of anticompetitive behavior.
The FTC has placed its faith in Congress to act pending the result of test cases such as FTC v. Financial Education Services, at least for the MLM industry (I don’t really follow FTC cases outside of MLM).
It is critical that Congress revise Section 13(b) as soon as possible to clarify what has been well-established, black-letter law for over four decades: that when firms or individuals violate laws enforced by the Commission, the agency can receive fair monetary compensation under Section 13(b) (b).
“We were happy that the House of Representatives enacted a bill that would do exactly that last summer. We urge the Senate to take up and swiftly adopt this legislation.”
Senator Cantwell sponsored the Consumer Protection Remedies Act of 2022 on May 4, 2022. The measure has been referred to the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
On May 11th, the Committee “directed that [the bill] be reported favorably with an amendment.”
I am not very familiar with each stage of bill legislation in the United States. From the bill’s page on the Congress website, it is evident that it is still in its infancy.
The Consumer Protection Remedies Act of 2022, if ultimately enacted, will reinstate the FTC’s earlier remedies via 13 (b).
If not, I suppose MLM fraud regulation in the United States dies? Fortunately, none of this has any bearing on SEC and CFTC prosecutions involving securities fraud. For pyramid schemes, though, the outlook is potentially gloomy.
Meta Utopia- Crook Review
A few days ago, we put out its review of Meta Utopia.
“Metaverse” MLM crypto Ponzi scheme that isn’t very interesting on its own.
As part of our research, we found a link between Nicholas Coppola and the man who started the Ponzi scheme.
Or rather, he did it through an Instagram story that has since been deleted:
Coppola wasn’t happy about being linked to Meta Utopia in public, it turns out. He only wants to hide the fact that he is a crypto-bro Ponzi scammer.
Today, Nicholas Coppola joins the DMCA Wall of Shame.
Over the past 24 hours, “Dincer Odabasi” from “Copyright Support” has sent us two emails. Nicholas Coppola’s emails were sent on his behalf.
Copyright Support says on its poorly made website that it will
Negative or damaging news that can be found on the Internet and in Google search results should be taken down for good.
In his first email, Odabasi tries to pull the old “right to be forgotten” scam.
Because of the right to be forgotten and because of the privacy clause, we want the content to be blocked.
We tried to get in touch with the website that posted the content, but we didn’t hear back. So, we give you the content and ask you to turn it off.
As everyone knows, according to the first paragraph of Article 9 of Law No. 5651 on the Regulation of Broadcasts Made on the Internet and Combating Crimes Committed Through These Broadcasts, if they can’t get to it, they can send a warning to the hosting provider and ask that the content be taken down.
Again, the second paragraph of the same article says that “the content and/or hosting provider must respond to requests from people who say their personal rights have been violated by the content of an online broadcast within twenty-four hours at the latest.”
We want the case that was filed on our behalf to be taken care of. Because of the European right to be forgotten and the privacy of private life, we have the right to limit access to content.
Please note that we’re asking you to take down the content because we’ve tried to reach the owner but haven’t heard back. That’s why we want and need you to take it down.”
This is a form letter that con artists send out. I know that because Odabasi put the same notice to Amazon from another email about a different website and client (ruhroh GDPR fail) into the body of the email he sent me.
In any case, the “Right to be Forgotten” law in Europe is used by scammers to hide their pasts, no matter how good the lawmakers’ intentions may have been at first.
The Right to be Forgotten is not part of EU law, so we don’t recognise it. Also, it takes four days from the date of publication until a right-to-be-forgotten takedown notice is sent.
Odabasi went on to say that Turkish law had something to do with the US, which was not true.
Due to the Right to be Forgotten and the USA Legal Content Removal Request Pursuant to Law No. 5651, we can’t take down the content we told you about because it’s in the Constitution.
“The Right to be Forgotten and the USA Legal Content Removal Request” is not a thing, even if that sentence makes no sense. It’s not true at all.
Turkey passed Law No. 5651 in the year 2020. It only happens in Turkey and has nothing to do with the United States.
Odabasi sent another email a few hours after the first one. This time, he threatened to take action because of copyright issues.
“We want you to remove any content that reveals personal information about our representative.
If you don’t get rid of the news content, we will file a copyright claim with your hosting company, Google.
I’d like you to put the story away, please.
TEAM OF SUPPORT FOR COPYRIGHT”
As our Policy says, we often use “third-party logos and images,” which is allowed by US copyright law through “fair use.”
We don’t need permission from the people who own the rights to the images we use in our MLM news and reviews. Period.
The DMCA takedown process is being abused when fair use isn’t taken into account and a fake DMCA is filed. Not only will it not work, but the person who submitted it is lying.
Even though it’s clear that Copyright Support doesn’t care about the law, it’s still important to point out their hypocrisy.
Scam businesses like Copyright Support depend on the fact that the publisher or service provider they are after doesn’t know what they are doing.
Nicholas Coppola has publicly linked himself to Meta Utopia and is involved enough to be close to the Ponzi scheme’s founder, who has not yet been named.
It is not against any US law to publish this information with proof attached.
Update, July 2, 2022: Dincer Odabasi is now committing twice as much DMCA fraud as he was before.
Odabasi sent Google a “court order” on June 28 that says the same thing: “It’s against the law to search for scammers!” Stupid, but it also says this:
Based on the privacy clause of private life and the court document we will send you, we want the content to be taken down from publication and blocked from access.”
Odabasi is saying that a Turkish law is a “court document” that keeps scammers from telling the rest of the world. Oh dear.
Laetitude- Crook Review
Investors such as Laetitutde and Swapoo are circumspect on issues affecting investor wallets and active investments.
According to a Latitude News report dated August 13th, You have gotten one or two emails from Swapoo in the past several days, which also affects our Laetitude members.
Due to the continued strong relationship between Swapoo and Laetitude, we can guarantee that these changes will not affect your Laetitude accounts. Latitude will continue to operate as usual.
The alterations made by Swapoo will have an effect on the wallet and the bots. However, we are aware that wherever there are obstacles and closed doors, new doors will emerge to provide opportunities for greater success.
Swapoo is merely adjusting to the ever-changing regulatory environment and market situations.
The details of the e-mails sent are kept confidential. I have not encountered any examples in nature.
Regarding “evolving regulatory landscapes,” Laetitude is a Ponzi scheme operated by Swapoo.
David El Dib operates Laetitude from Dubai, the center of MLM fraud. Swapoo is run by Dave Martin, who is from the Philippines.El Dib and Martin have both established themselves on the BitClub Network.
The investigation by the Department of Justice found BitClub Network to be a $722 million Ponzi scheme. The founders of BitClub Network were arrested in 2019.
El Dib and Martin commit securities fraud and operate their own Ponzi scheme through Laetitude and Swapoo. The regulation of securities is not novel. For decades, every nation with a financial market has regulated securities fraud.
The Ponzi fraud announced a remedy for lost Swapoo wallets in a follow-up “Laetitude News” post dated August 26;
As you are likely aware, Laetitude no longer utilizes Swapoo for secure wallet services. As a result, we have recently implemented the ability to fund, purchase, and withdraw directly within Laetitude.
In light of this, we would like to encourage you to login and withdraw your balance as soon as possible, and to continue withdrawing your balance as your compensation earnings increase.
Laetitude lacks the two-factor authentication security offered by Swapoo, so it is essential that you protect your account with a formidable password. Again, what is occurring behind the scenes is kept secret.
The only clue I could locate was a query posted two weeks ago on Swapoo’s most recent Instagram post.
Swapoo has not published any new social media updates since July 30. This date also marked the last Facebook update posted by Laetitude.
The lack of visitors to both Laetitude and Swapoo suggests that the Ponzi scheme is running out of money to pay investment withdrawals.
The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission is one of the most active securities regulators worldwide.
It is unclear whether they have anything to do with Swapoo’s issues.
Whatever else is occurring, it is rare for wallets to be abruptly shut off and placed up as unsecured in-house assets.
Keep up to date on any future developments.
GSPartners- Crook Review
GSPartners has dropped its claim of harassment against Chris Saunders. Saunders is the owner and operator of the YouTube channel Grit Grind Gold, which he uses to critique and report on the GSPartners Ponzi scheme.
In late January 2021, Saunders was sued for harassment by owner Josip Heit and promoters Michael Dalcoe and Antonio (Tony) Euclides Menesis De Gouveia.
Heit and the GSPartners Plaintiffs alleged that Sunders’ videos about the Ponzi scheme were defamatory.
Additionally, Heit took offense when Saunders pointed out his position in Karatbars International’s collapsed KBC Ponzi scheme.
GSB Gold Standard Corporation AG, Josip Heit, Michael Dalcoe, and Tony De Gouveia submitted a dismissal stipulation on July 29.
Christopher Saunders, the defendant, executed a declaration in connection with the aforementioned case on July 29, 2022.
Plaintiffs GSB Gold Standard Corporation AG, Josip Heit, Antonio Euclides Menesis De Gouveia, and Michael Dalcoe, by counsel and with the signature and agreement of counsel for Defendant Christopher Saunders, stipulate to the dismissal without prejudice of all claims in this matter pursuant to the Saunders’ Declaration.
The aforementioned stipulation from Saunders proves that he was granted permission.
Mr. Ovidu Toma in relation to the Plaintiffs’ assertions and declarations. Since January 2020, Mr. Ovidu Toma has provided me with evidence of Mr. Harald Seiz’s alleged involvement in Karatbars’ wrongful conduct.
“Ovidu Toma” refers to Ovidiu Toma, the former Chief Technology Officer of Karatbars International.
Today, Toma serves as the CEO of CryptoData. Romania-based CryptoData sells encryption hardware.
To return to Saunder’s assertion: I was aware, based on first-hand knowledge of facts and documents, that any alleged wrongdoing committed by Karatbars in relation to its Miami crypto bank and the issuance of KBC/KBC tokens was committed by Karatbars’ CEO, Mr. Harald Seiz, and that said wrongdoing was committed prior to any affiliation between Karatbars and GSB/Mr. Heit.
This is an odd concession to provide. Heit was the public face of Karatbars’ initial excursion into crypto-asset fraud. In an April 2019 interview, Seiz is referred to as a “major investor and board member” of Karatbars International. In Dubai, Karatbars was selling a “blockchain phone” at the time. When challenged about his remarks on the occasion, he responded, and I quote, ” You mentioned the KBC coin.
You stated that it is probable that it is one kilogram of gold. Is this truly a possibility? Heit reacted. Yes, of course it’s feasible. Nobody believes that many individuals perceive, at the appropriate moment, that they can join us.
We currently have a market valuation of approximately $300 million as of the previous week or two weeks. And now there are about a billion of us.
Is it not yet understood?
And when the mainnet is implemented, which will occur very soon, within a few months we will have a market capitalization of over $200 billion. After months of Heit and Seiz promoting Karatbars’ KBC, the KBC Ponzi coin dropped 62% following the hype event on July 4, 2019.
Heit, not Harald Seiz, was sent to address and explain the collapse to irate investors. KBC continued to leak throughout the subsequent months until it was eventually abandoned.
Heit had cashed out, left Karatbars, and launched his own Ponzi offshoot, GSPartners, before the end of 2019. The GSPartners Ponzi coins have performed no better than those of KBC.
G999 is supported by wash trading, which I believe is steadily depleting GSPartners’ second Ponzi scheme, LYS. G999 is being washed at approximately 0.002413. At $66.78, LYS continues to drain.
GEUR was launched earlier this month as a result of the continuous failure of G999 and LYS to take off. GSPartners and Heit symbolize the euro-pegged GEUR currency. It is thought that GEUR was developed because GSPartners investors no longer desired to hold G999 and LYS.
GEUR does not exist outside of GSPartners as of the publication date. GSPartners uses GEUR to support its most recent 300% ROI Ponzi scheme, metaverse certificates.
In the event that GSPartners and Saunders achieved a settlement, it has not been made public. Other than wrongly saying that Heit was not involved in the Karatbars KBC scam, Saunders has not recanted any of his GSPartners-related statements.
The court authorized the GSPartners plaintiff’s Stipulation of Dismissal on August 2nd. This concludes GSPartner’s harassment lawsuit against Saunders.
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