Tag Archive: Mistake

Lifevantage Terminates and Sues Major Distributor

Introduction

Jason Domingo

Jason Domingo

Lifevantage (LV) announced that, at the unanimous recommendation of its Board of Directors, it has terminated for cause its relationship with Jason Domingo and Ovation Marketing Group, Inc., one of the Company’s lead distributors. The Company also announced that it has filed suit against Mr. Domingo and Ovation in Federal Court in the State of Utah for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.  See typical market report.

The detail (see link below) shows that LV made $10.9m in 2010 and $208m in 2013 – this is despite the investigative activity into Protandim, LV’s main product, by LazyManAndMoney and others…!  Distributors were paid $91m from which $2.6m went to Domingo.  They say he was the lead distributor.

The Detail in the Lifevantage Case

The case details are on PACER – summarised here:

Case details:

2:13-cv-01037-DB Lifevantage v. Domingo et al

Dee Benson, presiding

Date filed: 11/19/2013

Date of last filing: 11/19/2013

Assigned to: Judge Dee Benson

Demand: $775,000

Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Breach of Contract

Court Filings of Lifevantage v Jason Domingo

You can view the court documents (19 pages) on the attached file:

Lifevantage v. Domingo et al

 

Jason Domingo,President, Ovation Marketing Group, Inc.

Domingo has been in business for many years.  This letter of his to the FTC is dated May 28, 2006 and he states he’s been in network marketing for 14 years, meaning he started back in 1992.  Chillingly, he quotes a Dr Charles King that by 2016 one in two Americans will be involved in network marketing.  Thankfully, we don’t appear to be treading that path.

The Court Case

The letter of his makes good reading, especially with regard to the free market and in comparison to the Lifevantage court case….  In this, they claim he:

  • Has been laying the groundwork for setting up a competitive business
  • Disparaged the company
  • Is setting up a competitive business
  • Used his disposal of 90% of his stock as proof of these claims
  • Sent  an email to Randy Haag disparaging the company where he said “there is no statement too strong that speaks to the malfeasance of this management team.  Greed and ego has gripped my (sic) beautiful company by the throat.” – Stirring stuff indeed!
  • If Domingo had worked properly, they’d have paid out tens of millions more to distributors.

In total there are three main actions, divided into a myriad of clauses.

  • They want a 12 man jury public trial.
  • They want all costs.
  • They want $775,000

Malfeasance

Domingo used the word malfeasance to describe the LV management team.  I had to double-check the meaning.  It means:

The commission of an act that is unequivocally illegal or completely wrongful.

In detail, it means:

Intentionally doing something either legally or morally wrong which one had no right to do. It always involves dishonesty, illegality, or knowingly exceeding authority for improper reasons. Malfeasance is distinguished from “misfeasance,” which is committing a wrong or error by mistake, negligence or inadvertence, but not by intentional wrongdoing. Example: a city manager putting his indigent cousin on the city payroll at a wage the manager knows is above that allowed and/or letting him file false time cards is malfeasance; putting his able cousin on the payroll which, unknown to him, is a violation of an anti-nepotism statute is misfeasance. This distinction can apply to corporate officers, public officials, trustees, and others cloaked with responsibility.

Well. Most of what I have seen about LV fits into that. It’ll be interesting to see how this case pans out. I suspect it’ll not come to court.

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Jesse Willms Banned by Judge from Negative Option Selling – Assets Frozen!

Latest News from Tuesday, Seattle

Jesse Willms Banned by Judge from Negative Option Selling – Assets Frozen!

Frozen Assets

Frozen Assets

CBC (with whom Willms has already had a tussle) in Canada are already broadcasting that local high-school athlete drop-out turned internet businessman of dubious repute, the self-styled and self-publicising entrepreneur & charitable Jesse Willms, has had some shackles applied to his business by the order, by a Seattle court, to freeze his assets (in case they’re needed to payout to his alleged victims and fines) and also to not use the negative option gambit in any of his websites.

See the CBC report (and wonderful video) here:

U.S. judge freezes assets of Alberta internet salesman

CBC report on the FTC lawyer Robert Schroeder saying,

The judge also froze the assets of Willms and his companies

I'm not a Flim-flam guy!

I'm not a Flim-flam guy!

This could be the main reason why CBC say that all his websites (that they know of, at least) are down and that his phone is dead.   I’ve checked and the dismal self-publicity blogs are still running, which they would be I suppose, as they’re not selling anything except the idea that Willms is a “good guy”.  The judge is Marsha J. Pechman, Federal Judge out of the Western District Court of Seattle according to the post I’ve linked to.  It finishes with the words:

While Jesse Willms has not responded much to these accusations, he has hired many firms to engage in a positive PR and SEO campaign and consistently sends out news releases claiming that he has been assisting charities with financial donations. Additionally, there are at least a dozen “blogs” setup by Mr. Willms to counteract the negative press with positive SERPS.

This is exactly what this website and many others have been saying for over a year now!  “Performance Marketing Insider” also states that:

Currently, according to news reports, there is a both a consumer and criminal investigation against Mr. Willms in Canada.

Well this is good! And only fair – fair to the thousands and thousands of people that feel duped by Willms’ activities.  Roll on next year – Willms is scheduled for trial in the U.S. in July 2012.  Should be sooner.

According to the CBC report, we see another aspect of Willms’ doings whereby he very rarely admits to any mistakes or wrong-doings.  It’s always someone else’s fault, in his world.  CBC say;

Willms has blamed unscrupulous business associates who he claims defrauded him by stealing credit card numbers in order to generate commissions with bogus sales.

I say,

What?  All of them?  All $457 million dollars worth?

Pull the other one!

Willms’ local paper, the Edmonton Journal, also reports on the asset-freezing story here.  They don’t say anything new – but it’s nice to keep the locals informed, don’t you think?

All those local charities that Willms has been plugging his exploits with over the past year must surely be examining their credibility in the eyes of their donating public.  This connection (and to fair, the charges are not proven yet) to Willms is starting to look very bad for them, people have long memories and mud does stick.  Ask any politician!

Surely?

Jesse Willms and Nolan Paquet

Jesse Willms (r), in the source of the famous grinning shot.

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Massive Spam Hit for Centurion Wealth Circle Pyramid Scheme

Massive Spam Hit

Willie R

Centurion Wealth Circle Spam Deluge

Centurion Wealth Circle Spam Deluge

Over the weekend, I received over 600 spams from someone called Willie R (with a number appended to the name) to my gmail account which I now use for my spam-trapping on an old email address that I use for registrations and the like…  See the screenshot of one page above!

Centurion Wealth Circle

On checking out a sample I found that most point back to Centurion Wealth Circle with a small array of other dubious links included.  The spams I got had almost identical formats (except for differing ‘from’ addresses).  The differences were in a couple of links.  These are the two spam  types:

Type 1: Includes Link to AutoXten.com

CWC Spam Type 1

CWC Spam Type 1

Type 2: Includes Link to TextAdBrokers.com

CWC Spam Type 2

CWC Spam Type 2

The amazing thing taken straight from http://textadbrokers.com/?premier1 is the spelling mistake for their prime selling point!  Under the headline “What is TextAdBrokers?” we see:

TAB was created as the premier Partner for marketing and distribution For the newly created contextual advertising Platform hitcralwer.com

hitcralwer.com (or HitCrawler.com) has already spawned a long chain on Scam.com that starts with a scam warning, then features server outages, lawyer warnings, lawyer bebunkings and various personal threats and revelations about the contributors.  For me, this is all very entertaining stuff, but the key facts for me are that;

  1. I have been heavily spammed, all links tending to the same source and all pointers pointing to the same destination(s).
  2. TAB’s own blurb can’t even spell correctly!

From that, you’ll gather which side of the honesty fence I think this lot come from…!

Willie R Burke kindly leaves his address in one spam type as “41 Merker Dr, Edison, NJ 08837”.  This ties in with the WHOIS of the source.  However, I don’t see why I should have to follow THEIR suggestion to stop the spam coming from them.  After all, I have over 600! The suggestion is not everywhere, but only on some of the pointers.

Five domains are in nearly every spam, (from those that I checked in my deluge.)

These are;

  1. http://vd.autoxten.com
    • –  Under their earnings disclaimer, they claim “that AutoXTen is not a get rich quick scheme but is a business” and that “all customers are essentially purchasing advertising”….?
  2. http://www.centurionwealthcircle.com/?register
    •  – considering the deluge I just got, their spam policy takes some beating!  e.g. “Unsolicited commercial email (UCE), while regarded as legal in some jurisdictions, is regarded as spam by most Internet service providers (ISPs), and may not be used to promote CWC”.  Larry Harper, take note!  I am not prepared to wade through 600 email headers just to prove that your spam policy works…  You do it.  Start with the source.  YOU!
    • Pyramid Details

      CWC Pyramid Details

      CWC

      Their business model is based on buying “tokens”, keeping them as a “portfolio” or something for a bit, and then cashing in 50% of the “investment” at some ill-defined “maturity” point.  Although they claim otherwise, this is classic pyramid scheme technology.  They make clear the exponential growth that potentially exists in their own blurb, and ONLY pyramid schemes promise exponential growth.

  3. http://www.makemoneyonline-free.org/
    • – here I find out that I “have been invited to join ClixSense by robbie1201”.  Oh really!  Thanks for nowt robbie.  It’s a site called “ClikSense, advertising that pays” but the domain name remains the same.  On their user agreement, point 10, Spam Policy, they helpfully remind Robbie and Willie R that “Spamming is a federal crime. Any member caught Spamming will not only have their account terminated immediately and lose any past, present and future earnings, but shall also be held liable for spamming as we shall cooperate with any authorities and investigations that may arise from the spamming incident. ClixSense may fine your account up to $5 per spam email reported from you email address.”    I don’t think they were listening!
  4. http://www.homebasedtelesalesjobs.com/

The registrant of  http://infinityleadsystem.com/ is;

E.C.I.
5802 Bob Bullock C1 Unit 328C-195
Laredo, TX 78041-8813
US

However, the server is located in Quebec, Canada!

Why this should be so when so may sites (like mine here) are served from the massive data centres in the US (like Texas, say!) is beyond me.  But I find the Canadian connection strangely comforting.

Conclusion

It stinks.  From the initial deluge to burrowing through the various “systems”; it stinks.  Leave it well alone folks.  Any business of note should NOT  be resorting to Spam for new business.  The scale of this spam deluge emphasises the non-credibility of these charlatans much more than their cheesy website offering ever could.

The fact that most domains were hidden “for privacy” plus the fact that the websites are almost incomprehensible as they struggle to disguise their real motives and modus operandi are just bonuses!

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Google Gagarin

It Was 50 Years Ago, Today

…when mankind left the gravitational confines of our Earth.

Google Gagarin

Google Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin

A poor boy from the steppes, Yuri Gagarin, simultaneously became the first man in space and the first man to leave Earth and orbit it completely.  (This is something that took NASA several steps before John Glenn finally emulated the feat).

While of humble background (like Jesus), his father was a carpenter (like Jesus) and his mother read voraciously (as Jesus knew the scriptures).  Obviously, Gagarin wasn’t Jesus, but he did die in his mid-thirties which parallels Jesus’s early death.

Gagarin Launch

Gagarin Launch

I was alive when Gagarin stunned the world by being shot into space.  I remember very few photos of the man or the event.  The West was naturally very embarrassed by being overshadowed by a dictator-led communist state.  Most scientists were just astonished.  Most politicians and the mainstream media were extremely alarmist in public (and fully actioned in private) because the inter-continental aspect of chucking a nuclear weapon sized piece of machinery aloft at the height of the cold war was paramount in their minds.

What struck me then and since was the fact that Gagarin always seemed to have a happy cheeriness about him.  When we now see his pre-flight pictures, his confidence is astounding, because remember, before the voyage, mankind had conflicting ideas about the very survivability for a man in the entirely hostile and unforgiving environment of space.  Some said that a man would die within half and hour from radiation….

Of course, the Soviet scientists had tested these theories with mammals (dogs & ape) and knew that even though the animals died on their space-flights (and were destined to die, by design), they knew that a man could survive the flight and if a return to Earth could be made, he’d live to see another day.  They’d also done a small step-by-step approach to their rocketry so even though the rocket was made primarily as an ICBM, its designer was actually more interested in getting men into space and had designed accordingly.  (see this article on Sergei Korolev and his space-flight dreams).

This, Gagarin duly did, by re-entering the atmosphere in his capsule and then, when the speed had sufficiently reduced, by opening his capsule and leaping from it to then descend on a conventional parachute.

Amazingly, this all worked, perfectly.

International Space Station

International Space Station

We now see the benefits of this early Soviet work because for the next few years, transport of people to the International Space Station (ISS) will be done by the Russian Soyuz spacecraft alone now that the NASA Space Shuttle is grounded for good.

The Soyuz is a direct descendant of Gagarin’s early capsule and the subsequent work and deaths of Soviet cosmonauts.  Later joint work with NASA and their own accidents and astronaut deaths have made the Soyuz platform very reliable, in space flight terms.  See this Wikipedia article for a full introduction to space-flight of all kinds.

Google Celebration

Google, characteristically, have celebrated Gagarin’s achievement (and that it was, make no mistake, he was a very, very, brave man), with a decorated main page which I’ve copied for posterity above.

Hooray For Gagarin.

So it was 50 years ago today.  An event that changed the world and our perception of it and ourselves  in the universe.

It’s only people some years older than myself who actually remember the previous world where people remained fixed to the planet and could only dream and wonder about the reality beyond.  For myself and folks younger than me, we can only to imagine what that world was like because we are part of the world that Gagarin’s bravery opened up for us..

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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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