The Consequences of Running a Scam - The MOBE Update
Whether you are new to making money online or someone who has been legitimately running an internet marketing business, you will always come across opportunities that just sound too good to be true. Most times these are scams and there are certain clues to alert you of their presence.
$300,000,000.00+ STOLEN FROM PEOPLE
Those of you who have been members here at Wealthy Affiliate for at least two years have probably heard by now that MOBE (My Online Business Education or My Online Business Empire) was shut down by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) in June 2018. A lawsuit is still on going.
Some of us who have Bootcamp websites and did scam reviews on MOBE and its associated company MTTB, were verbally attacked at one point by the owner and his associates to remove our reviews. Not because what we were reporting was fake, but because we were stopping people from being scammed.
Many of us had hundreds of comments from people who had been scammed and wanting to know what could they do to get their money back. Some of these people lost tens of thousands of dollars. Personally I only lost $49.00 when I joined to investigate the product at the behest of a friend.
Eventually the complaints got to such a high level that the FTC sent in an undercover investigator to join MOBE and gather some really damning information that lead to its downfall. Originally the FTC estimated that the MOBE scam defrauded over $125 Million Dollars from people.
I have been following the update of this lawsuit which is visible to the public on a website set up by the court appointed Receiver of Funds. The Receiver recently posted a ledger of funds collected and a money judgment against Susan Zanghi, MOBE's financial representative, to pay $318,512,336.00.
DOES JUSTICE GO TOO FAR?
I can understand how many people, especially those who were scammed out of tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars, would want to see swift and harsh justice against those responsible in the MOBE organization. But how much justice is too much? Should most of it go to the man at the top?
Though MOBE employed hundreds of people all over the world and there were just as many members scamming people out of their money as affiliates, there are three main people that the FTC are suing, Matt Lloyd McPhee (Owner), Russell W. Whitney, Jr. (Director of Event Sales) and Susan Zanghi (Finances).
These three people were like three peas in a pod, they worked closely together and loyal to the MOBE brand and each other. But now that their scam operation has been busted by the Feds and labeled as a scam, which many of us had been calling it for years, their friendship and loyalty are gone.
On the Receiver's website he has posted that the money judgment by the court in excess of 300 Million Dollars against Susan Zanghi has been reduced to only $33,400.00 under certain conditions that she must follow for at least 10 years. I bet she is quite relieved that she has dodged a financial bullet.
This made me realize that the initial claim by the FTC of "over $125 Million" was just the tip of the scam iceberg. MOBE had been scamming people all over the world for a little more than six years. With "High Ticket" items ranging from $2,000.00 to $30,000.00 each, I can see why the amount stolen is in the $300+ million dollar range.
WAS JUSTICE SERVED?
As I said earlier, I have been following the update of this case since it first started in June 2018. I find it interesting that many so called MLM and Direct Sales marketing gurus who have their own opportunities and were once associated with MOBE, have white-washed any mention of the MOBE brand.
If any of you were affiliates of MOBE and were in the process of promoting them, you better have removed any blogs, social media posts and websites in regard to MOBE and MTTB. If not you are in violation of the law and "could" be liable in the suit against MOBE and its associated partners.
But what about the three main players in the lawsuit of the FTC against MOBE? Well as I mentioned above Susan Zanghi reached a settlement and in addition to paying a lowered monetary judgment she must follow yearly reports to the FTC, She is also barred from participating in any business opportunities and coaching.
I searched through her Facebook profile and prior to June 2018 she posted pictures of her having a great time at MOBE events, all smiles posing with Matt Lloyd and John Chow. Then around June 2018 her posts were of a high stressful and sadness nature with some posts being deleted. Now it is nothing but somber family posts.
I think she is living with her level of justice because this not only affects her but her family as well and they are innocent bystanders. But what about the other two bigger participants in this lawsuit? Susan may have been the one handling the finances but Russell like Matt actually scammed the money out of people.
WAS JUSTICE SERVED ON RUSSELL & MATT?
In the bank ledger on the Receiver's website I had seen about four different deposits directly from Russell Whitney. The first was in the amount of $207,405.44, on June 20, 2018 which was blocked by his bank two days later because of the FTC TRO judgment. Then on July 30, 2018 an amount of $406,261.91 was made.
Yes, that is almost a half a million dollars! Oh but there is more. He made another two deposits to the Receiver's account in the amounts of $208,068.21 on September 4, 2018 and $59.26 on October 3, 2018. Both of these were from is Edward Jones account, most likely a retirement fund.
Sadly on November 20, 2018 Russell Whitney died at the young age of 37. How he died is still a mystery but I could imagine how he must have felt losing all of that money and everything he had gained from his scamming endeavors. I never made close to what he did but I know how devastating it is to lose all your money.
There was a brief time in my life when I went from living high on the hog to almost living in a homeless shelter. The feeling is enough to make you want to end it all. But I believe in God and the power of prayer and I eventually made a turn around. Regardless of how Russell died, his family still suffers.
And as for the creator of this worldwide scam, Matt Lloyd, he is not fully cooperating with the court appointed Receiver and the FTC. Though the published bank ledger does show him or MOBE making millions of dollar deposits, there is an online report that he still refuses to give up his lavish real estate holdings.
KARMA WILL EVENTUALLY VISIT A SCAM
Those of us here at Wealthy Affiliate are taught of the proper way to make money online and to also spot the opportunities that are scams or less than honest. For those of you doing product reviews in Bootcamp, do not be so quick to paint an opposing opportunity as a scam. It could be just a misleading program.
But once you understand what to look for, the definite red flags that indicate a scam, help alert the public to beware of that so called opportunity. Many of these opportunities that have "High Ticket" products being promoted by MLM gurus, need to be fully investigated, especially if the cost is over-priced.
Creating and operating a scam is illegal and if you are doing it for the love of money, no matter who it is hurting and defrauding, then you are asking for karma to come and take you down. Susan Zanghi and her family and Russell Whitney's family has to suffer for the foreseeable future. But what about Matt?
One can only guess that he is stalling and defaulting on FTC requests to perhaps start another type of company before his brand (his personal name) really takes a hit. Though he is MOBE it is the name of MOBE that is targeted the most in the FTC lawsuit. What will happen next?
If you have any comments, please leave them below. And if you would like to see the published bank ledger from the Receiver of Funds website, click the below link.
Did you know that Wealthy Affiliate was sued by MOBE and eventually won? Yep, and Kyle wrote about the entire drawn out fiasco and how he and Carson prevailed and won. You can read it at the link below.