[PART 1]: CLAIM: Major TelexFree Promoter Operated Out Of New York City Beauty Salon And Marriott Hotel
UPDATED 5:26 P.M. EDT U.S.A. If you had the means to throw down $140 for “Chocolate Body Therapy” or $260 to get the “Prince or Princess for a Day” treatment, would you also have the means to direct some cash to an MLM “program” purported to double or triple your money?
Daniil Shoyfer of Staten Island perhaps thought so. In a proposed class-action lawsuit against various TelexFree figures, the plaintiffs accuse Shoyfer of holding TelexFree pitchfests at Salon Delacqua, a beauty shop that offers moderately priced and upscale services on 86th Street in Brooklyn. The meetings appear to have occurred at 8 p.m., near or at the shop’s published closing time.
These pitches included promises of “fabulous wealth,” according to the plaintiffs. The salon also advertises a “Brazilian Karatine” hair-strengthening treatment that takes three hours and begins at $250.
And when Shoyfer wasn’t at the salon, he allegedly was at the Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom at 102-05 Ditmars Blvd. in the Queens neighborhood of East Elmhust near LaGuardia Airport, pitching the “program” in a room that hotel says on its website can be configured to seat 400.
The demographics from the neighborhood (2010) suggest that 30 percent of its residents were born outside of the United States, with a Latino population on the rise. TelexFree was accused last year by the SEC of targeting immigrants.
Shoyfer pitchfests also were hosted elsewhere in the Greater New York City region, and allegedly were conducted in English and Russian. The sites included the SOHO Lounge in Brooklyn and a real-estate office in the Rego Park neighborhood of Queens.
Accused TelexFree executive Steve Labriola was a co-host at a Shoyfer Marriott pitchfest, dubbed a “Superweekend in NY,” according to the plaintiffs.
Shoyfer allegedly took his marching orders from Labriola and other TelexFree “founders,” including accused Ponzi schemers James Merrill, Carlos Wanzeler and Carlos Costa. Also within the alleged den of financial impropriety were accused TelexFree securities fraudster Joe Craft, an accountant, and Katia Wanzeler, the wife of Carlos Wanzeler.
Along for the ride in the TelexFree swindle, according to the plaintiffs, were Sann Rodrigues, Faith Sloan, Randy Crosby and Santiago de la Rosa, all four of whom were accused by the SEC last year of securities fraud and named defendants in the proposed class action. It is one of several tied to the alleged TelexFree Ponzi- and pyramid scheme.
“Defendant Shoyfer was the creator and leader of a large network of TelexFree Promoters based primarily in New York City, but extending into other states as well, including Massachusetts, and he is believed to have been the largest single Promoter in the greater New York area,” the plaintiffs alleged. “Under any view, Shoyfer funneled a portion of his ill-gotten gain up the food chain to TelexFree, its masterminds and other Defendants.”
The complaint includes alleged passages from Shoyfer text messages to his TelexFree group. These suggest he was gathering cashier’s checks from his downline, and included a claim that he had made “$142,320 in a single week in February 2014” from TelexFree.
According to the complaint, in December 2013, prior to TelexFree’s Sunday night bankruptcy filing in April 2014, Shoyfer told his group this on behalf of himself and TelexFree “founders” (italics added):
From my upper line “Happy New Year everyone!!! 2014 is gonna be the best year for Telexfree$$$! TelexMobil is about to be launched in January! ! And, on Thursday January 23rd at 6.30 pm I will be doing my first Telexfree Superweekend in NY with Steve Labriola (director of international marketing TF) at Marriott Hotel Grand Ballroom by La Guardia Airport at 102-05 Dimars Blvd, Flushing NY 11369 (parking available). Now is the time to meet with top corporate representative..and my top leaders in my rapidly growing team.. You MUST invite your people (forward this msg to them), especially those who r still sitting on sidelines, debating about legibility [sic] and future of this company. .Trust me after this event, all negativity will disappear. .and you will double and triple you earnings in this busine$$ venture in 2014…”
On Feb. 26, 2014, about two days before the Massachusetts Securities Division made public the news that TelexFree was under investigation, Shoyfer allegedly told his group this on behalf of himself and TelexFree “founders” (italics added):
I just received checks from everyone but will wait for u to bring it until 2 p.m… then I’m going to FedEx.
On Feb. 28, the very day news broke that MSD was investigating TelexFree even as the company was reaching into Spain and conducting an event at an ornate hotel in Madrid, Shoyfer allegedly told his group this on behalf of himself and TelexFree “founders” (italics added):
Bring me certified checks now I will send them to ewallet by federal express and they will post it immediately.
TelexFree is alleged to have changed its compensation plan on March 9, 2014, much to the fury of affiliates. Shoyfer, however, continued to promote it, according to the plaintiffs (italics added):
Hey..my team Telexfree! ! And here we go again..Come to check out and learn about new compensation plan TF 2.0.. and how to grow it even faster and MUCH more aggressively and efficiently than the one we had before.…Here is this week’s schedule. . Monday 03/24 at Salon Delacqua (2027 86 str) at 8.00 pm (in English) ..Wednesday 03/26 at SOHO launch(2213 65th street) at 7.45 pm ( in Russian) and Thursday 03/27 at 7.30 pm at 63-112 Woodhaven Blvd in a real estate office. In my case, since I have started from absulute zero during this passed week Mon 03/17- Sun 03/23/14 I booked 11,500 from new one and 21,600 still coming from old plan..A total of 31,100 in 7 short days… Go Telex!!!”
The import of this, according to the plaintiffs, is that [a]fter the institution of the new TelexFree compensation plan in March of 2014, Shoyfer took part in a closed meeting with TelexFree’s Directors and Owners in Marlborough, Massachusetts, at which Shoyfer was instructed not to discuss the new TelexFree compensation plan with other, non-insiders, as the new compensation plan was detrimental to Promoters and was adopted to forestall filing bankruptcy.”
In short, the plaintiffs accuse Shoyfer of working in concert with TelexFree management to dupe people into enrolling “right up until TelexFree’s bankruptcy filing.”
Filings in the TelexFree bankruptcy case suggest Shoyfer received nearly $88,000 from TelexFree in two separate payments just prior to the April 13 bankruptcy filing. The first, for $9,902.37, occurred on March 21, and the second, for $78,037.33, occurred on March 28.
NOTE: Part 2 of this two-part PP Blog series on the class-action lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, will be published later. Part 2 will cover other allegations from the complaint, filed Dec. 12. A copy of the complaint is available through TruthInAdvertising.org. (Link to complaint temporarily disabled by PP Blog at 9 p.m. EDT March 9, 2015.)