Woman Listed As ‘Winner’ In Zeek Rewards Scheme Asks Court For Help In Getting Back ‘Achieve Community’ Money, Raises Questions Over 1099 Form

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From U.S. court files. Redactions by PP Blog.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated at 6:35 a.m. on Feb. 27.

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It happened in the Zeek Rewards pyramid- and Ponzi case in 2012 — and now it has happened in the “Achieve Community” case filed earlier this month.

A woman has contacted the court presiding over the Achieve case to solicit help in getting back her money. The six-page filing by Arla Mendenhall, who identified herself as an Achieve investor, further questions how Achieve treated her for tax purposes.

A similar situation at Zeek, according to court filings, led to a 2014 criminal charge of tax-fraud conspiracy against Zeek operator Paul R. Burks. Prosecutors alleged that Burks failed to file corporate tax returns and accused him of issuing “fraudulent IRS Forms 1099s, causing victim-investors to file inaccurate tax returns for phantom income they never actually received.”

Mendenhall claimed in a communication to the court presiding over the Achieve case that she received a 1099 that asserted she was paid $6,000 by Achieve, even though “I only withdrew $800.00.”

The remaining $5,200 was “reinvested in the business,” she advised the court.

All in all, Mendenhall contended she plowed $8,450 into Achieve.

Records in the Zeek case list her as a “winner” of a Zeek sum in excess of $1,000, meaning she’s a defendant in a class-action clawback case filed by Zeek receiver Kenneth D. Bell in 2014. Senior U.S. District Judge Graham C. Mullen of the Western District of North Carolina granted class certification earlier this month.

Bell previously has raised concerns about “serial” promoters in MLM/network-marketing schemes.

Separately, posters at the RealScam.com antiscam forum have linked Mendenhall to cash-gifting schemes such as The People’s Program and Blessing Gold Club.

In 2013, the PP Blog reported that certain Blessing Gold Club promoters were promoting Better-Living Global Marketing and its Zeek-like Bidders Paradise arm. BLGM purportedly operated offshore, giving rise to questions about whether U.S. members involved in Zeek later had moved to a new venue in an effort to continue to pick fruit from a poisonous tree.

BLGM reportedly now is under criminal investigation in Hong Kong.

On Feb. 12, U.S. District Judge Robert E. Blackburn of the District of Colorado froze Achieve Community assets after the SEC contended Achieve was a pyramid- and Ponzi scheme that had gathered more than $3.8 million.

“I had no knowledge of anything illegal when I joined this Business,” Mendenhall said in her filing today.

Much of the information submitted by Mendenhall appears to have originated in her Achieve Community back office.

Alleged Achieve operators Troy Barnes and Kristi Johnson have invoked their Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate themselves in the SEC’s civil case. Barnes has claimed he faces a criminal investigation.

NOTE: Our thanks to the ASD Updates Blog.

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8 Responses to “Woman Listed As ‘Winner’ In Zeek Rewards Scheme Asks Court For Help In Getting Back ‘Achieve Community’ Money, Raises Questions Over 1099 Form”

  1. NikjSam at Realscam has uncovered she’s not as innocent as she makes herself out to be:

    http://www.realscam.com/f9/achieve-community-huge-ponzi-scam-3524/index14.html#post82435

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  2. Well, wouldn’t you know it? Arla Mendenhall is listed by the receiver in the Zeek Rewards case as a winner of a sum in excess of $1,000. This means she’s a defendant in the class action.

    Because Zeek collapsed in 2012 and Achieve didn’t launch until 2014, it means that Arla was promoting Achieve with active Zeek litigation still in the courts.

    http://patrickpretty.com/2015/02/10/bulletin-judge-in-zeek-clawback-cases-grants-receivers-motion-to-certify-class-of-9400-alleged-winners-todd-disner-faces-default-phil-piccolo-may-be-background-player/

    Longtime readers will recall that the Zeek receiver raised concerns about “serial” promoters:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2014/08/03/another-mlm-pr-train-wreck-receiver-alleges-clawback-defendants-may-be-serial-participants-in-zeek-like-revenue-sharing-schemes-asks-court-to-take-judicial-notice-of-t-lemont-silver-vid/

    Looks as though Arla also was keen on cash-gifting schemes such as The People’s Program and Blessing Gold Club. There’s info on that at RealScam.com:

    http://www.realscam.com/f9/achieve-community-huge-ponzi-scam-3524/index14.html#post82439

    In October 2013, the PP Blog reported that certain members of Blessing Gold Club were trying to align themselves with Better-Living Global Marketing and its Zeek-like Bidders Paradise arm.

    Here’s some background on that:

    http://patrickpretty.com/2013/10/08/the-wave-continues-plus-a-brief-on-blessinggoldclub-and-possible-promotional-ties-to-better-living-global-marketing-a-zeek-like-scheme-with-a-bidders-paradise-arm/

    http://patrickpretty.com/2014/02/18/hawaii-prosecutor-says-womens-gifting-circles-pyramid-scheme-operating-in-state-plus-update-on-blessing-gold-club/

    http://patrickpretty.com/2014/11/04/rippling-nightmare-has-telexfree-been-dwarfed-by-another-mlm-ponzi-scheme-better-living-global-marketing-reportedly-says-it-has-taken-in-3-3-billion-and-is-experiencing-cash-flow-problem/

    http://behindmlm.com/companies/better-living-global-marketing-raided-luke-teng-arrested/

    Patrick

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  3. would be nice if the authorities actually did something about this, and her other, little coincidences but I fear they will not.

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  4. In 2012 she was a member of the criminal ponzi promoting cesspit MMG as user ID ‘arla’. She joined an obvious ponzi scheme ‘Penny Matrix.com’.

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  5. Troy Barnes and Kristi Johnson should refund all our monies. I am from Africa, a member of Achieve community. Both of them should be refund our fund and jailed for crime against humanity. My membership ID is 7231673. Thanks.

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  6. Sorry for your loss, Gilbert, but, Johnson and Barnes are no longer in a position to refund anyones’ money.

    All (known) assets have been frozen

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  7. USDOJ: “In addition, the indictment alleges, for tax year 2011, Burks issued fraudulent IRS Forms 1099s, causing victim-investors to file inaccurate tax returns for phantom income they never actually received.”

    Interesting, I wonder if 1099s issued by US Trustee in “Trend Sound Promoter” scheme bankruptcy case, will be later considered fraudulent.
    The trustee is well aware of a ponzi nature of TSP “company” and in some of her court filings expresses that, yet still no rule/or charge of fraud and issuing 1099s to victims on phantom income they never naturally received was her (trustee) doing.
    And in that case will be IRS fraud done by the Trustee?

    http://www.realscam.com/f50/trend-sound-promoter-3268/index16.html#post81392

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  8. It’s a good indicator of what kind of mentality graduates from being a small-time Ponzi player to being an “admin” of a SCAM like BlessingGoldClub:

    Achieve sends Arla a 1099 stating that she earned $6,000 and she states, “I had to pay $6,000 in Taxes”. Note also the Freudian, capitalization of words that her subconscious decides are important … like “Getting Reimbursed”.

    SD

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