BULLETIN: WCM777 Receiver Puts End To ‘New Multi-Level Marketing Scheme Which Was Being Developed’ In California Warehouse And ‘Involved Numerous Of The Same Defendants And Personnel’; Receiver Also Seeks Freeze Of Attorney’s Bank Accounts — Plus, A Ponzi Fish Story

breakingnews72BULLETIN: (UPDATED 11:38 P.M. EDT U.S.A.) The court-appointed receiver in the WCM777 Ponzi- and pyramid case says in court filings that she has stopped a “new multi-level marketing scheme” that had been under development by WCM777 in a warehouse in El Monte, Calif.

WCM777, alleged by the SEC to have gathered about $65 million, purportedly was in the “cloud” computing business and may have more than 479,000 “member accounts.”

Receiver Krista L. Freitag says in a report that she has identified more than “100 domain names” associated with the alleged WCM777 fraudsters.

Meanwhile, Freitag says she is seeking an order to freeze the bank accounts of an attorney linked to accused WCM777 Ponzi schemer Phil Ming Xu.

The lawyer, according to the receiver, purportedly is “the beneficiary of a $5 million non-recourse loan, to be repaid in 2019 in a single balloon payment” and allegedly claimed he’d lost a cashier’s check for $200,000. The purported loan allegedly came from a Xu-owned entity.

At the same time, Freitag says her preliminary analysis suggests that Xu, who allegedly squired the purchase of two golf courses and at least six other properties for millions of dollars in cash, may have an association with at least 28 business entities. One is known as “12 Zodiacs Inc.” Another uses the words “Medical Group” when forming its name. Yet-another is described as “US Immigration Investment Assoc.” Still-another is called “WCM Art Inc.”

Perhaps like the Zeek Rewards MLM HYIP scheme before it, WCM777 could lead to an incredible paper chase that serves up intriguing but worrisome sidebars of black comedy. Another of the entities listed in the WCM777 receiver’s report, for example,  potentially has an all-subsuming name: “Frequency Holdings Inc.”

The El Monte MLM scheme was being developed by “numerous of the same defendants and personnel” involved in WCM777, Freitag advised a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder is presiding over the case. It was not immediately clear whether the alleged emerging scheme was “Global-Unity,” which once used a photograph of a golden pyramid on its website.

What is clear is that Freitag has been plenty busy since the SEC fraud case was filed March 27. In one instance, she advised the judge, the receivership observed a “third party” removing  “furniture and art work” from a property linked to WCM777.

“The Receiver promptly contacted the Monrovia [Calif.] police department and made a report,” Freitag advised the judge. “The Receiver has investigated the removal of art and furniture and has identified the people who removed the personal property. The Receiver has demanded the return of the art and furniture.”

In another instance, Freitag said in the report to the judge, the receivership observed “live Koi” at a WCM777-linked property, this one in Walnut, Calif.

“Koi” are color-splotched, trainable, domesticated carp originally bred in Japan and reportedly known to recognize the persons feeding them and to eat out of the hands of their owners, according to the Wikipedia entry for the species.

Some websites sell Koi for thousands of dollars apiece.

“The Receiver has taken steps to maintain these fish in the event they have value to the receivership estate,” Freitag advised the judge.

On the money front, the receiver advised the judge that the receivership now has in its possession “$11.28 million” of WCM777-connected money that once had been in the trust account of a law firm, $1.5 million that had been in a bank account and designated to be part of a WCM777-connected real-estate acquisition and an “aggregate of approximately $2.54 million held in other accounts of the Receivership Entities or recovered from other entities.”

Freitag also has met with Xu and his lawyers, according to the receiver’s report to the judge.

“This interview lasted several hours, during which the Receiver primarily focused on identifying assets of the Receivership Entities that needed to be secured, as well as gaining understanding of any past or present operations that were being conducted by Receivership Entities,” Freitag advised the judge.”Among other things, these interviews yielded significant information concerning funds transferred to Vincent Messina as well as a myriad of investments, loans, and transfers that need to be addressed by the Receiver.”

Messina is a lawyer WCM777 billed as its “In-house Legal Counsel,” according to affiliate promos.

From the receiver’s report (italics/carriage returns added):

During her initial investigation, the Receiver learned that, approximately one month before this case was filed, $5 million was transferred from ToPacific, Inc., an entity owned by Defendant Phil Ming Xu and whose accounts are now frozen, to the IOLTA trust account of attorney Vincent Messina.

Mr. Messina has refused to turn over the funds and his counsel has stated that some of funds have already been disbursed, but the details of those disbursements have not been provided. The Receiver initially sought to recover the funds from Mr. Messina, which Mr. Messina refused. The Receiver then asked Mr. Messina to agree to escrow the undisbursed funds pending further order of the Court and provide an accounting of the funds he received. On April 4, 2014, Mr. Messina, the Receiver, and the Commission agreed that $2.332 million wired by Mr. Messina from various accounts he controls to the client trust account of Thompson Hine LLP, Mr. Messina’s attorneys, would be held in escrow by Thompson Hine pending further order of the Court. Mr. Messina still refuses, however, to provide any information about the remaining $2.668 million, stating only that it was disbursed for “business purposes.”

On April 8, 2014, Maranda Fritz of Thompson Hine confirmed that $2,133,214.62 has been received by Thompson Hine and is being held pursuant to the escrow agreement. The remaining $200,000 to be held pursuant to the escrow agreement has not yet been received.

The Receiver also learned Mr. Messina obtained a $200,000 cashier’s check from Bank of America, which he claims he lost. Mr. Messina is apparently putting in a claim with Bank of America that the funds be credited back to his account. Bank of America advises it may take as long as 91 days for such claim to be approved and the funds credited back to Mr. Messina’s account.

Mr. Messina’s position is that the $5 million transfer is a loan pursuant to a two-line loan agreement dated February 27, 2014, in which Mr. Messina is the beneficiary of a $5 million non-recourse loan, to be repaid in 2019 in a single balloon payment. The funds were wired to Mr. Messina’s IOLTA trust account . The purported loan agreement is virtually identical to purported non-recourse, unsecured loan agreements signed by Receivership Entity Manna Holding Group, Inc., an entity owned by Mr. Xu’s wife, in connection with large transfers from World Capital Market, Inc. and Kingdom Capital Market, LLC for the purchase of real property. Declaration of [lead SEC investigator] Peter Del Greco, Dkt. No. 6, Exhibits 32 and 33. No payments are due under the purported loan agreement until January 2019.

Moreover, Defendant Ming Xu subsequently asked for return of the “retainer” from Mr. Messina, which undermines a claim that this was a bona fide loan transaction for some legitimate purpose.

The Receiver is filing an ex parte application concurrently with this report requesting that Mr. Messina’s bank accounts be frozen and he be directed to provide an accounting of all funds received from the Receivership Entities, including ToPacific, Inc. Such immediate relief is necessary to protect investors from further dissipation of the funds pending further investigation and a determination by the Court of the true nature of the $5 million transfer.

Read the receiver’s report.

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6 Responses to “BULLETIN: WCM777 Receiver Puts End To ‘New Multi-Level Marketing Scheme Which Was Being Developed’ In California Warehouse And ‘Involved Numerous Of The Same Defendants And Personnel’; Receiver Also Seeks Freeze Of Attorney’s Bank Accounts — Plus, A Ponzi Fish Story”

  1. I believe the scheme referred to would be Manna Source. The website has gone offline since Xu was busted and apparently it was a legit-looking MLM company he wanted to launch.

    We had clowns over at BehindMLM telling us to “watch out for something big” pending the release of the company that never was.

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  2. Would these have been qualified as “Internet Clowns”???

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  3. Quick note: Have received a note that WCM777 pitchmen are trying to move groups to something called KinguniMobile,” styled “Kinguni Mobile” on a dotcom site that appears to be based in Korea.

    Kinguni Mobile purports to be a “venture capital-backed company” in the mobile-gaming industry.

    It also speaks of a “massive recruitment” and says its will deliver its “first-ever mobile game marketing concept in the history of [the] Network Marketing industry.”

    China will be the hottest market for mobile games over the next 10 years, according to Kinguni Mobile’s asserted analysis of research.

    Network marketing, it says, “was started from the birth of our civilization.”

    In any event, Kinguni Mobile suggests it offers a “Career” in “RECRUITMENT PART & MANAGER.”

    There is “Customer Service” in “ENGLISH” and “KOREAN” and “SPANISH,” according to Kinguni Mobile.

    Patrick

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  5. If you guys wnat to know more on kinguni here’s the link:
    [Spam link deleted]

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  6. Jeremy,

    Do not spam the PP Blog. In other words, wake up.

    Patrick

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