No More Silence: Take Action
Consumers now have a way to fight back. A petition for stronger regulation is being gathered on the Pyramid Scheme Alert Website.
Like most other negative economic forces, the epidemic of Ponzis and Pyramids struck the middle class first. Multi-level marketing scams and “gifting schemes” have stolen billions in savings, added burdensome debt, dashed hopes and wasted the time and efforts of millions of people. The victims of these schemes are struggling with layoffs, military duty, and rising education costs.
Pyramids and Ponzis are mirror images of the Wall Street corruption that has damaged our overall economy. Scams subvert real business and sap the public’s energy and resources. They are a cancer on communities and the marketplace.
Now, a shift has occurred that creates a new opening for change.
- The $50 billion Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff, a respected Wall Street manager, has hit wealthy, famous and influential people;
- The media has now taken a sudden interest in Pyramids and Ponzis;
- A new President and Congress have taken over in Washington who were not on the receiving end of Pyramid lobbying money.
Pyramid Scheme Alert has responded with a direct way for consumers to express concern and outrage about the spread of Pyramids and Ponzis. A petition seeking better law enforcement, public education and stronger regulation is now on the Pyramid Scheme Alert Website.
If you want an end to this plague of frauds, take action. Sign the petition. (the signatures will be sent only to appropriate members of Congress and the new President's administration, and will never be shared.)
While these schemes have ravaged the finances of average people, the government closed its eyes. The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) ignored detailed reports about Pyramid recruitment and deceptive marketing by two large multi-level marketing scams.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) abruptly stopped investigating and prosecuting Pyramid selling schemes in 2001. Since then, some of the FTC’s top staff, and its former chairman became attorneys and lobbyists for pyramid selling schemes. Most recently, the FTC decided to exclude multi-level marketing schemes from its proposed new regulations on “business opportunity” solicitations. The FTC specifically excluded MLM schemes from requirements for more financial disclosure and new rules to allow consumer refunds and contract cancellations. MLMs are, by far, the most common “business opportunity” scheme and the most financially damaging. 99% of all consumers who join multi-level marketing schemes lose money.
The reason for this failure of law enforcement and regulation is all too clear. For 12 years or more, pyramid lobbyists have directed millions of dollars in campaign money to key Congressional leaders, certain state Attorneys General and the previous President. The goal is to halt investigations and weaken regulations against Pyramid and Ponzi fraud.
The Consumer Petition aims to bring these realities to the attention of the Congress and the new President. End the silence.