UPDATE: MPB Today Now Says Gary Calhoun Was Selected As 2003 ‘Businessman Of The Year’ By National Republican Congressional Committee

Members of the purported MPB Today “grocery” program now are touting company President Gary Calhoun as 2003’s “Businessman of the Year” in promotional news releases and articles online.

The company itself is doing the same thing on its website, explaining that Calhoun “was chosen as ‘Outstanding Young Men (sic) in America 1982’ . . . and in 2003 was selected as ‘Businessman of the Year’ by the National Republican Congressional Committee’s [NRCC] Business Advisory Council.”

None of the promos explains how one obtains either award. Regardless, the promos plant the seed that the awards are important.

Various references to the NRCC “Businessman of the Year” award appear online. The award is linked to Republican fund-raising, although it is unclear if all people who’ve claimed the award actually have contributed funds. It was not immediately clear if Calhoun donated money to NRCC in either his name or the name of a company to receive the award in 2003.

AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin, accused of operating a Ponzi scheme that gathered at least $110 million and making NRCC donations with Ponzi proceeds, claimed a similar award known as the “Medal of Distinction.” Like the “Businessman of the Year” award, the “Medal of Distinction” is doled out by NRCC.

The award can be obtained for writing a check for what amounts to the purchase of banquet tickets.

MPB Today claims that members who pay $200 to the MLM company one time can receive free groceries for life. Promoters have claimed that liars and thieves exist within MPB Today, but that prospects nevertheless should join the company.

At least one bank whose name has appeared in MPB Today promotions is operating under an FDIC consent agreement, according to federal records. MPB Today purports to have tens of thousands of members while enjoying an “unprecedented expansion.” Other promos show that MPB Today also has a relationship with a second bank.

Calhoun was the subject of a 2006 inquiry by the Food and Drug Administration, amid allegations he was selling a product that purported to treat multiple diseases, including “Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, axonal and other neuropathies, Down’s and other syndromes.”

The MPB Today program has been hawked on Internet boards associated with Ponzi schemes. The program has been targeted at senior citizens, foreclosure subjects, Food Stamp recipients, people of faith, college students and victims of the ASD Ponzi scheme.

Promoters of MPB Today have been linked to bizarre sales presentations, including one in which President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were depicted as Nazis. One script for an MPB Today promo suggested the Obamas aspired to eat dog food and table scraps left by the family pet and emerge from the ranks of welfare recipients.

“Hmm, I should prolly call my Food Stamp worker now that I’ve joined MPB,” the script read in part, depicting the First Family as welfare recipients. It also used the words “monkeys” and “Brown-noser” in the context of the Obama presidency.

Despite the claim that Calhoun was a top businessman, MPB Today has not issued a news release to distance itself from the bizarre promotion that pilloried the Obamas and Clinton, who was depicted as a drunken Nazi-In-Chief who received a left-handed salute from Obama and a greeting of “Heil Hitlary.”

Michelle Obama was depicted in the ad as having been knocked out by Clinton a short time after the First Lady experienced an embarrassing gas attack in the Oval Office after sampling beans at a Sam’s Club store.

MPB Today has not publicly disclaimed and disassociated itself from the ad, even though some members have insisted the firm is associated with Walmart and routinely have used Walmart’s intellectual property in sales promos. Hillary Clinton was the first woman to serve on Walmart’s board of directors.

The company removed an image of a Walmart store from its website in September. It also removed images of business tycoons Donald Trump and Warren Buffet. Regardless, MPB today promoters continue to use the images in sales promotions, giving rise to questions about whether the company has come into possession of money tainted by serial deceptions.

Agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission say it is not uncommon for fraudsters to use the names of famous people and entities when promoting scams. In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it was investigating certain claims about the MPB Today program.

MPB Today now appears to refer to Walmart as a “national grocery retailer.”

Other promos from MPB Today have asked members to lay down their “pipe bombs” when contemplating doing business with Walmart. Still other promos have insisted that MPB Today is associated with the federal Food Stamp program.

MPB Today now references the Food Stamp program on its website — in the context of Calhoun emerging from the ranks of Food Stamp recipients after lean times passed.

“Gary has experienced his share of failures as well,” the site notes. “There’s a 2-picture frame on the wall in his office. In one of the picture openings, it states, ‘Remember Where God Brought You From” and in the other opening . . . his old Food Stamp card.

“And as many successful business people have stated, it was adversity and failure that caused them to rise,” the site notes. “Gary firmly believes this. ‘Losing it all then getting up and going again brings a resolve like nothing else.

“I really believe the success we are experiencing today is a direct result of the adversity I’ve been through[,]” Gary says.

The NRCC “Businessman of the Year” award and the “Medal of Distinction” have been linked to scandals and bids to create legitimacy by establishing purported ties to prominent politicians.

ASD members, for example, claimed that Bowdoin had received an important award for business achievement from the President of the United States. Meanwhile, Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, convicted of financing terror and fleecing participants in an investment scheme, also appears to have claimed to be a person whose counsel the Republican party valued.

Earlier this month, the CFTC charged Ryan A. Nassbridges with operating a precious-metals scheme. A website registered in the name of Nassbridge’s wife purports that he was the recipient of both the “Medal of Distinction” and the “Businessman of the Year” award.

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12 Responses to “UPDATE: MPB Today Now Says Gary Calhoun Was Selected As 2003 ‘Businessman Of The Year’ By National Republican Congressional Committee”

  1. It’s not all that surprising that MPB Today learned from ‘Saint Uncle Andy’ on how to make a mole hill into a mountain by the arrangement of words and kindly hand gestures. If the government ever does go after them, they will probably compare it to “an attack by Satan himself” and call the AUSA a “Gomer Pyle” !!!!

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  2. Someone else who was named “Businessman of the Year”:
    NY Man Charged With Trying To Fund Terror
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/02/16/terror/main2488520.shtml

    CBS News has confirmed that Alishtari is a donor to the Republican Party, as he claims on his curriculum vitae. Alishtari gave $15,500 to the National Republican Campaign Committee between 2002 and 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records. That amount includes $13,000 in 2003, a year when he claims to have been named NRCC New York State Businessman of the Year.

    Also, another “Businessman of the Year” in 2003:
    Dr. Manuel Rico-Perez Selected as a 2003 Businessman of the Year; 2004 Congressional Tax Summit Will Host the Awards Ceremony on April 1 in Washington, D.C.
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Dr.+Manuel+Rico-Perez+Selected+as+a+2003+Businessman+of+the+Year%3B…-a0114054206

    And another one:
    Ms. Victoria Morton Named a ‘2003 Businessman of the Year’ by NRCC Business Advisory Council.
    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Ms.+Victoria+Morton+Named+a+%272003+Businessman+of+the+Year%27+by+NRCC…-a0113997532

    And another one:
    http://ablake.net/bio/

    a recipient of the 2003 NRCC Businessman Of The Year Award

    There were quite a few “Businessman Of The Year” in 2003.

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  3. If anyone is interested enough, surprise yourself and do a quick Google on “National Republican Congressional Committee 2003 ‘Businessman Of The Year’

    I received 21,200 hits.

    One of which points out the NRCC ‘Businessperson of the Year’ fundraising campaign gave awards to at least 1900 GOP donors.

    The Brian Ross team from the ABC found some interesting facts about the NRCC and its’ “businessman of the Year” awards here: http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/02/accused_terrori.html

    and here: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=643826&page=1

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  4. Tony H,

    One of the hallmarks of the majority of con men and scammers is the ability to say [things] that sound both believable and important. I can say that I am Abraham Lincoln, but that doesn’t make it a reality. These guys wouldn’t know a “Businessman of the Year” if a REAL Businessman bit them upon the buttocks. It’s all hype and BS, the foundation upon which these schemes are built. Truth has never passed their lips!!

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  5. er, things, not thongs… Patrick, would you mind editing that.. LOL I do not want to envision any of these guys in a thong!!!

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  6. Quick note: The award Bowdoin claimed also has been claimed by an Ohio man convicted in a drug case:

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2008/06/04/ddn060408hemmertweb.html

    We first reported on this in 2008.

    I think it is highly likely the “award” went to numerous businesspeople who are otherwise legitimate. Still, it has trumpeted as something that is handed out for exceptional business achievement.

    There are repeated references to Bowdoin’s award in federal court filings — both on the civil and criminal side of things. That such awards, which the Feds describe as marketing mementos, can become radioactive in a hurry seems to have escaped the attention of MPB Today.

    The most recent reference to Bowdoin’s award is in Paragraph 27 of the indictment that was unsealed earlier this month. The government alleged that Bowdoin and unnamed “others” traveled to Washington on or around June 17, 2008″ and that Bowdoin’s award was for campaign donations, not business acumen.

    Here’s what I’d like to know: Who influenced Bowdoin to make the campaign donations? Donations in his name go back to 2007.

    Also, who had the brainstorm that it would be a good idea to trumpet Bowdoin, known in Alabama to have been a securities fraudster, as a medal-winner worthy of Presidential and Congressional praise? The answers to those questions, I believe, are important to the ASD case.

    On a side note, one did not need to be a Dick Tracy to learn prior to the federal seizure of ASD’s assets that these claims of important awards were going to land ASD in the hot seat. The claims obviously were rank deceptions — something the naysayers pointed out on multiple online forums.

    And yet Bowdoin actually took the award on the road with him. There even is a picture of him pointing to it.

    It seems to me that ASD had one or more members in the business of raising funds for Republicans or at least seeking to curry favor with GOP stars. So, a question naturally evolves about who within ASD’s universe stood to benefit from Bowdoin’s donations.

    I’m also struck by the fact that the Alishtari, convicted of financing terror, used the term “rebates” in his scheme, which became known as the FEDI scheme. FEDI appears to have been a scheme within a scheme — and it also traded on religion. The are references to FEDI “rebates” dating back at least to 2003.

    ASD later would emerge — and end up using the same term to describe payments to members. For whatever reason, it was important for both FEDI and ASD to create the impression that the schemes had been endorsed by prominent Republicans and/or GOP entities.

    This is chilling because it implies that the political process was being corrupted by money originating from fraud schemes and that fraudsters — up to and including a would-be terrorist — made the calculation that linking the schemes to the GOP would sanitize them and help cash flow.

    In another sense, it was just downright reckless for Bowdoin or any ASD member to make any kind of assertion involving the President of the United States. The entire world knows that the U.S. Secret Service has the twin duties of safeguarding both the President and the nation’s banks and payment systems.

    The scammers in ASD might as well have taken out an ad in the New York Times that read, “Come investigate us.” In my view, the ASD probe was inevitable — just as the Mantria Ponzi probe (SEC) became inevitable after the purveyors started trading on the name of President Clinton and the Health Care One LLC fraud probe (FTC) became inevitable after the Health Care One purveyors began to trade on the name of President Obama.

    Obama and Clinton both are Democrats:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2010/08/11/kaboom-ftc-says-medical-discount-hucksters-used-images-of-obama-words-from-congressional-speech-to-fleece-customers-receiver-already-has-seized-website-feds-states-launch-fraud-crackdown/

    Patrick

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  7. er, things, not thongs… Patrick, would you mind editing that..

    Editorial bracket inserted in OP to note request to change “thongs” to “things.”

    Patrick

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  8. Outstanding Young Men of America is not an award….. It is a book published yearly. Names are gathered from membership roles of civic organizations and perhaps newspaper articles. Forms are sent to the young men asking for a list of all their civic participation, education, books/articles published, and personal inf. like marriage/family, offices held in organizations or cummunities. One can claim just about anything they wish as no one much cares if it is the truth.

    When the book is published it is sold to all who wish to see their name published in a book naming young men in America. Perhaps ego plays a role in this.

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  9. It’s been many years since I “graduated” from membership in the Jaycees/Junior Chamber of Commerce (at that time it was for males up to age 35), but my recollection is that the Jaycees had (and may still have) a program where local chapters could submit nominees to the national organization for an award labeled “Outstanding Young Men of America” – probably annually.

    As I recall, it was based upon involvement in civic activities and leadership as exhibited by involvement in business ownership, politics, etc., by “rising stars” who were/are under age 35.

    -PWD

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  10. What seems to be very clear is that the vetting systems of both GOP for their donations award and The Outstanding Young Men of America for their publications are seriously lacking.

    The GOP failings are the most serious as the award title is misleading and implies merit and relates to a political party which is known worldwide. It becomes even more serious when the President of GOP just happens to be the President of the United States of America.

    Bowdoin’s case is not the first time that they have picked felon and wasnt the last – in fact it seems to have become quite a habit. Do the GOP Awards Committee not have a Google search facility on their computers? Or do the ends simply justify the means?

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  11. Great Job Patrick,

    I have been trying to educate the public about MPB Today, even since my friend was suckered into it in October. I got her out with her money back, but I want to help people avoid this plague.

    Check out the following link to get more info on MPB Today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI5LGaMRJGg

    There is a predetermined number of “winners” in this program. If 7 people join MPB, only 1 member can “cycle”. If 15 people join, only 3 unique members could cycle. If 31 people join, only 7 unique members can cycle. If 63 members join, only 15 unique members can cycle. As you can see, no matter how many people join, only 25% (best case) can ever cycle.

    ~80% of the people joining MPB Today, will never cycle and lose half of their investment when they cash in their grocery voucher and pay for shipping of the overpriced groceries.

    MPB Today has been “red flagged” as a pyramid on http://www.mlm-thetruth.com Check out that site to do your own evaluation!

    The founder of MPB today, Gary Calhoun , has a F rating from the Better Business Bureau in Florida on his previous business United Pro Media. Use this link to access the FACTS! http://www.bbb.org/northwestern-florida/business-reviews/product-sales-general/united-pro-media-in-pensacola-fl-90010689

    Gary’s new business, MPB today, is too new to have actions against it, but his last business has over $300,000 of judgment liens against it. Does this sound like the successful businessman claimed in many MPB presentations. Talk is cheap, click on the following links to see the facts!

    http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/jlidet.exe?action=DETLIST&inquiry_number=J08900022252&inquiry_date=047348064000100000&return_number=J08900014707&return_date=047257344000100000

    http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/jlidet.exe?action=DETLIST&inquiry_number=J08900014707&inquiry_date=047257344000100000&return_number=J08900014707&return_date=047257344000100000

    http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/jlidet.exe?action=DETLIST&inquiry_number=J08000433673&inquiry_date=047349237342667298&return_number=J08900014707&return_date=047257344000100000

    http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/jlidet.exe?action=DETLIST&inquiry_number=J09001151348&inquiry_date=047466795223725870&return_number=J08900014707&return_date=047257344000100000

    Gary also operates LE330, a nutritional supplement company, out of the same location.

    “Free groceries for life” is used often in MPB presentations. It is always safe to comment on the future because the claims cannot be invalidated in the near term. I can make a similar grandiose claim and say that the people joining MPB will commit suicide during their lifetime, but the odds of that happening are MUCH greater than a member getting “free groceries for life”

    I can find no validation (from legitimate sources) to support the claims of the online grocery business growing to 85 billion in the next 5 to 7 years. In the year 2000, it was said that the online grocery business will grow to ~8 billion in 2004, but here we are 10 years later and it is only still around 3 billion!

    Peapod (online grocery delivery service) has been in business for 20 years and backed by a major grocery retailer, yet its 2008 revenues were only 373 million! (Kroger’s revenues are 73 billion!)

    To think that the online “commodity grocery” business would grow to 85 billion in 5-7 years, and IF IT DID, that Gary Calhoun’s company would participate in ANY WAY, is borderline lunacy.

    Gary can paint a few vans, and run his quaint little delivery business in Pensacola by buying groceries from local retailers and delivering them. That is a legitimate business, but historically will not go anywhere.

    In the Florida Yellow Pages ad, MPB/Southeastern Delivery claims to be in business since 2006. After Gary’s last businesses, Trim International/ United Pro Media/SanoRiche were cratering,he spent $125 to file another business.The business he registered , in 2006, was named “Williams Lindsey Properties”. The business description was “Any legal and lawful business”. Gary could sleep for 20 years, wake up and decide to start “MPB Today” and then file for a business name change (which he did) , but he still could claim: “in business for 20 years” to fool people into thinking it was a “seasoned business”. This is just another example how Gary “plays” the system and people! He could have easily paid $125 in 2010 to register MPB when it actually started. He seemed to have no problems filing to start a 1/2 dozen (failed) businesses before!

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  12. tuna1man, thanks for posting an excellent video which spells out the reality of MPB Today in simple and easily understandable terms.

    If anyone still has doubts about the INability of MPB Today to provide Free Groceries for Life, or believes MPB’s stories about links with Walmart, then this will help them to understand that the only way MPB can make them money is if they get in early enough and enough of their friends and family lose money.

    By the way, your observation about the additional damage caused by “fragmented matrices” is very interesting. It is a factor that almost always worsen the results of matrix schemes but is one that is not often mentioned.

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