Post Attributed To Troy Barnes In ‘Achieve Community’ Private Forum Claims ‘Achieve Assets Have Been Frozen’

This 2014 promo for "Achieve Community" asked members to purchase "one EXTRA position" on Christmas Day.

This 2014 promo for “Achieve Community” asked members to purchase “one EXTRA position” on Christmas Day.

UPDATED 4:36 A.M. ET FEB. 16 U.S.A. “Achieve Community” members this evening are circulating on Facebook a screen shot from a forum post attributed to Michigan-based co-founder Troy Barnes that claims “Achieve’s assets have been frozen.”

Members say the post appeared earlier today in Achieve’s recently installed private forum.

“I am facing criminal charges,” the post reads in part. It is dated today (Feb. 14), includes the Achieve logo and is headlined, “Weekend Update.”

The post did not identify the agency that purportedly launched a criminal investigation into Barnes. Nor did it say how long Barnes had been under investigation, when he found out about it and what person or agency informed him he was facing criminal charges.

Nor did the post identify the agency that requested the freeze and the judge who imposed it.

Whether an action by a specific law-enforcement agency led to the asserted freeze also was not addressed in the post. The post claims “Kristi has fled from USA” after she “had been talking to the Attorney general in Colorado for many weeks.”

The post did not substantiate the claim “Kristi” had fled. Nor did it substantiate the claim “Kristi” had been talking to Colorado’s Attorney General for weeks or say why they’d been talking. It is unclear if Achieve still was gathering money while these purported talks occurred. Achieve appears to have been trying to create and implement a new payment conduit as recently as Friday.

Kristi Johnson of the Denver region is Achieve’s other co-founder, according to Achieve’s websites at ReadyToAchieve.com and TheAchieveCommunity.com. The sites remains online. For at least two days, this message has appeared when the “Join Now!” button is accessed through the “Sign Up” page: “We are temporarily under maintenance – sorry for the inconvenience.”

The office of Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman did not immediately return a call from the PP Blog Saturday night requesting comment. The Blog confirmed in January that Achieve was under investigation by the Colorado Division of Securities, which is not part of the Attorney General’s office.

The two Colorado agencies, however, have a history of working together on cases involving allegations of securities fraud. From time to time, such cases have led to criminal charges of theft and racketeering.

County-level prosecutors in Colorado also have worked with state and federal investigators to bring racketeering charges in securities-fraud cases.

Andrea Bitely, the communications director and press secretary for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, said yesterday that the Attorney General’s office does not comment on investigations. BehindMLM.com reported yesterday that Achieve was under investigation by Schuette’s Consumer Protection Division.

Like Colorado, Michigan has a racketeering statute that has been used in investment-fraud cases. (See one example. See another. See a third.)

In 2013, a now-former Michigan state Legislator pleaded no contest to criminal charge of Neglect of Duty by a Public Official. Schuette’s office said the onetime lawmaker carried a cell phone provided by a scammer running a $9 million Ponzi scheme and answered calls from potential investors even while on the House floor.”

At least one Achieve member has claimed on Facebook that Johnson has not fled and that Barnes is telling vicious lies, according to a post on the RealScam.com antiscam forum.

A Twitter account linked to Johnson disappeared today. So did at least one Facebook site.

About the Author

5 Responses to “Post Attributed To Troy Barnes In ‘Achieve Community’ Private Forum Claims ‘Achieve Assets Have Been Frozen’”

  1. “attributed to” is a very rational way to approach this latest firestorm, Patrick. After watching this gaggle of believers and their fearless leaders Troy and Kristi for quite a while, something about the flavor of recent developments just doesn’t smell right.

    The “criminal charges” message from Troy doesn’t read like his normal writing style even if extreme duress is factored in. I have no idea what is really going on behind the scenes at this SCAM, but I’m expecting plenty more drama before the flock gets a clear understanding of what they should have known for months:

    no one is going to be “getting paid”.

    SD

    .

      (Quote)

  2. Rodney throws Kristi under the bus, says they had a falling out that he never revealed — and that she screamed at him.

    Patrick

      (Quote)

  3. PatrickPretty.com:
    Rodney throws Kristi under the bus, says they had a falling out that he never revealed — and that she screamed at him.

    Patrick

    People are actually telling Rodney that he is a scam pusher right on this video Youtube page. You almost never see it on Youtube ponzi promo videos and there are millions of them. I guess Rodney will delete video lated and than repost it. No comments is better than few negative ones.

      (Quote)

  4. Quick notes: Some historical context on asset freezes in HYIP cases. Can’t say right now what is going on with Achieve, but these are a few things perhaps worth pondering.

    * With respect to the asserted asset freeze, it’s unclear right now whether a freeze has occurred and what law-enforcement agencies might be involved. Assuming there is a freeze order from a judge, either state or federal investigators (or both) could be involved.

    * Money also effectively could have been frozen through a process known as forfeiture in rem. That is, the investigators show a judge evidence of a crime involving a federal statute such as wire fraud or money-laundering. If the agents/prosecutors make a persuasive case, the judge basically issues an arrest warrant for the money. This has the effect of a freeze, but is not the type of freeze typically associated with an agency such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

    One of the triggers in the AdSurfDaily Ponzi case in 2008 was general murkiness about payment processors and where/how ASD was moving money. The Feds (U.S. Secret Service) applied for and received judicial warrants (forfeiture in rem) to seize money on Aug. 1, 2008. This was a Friday. (Coincidentally, there was a total eclipse of the sun on that date, viewable in some areas of the Northern Hemisphere.)

    On that Friday, the Feds seized money in about 15 bank accounts. They’d infiltrated ASD through an undercover investigation that began on or about July 3, 2008. The Feds actually joined ASD to get the lay of the land. During the early stages of the probe, undercover agents interacted with some ASD members.

    One of the members famously told an undercover agent not to call the “program” an “investment” program. Another told an agent that ASD was a Ponzi, but that he/she had joined anyway. The Feds also lined up certain communications, including a published threat to sue people who were saying bad things about ASD online.

    The ASD case essentially began as a civil investigation with a parallel criminal probe that eventually led to the arrest of ASD President Andy Bowdoin.

    Almost immediately after the Friday seizure of the ASD money, the sideshows began. Bowdoin recorded a message that God was on the company’s side. He later compared the Secret Service to the 9/11 terrorists and claimed the actions were the work of “Satan.”

    Prosecutors said Bowdoin had “followers” who were members of a “flock,” a veiled reference to cultism. (The TelexFree prosecutors later would make a direct reference to cultism.)

    A few ASD members started a forum and effectively banned posts “negative” on ASD. The forum was hugely popular at first, but any number of members eventually grew tired of the cheerleading, which very often was bizarre.

    Of course, some ASD members immediately began to promote other scams — some more outrageous than even ASD. (AdViewGlobal, for instance. It purported to be a “private association” operating from Uruguay while enjoying U.S. and Florida Constitutional protections. The “program” purported to have a “Protector.”)

    I’ve seen an Achieve Community defender describe Achieve as a “private repurchase club.” This is the same sort of nonsense that surrounded AdViewGlobal.

    It is, quite simply, a crock.

    Patrick

      (Quote)

  5. According to Oz @ behindMLM, Troy did a brief update saying the SEC has shut Achieve down. His FB page is now gone. Still trying confirm, but I have no doubt they did shut it down. Troy would have no reason to lie about something like this. They usually lie and say it is just a routine inquiry and all is fine.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply