Tag Archive: justice

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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Testing Windows 8 Developer Preview Version

Windows 8 Developer Preview

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

I’ve finally decided to test the next Windows edition, probably to be called Windows 8, although things like that are never certain in Microsoft-land.

Virtual Box

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

Win8 Dev VirtualBox Installation

I did a Virtual Box install, which is fairly straightforward.  There are many tutorials on-line now which show how to do this, so I won’t do a walk-through. I installed the 64-bit version which I downloaded from MSDN using my licence.  You can get the installs from the Microsoft Website here, which come in ISO format.  You can also find out more from the horse’s mouth here.

You can also set aside a partition on your hard-drive and install to that.  However, Virtual Box is the safe way to go should the partition install fail and corrupt your current installation somehow.

What I will say, is to use more memory allocation to the virtual installation than recommended elsewhere or as the default,  and to use as many virtual processors as your host machine has.….. My machine is an AMD 955BE, which is quad-core running at around 3GHz.  In other words, if you don’t want it to run like treacle, give it plenty processor and memory room;  at least the recommended values for Windows 7.  You can see all of this in the VirtualBox settings screenshot above.

Fast Install (added 24/11/11))

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade

Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade

Microsoft, on their MSDN blog, have made a big thing about the rapid installation for Windows 8, particularly for the upgrade route.  See Improving the setup experience.  I can say now that the clean install into the VirtualBox environment was very fast….

Briefly:

  1. You make a virtual machine in Virtual Box
  2. You set it’s parameters – processors, memory size, footprint size, IDE/SATA storage etc
  3. You set the downloaded ISO image to boot from in the settings.
  4. You boot by “Starting” the virtual machine.
  5. You install Windows into the filespace that you’ve previously set aside for it – I gave it a dynamic sized 50Gb.
  6. After that, let windows do it’s thing.  It took 10 minutes or so.
  7. Let it reboot.
Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

Win8 Dev Loggged On Screen

Following this, you get a green screen from which country specifics are added, a username and finally, you enter your Live.com identity, if you have one, and if you want to!

Appearance

It’s a big green screen.  I don’t have a touchscreen, but it’s obviously designed for one.  It has massive buttons to a host of online services like weather & stocks, plus a few to your computer’s functions.

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

Win8 Dev Logon Screen

If you log off, you get presented with an American Rockies vista of a lonely winding road.  Essentially, the entry into Windows 8 is like a smartphone.  But what’s it like beneath the surface?

Windows 7 Legacy, and Vista Too!

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Obviously, this is a development preview release, and we can expect more of the same to come.

Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Explorer Screen

But most work has gone onto the main intro screen because beneath the surface, all the various apps and settings controls are the old (current) Windows 7 interface.

Bizarrely, some screens even have vestiges of the green Vista, notably the main screen itself.

Personally, I think it’s very, very dour.  I can’t believe that two years of effort has gone into doing something that Android does on a more than twice-annual cycle….

Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen

Win8 Dev Left Corner Hover Screen

Accessing the menus is the most unintuitive thing I’ve seen for ages!  Following on from the impressive Windows 7, it’s truly not just a user let-down, but somewhat infuriating as well…….    Whereas previously I just typed into the run bar to do almost anything, now I can’t even find programs or files!   No doubt there’s a way – but after Win7, it’s not intuitive and not helpful either.

I hope that’s not the end of the run box, because that feature in Windows 7 is awesome.

Control Panel

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

Win8 Dev Double Click Control Panel Screen

I haven’t checked through many apps (except a few desktop ones like the weird child-like paint thing and the weather which won’t do anywhere except California) but this is the control panel.

Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen

Win8 Dev Control Panel More Settings Screen

You then drill-down to get the old Win7 control panel on “More Settings”.

Initial Investigation Ends

Well that’s it for now.   To say I’m un-impressed by the big green monstrous front doesn’t give my opinion justice.  There doesn’t appear to be an easy way out of the front-screen apps and to have an app made for a  3-inch screen sat on a 23 inch desktop monitor really demonstrates the infantile  apps for what they are.

Way back in the nineties Microsoft tried their in-house Microsoft Network (MSN) which was a disc install that gave you a black desktop that gave dial-up access to features giving almost the same as this big green toy-town monster.

Not happy.

Watch this space as I delve more….

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Why is There No Juventus Gun Picture from Heysel?

Heysel and Beyond

Being justifiably upset by the events at the Heysel Stadium many years ago, the recent comments on a video I made about it … https://youtu.be/vxqjTZYV5do

… on the 25th anniversary of the awful event made me recall some TV reporting of what was reputedly  to be a Juventus “fan” brandishing a gun on the pitch.

This was well reported and many people remember this (see later link rferences).

However, I’ve trawled the internet looking for pictures of this person and after an hour’s work, have found absolutely nothing, which, given the nature of the event, the host of personal recollections and the ease with which information can be posted and retrieved from the web, is very strange indeed.

So why can’t I find a single picture of this?  Why?

If I recall correctly, the gunman was one of the Juventus owner’s family, or party.  Everyone seems to remember that after the event, the gun was found to be a starting pistol and that he was chastised by the family and grounded for a bit.  However, for anyone who has ever been threatened by a gunman, post event information is small cheer indeed!

Meanwhile:

  • Liverpool “fans” were convicted and later the town and club had a double hit of karmic retribution.
  • Football in the UK, after being banned from Europe, has cleaned up it’s act, (generally, with the odd notable exception), moved on and is moneyed up to the eyeballs.
  • Football in Italy is as partisan and violent as ever with corruption at every level of the sport that sees clubs dropped a league or two and opposing teams’ support afraid to visit the country.

So where is the Heysel gun (and man)?  Where are the pictures?  I’d like to know, if only to clarify my mind.  All I see are the fans on the pitch with iron bars and dead and dying fans under a wall.

Joe Fagan, the Liverpool manager, left the pitch, from what was planned to be his last match in charge, in tears.  I’m sure it was because he saw what had happened to his beautiful game.

Now, the xenophobes and unforgivers need to move on.  Justice was doubly served on Liverpool and a picture of the Juve “fan” with a gun would balance some memories of the time.  Juve people need to accept this or else the hate and violence that we see on the Italian terraces will never go, until they too, have their own karmic retribution.

There’s a lot that still needs to be done.

Links

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Democracy and Freedom

I’ve been on holiday for a while.  Today’s encouragement from Sensei I thought wonderfully appropriate for us in Britain, given the imminent general election and the hunt for a supposed centre ground.

The Deeper I Go, The More Knowledge I Know

The Deeper I Go, The More Knowledge I Know

Quite simply, there can be no true democracy unless the citizens of a country realize that they are sovereign, that they are the main protagonists, and then with wisdom and a strong sense of responsibility take action based on that realization.

Democracy cannot be successful in its mission unless the people rouse themselves to become more informed and involved, unless they unite, unless they establish an unshakable force for justice and keep a strict eye on the activities of the powerful.

Daisaku Ikeda, for Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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Weird World of Secrecy and Freedom

Introduction

Yesterday’s News

The use of intercept evidence in courts in England and Wales is not “legally viable”,

…the Home Office has said.  This is reported on the BBC here, Using intercept evidence in court ‘not yet viable’

Security

From the earliest days of the British (English) Secret Service, back in Elizabeth I’s time, all manner of devices and methods have been used to “secure the nation”, initially for the sovereign, and latterly, to maintain the structures of our notionally democratic government system.

I’ve commented many times about the draconian laws implemented in this country by successive Home Secretaries – upwardly-mobile Blunkett, Mr Fixit Reid & Two Homes Smith.  And how they’ve been implemented, yet hardly used, and yet could still be used to snatch all our hard-won freedoms away in a jiffy.

We also had the illegal shooting of the Brazilian Menendez at a tube station, which was a catalogue of human errors from initial data acquisition to the panicky police with pistols to the botched cover-ups from higher command.

And without any use of the draconian laws we’ve seen several sets of murderous people stopped in their tracks and locked away for good.  The shoe-bomber and the Glasgow airport bombers come to mind.

Wasted Time

So now, in light of yesterday’s news, why are we still wasting time with these crap laws that do nothing for our freedom except curtail it, and have now been found to be largely ineffectual because much of the evidence gained by our Secret Services has been found to be “inadmissible in court”.

Q. How So?

A. Well, a very small bit of our English Law still remains that Wacky Backy Jacqui Smith et al have been unable to squash.

Defence of an Accused Person

This is that anyone charged with an offence must have access to all the information that the prosecution has to throw at them!  It’s a hard-won pillar of our justice system.

Time and time again, when it’s been found that the police or others have with-held information from the defence, the case is thrown out of court.  Nearly all the famous miscarriages of justice, like the Birmingham Six, Guildford Four etc, nearly all have been found wanting because of this.  (There’s also issues of doctored evidence, but like any criminal activity, one sort of illegality is usually accompanied by others).

So let us make sure that this right is not done away with!

Because current Home Secretary Johnson is full-on in his determination to “make the system workable” – his words.

What he wants is a way to make intercept information available to a court without the defence knowing how or why the information is derived or sourced.

And without that, there are no checks on the veracity of the information.  All it would need is a member of the security services to say (probably hidden in court);

“yep.  Data is okay.  The defendant said that”

….and we are straight back to 1974 and the Birmingham Six where the copper’s word was deemed truthful and above reproach, when it patently was not.

Now is the time when we need a new, youthful Ludovic Kennedy.  Where are they now?

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