BULLETIN: Data Network Affiliates’ ‘Expert’ Was Convicted Felon Charged In Racketeering Case; New Flap Involving Anthony Sasso Emerging In Florida
BULLETIN: A man described as the data expert for an online MLM program that purported to pay participants for recording license-plate numbers to help the AMBER Alert program recover abducted children is a convicted felon who was arrested in a racketeering case brought by the Broward Sheriff’s Office as part of a sting operation in 2005, the PP Blog has learned.
Anthony Sasso is referenced as a “special board consultant” in numerous online promos for Data Network Affiliates (DNA), which now appears to be doing business as “One World, One Website” or OWOW. It was not immediately clear if Sasso continues to be affiliated with the firms.
Also unclear was whether the sheriff’s office would open a probe into DNA. The agency had no immediate comment today.
DNA, a company associated with one bizarre claim after another, had no affiliation with AMBER Alert. It remains far from clear whether DNA, which misspelled the name of its own departing chief executive officer last year after withholding the news of the resignation for nearly a week, had the capacity to help AMBER Alert do anything.
The firm also claimed it delivered free cell phones with unlimited talk and text for $10 a month, while at once claiming it was the “MORAL OBLIGATION” of churches to sell a purported MLM mortgage-reduction program to people facing foreclosure. The firm, which touted Christianity in its sales pitches, also claimed to be in the offshore “resorts” business.
The 2005 sting that led to Sasso’s arrest was known as “Operation Money Car.” It targeted a “cloning ring” involving stolen automobiles, according to records at the sheriff’s office.
DNA was associated with Phil Picollo, described online as the “one-man Internet crime wave.” The firm, which used addresses in Nevada and Boca Raton and conducted business behind a domain that listed a Cayman Islands address, emerged early last year in part by trading on the names of Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey. The firm scored an “F” from the Better Business Bureau for not responding to customer complaints.
Trump and Winfrey are believed to have no ties to DNA. In a radio interview last year arranged after Piccolo threatened to sue the host, Piccolo positioned himself as a man of God — but later said he knew people who could cause physical harm to come to critics.
By the time 2010 had come to a close, the DNA website was redirecting to the OWOW website. One OWOW promo traded on the name of the National Institutes of Health, positioning an OWOW bottled-water product as a cancer-fighter. Meanwhile, Piccolo claimed OWOW offered a “magnetic” product that not only had prevented a leg amputation, but also had helped gardeners grow tomatoes twice the size of ordinary tomatoes while helping dairy cows produce more milk.
Sasso also was part of a Boca Raton company known as Phone Guard, which markets an application that prevents texting while driving. Phone Guard was endorsed by teen sensation Justin Bieber, according to promos for the firm.
The Broward-Palm Beach NewTimes carried a story this morning on PhoneGuard and the Bieber promotion. The publication reported that Sasso had been asked to resign.
Options Media, the holding company that markets Phone Guard, had no immediate comment on Sasso when contacted by the PP Blog late this afternoon. The Blog left a message for Scott Frohman, the chief executive officer of Options Media. Frohman was said to be at a meeting.
Sasso was described in DNA promos as “The King Of Data For Dollars” and was said to be the “owner of the largest database of text numbers in the world.”
Another oddity associated with DNA was a claim the company was about to go “public.”
“A publicly traded company has to answer to the SEC,” the firm said in an email to promoters. “No messing with them. Ask Martha Stewart.”