UPDATE: MPB Today Operator Ordered To Stay Away From MLM As He Awaits Sentencing In Racketeering Case; Separately, MLM ‘Programs’ Get Pounded In The Press

Gary Calhoun

Gary Calhoun

Gary Calhoun, the operator of the MPB Today MLM “program,” has joined AdSurfDaily Ponzi schemer Andy Bowdoin as a member of a dubious club: A Florida judge has ordered Calhoun not to get arrested on new charges and to stay away from MLM while he awaits sentencing in a racketeering case brought by Florida authorities last year.

Here is a note on the docket of Circuit Judge Jan Shackelford reflecting the ban: “DEFENDANT TO HAVE NO CONTACT OR RECEIVE ANY INCOME FROM ANY MLM.” Calhoun, according to the docket, will be permitted to pursue any “legal means” to support his family.

Bowdoin was banned from MLM last year while he awaited sentencing in the $119 million ASD Ponzi scheme broken up by the U.S. Secret Service in August 2008. Prosecutors said Bowdoin pushed a scam known as AdViewGlobal (AVG) even after the government seized more than $80 million in ASD-related bank accounts. After the collapse of AVG in 2009, Bowdoin, 78, pushed a pyramid scheme known as OneX, according to court filings. He later was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison.

Calhoun, 56, will be sentenced July 30, according to the case docket, which notes a plea agreement. He was arrested on the racketeering charge in December 2012 and has been free on bond since then. In July 2012, federal prosecutors in the Northern District of Florida filed a forfeiture complaint for MPB Today’s headquarters building in Pensacola. The affidavit in the forfeiture case was filed under seal. But the forfeiture case, according to prosecution filings, was brought to enforce 18 USC § 1028 and 18 USC § 1029, statutes dealing with access-device fraud and fraud in connection with identification documents.

MPB Today operated an MLM married to a grocery-delivery business known as Southeastern Delivery. Among the claims was that a one-time purchase of $200 in groceries could lead to free groceries and gasoline for life. Some promoters claimed the U.S. government and Walmart had endorsed MPB Today. Others encouraged prospects to sell $200 worth of Food Stamps to raise the money needed to join the “program.”

Supporters of the “program” defended it on the PP Blog by calling critics  “roaches,” “IDIOTS,” “clowns,” “terrible” people, “misleading” people, people who have led a “sheltered life,” people who have been “chained up in a basement,” people who have “chips” on their shoulders, spewers of “hot air,” “naysayers,” “complainers,” “trouble maker[s]” and “crybabies.”

MPB Today later vanished — but not before a promoter described President Obama as a Nazi and and his family as aspiring to eat dog food. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was depicted as a bawling drunk. First Lady Michelle Obama was depicted as having experienced an embarrassing gas attack in the Oval Office after having sampled “beans” at a Sam’s Club Store.

From an ad designed to attract prospects for the MPB Today "program."

From an ad designed to attract prospects for the MPB Today “program.”

All of it — and more — was designed to attract business to the MLM firm, which apparently has followed ASD into the darkness.

News of Calhoun’s sentencing date was received during a week in which MLM was experiencing one PR disaster after another. WTOL, a TV station in Toledo, Ohio, carried a report on the alleged Profitable Sunrise HYIP scheme. The SEC said earlier this month that the purported “opportunity” may have gathered tens of millions of dollars and that promoters may not have known for whom they were working.

Profitable Sunrise was targeted at Christians, according to regulatory actions. Among its absurd offerings was the purported “Long Haul” plan that promised to pay 2.7 percent a day with the payout due April 1 — April Fool’s Day. Promoters called it the “Easter Gift” because Easter occurred on March 31. The payouts, however, never materialized.

Separately, WFMY of Greensboro, N.C., said it had uncovered evidence that members of the Zeek Rewards “program” were being targeted in a reload scam. In August 2012, the SEC described Zeek as a $600 million Ponzi- and pyramid scheme.

Meanwhile, the politics and satire site Wonkette ran a piece yesterday titled, “The End Is Near: Time Running Out To Join Amazing Jesus Pyramid Scheme.”

The story details spam received by Wonkette, apparently from a promoter of a scheme known as “Rocket Ca$h Cycler.”

The subject line of the pitch, according to Wonkette, was this: “The Wealth Transfer is here!! Florida Pastor & Church break through financially!”

When MPB Today was operational, it ran a matrix cycler. One particularly bizzare pitch for the “program” in 2010 claimed this: If you “hate Walmart and have written a 603 page manifesto on how Walmart is trying to take over the world and steal your soul,” you should “stop making that pipe bomb and read how you can avoid Walmart and still make bank.”

Read review of the Rocket Cash Cycler “program” at BehindMLM.

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One Response to “UPDATE: MPB Today Operator Ordered To Stay Away From MLM As He Awaits Sentencing In Racketeering Case; Separately, MLM ‘Programs’ Get Pounded In The Press”

  1. Thanks for the info on Calhoun. A friend tried to
    get me to join in 2009.
    Same friend is trying to get me to join rocketcashcycler
    program. Nope, its another scam. Your $315 goes no
    where. Todd Hirsch’s is one of the founders of RCC.
    Thanks for the “end of time” article.