Tag Archive: auction

Pacific Webworks Goes Quietly

Pacific Webworks Sold

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Pacific WebWorks Sale Approved

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved Pacific WebWorks motion authorizing the sale of Debtor’s intellipay subsidiary free and clear of liens, claims, encumbrances and interests.

The order states, “The Debtor conducted an auction consistent with the procedures described in the Motion on April 20, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. (the Auction). The highest and best bid submitted at the Auction was by Convenient Payments, in the amount of $140,000. The second highest and best bid submitted at the Auction was by Otterstrom in the amount of $130,000.”

Look what happens when fraudulent business practices are used and sound advice ignored.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=PWEB

PWW Share Price Feb 2016

PWW Share Price Feb 2016

Look at what once was…

PWW 5yr share history

PWW 5yr share history

Back in September 2009, Pacific Webworks was proudly announcing $21.4 million in gross profits.  Shares were over 30 cents.
http://www.pcworld.com/article/184003/article.html

Now the business is sold, share price less than a cent.

Karmic Retribution Ignored?

But PWW were warned, not least in these pages.

Along with Jesse Willms they ignored the dire warnings about improper business practices.  Willms even threatened me with his lawyers to shut up.

In the end, they were both just too bad, too visibly illegal, too hurtfully immoral in their ways that even the glacially slow process of real justice finally caught up with them – PWW couldn’t take the hit from a Google lawsuit, Willms couldn’t take the hit from the Feds, though he still continues in business without his old fanfares of self-publicity and his websites are notable for their lack of detail what he actually does anymore.

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Victory! Or is it Victory? Jesse Willms Surrenders All to FTC Onslaught.

Jesse Willms Folds Following Consumer-Led Pressure on FTC and Other Law Agencies

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...Willms et al to Pay $359,291,898

Jesse Willms, (the Canadian who set the legal dogs, financed by his scamduggery, onto me, for telling the truth about him on this website), has finally caved in to the FTC charges.  This is the full FTC judgement.

This is a  victory of sorts for the millions who have been scammed by him over the last few years.  However, what has actually happened has been a kind of plea bargaining, much favoured in the US. (Here’s his home-town take on it.)

Rotten Bad Smell

Hunstville 0, Willms 1

Instead of being stripped completely of his ill-gotten gains and being chucked in the slammer for a few years, he has reached a settlement whereby no admission of guilt has been made!

This is exactly what I suggested would happen, because the self-proclaimed philanthropist Jesse will do anything, absolutely anything, to stay in business.

To me this isn’t true victory.

The Return of Fu Manchu

He’s not been punished by the law which explains the lingering smell I have, possibly due to his key lawyers having previously worked at the FTC.  Maybe it is the old boy network?  Whatever.

The millions (yes, millions the FTC say) of people scammed may be temporarily amazed at the $359-million judgement, but seeing as how the original complaint was for over $450m they’ll soon realise that he’s got off with $100m!  However it’s worded, Willms has weaselled out of any admission of guilt, which means he’s still in business.

What cunning plans could now be afoot, with $100m to back them up, they’ll wonder?  It’s like The Return of Fu Manchu.

Almost 4 Million Questions

jessewillms.com-2012-02-24-12h-20m-30s

Willms’ Blog Release – notice how he promotes the $25k ‘gift’, but not his $359m settlement?

Like me, the millions scammed by him will be questioning how he isn’t, right now, being butt-plugged in Huntsville, instead of having 7 days to calmly surrender his bank accounts to prove that he can stump up the $359m negotiated, meanwhile making gratuitous comments about better business practices in future whilst still singing the praises of his $1000 philanthropic gestures.

  • True, Willms et al have to hand over all their money and have promised as much under sufferance of perjury.
  • True, they all have to notify the FTC of their whereabouts for the next 20 years and all their business proceeds.  They have to keep compliance records for 5 years.
  • True, Willms must tell the FTC his jobs, phone numbers, businesses in which he’s involved etc
  • True, Willms et al have 180 days to hand over all details of all their businesses and contacts within those businesses.
  • True, Willms for the next five years must give a copy of the FTC order (the pdf attached) to each person he does business with and that they have 30 days to sign and return it to the FTC.

True for all of that, but, Willms can still do business and who knows if any of his victims will get recompensed.  A lot of the order’s wording is to ensure that the US & Canadian Inland Revenue get their taxes from Willms et al for the last three years.  What about the little people?

This article guesses that victims won’t see any of the cash.  My guess is that only those people that actually complained to the FTC will get cash, which is why it’s so important to complain, as I’ve suggested for years.

The Return of Fu Manchu

This article thinks that he’s had to hand over everything (though I can’t see how they justify that, given what we know about business secrecy in Nicosia, Cyprus), yet it also points out that the bans that Willms has had to acquiesce to only apply to the USA!  That is, there’s nothing at all saying Willms can’t set up anywhere else, like Korea say, and hammer the world from there!

MSNBC opinionate that Jesse Willms will need to look for a new line of work…..

I, of course, beg to differ, because:

  • He settled with Microsoft, yet carried on trading as usual.
  • He settled with Symantech, yet carried on trading as usual.
  • He settled with Oprah Winfrey, yet carried on trading as usual.
  • He settled with Dr Oz, yet carried on trading as usual.
  • He settled with Google yet carried on trading as usual.
  • Now he has settled with the FTC. I’d be amazed (yet obviously pleased) if he changed the patterns of a lifetime. Only time will tell.

On top of this, Willms himself states on his blog entry (see screenshot above);

We are working to resolve issues relating to past marketing practices for products that our company no longer sells. Through this process, we have taken steps to assure(sic) that our business practices are in full compliance with the law. We are excited by the opportunity to continue giving customers access to a variety of products and services at significant savings. – n.b.  the emphasis is mine.

…..which looks to me that it’s more web business, not a change in business type.

It’s a victory, but not the one the whole world wants.  It all leaves a bad, lingering, smell…..

 Affected Businesses

Apart from Willms, Sechrist and others, the business entities that we’ve come across in our investigations here, are all in the judgement.  It writes that “Corporate Defendants” means:

  • 1021018 Alberta Ltd, also d..b.a. Just Think Media, Credit Report America, Wulongsource, and Wuyi Source;
  • 1016363 Alberta Ltd also d.b.a. eDirect Software;
  • 1524948 Alberta Ltd, also d.b.a. Terra Marketing Group, Swipe.Bids.com, and SwipeAuctions.com;
  • Circle Media Bids Limited, also d.b.a. SwipeBids.com SwipeAuctions.com, and SellofAuctions.com;
  • Coastwest Holdings Limited;
  • Farend Services Ltd;
  • JDW Media, LLC;
  • Net Soft Media, LLC, also d.b.a. SwipeBids.com;
  • Sphere Media, LLC, also d.b,a SwipeBids.com and SwipeAuctions.com;

I’ve listed these so that they appear in search engines and so that people realise the lengths of obfuscation that Willms has used in his activities.

Office Politics

I say Willms, because he is recognised in the judgement as the prime mover in the scams.  He has been pinched for hundreds of millions – the others have been collared for a few tens of thousands at most each, some, for nothing, because (how embarrassing is that for them?), they have nothing – yes really!

  • How annoying for the two Gravers that their payments are about the same as young Jesse Wilms’ fish tank!  ($30,000 in 2010 he paid for it)
  • I wonder how the Children’s Hospital Boston and the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund both realise that they’ve got less from philanthropic Jesse than he’s spent on his fish tank?  ($25k each)  I wonder how they feel now, knowing that this money was stolen from ordinary consumers, people like themselves?
  • Or how do Canadian veterans feel about Willms plugging his $1k donation to the poppy fund, while spending $5000 on a pool table?

How galling for Sechrist, Callister, and Milne.  They can pay nothing, Willms can pay $359m!  If they’re still working for him I bet that that’s fun in the office!

This is a local copy of the full FTC Judgement Against Wills et al  I suggest everyone read it – it’s riveting.

 

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FTC Take Action: Is This The End of The Fake News Site?

FTC Permanently Stops Six Operators from Using Fake News Sites that Allegedly Deceived Consumers about Acai Berry Weight-Loss Products

Above is the FTC’s own headline from a news release yesterday.  The story is that they’ve hammered six operators of fake news sites into making settlements that surrender their assets.  They’ve also halted the six operations plus those of four others, making ten by my calculation!

What Is a Fake News Site?

Do you really need to ask?   !!    (These are for news7digest, see more below on this!).

Anyone who even casually browses the web will have seen these news exposes, quite often advertised down the right side on Facebook and in banner adverts on even the most sensible of websites – like this one, say!

How the adverts work is that they are paid for by the operators.  They deliberately pay to get premium visibility slots, using Google often, but not exclusively.

The fake news site itself will be plastered with well known icons of top companies (like CNN, BBC, CBC, ABC, Google even!) and purport to be a serious investigation by a journalist into whatever the scam may be.  A short list of such scams that we’ve revealed here are:

  • Acai weight loss
  • Tea weight loss.
  • Acai bowel cleanse.
  • Other bowel cleanse.
  • Get rippling muscles.
  • Make money on Google.
  • Get a cheap payday loan.
  • Get a cheap government grant.
  • Get rejuvenation skin cream.
  • Look younger in other ways.
  • Gamble on penny auctions.

channel4online.co.uk

Just yesterday, Peter Farrahy asked why these fake news sites are still going on this post about Jesse Willms.

So taking his example of the very plausible looking channel4online.co.uk and doing a search on it like so:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=channel4online.co.uk

…produces several links to the actual Channel 4 in the UK, and the scam site….

This shows the deliberate, deceptive and despicable way in which the site name has been chosen to closely imitate a legitimate and bona-fide news organisation.  Fraud, in other words – as the definition says – “an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual”

Amazingly, if you click the link several times, each effort takes you to one of three different landing pages for a new site, the actual fake news site of,

news7digest.com

This shows up in the header image in two, but confusingly is called Consumer Reporter in the other!  They are all visually quite different.

The three screenshots near the top of this article are indeed the three fake news sites which you’ll land on by clicking on channel4online.co.uk.

Here they are again, to save you scrolling:

Conclusion

Is this the end of the fake news sites?  Well, obviously not.

They are still very very current and still very very visible.  The highly photoshopped images adorn well known websites to the point of irritation.  However, the settlement was only yesterday.  The note on the FTC statement goes on the say;

A settlement order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant that the law has been violated. Settlement orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

Despite this, it appears the six defendants are caving in as no appeals have been launched.  They are and the details of the settlements are as follows:

  • Ricardo Jose Labra Labra’s $2.5 million judgment will be suspended when he pays $280,000 and records a $39,500 lien on his home.
  • Zachary S. Graham, Ambervine Marketing, LLC and Encastle, Inc. Graham’s $953,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays $110,000 plus most of the proceeds from the sale of a truck.
  • Tanner Garrett Vaughn Vaughn’s $203,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays close to $80,000 over a three-year period.
  • Thou Lee Lee’s $204,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays $13,000 plus the proceeds from the sale of a BMW.
  • Charles Dunlevy Dunlevy’s $143,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays an estimated $2,000 from frozen assets and the sale of a boat.
  • DLXM, LLC and Michael Volozin The $594,000 judgment will be suspended because of the defendants’ inability to pay.

 

I see it as a warning shot.  The actual wording of the terms against the six goes as follows.  It’s quite onerous and specific, I think, which means that these News7Digest screenshots at the top of this posting put the operators in deep doggy do if they don’t get their act together pronto.  The highlights are mine.

As part of its ongoing crackdown on bogus health claims, the proposed settlements will require that the six operations make clear when their commercial messages are advertisements rather than objective journalism, and will bar the defendants from further deceptive claims about health-related products such as the acai berry weight-loss supplements and colon cleansers that they marketed.

The defendants also are required to disclose any material connections they have with merchants, and will be barred from making deceptive claims about other products, such as the work-at-home schemes or penny auctions that most of them promoted.  The settlements also require that these defendants collectively pay roughly $500,000 to the Commission because their advertisements violated federal law.  This money amounts to most of their assets.

A Sample of My Previous Posts Mentioning Fake News Websites

This all proves that what I and others are saying is wrong – and the FTC is proving it!  Virtually everything that the scammers do the FTC has now taken issue with and imposed heavy penalties.  It’s now, as they say, case law, as well as being the law of the land.  Let’s hope that Willms who chucked his power derived from ill-gotten wealth at me making me pull a page or two for a time, gets his just deserts – sometime this year would be nice.

 

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Jesse Willms Settles in Court with Google – a Google Win against the Scammers?

Just Think Media Settles With Google Over Trademark Infringement

Last year Jesse Willms threw the lawyer dogs at me which forced me to pull some posts.  I’d been calling him a scammer which was obviously in clear contradiction of his (now public) self-vision as a charitable philanthropist.

Just Think Media Google Judgement

Just Think Media Google Judgement

Statue of JusticeHowever yesterday, Google, who had originally sued 50 unknown John Does reached a settlement with some of the defendants in a case originally brought on 17 May, 2010.  prominent among these is Just Think Media, latterly a vehicle for Jesse Willms’ internet enterprises.  See final judgement here.

Apparently, all defendants are saying that the Google claims are false, yet are paying up.  Whether they have or not, I don’t know.  Google still won.

You’ll notice in the above screenshot that it includes as many of Willms’ businesses and associates that they can discover – Farend Services on Cyprus, 1016363 Alberta, 1524948 Alberta and his current vehicle, Terra Marketing Group (This is him on the “about” page).

Farend Services popped up a lot in our investigations.  This is Willms take on networks and affiliates and how his business worked in a now hard-to-find interview from around New year, 2011:

It‟s a commission type arrangement in which we hire networks to manage our advertising and we pay them a certain amount of money per product sold. Those networks hire affiliates to place the ads and most of them are very good – but we occasionally run into problems with affiliates making false claims.

Blaming all the failures on the folks who fed him customers which he did in his interview did not save him from folding under the weight of evidence that Google presented to the Utah court.

Noticeable by its absence in the interview is any mention of the Google case although mention is made of his cases against CTV and others!  In actual fact, from our and others investigations,  the statement “…affiliates to place the ads and most of them are very good” is so far from the truth as to be laughable.

This is because time and again we saw the same adverts all served from the same few servers (like Bloosky say) and all the affiliates all quoting the same copyright infringing stuff in their webpages that have been used and proved in this case  by Google, almost continuously.

This is not a few affiliates- it’s almost all affiliates!  Almost all the time!  The web was full of it!

Oprah

So to be absolutely clear, Willms blamed almost everything on his affiliates in the Oprah Winfrey case, which he also lost.  Quote:

Affiliates broke our rules and used their unauthorized images, and made claims that she had endorsed our products. Even though we didn‟t use the unauthorized images ourselves, this case has been settled and there are measures in place so this doesn’t happen again.


Software

The thing is, he had an excuse for his million dollar fine for flogging counterfeit Microsoft and Symantech software as well, which given that they’d want at least their lost sales back does not equate with his statement of:

Only a small percentage, less than one per cent, was counterfeit.

So far, without any other corroborative information, it is only Jesse saying this.  He blamed everything on his supply chain.   To be fair, Microsoft’s authentication system was poorer some years ago than it is now.

Willms also says that he has learned from his mistakes in his interview.  Let’s hope he has.

This case goes back to his business efforts for 2009 and earlier.

Since then he has apparently folded on the-next-big-thing which was penny auctions and has gone to great pains to shift website ownership of his earlier websites (as detailed in posts and comments passim).  His Terra Marketing outfit are noticeable for their absence of any business activity (at least compared to the past) and appear to exist purely for charitable works and a promotional vehicle for Willms himself.  Their website mentions “partners” and is big on saying, well, er, not a lot actually.  It’s not clear what they do but apparently 250 people are doing it!

And there’s the nagging questions again;

  • If this interview is so wonderful, how come it has now been pulled and is only available via the Google cache?  Originally he was very proud of it and went to great pains to promote it…!  I have enough news log references to it to fill a (….insert your own big thing here….)
  • And why are the Willms businesses and domain names being shuffled off this mortal coil so quickly?
  • And Farend Services in Cyprus, the companies in Pasig City, Nevis, County Durham and Gibralter plus Pacific WebWorks and Willms’ former enterprises…  – Is the fact that the same names and addresses, phone numbers and call centres all kept popping up a valid causal link or is it really just several businesses all using the same business services with or without considering the ethics of their business decisions?

I guess there’s still time to find out.

Where is The Jesse Willms Interview?

Interestingly, despite all the web puffs for it when it first came out, it has disappeared!  He – mentioned it here on his main personal blog and http://www.gettingtheinterview.ca/ – it used to be here.  Sadly, and ironically, the Google cache (how coolly ironic is that?) provides us the answers:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:t8cCRQchBSkJ:jessewillms.com/giving-my-first-interview/+jesse+willms+interview&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&source=www.google.co.uk

…is for his self-promotion of the interview and below is the actual interview, which had also gone!  (I’m not making this stuff up you know, but it shows the lengths to which some folks will go to rig Google search ranking…)

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:E5uCb8xgIYYJ:www.gettingtheinterview.ca/+http://www.gettingtheinterview.ca/&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&source=www.google.co.uk

If the cache changes, these are copies I made of their state today, in doc and pdf format.

 

Conclusion

Gandulf Decides

Gandulf Decides

So.  Scammer or philanthropist?  You decide.  The settlement in court says one thing.

Google won $1.6m between the defendants, which in my opinion is a fraction of the money that the scammers duped from their “customers” over the years.

Reading the Google case shows that Google only started to react when they themselves were asked to answer court summonses by folks that had been scammed  – by Willms, Pacific WebWorks and the rest under the mistaken impression that it was Google taking the cash from them!

During the time of the scams in question, Google made heaps of money from the advert placers (the affiliates). Perhaps they’d like to dip into their pockets and help the thousands who’ve been scammed by financing a proper damages case?

Probably not.  Gotta think of the shareholders.

As always, it’s the little folks that suffer.

And Google, with its “do no harm” mantra, has actually not done much good at all!  The case has provided a case law example for any folks willing to take up the reins against the defendants for monies lost, though.

Or the FTC could take up the baton and recover the millions for people should they wish to do it.  Let’s see.

 

Further Reading:

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Is There Really a SwipeAuctions to SellOffAuctions Link?

Introduction

I’ve been reading this post on Penny Auction Watch:

http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/2010/11/have-you-bid-on-selloffauctions-com-reviews/

..and can agree with Amanda that many of the search results are “very interesting“, as she says.

The claims from “anonymous” and others really should be chucked out for believability because they are unsubstantiated.  But there still lie many interesting things.  Things like the Google screen-shots which demonstrate links over long periods of time between a clutch of business entities, most of which include substantial volumes of complaints and dissatisfaction summarised by the word “scam”.

This linkage is there in the internet record, no matter how much business entities chop and change their identity, on-line or off-line.

Blog Posting

Of particular interest is Amanda’s mention of a SellOffAuctions blog.  I remember this when it started, but it’s no longer extant although this huge web comment stream gives a description of its genesis.  However, a quick Google search on the first line of the text pulls out the two blogs in Amanda’s narrative.

BlogSimilaritySearch

Blog Similarity Search

 

TerraMarketing’s output is in this shot below, but the SellOffAuctions blog is now unavailable:

Spam The Wrong Way To Market Your Business

Spam The Wrong Way To Market Your Business

Yet the SellOffAuctions basic blog contents at start-up show up clearly in the Google cache of the web-page:

SellOffAuctions Blog

SellOffAuctions Blog – webcache

…and the original “Why Free Isn’t Better?” post from the old blog  is here on yet another Willms blog:

JesseWillmsMarketing

JesseWillmsMarketing

What Does this Mean?

Well the thread at PAW makes plain that a high degree of website copying has been going on.  A guy claiming to be from SellOffAuctions makes this point as an excuse to speed up the site set-up.  Others have pointed out that if this is the case and there has been no collusion with SwipeAuctions, then the brief happy Willms’ outfit would have a very good case for copyright infringement.

Bid Auction Software

Bid Auction Software – a Google Search

One extra spanner in the works that may block any suing is that on-line templates exist for the express purpose of setting up “Bid Auction” type websites!  So of course they’d be similar! (That is a screendump of a Google search for Bid Auction software on the right!)  This does not explain the similarity in the blog postings mentioned below, though.

Another extra spanner that might possibly confuse people over intra-website or intra-business linkages is the addition of the SellOffAuction.com domain (n.b. no trailing s).  This was pointed out here.

It Is Very Interesting

It’s also very interesting that two blog posts from the Willms’ website stable found their way into the Google cache of a direct competitors blog, is it not?  We now know that the blog was pulled, but in its entirety?  Maybe after all, there was copying and the blog was simply pulled as being past its purpose.  This happens all the time, not least with Willms’ myriad of blogs such as described here.

The WHOIS records for all websites above follow the usual patterns with the notable introduction of “Internet Holdings” into the mix (what happened to TerraMarketting?) and also the movement of some Willms domains to the Ashton Manning registrant noted a while back:

One Last Twist!

SellOffAuctions.Net

There is of course potentially, a plethora of SellOffAuction domains.  the dot net one, is one and a full screenshot is on the left complete with a the biggest footer of exclusion clauses that I’ve ever seen!.  Here’s what the top of the page looks like:

You’ll see that it contains a video, the very same video used by SwipeAuctions.com on their website and affiliate promotions.  Also, it’s on selloffauctions.com too!

Even more interestingly, all the links supposedly go to SellOffAuctions.com if you look carefully – except they don’t!!  They actually point to:

http://selloffauctions.net/auctions

…which then redirects to:

https://www.vigrxplus.com/?a=InterMark&t=2656

This is a site to flogging big knob stuff, a whois puts them as follows below with 45 similar big knob sites listed here.

Registrant:

Leading Edge Marketing Inc.

c/o DM Contact Management Ltd.

Suite 100 – 645 Tyee Road

Victoria, British Columbia V9A 6X5

CA

250-383-8267×452

Fax:250-383-0896

Leading Edge Marketing’s T&C contain the USA phone number  1-866-621-6886 which throw up a few complaints mainly from folks who don’t like porn.  Personally, I can take it or leave it.  I just don’t like thieving scammy bastards.

In this case, it’s an affiliate fuck up either by design or accident.

Conclusion.

That’s about it.  I can’t find direct linkages for now.  There’s too much supposition and too little actual proof.  Sechrists pop up and go.  Blogs pop up and go.  Websites pop up and go.  So for now, that’s it.  Inconclusive is my take on any connection.

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