Tag Archive: CASH

Good News on Google Scams – Consumers Get Money From FTC

Google Treasure Chest Pay Back to Innocent, Duped, Scammed Consumers

FTC Issues Cheques for Google Scams

FTC Issues Cheques for People Duped by Google Scams

It was over three years ago that I first came across a scam, centred around Pacific Webworks (PWW), mainly under the Google Treasure Chest and Google Money Tree monikers.  As I delved deeper, along with other folks, we came across the true scale of the scam.  Our researches then took us into similar scams run by Jesse Willms, all using the same modus operandi of:

  • negative option marketing
  • illegal cash withdrawals from bank accounts
  • a myriad network of affiliates
  • fake or holding addresses, many in foreign countries outside the normal laws, that opened and closed rapidly allowing consumers no come-back
  • illegal medical or wealth claims
  • offshore banking, now known following the recent banking scandals to be heavily centred around the City of London

We always recommended that consumers issue a credit card charge-back against PWW and Willms.  This is the only way to stop the withdrawals and to counter the “businesses” operations at source.   And it worked!

Yesterday, the USA’s FTC issued a statement as well as money in the form of cheques to all consumers known to have been defrauded by PWW and others in the Google Treasure Chest/Money Tree scam.  Their statement is here: FTC Returns More than $2 Million to Buyers of the “Google Money Tree” Work-at-Home Scam.  They say,

Under a settlement agreement with the FTC, the defendants are banned from selling products through “negative option” transactions, in which the seller interprets consumers’ silence or inaction as permission to charge them, and are also prohibited from making misleading or unsupported claims while marketing or selling any product or service. The settlement also required the defendants to surrender cash and other assets, and these are now being used by the FTC to refund consumers who bought the “Google Money Tree,” “Google Pro,” or “Google Treasure Chest” products.

They also include instructions for people who haven’t yet claimed – so if you were conned into getting rich with Google or similar, contact them now and get at least part of your money back!  This is what they said,

The checks will be mailed by an administrator working for the FTC. Consumers who made purchases from “Google Money Tree,” “Google Pro,” or “Google Treasure Chest” will receive approximately $24.50.  Consumers who have questions, or who have not yet filed a complaint with the FTC and wish to do so, should call the Redress Administrator, Gilardi & Co. LLC, toll free, at 1-877-226-2847. Consumers seeking general information about the FTC’s redress program may visit the FTC’s refunds website.  The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before redress checks can be cashed.

Checks will be mailed on September 11, 2012, and must be cashed on or before November 12, 2012.

So get on in there folks!


Crime Pays, But Not Always – added on 18 Sep 2012

Here’s a reminder of how crime does not pay – the Pacific Webworks share price!

PWW 5yr share history

PWW 5yr share history

Since the successive hits on PWW following our and others’ investigations their share price has languished at around a penny for about half the past year!  Their meteoric rise, right as the depression started to hit, was entirely due to conning vulnerable people in desperate times.

  1. Then folks like me started shouting!
  2. Then Google took note and sued them.
  3. Then the FTC laid charges.
  4. Then they were found to have funny-looking accounts and changed their accountants and management.
  5. Now they’ve had to pay out to the very people who were conned.

So as I just said,

Get on in there folks!


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Tories Reveal Authoritarian Roots While Liberals Check Their Shoelaces

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Yet again I’m forced to side with the grinning David Davis.  This doesn’t happen often and is embarrassing to admit!.

ConDem Coalition Pledges Broken!

ConDem Coalition Pledges Broken!

It’s all about the government plans to allow full-scale unauthorised real-time monitoring of every person in the UK’s internet activity!  It’s so 1984.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen” – (George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four
.

Orwell must be turning in his grave in despair that what he predicted as a warning about what not to do, now looks like coming to fruition.

Remarkably, since wangling themselves into government, the conservative-libdem coalition government is now actually dropping a key part of their manifesto which they laboriously agreed two years ago.  This can still be found on the government website, page 11 to be exact (pdf) .  Here’s what they said:

  • The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian…. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power – FAIL
  • …reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion – FAIL
  • … introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation – FAIL
  • …end the storage of internet and email records without good reason – FAIL
  • …a British Bill of Rights that … protects and extends British liberties – FAIL

(Actually, the whole Con-Dem pledge list makes good reading to see just how far removed from it our evil diktat of quangos has become.)

So what to do – use TOR.

ID Cards

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Photo credit: andreasmarx)

Not so long ago I was haranguing the former Labour government about their plans for ID Cards, their laws over CCTV and photographing in public places, the reduction  in privacy for individuals and the removal of our civil rights over detention without trial, due cause and 3rd party notification for first 90 days and them 42 days.

I left the Labour Party because of it and have not rejoined.

Huge Vocal Resentment Against UK Government Secret Citizen Monitoring Plans.

try the Tor browser bundle

The new news (I thought it was an April Fool joke initially!) is that Email and web use is ‘to be monitored’ under new laws proposed by this nasty, nasty government.  Happily, there is now a huge and vociferous resentment against this from the general public who can see this evil act for what it is.  Top among them is David Davis!  See this link and the thousands of comments for instance; Backlash over email and web monitoring plan.

Clueless

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 14

Now, the tories and their liberal stooges have been shown to be both serially evil in their pronouncements and plans, and also serially incompetent of managing almost anything.

Their pathetic management of a minor industrial dispute (the fuel shortage) which did nothing except invoke almost universal resentment of the coalition and reawaken a general awareness of their ineffectiveness comes on top of stripping the very foundations away from one of UK society’s greatest inventions of the Industrial Age, our National Health Service (NHS).

United Kingdom

Top this behavioural abomination with that of the revolving door policy between banking and politics which they continue to promote with zero penalties for failure while the population-at-large have to prop up the whole system with their taxes means only two things to me.

  1. The government must do something desperate to have any hope of re-election in 3 years – this means either war (patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel) or economic boom-and-bust gambling.
  2. They will do something desperate to have any hope of re-election in 3 years – this means either war (patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel) or economic boom-and-bust gambling.

Astute folk will see this as my prediction for government actions over the next 3 years.

Tories: Keep Friends Happy

Meanwhile, hundreds of extra Tory donors will soon be available to bankroll the “all is good” story.  They will arrive as beneficiaries of the windfall provided as the “former NHS” contracts are handed out to friends, much like Michael Ashcroft benefited from the first round of NHS privatisation during the Thatcher era.  This article on Powerbase and this one (sourced from a now defunct article in The Scotsman) show quite clearly that 1/3 of cleaning contracts went to Ashcroft’s businesses during this time, saying;

MICHAEL Ashcroft, (…) bankrolled an “independent” publicity campaign that allowed his multi-million-pound contract cleaning empire to prosper and led to a change in the law. The campaign was run from the London office of the former Conservative Scottish secretary, Michael Forsyth. A spokesman for Mr Ashcroft confirmed last night that he had contributed to the Public and Local Service Efficiency Campaign (PULSE), which was set up in 1985 to persuade the public sector to contract out services such as cleaning and catering. The campaign had been disbanded by the end of the 1980s after the Conservative government passed the 1988 Local Government Act .  Mr Ashcroft’s Hawley Services Group, a contract cleaning firm later known as ADT, flourished under the new regime, with ADT, winning a third of NHS contracts between 1983 and 1988.

For further information into the depths that the Tories will go to enable all public money to be fed straight to their business friends, see this article which pulls apart the dealings of Ashcroft, discredited Dame Shirley Porter, NIMBY Nicholas Ridley, Chris Chope (the dog turd of Christchurch) and current (dodgy expenses, remember) minister Eric Pickles.

THE PICKLES PAPERS

By Tony Grogan
First published by 1 IN 12 PUBLICATIONS 1989
21 – 23 Albion St. Bradford 1.
Copyright 1 IN 12 Publications 1989
ISBN 0 948994 04 5

Once read, apply the same logic to our dear NHS, and weep again.  The same modus operandi is being used;

  1. discredit the current, imply alternatives are better;
  2. farm out internal monies to external Tory benefactors.

It’s just more sleaze just like under Thatcher before, backed up with warlike rhetoric.  Remember, only 10 days ago we had the news of billionaire Tory donors at Cameron’s dinner table, and Cameron trying to defend the cash-for-access news that made Labour’s cash-for-questions scandal appear like a sweetshop-ish wheeze in comparison.  See 

Tory Party chairman Lord Feldman was one of the key figures in the ‘cash for access’ scandal which erupted after Tory party treasurer Peter Cruddas was caught offering a private dinner with David Cameron to undercover reporters who posed as wealthy party donors.  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2123692/Tory-cash-access-row-David-Cameron-crony-pal-cash-questions.html

as well.

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Disappearing Bees? Re-appearing Karma

Neonicotinoid pesticides and Colony Collapse Disorder

 

Honeycomb of Western honey bees (Apis mellifer...

Honeycomb of Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) with eggs and larvae. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Register reports on what seems to be a pretty good study from some guys at Stirling and Lancaster Universities in the UK.  The “boffin-years” worked (as The Register puts it) by them and another French team now have very good proof that it’s a group of pesticides, very lethal to insects but no-so-bad for mammals (like us) that are the cause of:

  • 85% reduction in queen (and thus new hive) production
  • 10% smaller hives
  • Disorientated bees – the bees can’t find their hive and die…
US migratory beekeepers loading tractor-traile...

US migratory beekeepers loading tractor-trailer load of bees for transport from South Carolina to Maine to pollinate blueberries.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) means for us, as humans, can be found in this information on bee economics which details a few major crops recently hit by declining bee numbers.  Further, this is a list of essential plants which are bee pollinated.  The ones which are marked as “Essential – can’t do without bees” are these highly important cash crops:

  • Squash (plant), Pumpkin, Gourd, Marrow, Zuchini Cucurbita spp. Honey bees, Squash bees, Bumblebees, Solitary bees
  • Cantaloupe, Melon Cucumis melo L. Honey bees, Squash bees, Bumblebees, Solitary bees (Ceratina spp.)
  • American Pawpaw Asimina triloba Carrion Flies, Dung Flies
  • Brazil nut Bertholletia excelsa Bumblebees, Orchid bees (Euglossini), Carpenter bees
  • Kiwifruit Actinidia deliciosa Honey bees, Bumblebees, Solitary bees
  • Atemoya, Cherimoya, Custard apple Annona squamosa Nitidulid Beetles
  • Watermelon Citrullus lanatus Honey bees, Bumblebees, Solitary bees
  • Passion fruit. Maracuja Passiflora edulis Carpenter bees, Solitary bees, Bumblebees,
  • Macadamia Macadamia ternifolia Honey bees, Stingless bees (Trigona carbonaria), Solitary bees (Homalictus spp.), Wasps,Butterflies
  • Sapodilla Manikara zapotilla Thrips
  • Cocoa Theobroma cacao Midges
  • Rowanberry Sorbus aucuparia Honey bees, Solitary bees, Bumblebees, Hover flies
  • Vanilla Vanilla planifolia, Vanilla pompona Solitary bees

Reasons, Nazis and Jews – What are Neonicotinoid Pesticides?

IG Farben

IG Farben (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many candidates for CCD and pesticides are just one possible or contributory factor.  Things like bee predators, mites, electromagnetic radiation, loss of habitat…. it’s quite a long list.

However, the two studies above seem to be pretty secure controlled studies that looked at one factor (the neonicotinoid pesticides), examining the bees in isolation both with and without the expected non-lethal local dosage of the chemicals so as to eliminate the other possible causes.

Wikipedia lists the major neonicotinoid pesticides, and below I match them to their inventor and/or current manufacturer:

  • Acetamiprid – Aventis (French conglomerate inc. Rhône-Poulenc, Hoechst and others)
  • Clothianidin – Bayer, Takeda
  • Dinotefuran – Mitsui
  • Imidacloprid (the most widely used insecticide in the world) – Bayer
  • Nitenpyram – Novartis (formed from Zeneca, Ciba-Geigy, Sandoz)
  • Thiacloprid – Bayer
  • Thiamethoxam- Bayer, Syngenta (another entity formed from Zeneca, Ciba-Geigy, Sandoz)
Fritz ter Meer (1884-1967) at the Nuremberg Tr...

Fritz ter Meer (1884-1967) at the Nuremberg Trials. Ter Meer was I.G. Farben official, member of NSDAP. This photograph of ter Meer (probably as a defendant) was taken by US Army photographers on behalf of the Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality (OUSCCPAC, May 1945 – Oct. 1946) or its successor organization, the Office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes (OCCWC, Oct. 1946 – June 1949). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bayer

What’s interesting from this list is how often Bayer pops up in the neonicotinoid (a neuro-toxin) story.

It famously made Zyklon B, which made a poison gas and was one of the main methods of murdering Jews and others by the Nazis during WW2.  It did this under the conglomerate business name of IG Farben which was broken up post war by the allies into the original business entities, Bayer being one, and it’s still around now!

A Bayer (IG Farben) boss, Fritz ter Meer, served 7 years post WW2 for his crimes and then was immediately made supervisory board chairman of Bayer.  His crimes included designing a satellite concentration camp to Auschwitz.  Some Nazi industrialists & businessmen were executed, like Bruno Tesch.  Several other convicted Nazi War Criminals got high-powered jobs following their release, just like ter Meer.

Karmic Retribution

What I see as a reason for the bee decline ultimately relates to our overall karma.

It is not retribution against individuals directly.  The bad karma affects us all, now, because we have continued to allow processes to continue which harm ourselves and our environment.  The disappearing bees are just one manifestation of this.

Ter Meer got his nice job back at Bayer, probably because he was the best person to do it, especially at this critical period of rebuilding Germany.  We could say that he continued his life’s work of creating death by chemicals (which I’ve cunningly yet disingenuously alluded to in order to attract your attention!), but it must be remembered that alongside Zyklon B, the same businesses created many products which are essential to our productive farms and lifestyles.  Aspirin, for instance.  Fertilisers as another.

In fact, Fritz Haber, whose academic work was enthusiastically taken up at IG Farben and others, demonstrates the dichotomy of human nature by inventing chemical warfare while simultaneously inventing a process to fix nitrogen from the air to make fertiliser (or explosive, since it’s the same thing).  One gives life benefit, one removes it completely.  As it says on Wikipedia,

“The food base of half of the current world population is based on the Haber-Bosch process”

Haber’s karmic retribution was swift and fast.  Whether he knew or felt it is beside the point. It happened.

  • His wife shot herself because of her guilt over his personal supervision at the 1st gas release on the Western Front.
  • Their son who found her, was so appalled by this and his father’s actions, that he committed suicide in 1946 (like survivor guilt, I suppose.).
  • Haber was Jewish, rewarded by the Nazis who used his gas Zyklon A, developed into Zyklon B to murder Jews and others during the holocaust.
  • Many members of Haber’s extended family were killed in the Holocaust.

Direct Karmic Attention

A honeybee on an apiary, spreading feromones t...

A honeybee on an apiary, spreading feromones to ‘call back’ her collegues, showing her nassanoff-gland. Location: Tübingen-Hagelloch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But now we can easily see, that by continuing the bad processes, by continuing the bad ideas, by continuing the bad attitudes of the past, the actions of the past have started to hit us all full in the face.

Bees are just part of it.

Our disjointed energy & food policies of “live today, pay tomorrow” are just larger examples of the wider issue.

To fully understand how we should proceed in our lives and how we interact with others and our environment, we need look no further than some key Buddhist principles, laid out before us a very long time ago by Siddhārtha Gautama.  He said:

  1. right view,
  2. right intention,
  3. right speech,
  4. right action,
  5. right livelihood,
  6. right effort,
  7. right mindfulness,
  8. right concentration.

This is called The Noble Eightfold Path, and if we all paid attention to it and acted sincerely with it, then we’d all be a lot better off.

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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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Fabian Tactics of Google Work At Home Scam Legal Team

Pacific Webworks / Quad Try and Dodge the Issue

Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave...

Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave...

Back in 2009 I stumbled upon a negative option scam for which those involved were sued by Google (and folded with an out-of-court settlement) and were prosecuted by Uncle Sam, losing again.  Initially, I was completely unaware of the depths of deception to which these people would stoop, but then I rapidly discovered the nightmare web that they’d constructed and how difficult it was for ordinary people, duped by slick honest-looking promises, to un-pick themselves from it.

Not only that, I quickly realised that PWW weren’t the only spawn of the devil and that others, like Jesse Willms, were up to very similar tricks.  See:

Methods

The above list of links more-or-less shows how we found out the Pacific Webworks (PWW) story.  They’re by no means the only set of devils in the world trying to scam people, but they’re the one’s I stumbled upon first.  That’s all.

Their business was to set up website templates that their “customers” could use to extract money from their customers by use of the negative option scam.  In effect, they were selling the tools to steal to people, who then had the option of calling it a day or selling the tools to steal on themselves, thus stealing.

To promote it they used mass advertising through paid ads on Google (using the Google and others’ trademarks to make it appear that these offers were endorsed by those referenced), through Quad, which they owned, and fake news or personal information websites (flogs) loaded with follow up ads.  The promotions could be their own, but for the most part it was all done by “affiliates” (their customers) that all took varying degrees of commission for follow-through clicks.

The advertising was managed by Bloosky Interactive that also operated through 3rd parties unsolicited email adverts, spam to you and me.

Underlying it all was the credit card processing business which they also owned (Intellipay) usually through the securecart domain.

All parties involved, except the final folk who didn’t really understand how bent this whole operation was, fully understood the nature of this business.  How could they not? – when they were selling “services” for $1.95 for which they’d get $30 commission!!!

Turn of the Screw

In another twist of deviousness, PWW (run by Bell, Bell, Larsen & Larsen at the time) set up The Quad Group (geddit?) to avoid creditors.  This is how they themselves described it:

In June 2009 we experienced limited merchant account processing capabilities which created a situation where we could not satisfy payables to marketing partners. To generate needed cash in the 2009 second quarter we sold a portion of our hosting portfolio that was in excess of merchant account limitations to The Quad Group, LLC, a related party (the “Quad Group”) for $157,786. Quad Group is owned and managed by current directors, officers and an employee of Pacific WebWorks. We may periodically be required to enter into sale transactions with Quad Group to properly manage our merchant account processing requirements.

Neat huh?

Cuts and Thrusts

So that’s about it, as I currently understand it.  PWW’s managers/owners had customers on two levels, that is;

  1. The direct affiliates and associated advertisers who were enticed into the operation or migrated from other similar schemes via the lure of easy money.  These people used the templates to lure others with promises of easy money, paid as commission for attracting others to run the same schemes.  The schemes didn’t sell anything – except the scheme!  A true pyramid scam!
  2. Duped suckers.  These, numerically the vast majority, soon realised after one or two mysterious withdrawals from their account of amounts around the $79 mark, that it was a scam.

The thrust of the plan was the hope that most people wouldn’t do anything, wouldn’t investigate much and wouldn’t associate with other suckers through embarrassment or whatever, just writing off the episode as one of life’s bad judgements.  Thus PWW would make say, $200 from which all the ads and affiliates would get their cut.

Just Desserts

Statue of Justice

Statue of Justice

Unfortunately for PWW, it didn’t work out quite like that.  Sure they made pots of money for a few years, but they upset too many people and eventually, through the power of communication via the very internet which was their arena,  news of what they were doing became so much that first Google, then Uncle Sam had to act.

Black September

But still the shit kept coming their way.  Just as I’d predicted in my postings (see list above), karma would get them.  On 19 September 2011 this year a class action was brought against the three main bodies behind the scam – Booth Ford v PWW et al – Barbara Ford is to be commended for her patience.  It was 2009 when she first filed for a class action!

In it, we see just how badly PWW have been acting for years.  Section 11, for me, sums it up perfectly!

Booth Ford v PWW et al Section 11

Booth Ford v PWW et al Section 11

So there we have it!  Now where’s the problem?

Rip-off Too Big!!

On 1 December 2011, Quad (who are actually essentially the same people as PWW with an almost similar board make-up – in fact the Google settlement made it plain that wives of the directors had been roped in as well), filed to be removed from the Class Action because they might have ripped off too much from people!  eh??  See QUAD_GROUP_NOTICE_OF_REMOVAL

The essence of their legal Fabian tactic (as I see it) is that:

  1. They scammed people from all over, not just Illinois, so it’s not a valid class action.
  2. They scammed people so much (by over $5m they say), that it’s the wrong court in which they should be tried, so ditch your claim against us!
  3. They scammed people by so much that the class action lawyer’s fees alone will be $9m so same reasoning as point 2!
Quad Group Sums

Quad Group Sums

Their sums in the above court removal document are in this screenshot.  There are others as well.  Of course, Quad (PWW with a different hat on remember) aren’t admitting any liability at all with this, so my use of the words scamming bastards reflects my personal opinions, not a statement of fact.  These opinions are based on the facts that:

  1. Pacific Webworks acquiesced to all of Google’s demands when sued for illegal trademark usage.
  2. Eborn and others lost their case when sued by the Texas AG when using PWW’s templates*, finance processing and networks to scam folks for millions of dollars.
  3. PWW lost their case when sued by Uncle Sam.
  4. PWW admitted filing untrue SEC accounts and changed accountants twice because of this.
  5. One of the accountants was directly related to a PWW director.

It’s noteworthy that the sum of $43m is derived from one “illegal” charge of ~$80 plus one subsequent charge of ~$25 multiplied across the claimed customer count of ~455,000 persons – because I have evidence from people who’ve contacted this site and others that some people had up to half a dozen illegal account withdrawals before they could put on a stop, which implies that the allegedly scammed amount could be much, much higher.

It’s also noteworthy that Quad’s own suppositional sums show high value amounts from this “business” yet for all this time, no dividends were paid and the only way investors in the company could make money was through share price changes.  If you tie this information to the incorrect accounting and familial accountant/director relationships, plus the fact that PWW is largely the same people as Quad, then collusion looks highly likely over this time period and the SEC will quite possibly be knocking following the conclusion to this class action.

With regard to the SEC, the same SEC filing that revealed Quad’s dubious formation also reveals that;

Our client base includes approximately 30,000 active customer accounts. We rely on the efforts of our internal marketing staff and on third party resellers, including our wholly-owned reseller, TradeWorks Marketing, to add accounts to our customer base. – see SEC Link

Well they can’t both be right, can they, Quad?  Is it 455,892 customers in your sums or is it 30,000 in the SEC filing?

Linkages

Copious links are included in the articles referenced by the site references at the beginning of this article so I haven’t had time to re-reference all the above statements.  But they’re there should you wish to look.

I certainly hope that the Fabian tactics don’t work and that people see them for what they are.

Notes & Addendum

*     Eborn et al used website designs very similar to those provided by PWW.   Whether they were exactly the same is a moot point in my view, because like a burglar who learns to house-break from another burglar, the crow-bar used will not be exactly the same crow bar, but it’s the idea of using a crowbar that’s important to the final act of theft.  In other words templates, like crowbars, are just tools.  Eborn’s websites were almost carbon-copies of those from PWW using all the Visual “tools”, the money processing and the affiliate networks that they “employed”.   Many sites (I had a huge list of them and copied images directly from the site before they locked it down) were partly or wholly hosted on pantherssl.com  via Bloosky.  These co-incidences didn’t happen by chance and show intelligent design behind their purpose.  (Thanks Paul!)

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