URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: Gary Calhoun, MPB Today Operator, Pleads Guilty To Racketeering Charge In Florida
URGENT >> BULLETIN >> MOVING: (UPDATED 1:06 P.M. ET U.S.A.) Gary Calhoun, the operator of the the MPB Today MLM “program” and a companion grocery-delivery business known as Southeastern Delivery, has pleaded guilty to a state-level racketeering charge in Florida. He was charged in December.
Calhoun, 56, of Pensacola, was not immediately sentenced. But he is expected to turn in his passport to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement “within 48 hours,” according to the docket of the case in Escambia County. The docket also notes correspondence from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida and references a “voluntary forfeiture agreement.”
In July, federal prosecutors filed a forfeiture complaint for a property at 8812 Grow Drive, also known as Grow Road, in Pensacola. The property is the business address of Southeastern Delivery and also the address of a Calhoun-controlled entity known as WL Property Holdings LLC. The property also is the address of MPB Today.
MPB Today was among a number of “programs” pitched on Ponzi-scheme forums such as TalkGold and MoneyMakerGroup.
The Calhoun guilty plea represents the second time in 24 hours that the name of a “program” operator whose “opportunity” was pitched on the Ponzi boards has surfaced in the news, either as a current prison inmate or potential one.
David Merrick, the operator of the Trader’s International Return Network (TIRN) fraud scheme that was promoted from the Ponzi boards in 2008 and 2009, was sentenced in 2012 to 97 months in federal prison and was handed additional civil sanctions and a restitution order yesterday totaling more than $22.8 million.
MPB Today was promoted on the Ponzi boards in 2010.
Some individual MPB Today promotions were bizarre, including one that cast President Obama and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as Nazis. Another MPB Today promoter videotaped himself making a deposit of his MPB Today commissions at an FDIC-insured bank. At least one of MPB Today’s banks was operating under an FDIC consent agreement.
Still other MPB Today affiliates taped commercials for the enterprise inside Walmart stores. Some promoters asserted Walmart was affiliated with MPB Today and approved by the government. One MPB Today affiliate videotaped a UPS driver making a delivery of a television set.
The video’s narrator said the TV has been purchased “kind of, indirectly” with a Walmart gift card from MPB Today. Other MPB Today affiliates claimed a one-time purchase of $200 in groceries from Southeastern Delivery set the stage for MPB Today affiliates to receive free groceries and gasoline for life.
Clinton once sat on Walmart’s board of directors. Why some MPB Today affiliates apparently believed it prudent to attack Democratic politicians in a bid to sign up MPB Today affiliates remains unclear.
Promos for MPB Today were targeted at foreclosure subjects, Food Stamp recipients and the poor — and victims of the Florida-based AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme. In 2010, Walmart declined to comment on MPB Today-related claims.
Some MLM “opportunities” are infamous for implying in promos that they’re endorsed by famous business people or famous companies. MPB Today used images of Donald Trump and Warren Buffett in promos, and affiliates regularly implied that Walmart had endorsed MPB Today.
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