A few years back, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and several US states shut down a USA-based multi-level marketing company, operating in many countries. It was called SkyBiz. The FTC said the MLM was a pyramid scheme. In addition to being prosecuted in the US, at least four other countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Malaysia, arrested distributors, launched investigations or issued warnings to consumers regarding the scheme. The FTC estimated that more than one million people were tricked into investing in the Sky Biz business.
It turns out that millions of SkyBiz' ill-gotten dollars that the government seized to refund consumers were harbored in a bank in Dublin, Ireland. Now, another American MLM is in Ireland - hyped by a former SkyBiz promoter. The ex-SkyBiz promoter is in the country to recruit Irish citizens into a "magical" pay plan of a new USA company called called MyShoppingGenie. MyShoppingGenie promoters are claiming participants can gain up to one million dollars in the first year, with just a $199 initial investment and payment of $29 a month fee. They just have to recruit a few other salespeople and let the recruitment process continue. The Irish news media noted the connection between a top SkyBiz recruiter from Canada and his recruiter role in this new business. The company urges consumers to join up and then start giving away software that supposedly searches the Internet for the best shopping deals.
According to an article in the Irish newspaper, The Independent, "The company was co-founded by Bruce Bise and David Freed. Bise had been sentenced to seven years in jail in the US for felony forgery and fraudulent schemes artifice. When he got out of jail he became involved in a series of multi-level marketing schemes such as Celebrity Galleries International, My Hand PC and Get Moving Today, which filed for Chapter 11 (bankruptcy protection) leaving thousands of investors stranded. David Freed was the international marketing manager of that company."
Investigative reporter, Rory Egan of the Independent worked with the Irish television documentary show, PrimeTime, taking hidden cameras into MyShoppingGenie meeting, signing up as rep to hear the full presentation, fact-checking the effectiveness of the product, and then consulting with experts and government regulators about the scheme's legality. His conclusion: the company has the hallmarks of a pyramid scheme and he asked the government to investigate. See the PrimeTime report.
The National Consumer Agency of Ireland is now calling on consumers to be very wary of any get-rich-quick schemes, particularly involving pyramid selling.