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Herbalife- Crook Review

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In 2019 two Chinese Herbalife executives were indicted. The SEC also sued a former HerbaLife China executive.

Both the criminal and civil cases involved Herbalife’s FCPA violations. Yanliang Li (right) is Herbalife’s China Managing Director.

Hongwei Wang, nicknamed Mary Yang, was Herbalife’s External Affairs Director. in 2019, the DOJ deferred prosecution and fined the firm $122 million. DOJ case summary:   

“Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. (Herbalife), a U.S.-based global nutrition corporation, has agreed to pay $122 million to settle a government inquiry into FCPA offenses (FCPA).   

Herbalife falsified books and records and provided corrupt payments and incentives to Chinese government officials to obtain, keep, and grow its business in China.”   

I wasn’t aware that Li and Wang had been indicted and sued by the SEC. On October 22, 2019, Li and Wang were indicted. 14 November: Unsealing of the indictment. The criminal case docket hasn’t changed. Li and Wang live in China. I believe US authorities still want them. On November 14, 2019, the SEC sued Li.   

Li bribed local, provincial, and national government officials in China from 2006 to 2016 to get direct selling permits and stop government investigations of (Herbalife’s) China Subsidiary’s business activities.   

As (Herbalife’s) China Subsidiary’s Director of Sales in 2006 and 2007, and as its Managing Director from December 2007 until 2016, Li directed a scheme to bribe officials with cash, gifts, travel, meals, and entertainment; falsify expense reports for those payments; and circumvent (Herbalife’s) internal accounting controls to conceal the bribes.   

Li bribed Chinese officials to get licenses and end probes.   

Herbalife’s China subsidiary applied for its first direct selling license in China in late 2006.   

To assist application approval, (Herbalife’s) China Subsidiary bribed government officials at the China Ministry of Commerce (the body responsible for giving direct selling licenses in China) and the China State Administration for Industry and Commerce (another government agency that participated in the licensing process).   

Li and Wang paid bribes.   

In a January 10, 2007 taped phone call, Li asked Wang if Herbalife’s China subsidiary “took care” of a Ministry of Commerce official (“Official 1”).   

We have given the money to [Official 1], haven’t we? ” to which Wang replied, “Of course we have.” “Money affects him favorably.”   

Herbalife’s China Subsidiary bribed Chinese officials to cease government inquiries and to avert or reduce fines. 

In a March 15, 2007 phone call, Li and Wang discussed payments to Jilin authorities.  He said he paid $35,000 to Jilin officials “to develop the connection.” I thought spending money ahead was better than spending it later.   

If we were penalized, the amount would be substantially higher.   

Li and Wang reviewed payments made by China Employee 2 to Zhejiang officials on December 5, 2007 to cease government investigations of China Subsidiary.   

Li informed Wang that he directed China Employee 2 to “address urgent matters.”    Li proceeded to bribe government officials after (Herbalife’s) China subsidiary received its first direct selling license.   

In a recorded phone call on September 8, 2009, Li chatted with a Shaanxi official (“Official 2”).   

Official 2 advised Li that Beijing may have “some difficulties” and China Subsidiary may be fined.   

Official 2 informed Li he didn’t “want to speak too much over the phone,” but he was interested in becoming a “consultant” to China Subsidiary and that this money would help pay for his son’s house.   

Li thanked Official 2 for helping China Subsidiary obtain a license in Shaanxi Province.   

Official 2 promised Li he would visit Beijing’s leadership because “it’s a lifelong friendship.”   

Li allegedly bribed government officials at state-owned media outlets in China to prevent bad media coverage of (Herbalife’s) China Subsidiary.  

In January 2013, “Media Outlet 1” released a critical story regarding (Herbalife’s) China subsidiary.   

In a recorded phone call on April 22, 2013, Wang told Li she ordered Media Outlet 1’s president to remove the bad report.   

(Wang) informed Li, “He’s taken what he should take, eaten what he should eat, drank what he should drink, and utilized what he should use.”   

Li replied, “He should work, right?”   

Wang said Li she asked Media Official 1, “where you’d get money if you ruined us.” Media Official 1 laughed and removed the bad articles.   

Wang did well, said Li.    In 2013, another state-owned media outlet (“Media Outlet 2”) released several unfavorable pieces against China Subsidiary.   

In a recorded phone call on August 28, 2013, China Employee 3 said Li he spoke with Media Outlet 2’s Chief Editor, who “decided to cease publishing after two stories and we’d start negotiating collaboration.”   

When Media Outlet 2’s Chief Editor led him out, China Employee 3 “placed our ‘goodwill’ on the desk,” Li said. He pretended to be blind. No worries.   Li instructed China Employee 3 to obtain positive media coverage before negotiating “partnership.”   

Herbalife first logged bribes as “red envelope” payments. Accounting statements were changed after Wang told Li to “conceal the payments.” Herbalife claims its Chinese subsidiary misled them.   

Herbalife’s IA was told the excessively high EA expenses were necessary to do business in China.   

Li acknowledged compliance difficulties such as phony receipts and falsely assured IA he would discipline and train personnel to improve compliance with China Subsidiary’s regulations.   

In evidence before Commission staff on October 20–21, 2016, Li denied knowledge of any payments to Chinese government officials on behalf of (Herbalife’s) China Subsidiary.   

The SEC served Li in China in 2020 through the Hague Convention. Li didn’t respond to the SEC’s case, so the regulator filed for default judgment in 2021. On June 27th, the SEC acquired a default judgment against Li.

The judge banned Li from further offenses. He was also forced to pay a $550,092 civil penalty. Li quit Herbalife in 2017 amid regulatory probes.

Wang quit or was fired at about the same time.

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Meta Utopia- Crook Review

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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.

“Dear Madam,

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.

Regards, 
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.

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Laetitude- Crook Review

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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.

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GSPartners- Crook Review

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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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