MONTANA: Former Zeek Pitchman Who Also Pushed TelexFree Now Required To Give State Notice Of MLM Activities

recommendedreading1A former pitchman for the Zeek Rewards MLM Ponzi- and pyramid scheme also acknowledged he participated in TelexFree, the state of Montana said in a consent agreement and final order.

James D. Helgeson was fined $5,000 by the office of Monica Lindeen, Montana’s Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (CSI) and state auditor.

The case demonstrates that accountability for a “program” can apply to both the operators and individual promoters. It also demonstrates that promoters who may move from one dubious MLM scheme to another may encounter state-imposed restrictions.

As part of the agreement, Helgeson must notify Montana for the next five years “prior to his participation in any multilevel distribution company.”

From Helgeson’s agreement with Montana, which was finalized this month (italics/carriage returns added):

This condition applies regardless of whether the MLM is registered with the State of Montana as required under §30-10-216.

“Participation” includes selling any MLM product or service; directly or indirectly promoting, recommending, or referring a person to any MLM product, service, or compensation plan; participating in any MLM compensation structure wherein Respondent sponsors or is sponsored by another person in the structure, or receives a pecuniary or other benefit based upon the efforts of other persons within the structure; or paying a MLM or its representative, whether directly or through the purchase of a product or service, for the opportunity to participate in a compensation plan or structure.

“Participation” does not include the purchase of a MLM product or service for personal consumption or use, so long as the MLM does not market or offer that product or service as a means for the purchaser to earn income.

In April 2014, Montana issued a cease-and-desist order to TelexFree, saying it unsuccessfully had sought complete information from the MLM “program” for months and alleging that TelexFree continued to do business in the state after claiming it had pulled out.

Alleged TelexFree co-owners James Merrill and Carlos Wanzeler were charged criminally by federal prosecutors in May 2014 with wire-fraud conspiracy. They also face serious allegations of fraud filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as at least four prospective class-action lawsuits.

The SEC has sued four alleged individual promoters, saying they engaged in securities fraud. Helgeson, who neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in Montana, is not among the federal defendants.

During the Zeek-related action brought against him in Montana, Helgeson acknowledged to authorities that he also had been involved in TelexFree and an MLM “program” known as Apex Revenue, the state said in its order.

The filing asserts that Helgeson, who was a registered securities salesperson and investment adviser while pushing Zeek, pushed Zeek’s unregistered securities.

Helgeson supplied the state with a list of the names of his Zeek recruits and “has offered certain Montana resident-participants payment for monies lost through participation in the Program,” according to the order.

“Respondent has further informed the CSI that he has terminated his Participation in the TelexFree and Apex Revenue MLM programs prior to the date of this Agreement,” the state said in the order, which was dated June 2.

Zeek gathered $850 million in its scam, federal officials have said. TelexFree gathered more than $1.2 billion, according to the Massachusetts Securities Division.

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3 Responses to “MONTANA: Former Zeek Pitchman Who Also Pushed TelexFree Now Required To Give State Notice Of MLM Activities”

  1. Can you investigate or have more information about this companies: wish club magazine-spain. and onethor.com

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  2. ximena Kozierowski: Can you investigate or have more information about this companies: wish club magazine-spain. and onethor.com

    Here’s a couple of links:

    http://behindmlm.com/companies/one-thor-review-chinese-backed-telexfree-clone/
    http://behindmlm.com/companies/wish-club-review-magazine-based-telexfree-clone/

    Wish Club was mostly about background photos from “exotic places”, indicating “lifestyle”. Otherwise it had very little content on its website. It’s a “fake it till you make it” type of program (pretend to be more successful than you are, and if enough people believe in it you will potentially become more successful than you were).

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  3. M_Norway: Here’s a couple of links:

    http://behindmlm.com/companies/one-thor-review-chinese-backed-telexfree-clone/
    http://behindmlm.com/companies/wish-club-review-magazine-based-telexfree-clone/

    Wish Club was mostly about background photos from “exotic places”, indicating “lifestyle”. Otherwise it had very little content on its website. It’s a “fake it till you make it” type of program (pretend to be more successful than you are, and if enough people believe in it you will potentially become more successful than you were).

    Thanks for those, M_Norway.

    Patrick

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