Saturday, July 2, 2011

Commentary: MLM Law In the US (and the rest of the world)

8-ball pyramid scheme model.Image via WikipediaI have been pointing out that TVI Express is a scam for a long time (since end of 2009), and somehow this scam keeps running (and have actually risen in Alexa rankings since, mainly by traffic out of Russia and nearby former Soviet republics). Why?

The reason: different laws across the world, and different jurisdictions... and the nature of TVI Express scam: it is a distributed scam. The true perp, Tarun Trikha, the puppet master, never sets food in the countries where TVI Express is being prosecuted. Local "distributors" are the ones getting arrested and jailed. Problem in China? Move to Indonesia. Problem in Sikkim India? Move to different province. Problem in US and Australia? Spread some lies about defending the perps, trying to become legal, leak names of some law firms, then... nothing. Just abandon the members in those countries "no longer viable" to their own fate.

The MLM problem recently got big press in Asia when an alleged scam (I say alleged because it had not yet been convicted of any fraud yet, other than what they admitted themselves, but there is no doubt in my mind) called "SpeakAsia" was revealed to be so suspicious of being a pyramid scheme, a TV Expose triggered a multi-agency investigation, only to realize that these agencies somehow lack the power to investigate a company that does not legally reside in India!

In other words, scams can avoid prosecution by going "international" through the Internet. This is especially apparent with TVI Express, when local members incorporated "local branches" in various countries (often using completely unrelated business activities) and use THAT to claim legitimacy, when those branches are completely unrelated to the original business!

Just to use TVI Express as an example... Even today, there is no official acknowledgement on who actually runs TVI Express. There is STILL no listing of executive team on TVI Express website. Previous names like "Tom Hemmings" and "Bill Cooper" are gone and were not replaced.

What is interesting is TVI Express called Goenani Goernawan, President of PT TVI Express Indonesia (one of those "local branches"), a "Vice President".

Vice President of what, precisely? TVI Express itself? How did she get that? Where's the official promotion? If she's vice president, who is president, secretary, treasurer, and so on? And what of her position in PT TVI Express Indonesia, where she is "President"?

See the problem? TVI Express had REFUSED to answer these questions for its ENTIRE existence, yet it continues to claim legitimacy. Is this the sort of company you want to deal with?
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