Wednesday, 17 November 2010

'Amway' wheels out old weasel words

In view of the billionaire 'Amway' bosses' recent, abject $155 millions surrender in the Pokorny RICO lawsuit, I thought that your free-thinking readers might be interested to re-examine how (almost 30 years ago), these sanctimonious thieves hid behind their Mafia-style labyrinth of corporate structures, and used now-familiar tactics, to dodge being held fully to account for their organized crimes.
On November 10, 1983, before Chief Justice Evans of the Supreme Court of Ontario, the 'Amway Corporation' and 'Amway of Canada Ltd.' pleaded guilty to charges of criminal fraud. They were ordered to pay a C$25 millions fine. Even though no individual appeared in the dock or was found guilty, the Canadian court upheld the government prosecutors's original accusation that by means of fake and ficticious invoices and price lists, and the creation of a dummy corporation, the chief officers of these 'Amway' companies had deliberately defrauded the Canadian people out of more than C$28 millions.On the same day, the bosses of the 'Amway' mob ran expensive advertisements in The Wall St. Journal, The Washington Post, The Detroit News and the Grand Rapids Press, and sent a letter to their adherents and employees, signed by Vice President and General Legal Counsel, Otto Stolz. This reality-inverting propaganda attempted to portray Jay Van Andel and Richard DeVos' humiliating defeat and abject C$25 millions surrender as a courageous victory:
'Dismissal of Canada's charges against Four Executives marks New Era.'
'Unfortunately, in this highly complex area of customs regulations in a foreign country, a combination of misunderstandings and poor advice resulted in decisions which caused the corporation these difficulties.'
'All charges against four Amway executives have been withdrawn as a part of the settlement of charges filed a year ago by Canadian authorities.'
'Amway's co-founders relied consistently upon the advice of various responsible corporate officers and legal counselors that the agreement existed and that the company was acting in full compliance with the law.'
'When questions about Canadian customs procedures arose, Amway's co-founders acted responsibly. My own experience [Otto Stolz's] in many different corporate setting convince me that Rich and Jay responded in a highly ethical manner consistent with sound business judgment and practice."
"They chose to make a tremendous personal and financial sacrifice in order to end the ordeal and eliminate this impediment to the future growth and potential of the business... They chose to make this sacrifice by settling now and thus preserving the Amway business opportunity for millions of individuals."
All these published statements are grotesque distortions of the truth; for, in reality, a series of rigorous investigations had originally culminated in criminal indictments against the bosses of the 'Amway' mob and two of their under-bosses. However, when the individual defendants failed to respond to the court's order that they must appear at hearings of their case, the Canadian authorities were forced to begin expensive extradition proceedings, but, even then, the defendants refused to be held to account. Instead, they were allowed to negotiate a cost-effective plea bargain. Rather than waste more tax-payers money, the prosecutor reluctantly agreed to drop the criminal indictments against Messrs. DeVos and Van Andel, provided that the corporate structures which they had used to commit criminal fraud immediately plead guilty to all the charges and paid the largest fine ever imposed in Canada. Self-evidently, a corporation is an artificial entity which cannot engage in criminal activity alone; such an entity can technically be held liable for the criminal conduct of its officers, and/or employees. Interestingly, the watered-down corporate guilty plea and the payment of the substantial fine did not halt these proceedings. A civil lawsuit, in which the Canadian government demanded C$148,000,000 in customs duties, taxes and penalties, led to the 'Amway' bosses finally being forced to hand back another chunk of their ill-gotten Canadian gains.
Judge Evans explicitly rejected the lie that Messrs. De Vos and Van Andel's non-payment of duties was due to misunderstandings and bad advice. Indeed, he said, that the pair's crimes were part of a deliberate policy 'designed to defeat the customs laws.' This policy entailed 'elaborate techniques of camouflage' that were, in his judgment, 'clearly designed to conceal and mislead... The submission (to the Canadian tax authorities) of hundreds of false invoices and dummy price lists, along with the establishment of a dummy corporation, were steps in a sophisticated fraud.'
The judge stated that he based the corporate conviction on a 'premeditated and deliberate course of conduct' that was 'further evidenced by the Amway executive's refusal to take the advice of their own auditors and customs brokers who had urged them to make a full disclosure of their schemes to the Canadian government.' Contrary to what the 'Amway' bosses steadfastly pretended to be reality, they actually rejected their auditors' wise advice to respect the law. These same auditors then resigned, choosing to give up their lucrative 'Amway' account rather than to participate in the ongoing conspiracy to commit, and shield, fraud, which they had discovered.
Near the end of the reality-inverting letter sent to Amway adherents and employees in 1983, was the following, deeply-ambiguous statement: 'With settlement achieved despite its enormous personal cost, Jay and Rich are committed to putting the issue behind us all... they insist that everyone in the organization learn from the important lessons this experience offers.'
Laughably, today, if you take a look at the twisted epistle which the billionaire bosses of the 'Amway' mob have again been obliged to send out to try to keep control of their useful idiots and rapidly-diminishing, unquestioning flock of victims (in which they again attempt to deny the factual evidence proving that they are racketeers, and which Mr. Steadson has tried to pass-off on this Blog as the truth), you will discover the same weasel words and phrases which appeared almost 30 years ago.
That said, given 50+ years of evidence, how is it possible that senior US federal law enforcement agents still haven't recognised the obvious pattern of ongoing, major racketeering activity which the billionaire bosses of the 'Amway' mob, and their propagandists, continue to deny?
David Brear (Copyright 2010)

1 comment:

Sonia said...

congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation.

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