POST-ZEEK GUEST COLUMN: Who Are These ‘Experts’ Anyway?

DISCLOSURE: Gregg Evans, a longtime member of the antiscam community, is a longtime PP Blog contributor. He was not compensated for this column, and his views are not necessarily the views of the PP Blog.

Who are these “Experts” anyway?

By Gregg Evans

Troy Dooly is the latest “expert” to look like an utter fool in the wake of the Zeek Rewards collapse. For months the apparently respected MLM guru has been defending Zeek against all logic, common sense or demonstrated knowledge of mathematics.

It turns out that — even though in Troy’s “expert opinion” and based upon his “inside knowledge” that he couldn’t share because he wanted to respect a “non disclosure agreement” — Zeek, Zeekler and Rex Venture Group was just another garden-variety Ponzi scheme.

This one added up to $600 million if you’re keeping score. And you should be. That’s more than half a billion dollars.

A few years ago, I decided to not actively hide my identity, but not advertise it either when 12DailyPro collapsed in a heap of scandal based solely on the figures being tossed around about how much money Charis Johnson had drawn in. It occurred to me at the time that there are people out there who will in fact kill you for that kind of coin, and more than a few of them I knew were involved in the scam. I had never received a death threat before, or at least not one I took seriously.

Here we have again a figure that frankly boggles the mind being funneled into a rather transparent Ponzi scheme by a collection of ref whores, financial illiterates and flat-out criminals posting with glee “I got paid” at all the familiar places these kind of folks hang out. As the late Everett Dirksen once said, “A billion here, a billion there, and soon you’re talking real money.”

And here again we have a list of supposed “experts” whose opinion proved that “this time, it’s legit.” I just have to ask, by what standard are these people experts at anything, beyond herding the suckers to the spend button?

I, modestly, consider myself an expert in matters of investing, accounting and how money and banking work. Not just because I think so, mind you, I have an earned PhD in International Business, a MSci in Economics, an MBA and a BBA in Finance (with a shared major in Mathematics, btw).

But honestly, if you’re taking my word for it advice-wise, you’re still a sucker, because anyone can try to impress you with what they say, you have to at least look at the motivation. My motivation is to perhaps save a few people who don’t have my background from falling for the siren song of the pimps like Ken Russo, Troy Dooly and others.

Longtime HYIP huckster "Ken Russo," also known as "DRdave," helped lead the "I Got Paid" cheers for Zeek on the TalkGold Ponzi forum.

You see, I’m not asking you to spend your hard-earned money on anything. I’m not encouraging you to inform your friends, relatives and co-workers about the latest sure-fire-get-rich-with-passive-income scheme. I’m just asking you to think a bit, and trying to explain how real money and business works. I happen to some pretty spiffy credentials, but it’s more important that I’m just making common sense.

You see, some people with credentials as good as or better than mine are blinded by the easy pickings to be had if they sell out their fancy titles and initials after the name. Gerald Nehra is licensed attorney and all indications I have seen are he’s not a bad lawyer, as lawyers go. Gerry’s problem, and potentially yours, is that he’ll suspend his common sense, legal knowledge and objectivity if the check clears

Hey, I hate to judge the man, and everyone deserves good legal representation, but Mr. Nehra has not impressed me so far. I am only familiar with two companies with which he has been publicly associated with in the last few years: ASD Cash Generator and Zeek. The operator of one is in jail waiting to find out he’s going to serve what is likely going to be a life sentence based upon his age, the other one just got their offices locked up by some combination of the Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the North Carolina Attorney General.

Our “expert” lawyer, one of the best reputations in MLM law around, testified that ASD wasn’t a Ponzi, and from the looks of it told Zeek that if you tell the suckers not to call it an investment, it’s Okie Dokie legally speaking. Good advice there.

Do I think Gerald Nehra believes this? Well, as much as any lawyer believes the legal theory he’s pursuing he may, but I doubt he had a lot invested in Zeek, if you get my drift. He had, over the years built a reputation, and whether he deserved it or not (and I think not) when ASD needed to show a Federal Judge that paying old investors with new investors money wasn’t a Ponzi scheme, Nehra was right there, willing to lend his expert opinion in a Federal Court that black was white, up was down and Andy Bowdoin of ASD was a business visionary who could somehow pay 1% a day legally.

If he’s trying to represent a defendant in a court of law, that’s his job and I have no problem with that, but if he believes it, well, a friend I once had used to say it was never a good idea to believe your own bar stories or “smoke your own dope” as he put it.

ASD was a cheap Ponzi scheme and anyone not blinded by greed with had enough sense to tie his own laces could see that. A few “MLM Experts” and the “All Star Team of Stupid” ASD cheerleaders, sovereign citizen nutcases and Arby’s Indians couldn’t, but that’s just the kind of people loose on the streets since they changed the laws about involuntary mental patient commitment. The Indians, Sovereigns and pimps I won’t comment on here, but the lawyers did it mostly because it paid pretty well. And Ken Russo isn’t doing it because he likes people either, for what it’s worth, he just lacks the credentials to sound like much more than a crooked used car salesman. People like Troy Dooly should know better, and I suspect they do, but they have no trouble overlooking their own knowledge as long as the check clears.

About the Author

28 Responses to “POST-ZEEK GUEST COLUMN: Who Are These ‘Experts’ Anyway?”

  1. Was Troy Dooly ever compensated by RVG? I heard that he was. If so it presents a conflict of interest based on what he was reporting. I would assume he was not attending Red Carpet Events in NC on his own dime.

    Zeek did a very good job of paying “experts” to boost their PR to all the parties involved or interested in zeek.

    Troy Dooly still seems to question whether zeek was a ponzi in his latest article. The SEC court filing is specific that only 2% I repeat 2% of zeek’s revenue came from the penny auction site. All the rest came from new money from affiliates. A “classic” Ponzi.

    Again, Mr. Dooly. Were you compensated by RVG, Zeek, Paul Burks or anyone else involved in this ponzi?

      (Quote)

  2. Troy still defends Zeek and his “personal relationships” with its owners. He is an idiot without doubt.

      (Quote)

  3. Can you tell us which online program are not ponzi ?
    Do we have to be afraid of bidify or TCN ?

    Where can we find informations to find a professional mlm ?
    Zeek looked so interesting. How not to do same mistake ?

      (Quote)

  4. Very informational post. Thanks.

    How does Russo/DRdave get away with it, and for so long? He has even been a principal investor in at least one obvious Ponzi. (The DR Fund) Why has he not been prosecuted for his involvement in these con games? He was a huge cheerleader for P2P as well. It boggles the mind.

      (Quote)

  5. The latest interaction on Troy’s blog…

    gen3enz1 asked Troy:

    2. RVG failed the howey test badly, has your mind changed on this yet?
    3. RVG is not a legit business, have you changed your mind on this yet?

    Troy replied:

    2. No, my mind has not changed on the Howey Test. I still believe the company was running a legit business, as does the feds. However, I also agree with the feds, and have since day one and we have all talked about it. The RPP needed to be filled with true customer revenues outside of the compensation structure, or eliminated. But the underlying business of penny auctions are legal.

    3. Seems like the same question as two. I still believe RVG was running a legit penny auction business with a compensation plan that was flawed. I also believe as I have stated publicly, all penny auctions in the “MLM” space should not be classified direct sales, but direct marketing, because they are manufacturing, private labeling or selling anything they make. There could be an argument, that if the penny auction house is warehousing and shipping products purchased through the auctions, that they are a direct selling. But most are not doing this.

    I also stand by the fact, if affiliates were buying bids and using them personally in the auctions, then those purchases would be classified retail volume. However, based on what affiliates stated and the SEC is alleging that did not happen.

    Troy seems to ignore the part about the 1.5% daily compound profit rate being simply made up. Ignore the 800-lb gorilla in the room. “No, that is not an elephant.”

    Unbelievable. Well, not really based on Troy’s denials to date.

      (Quote)

  6. David: Do we have to be afraid of bidify or TCN ?

    Don’t know about TCN (what is it?) but I just spent about 60 seconds looking at Bidify. How does Frode Jorgensen thinks he will get away with running another obvious ponzi after PlexPay?
    And Bid-iffy is being promoted on the usual ponzi forums with the usual ponzi promoters saying “this time it’s real”. It’s being promoted by Faith Sloan.
    Don’t walk away, RUN!

      (Quote)

  7. Charles Ponzi: Was Troy Dooly ever compensated by RVG?

    He was paid for conducting “training”, just like Kevin Grimes, and that tax guy.

      (Quote)

  8. David: Can you tell us which online program are not ponzi ?

    Rather than giving you a fish, I want to teach you how to fish.

    http://kschang.hubpages.com/hub/Networking-Marketing-is-doomed-to-failure-its-all-about-the-dream-not-reality
    http://kschang.hubpages.com/hub/How-an-Internet-Ponzi-or-Pyramid-Scheme-Works-and-How-to-Avoid-Such-a-Scheme
    http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com/2012/07/what-exactly-is-due-diligence.html

    Do we have to be afraid of bidify or TCN ?Where can we find informations to find a professional mlm ?

    Bidify right now looks 95% like Zeek. My personal advice is forget it.

    No idea what’s TCN. Are you sure you don’t mean ACN?

      (Quote)

  9. The problem is MLM (and Ponzi) are a very “personal” business where people rely on person-to-person relations instead of objective analysis of facts instead of other people’s judgements.

    Experts can and do fail. Anybody remember how “Wine Expert Magazine” selected a bogus restaurant, with a wine list of their WORST EVER wines, as “Restaurant of the month”?

    I explained this in “Why Experts Fail” hub. I think MLM depends way too much on this P2P aspects and fundamentally flawed.

    http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com/2012/05/when-experts-fail-appeal-to-improper.html

      (Quote)

  10. My point in the article was two fold, one was that a lot of “so-called experts” don’t know a damn thing about what they’re talking about, Troy Dooley, Ken Russo and the ones who’s expertise has come from knowing the top people int he field and getting lauded by them because they bring a downline following when they say god things about a program. And the other kind of “experts” are in fact educated professionals who do know that they’re talking about, but they’re paid enough to hold their nose and hope no one is looking, and in that category I’d put Gerald Nehra, among others.

    G

      (Quote)

  11. So you are in fact, talking about shills. :)

      (Quote)

  12. Well, his advice is sound, at least. But why entertain rumors? I think he’s still in cognitive dissonance.

      (Quote)

  13. I’m responding to “People like Troy Dooly should know better, and I suspect they do, but they have no trouble overlooking their own knowledge as long as the check clears.”

    That is just a huge problem with Internet Marketing also. I lost money to an internet marketing scammer, Stephen Pierce (https://www.facebook.com/StephenPierceInc )
    and his attorney Kevin Vela covered his tracks as long as the checks cleared for 2 years. This attorney wasn’t representing himself as a business expert, but an expert on A SPECIFIC BUSINESS AND A SPECIFIC PERSON. He lied to unpaid creditors, stalled and stalled, schmoozed the authorities, threatened customers, made excuses, and withheld employee pay checks in that revolving door of an office.

    It took Kevin Vela several unpaid invoices to catch the smell around Mr. Pierce’s business model and practices.

      (Quote)

  14. All these allusions to “this is an election year” is so utterly idiotic, I can’t believe that has any traction. The one truth about any politically motivated action is that you can clearly see the beneficiary of said action. The Zeek supporters lashing out at “the government” are attacking both Obama and Romney simultaneously.

    I guess when you venture into Ponzi-land, you do so on the wings of the absurd.

      (Quote)

  15. Great article Greg!!!

      (Quote)

  16. Mitch McDeere: Troy seems to ignore the part about the 1.5% daily compound profit rate being simply made up. Ignore the 800-lb gorilla in the room. “No, that is not an elephant.”

    Does he not get the fact that 2% came from the penny auction. With 3 Billion outstanding bids and 1/4 of 1% of bids actually used he’s still standing by his opinion? He says the FED’s think zeek is legit? I truly don’t get him.

      (Quote)

  17. What he and others still don’t get is that Zeek wasn’t a penny auction site with a flawed MLM attatached, Zeek was a Ponzi Scheme with a penny auction site fronting for it. How many of the useful idiot fools signing online petitions are upset they can’t go buy an IPad for $30 (plus $900 or so in bids?)? Nope, it’s the same argument we heard from the ASD crowd, how Zeek was providing an income for people who desperately needed it in hard times. They never let themselves realize or admit that their “income” was really just their cut of the stolen funds.
    The SEC report says Zeek was paying out 94% of their daily revenue in payments to the RPP. Now think a minute, how many of those people were using some variation of the 80/20 or 70/30? If everyone, or actually just a few more would set to 100% withdrawal they wouldn’t be able to fund that payout.

      (Quote)

  18. e:
    Does he not get the fact that 2% came from the penny auction.With 3 Billion outstanding bids and 1/4 of 1% of bids actually used he’s still standing by his opinion?He says the FED’s think zeek is legit?I truly don’t get him.

    Again, he’s a paid proven liar.

      (Quote)

  19. I agree with Gregg, and I’d been saying for a long time that Zeekler was nothing more than the front for an illegal ponzi scheme. As someone else called it, “lipstick on a pig.” I think this was fairly obvious when you saw how shoddy the penny auction website was. They just didn’t care about actually making it a profitable penny auction. In retrospect, that’s probably why they had a cash out option on every auction, because having to bother with sending auction items out to winners would have just been annoying when your real focus is recruiting investors (yes, I can use that term now that the zeekler compliance squad is no more).

      (Quote)

  20. Oh and I think Troy’s focus on the penny auction sites being “legal” is nothing more than him deflecting focus from the ponziness of Zeek in general. Nobody ever had a problem with the legality of penny auctions, it was always about Zeek being a ponzi. Everyone in the world seems to understand now that Zeek was a ponzi. Everyone, that is, but Troy Dooley.

      (Quote)

  21. I provided a rebuttal to Len Clements conclusion that Zeek is not a Ponzi and that Zeek could have simply lowered the rate.

    It is a rather long post, so instead of reproducing, will link to it: http://behindmlm.com/companies/zeek-rewards/the-facts-dissecting-the-zeek-ponzi-apocalypse/#comment-88916

      (Quote)

  22. Jimmy: I provided a rebuttal to Len Clements conclusion that Zeek is not a Ponzi and that Zeek could have simply lowered the rate.It is a rather long post, so instead of reproducing, will link to it: http://behindmlm.com/companies/zeek-rewards/the-facts-dissecting-the-zeek-ponzi-apocalypse/#comment-88916

    There’s a much SIMPLER explanation, Jimmy.

    2% of the revenue is “real”, the rest are from affiliates. This is from the SEC complaint.

    Let us assume that this is 2% MONTHLY (it could be yearly, or over life of Zeek).

    2% monthly means 0.0657% daily (roughly speaking). Even that, is a nearly impossible figure in this economic climate. (Annual return of 24%)

    That means daily RPP cannot exceed 0.0325% (half) if they want it to be “sustainable”. And we’re assuming 2% is “monthly”

    If it’s annually, then the RPP is 0.00543%.

    Yes, it could be lowered… to essentially ZERO. Your bank at least promise 2% or so.

    Thanks to Interest calculator at http://www.whatsthecost.com/interest.aspx

      (Quote)

  23. Jimmy: The one truth about any politically motivated action is that you can clearly see the beneficiary of said action. The Zeek supporters lashing out at “the government” are attacking both Obama and Romney simultaneously.

    These types of inconsistencies are constantly present in the HYIP sphere. I’ve been called a Socialist and a Nazi within the same paragraph.

    Some of the Zeekers already are spinning some wild conspiracy theories and there are ASD-like petition drives under way.

    One way to look at some of the numbers in the SEC’s Zeek filing is this: There are now 1 million people trained in the art of MLM obfuscation and wordplay to mask an investment scheme. They weren’t investors because Zeek told them so AFTER ASD earlier told investors the same thing. It therefore follows that the government is wrong.

    Yesterday I was listening to a recording of the Aug. 16 JSS Tripler/JustBeenPaid conference call.

    A man on the line talked about his “investment.” Call host “Dale” immediately informed him he wasn’t making an investment, he was making a purchase.

    The very next day the SEC moved against Zeek, which had memorialized the same obfuscations and wordplay.

    Patrick

      (Quote)

  24. If you’re getting more money out than you put in, you have to explain how that’s not an investment. If you do put money in with the intention of getting more out, that’s a lot harder to explain.

      (Quote)

  25. Oh it’s just that “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” thing that everybody knows it’s an investment, even though nobody calls it that.

    For what it’s worth now, Zeek may as well just had everyone call it an investment. The SEC doesn’t appear to be swayed one bit because in their complaint they repeatedly referred to it as such.

      (Quote)

  26. admin:
    Yesterday I was listening to a recording of the Aug. 16 JSS Tripler/JustBeenPaid conference call.A man on the line talked about his “investment.” Call host “Dale” immediately informed him he wasn’t making an investment, he was making a purchase.

    The funniest was that old guy with the Youtube video promoting Zeek who was falling all over himself with constant slipups with the word “invest.”

      (Quote)

  27. K. Chang:
    There’s a much SIMPLER explanation, Jimmy.

    2% of the revenue is “real”, the rest are from affiliates. This is from the SEC complaint.

    The intent of my rebuttal was to use debate technique where you use other side’s own assumptions to show the absurdity of their conclusions. As M_Norway would say, we operate within their belief system, rather than convincing them to come to ours, and we STILL show convincing evidence that their conclusions are wrong.

    In this case, I am removing revenue from the equation completely and addressing just Len Clements assertion that Zeek “could just lower the rate”. Of course, when you add in the 2% non-affiliate revenue to the mix you have a damn convincing argument. I was just going for convincing, not damn convincing.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply