An Australian federal judge (in broad-agreement with the analysis previously posted on Corporate Fraud Watch) has recently ruled that the so-called 'MLM Income opportunity' known as 'TVI Express' is an unsustainable pyramid scheme under Australian law.
au/money/tvi-travel-offer- really-a-pyramid-scam-federal- court-finds/story-e6frezc0- 1226209159301
However, this common-sense judgement came only as a result of a low-level, national, civil investigation and prosecution, and not as a result of a rigorous, international, criminal investigation and prosecution. Furthermore, the front company for this global racket is registered in Cyprus. Thus, the real beneficiaries of this major crime have not faced the slightest charge in Australia. Exactly like the billionaire bosses of the 'Amway' mob (whom they have copied) the 'TVI Express' bosses have set up their Mafia-style labyrinth of corporate structures in order to prevent investigation and isolate themselves from liabiltiy.
In an unprecedented case brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Justice John Nicholas has found that 3 promoters of 'TVI Express' in Australia, Lualhati (a.k.a. 'Teddi') Jutsen, Tina Aroha Brownlee and David Graeme Scanlon have been breaking the sections of the (Australian) Trade Practices Act which prohibit misleading and deceptive conduct. They now each face a maximum fine of $220 000.
Undercover agents of the ACCC infiltrated 'TVI Express' and posed asnaive recruits in order to gather evidence that its so-called 'MLM income opportunity' was a 'deliberate scam designed to benefit the originators while taking advantage of later recruits.' Government agents discovered that 'TVI Express' actually operated on the economically-unsustainable basis that participants could receive payments by recruiting new participants, who then could also receive payments by recruiting new participants, etc., ad infinitum. Thus, the so-called 'TVI Express MLM business model' was not only fundamentally unlawful under existing Australian civil legislation, but also a form of theft as defined by Australian Common Law. The organization's attractive offers of 'discounted accommodation and travel opportunities' and 'income-earning opportunities' were found to be lies. Victims of these lies were obliged to hand over $US 250 to obtain what was arbitrarily defined as a'travel certificate - entitling them to free accommodation for six nights and seven days, a free companion flight, access to an exclusive website and access to exclusive business tools'. These lies had already generated in excess of $300 000 in Australia. Predictably, no evidence could be produced to prove that any victim had received any of the material benefits which had been promised.
Judge Nicholas said:
'I am satisfied that the TVI Express System was a pyramid-selling scheme... I am satisfied that the single most important inducement held out to prospective members of the scheme in this case was the prospect of them making money, large amounts of it, by encouraging other people to join who would have to pay a membership fee to do so... The vacation representation was misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive because people would not expect the travel certificates to be of no value.'
It was also discovered that the 3 Australian promoters of the 'TVI Express' racket had decieved their victims into believing, and into promoting, the additional lies that 'TVI Express ' has created hundreds of thousands of successful business owners in 150 countries, and that the company acts in association with the 'Hertz Group, Carnival Cruise Lines and Malaysia Airlines.'
I'm sure that the free-thinking readers of Corporate Frauds Watch would be very interested to know why, during the previous 30 years, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has never investigated, or attempted to prosecute, any of the countless promoters of the essentially-identical, self-perpetuating 'MLM income opportunity' lie?
Indeed, numerous 'MLM' racketeers have been allowed to operate, and are still being allowed to operate, in Australia, behind the reality-inverting cloak of 'direct selling.' Classically, their de facto agents (in the form of the officers of the so-called 'Australian Direct Selling Association') have sought to subvert the democratic process and the rule of law.
Corporate Frauds Watch (copyright 2011)