Should FHTM be shut down for violating RICO statutes?

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Paulie

Myakka City, FL

#1 Aug 2, 2010
FHTM operates an unlawful product-based endless recruiting pyramid scheme that relies on untrue and misleading representations and unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices. While FHTM purports to be in the business of selling name-brand services like wireless, satellite television, home security, vitamins, nutritional products and travel services, its true business is using consumers to generate fee income for representing non-existent partnerships, major sports figures, and prominent businessmen. To entice consumers to participate, FHTM makes untrue or misleading claims regarding its relationship with Fortune 100 companies like Verizon Wireless, GE Security, Dish Networks and Travelocity to create the illusion that consumers can become millionaires in three to five years.

FHTM’s growth exploded when it began to lure consumers disenchanted with traditional jobs and the recession that began in 2007 to inspirational and high-pressure business opportunity seminars touting an innovative business model that promises huge financial rewards through multi-level network marketing. FHTM erring presenters claim to have proprietary tools, special relationships, and other support that allow consumers to grow their own business by partnering with FHTM’s “companies”.
It would not be long before Isaacs (and the world) made several troubling discoveries about FHTM’s business plan and practices that doused his enthusiasm:(1) Paul Orberson had not made any special arrangements with the companies mentioned at the business opportunity/presentation seminar or in the company produced videos; (2) the only way to earn a significant income and be promoted up the ranks was to recruit additional IRs; (3) FHTM had not received regulatory approval for its pyramiding scheme in every state; (4) only a handful of IRs had earned anywhere near the residuals projected; (5) the prominent businessmen, politicians, former attorney generals and sports figures to whom FHTM constantly alluded were in fact IRs actively promoting their own FHTM business; and (6) a growing number of state attorneys general had already begun investigating FHTM in response to numerous complaints.

Nonetheless, the truth is catching up with FHTM. On December 10, 2009, The North Dakota Attorney General's Office filed a Cease and Desist Order for violation of the Consumer Fraud Law, the Transient Merchant Law, the Home Solicitation Sales Law, and the North Dakota Pyramid Schemes Act. On January 19, 2010, FHTM entered into a Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the North Dakota Attorney General's Office. On March 16, 2010, the Montana State Auditor's Office filed a Temporary Cease and Desist Order against FHTM, Paul C. Orberson, Thomas A. Mills, and Dianne Graber (a Montana IR). According to the Montana State Auditor's Office, FHTM has engaged in acts or practices constituting violations of the Securities Act of Montana, Montana Code ANN.30-10-101 et seq. On April 22, 2010, FHTM agreed to pay nearly $1 million and to change its business practices to resolve the charge that it is operating a pyramid promotional scheme.

With each passing day, more states are jumping on FHTM’s bandwagon. The alarming rise in consumer complaints and governmental sanctions has prompted the Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky to downgrade FHTM’s rating from “B-” to “F”.
What

Ozark, MO

#2 Aug 2, 2010
Paulie wrote:
FHTM operates an unlawful product-based endless recruiting pyramid scheme that relies on untrue and misleading representations and unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices. While FHTM purports to be in the business of selling name-brand services like wireless, satellite television, home security, vitamins, nutritional products and travel services, its true business is using consumers to generate fee income for representing non-existent partnerships, major sports figures, and prominent businessmen. To entice consumers to participate, FHTM makes untrue or misleading claims regarding its relationship with Fortune 100 companies like Verizon Wireless, GE Security, Dish Networks and Travelocity to create the illusion that consumers can become millionaires in three to five years.
FHTM’s growth exploded when it began to lure consumers disenchanted with traditional jobs and the recession that began in 2007 to inspirational and high-pressure business opportunity seminars touting an innovative business model that promises huge financial rewards through multi-level network marketing. FHTM erring presenters claim to have proprietary tools, special relationships, and other support that allow consumers to grow their own business by partnering with FHTM’s “companies”.
It would not be long before Isaacs (and the world) made several troubling discoveries about FHTM’s business plan and practices that doused his enthusiasm:(1) Paul Orberson had not made any special arrangements with the companies mentioned at the business opportunity/presentation seminar or in the company produced videos; (2) the only way to earn a significant income and be promoted up the ranks was to recruit additional IRs; (3) FHTM had not received regulatory approval for its pyramiding scheme in every state; (4) only a handful of IRs had earned anywhere near the residuals projected; (5) the prominent businessmen, politicians, former attorney generals and sports figures to whom FHTM constantly alluded were in fact IRs actively promoting their own FHTM business; and (6) a growing number of state attorneys general had already begun investigating FHTM in response to numerous complaints.
Nonetheless, the truth is catching up with FHTM. On December 10, 2009, The North Dakota Attorney General's Office filed a Cease and Desist Order for violation of the Consumer Fraud Law, the Transient Merchant Law, the Home Solicitation Sales Law, and the North Dakota Pyramid Schemes Act. On January 19, 2010, FHTM entered into a Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the North Dakota Attorney General's Office. On March 16, 2010, the Montana State Auditor's Office filed a Temporary Cease and Desist Order against FHTM, Paul C. Orberson, Thomas A. Mills, and Dianne Graber (a Montana IR). According to the Montana State Auditor's Office, FHTM has engaged in acts or practices constituting violations of the Securities Act of Montana, Montana Code ANN.30-10-101 et seq. On April 22, 2010, FHTM agreed to pay nearly $1 million and to change its business practices to resolve the charge that it is operating a pyramid promotional scheme.
With each passing day, more states are jumping on FHTM’s bandwagon. The alarming rise in consumer complaints and governmental sanctions has prompted the Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky to downgrade FHTM’s rating from “B-” to “F”.
What does FHTM stand for?

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#3 Mar 3, 2011
According to FHTM:
FHTM is no longer authorized to use the DuPont name, logo, or trademark in any way. FHTM should immediately discontinue the use of any materials containing the DuPont logo. Our right to use DuPont’s name, logo and trademark was revoked because FHTM abused the system by creating and distributing unapproved marketing materials that displayed the DuPont logo.
According to the real world:
How can this be true when the DuPont logo has been part of the FHTM corporate created business presentation DVD for years? The only reason they blame the reps for this is to shield themselves from a major trademark infringement lawsuit. FHTM never had a partnership or any relationship with DuPont, yet they took it upon themselves to represent they did in an effort to make themselves legal. Surprise…surprise.
Abbott

Columbus, OH

#4 Mar 4, 2011
fhtmclassaction wrote:
According to FHTM:
FHTM is no longer authorized to use the DuPont name, logo, or trademark in any way. FHTM should immediately discontinue the use of any materials containing the DuPont logo. Our right to use DuPont’s name, logo and trademark was revoked because FHTM abused the system by creating and distributing unapproved marketing materials that displayed the DuPont logo.
According to the real world:
How can this be true when the DuPont logo has been part of the FHTM corporate created business presentation DVD for years? The only reason they blame the reps for this is to shield themselves from a major trademark infringement lawsuit. FHTM never had a partnership or any relationship with DuPont, yet they took it upon themselves to represent they did in an effort to make themselves legal. Surprise…surprise.
Should FHTM be shut down for violating RICO statutes?

I think the recent events with DuPont along with several class action lawsuits may answer that question pretty well.

I'm interested in knowing what the Texas Attorney General finds with their in depth investigation on FHTM as reported in the USA Today.

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#5 Mar 6, 2011
Since WHAS11 broke this news story in 2010 the following major events have occurred:

1. Peter Lamas dropped FHTM
2. Cease and desist letters from GE, Travelocity, Time Inc and Dupont were sent to FHTM regarding the unauthorized use of these company's coveted logos and names. How can that be if FHTM was partnered with each and every one of those entities.
3. The FBI & FTC opened investigations into FHTM 4. Almost a dozen AG's have open investigations or demand letters to FHTM for production of documents including Texas, NC and Kentucky.
5. The KY BBB still ranks Fortune with a "C-" rating although it should probably be less
6. USA Today has done a major expose on their business practices of Fortune HI-Tech
7. Paul Orberson did not make it onto the Opray show.
8. AT&T dropped FHTM and other carriers are looking into FHTM's unauthorized use of their logos and names to purport an aura of legitimacy 9. Dateline NBC is investigating the company.
10. 2 class action lawsuits
Mr X

United States

#6 Mar 6, 2011
Fortune
High
Tech
Marketing

A multi-level marketing business model, where the real money to be made is by recruiting more sales reps rather than the products themselves.
Mr X

United States

#7 Mar 6, 2011
Think P.T. Barnum....

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#9 Mar 29, 2011

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#10 Apr 4, 2011
Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing loses Verizon Wireless from product offering
__________
http://www.articlemonster.com/busine...-offer...

So many questions and not enough answers. In a world fighting for customers and companies watching over their reputations like a hawk, what do these companies all have in common? I am referring to major Fortune 100 icons like General Electric, DuPont, Time, Verizon Wireless and AT&T as well as some smaller ones like Travelocity, Peter Lamas and BSP Rewards Mall.

The answer is simple, somehow over the past 10 years and probably unbeknownst to them, they became aligned with a Multi-Level Marketing company known as Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM). This was mainly accomplished because Fortune Hi-Tech does business with some of their authorized dealers and 3rd party affiliates. Fortune’s attempt to prove it’s legal by association has backfired, as it normally does. It is very difficult to build your reputation at the expense of someone bigger, when they have no idea who you are.

Should these companies have a say in who gets to use their brand in the pursuit of the almighty dollar? For the first time in FHTM’s history the number of companies represented by it on the menu board at fhtm.net is shrinking. How can that be good?

So the important question now remains, why did these huge conglomerates allow their names and reputations to potentially be smeared by a company like FHTM? The answer is simple - they didn’t know what was happening.

According to ex-representative, Joseph Isaacs from Tampa, Florida,“When these companies find out that their trademarks, names, logos and reputations are being used by FHTM in order to aide FHTM in proving its’ legitimacy they will issue a cease or desist, insist on the actions to stop or not allow FHTM to market their products”. Which others will walk when they find out the real business model and litigation history of Fortune Hi-Tech?

As of March 2011 every one of the companies listed above has either issued a cease and desist or no longer allows itself to be aligned with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing. How has this affected their aura of legitimacy? How do they explain all of this to new and even existing independent representatives?

In reviewing some FHTM business presentations on YouTube, it was apparent that the logos of GE, DuPont, Verizon and AT&T were there for one reason. What are the repercussions of only being legal by association? According to Joseph Isaacs,“Top leaders would tell prospects during the business presentation that they must be legal because no iconic Fortune 100 company would affiliate with a scam”.“All of these major companies sent their CEO’s and legal teams to meet with founder Paul Orberson to evaluate FHTM and check out their books. This cannot be so and was nothing more than a lie used to recruit”, he added. What rhetoric do these leaders use today to explain the loss of such major brands? Only time will tell.

Will FHTM leaders and owners blame the latest Verizon fiasco on the reps like they did in their announcement pertaining to DuPont only a few weeks ago? How long will this saga continue? Which other company will research the true business model of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing and un-align themselves next? It is too early to tell but this story is far from over.

If the massacre continues then Fortune will be nothing more than a vitamin and dog food MLM. That is not very hi-tech and not too many fortunes will be made by affiliation. How much representative revenue has been lost as a result of these major companies walking away? How many current representatives are scrambling to replace so many customer points? How many Regional and Executive managers won’t get bonuses because their team points are greatly depleted because of the latest loss? We searched high and low for the answers but didn’t find any.
Craig

Windermere, FL

#12 Jun 7, 2011
I checked the Kentucky BBB and they have FHTM at C- not and F. Still that really sucks.
Ian

Portland, OR

#13 Nov 11, 2011
What a bunch of BS! FHTM is perfectly LEGAL. I keep reading all these different negative articles and comments about FHTM and I don't understand why people jump to calling it a scam. These companies KNOW that FHTM is marketing their product or service. This is just a different way of advertising called word of mouth advertising. The oldest form of advertising. The companies that FHTM markets for don't have to spend the money for traditional TV advertising, billboards, internet ads, etc. So in turn more of that money is given to the company and in turn given to the reps through the compensation plan. If this was a scam, then how did I go through my own FHTM web site and order Dish through myself?
How did I get my cell phone at a cheaper rate (through my site) and make money each month off my bill? My VERIZON phone I might add. Yes Verizon hasn't gone anywhere. A true pyramid scam does not have products and services to market and a true pyramid scam does not pay you for your sales and recruiting efforts. Just put this business through the common sense test and you'll see that it is legitimate.
FHTM settles with Texas

San Jose, CA

#14 Nov 15, 2011
Ian wrote:
What a bunch of BS! FHTM is perfectly LEGAL.
Another State another settlement!

Kentucky-based Network Marketing Company to Refund $1.3 Million to Texas Customers

Texas Attorney General resolves investigation of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Inc.’s deceptive trade practices

HOUSTON – A Lexington, Kentucky-based direct sales firm has agreed to repay up to $1.3 million to its Texas customers. The agreement resolves the Texas Attorney General’s investigation into potential Deceptive Trade Practices Act violations by Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Inc.– including allegations that the firm operated an illegal pyramid scheme.

Qualified customers may obtain additional information about the settlement and submit a refund claim to the company by downloading a claim form from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov . Claims must be submitted to Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing no later than Nov. 28, 2011.

In a typical illegal pyramid scheme, a purchaser or investor pays a fee for the opportunity to receive profits in the future. Those payments are primarily derived by inducing others to join the operation and pay a fee – rather than from the sale of an actual product or service. Fortune Hi-Tech’s customers complained that the defendant falsely represented the earnings they would achieve if they became one of the defendant’s independent representatives.

Today’s settlement agreement prohibits Fortune Hi-Tech from engaging in deceptive trade practices in the future and requires the defendant to refund up to $299 to each qualified Texas customer, up to a total of $1.3 million.
helpmeifyoucan

San Jose, CA

#15 Aug 13, 2012
Everyone has heard of “Death of a Salesman”, but not “Death of a Defendant”. It is so incomprehensible to understand how a company that claims its mere existence is to help as many as possible can also be so arrogant to also believe that they can manipulate the justice system to a point where they push until someone almost dies. After exposing the truth about Fortune Hi-Tec h Marketing (FHTM) Joseph Isaacs was sued in an attempt to shut him up and stifle his rights to freedom of speech.
FHTM has engaged in a malicious prosecution since the very beginning. Filing a trademark violation case for using the world “Fortune” which they knew was owned by Time Magazine, and not them, was just a way to take advantage of Joe, cause emotional stress and drag him through the court system, costing 100’s of thousands of dollars that he didn’t have in order to defend against their BS. This has been a case of malicious prosecution and Joe should be protected by the tort laws against unjustifiable and unreasonable litigation. The ex- FHTM general counsel, who by the way was not even licensed to practice law in Kentucky during her tenure with them has displayed a great deal of malice and wrongful intent. She carried pent up dislike and animosity toward Joe, when he refused to kiss her ass.

She attempted to intimidate him as their general counsel when in fact she was acting as a lawyer illegally. She has since been reprimanded by the Kentucky Bar Association. She demonstrated sloppy legal and factual research by creating suppositions and rumors instead of facts. No evidence existed or exists to back any of their claims. There is a great imbalance in power between the parties, with an apparent desire by FHTM to intimidate or punish Joe Isaacs. A typical David and Goliath scenario unfolded from the very beginning of the drama that she created. If they had a case with legal merit they would have never agreed to a settlement which virtually dismissed all of their pending claims, in June 2011 let alone based on the terms they initiated.

FHTM continues to purposefully engage in behavior that is intended to cause severe mental anguish and they should be penalized for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Their behavior should be deemed as extreme and outrageous. Joe am a person of average temperament who has suffered great emotional distress and grave life threatening health issues caused by the continued FHTM actions. Considering he has not worked since July 2011 and almost lost his wife to a divorce over this insane controversy, one would think they would get the point. You cannot get blood from a stone although I don’t think they will be satisfied until he is on welfare and living in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere. I feel it is being done intentionally to cause emotional distress with reckless disregard to him as a person. This willful neglect has further resulted in damages to his reputation, loss of gainful employment and almost his death.
Joe has backed off and left them alone this past year since the settlement. No media interviews, no television appearances and no blogging. It doesn’t matter. They are so hell bent on blaming him for every negative comment made about them anywhere on the internet that they are blinded by the fact that others despise FHTM even more than Joe does. They have made him the scapegoat for all of their fraudulent ways. If they spent as much time in fixing their lies to act more like a real business then they wouldn’t need to continue to harass and destroy Joe.
Who in their sane mind would ever think that such a respectable company would spend all of their resources on attempted murder? Why not be happy that Joe agreed to leave them alone? Why not move on, fix your scandalous ways and continue screwing people, but leave him alone? Their intentions are clear - don’t rest until Joe Isaacs is dead and gone. Can this be considered attempted murder?
Glenn

Shawano, WI

#16 Sep 16, 2012
Paulie wrote:
FHTM operates an unlawful product-based endless recruiting pyramid scheme that relies on untrue and misleading representations and unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices. While FHTM purports to be in the business of selling name-brand services like wireless, satellite television, home security, vitamins, nutritional products and travel services, its true business is using consumers to generate fee income for representing non-existent partnerships, major sports figures, and prominent businessmen. To entice consumers to participate, FHTM makes untrue or misleading claims regarding its relationship with Fortune 100 companies like Verizon Wireless, GE Security, Dish Networks and Travelocity to create the illusion that consumers can become millionaires in three to five years.

FHTM’s growth exploded when it began to lure consumers disenchanted with traditional jobs and the recession that began in 2007 to inspirational and high-pressure business opportunity seminars touting an innovative business model that promises huge financial rewards through multi-level network marketing. FHTM erring presenters claim to have proprietary tools, special relationships, and other support that allow consumers to grow their own business by partnering with FHTM’s “companies”.
It would not be long before Isaacs (and the world) made several troubling discoveries about FHTM’s business plan and practices that doused his enthusiasm:(1) Paul Orberson had not made any special arrangements with the companies mentioned at the business opportunity/presentation seminar or in the company produced videos; (2) the only way to earn a significant income and be promoted up the ranks was to recruit additional IRs; (3) FHTM had not received regulatory approval for its pyramiding scheme in every state; (4) only a handful of IRs had earned anywhere near the residuals projected; (5) the prominent businessmen, politicians, former attorney generals and sports figures to whom FHTM constantly alluded were in fact IRs actively promoting their own FHTM business; and (6) a growing number of state attorneys general had already begun investigating FHTM in response to numerous complaints.
Nonetheless, the truth is catching up with FHTM. On December 10, 2009, The North Dakota Attorney General's Office filed a Cease and Desist Order for violation of the Consumer Fraud Law, the Transient Merchant Law, the Home Solicitation Sales Law, and the North Dakota Pyramid Schemes Act. On January 19, 2010, FHTM entered into a Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the North Dakota Attorney General's Office. On March 16, 2010, the Montana State Auditor's Office filed a Temporary Cease and Desist Order against FHTM, Paul C. Orberson, Thomas A. Mills, and Dianne Graber (a Montana IR). According to the Montana State Auditor's Office, FHTM has engaged in acts or practices constituting violations of the Securities Act of Montana, Montana Code ANN.30-10-101 et seq. On April 22, 2010, FHTM agreed to pay nearly $1 million and to change its business practices to resolve the charge that it is operating a pyramid promotional scheme.
With each passing day, more states are jumping on FHTM’s bandwagon. The alarming rise in consumer complaints and governmental sanctions has prompted the Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky to downgrade FHTM’s rating from “B-” to “F”.
FHTM representative only "job" is to recruit others to pay $249 (Wisconsin)to join and have them get people to do same. I know 3 people with FHTM and they prey on those that are on unemployment and are desperate. I notice they are not highly educated. To get to the top the members will "Pay" the new members $249 membership fee (a loan)out of there own pocket from a regular job thinking they are getting to the top and riches...its a scam on the uneducated and the state does nothing here in Wisconsin!
Glenn

Shawano, WI

#17 Sep 16, 2012
FHTM representative only "job" is to recruit others to pay $249 (Wisconsin)to join and have them get people to do same. I know 3 people with FHTM and they prey on those that are on unemployment and are desperate. I notice they are not highly educated. To get to the top the members will "Pay" the new members $249 membership fee (a loan)out of there own pocket from a regular job thinking they are getting to the top and riches...its a scam on the uneducated and the state doeas nothing!
Join SPIM today

West Plains, MO

#18 Sep 16, 2012
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Weknowbetter

San Jose, CA

#19 Oct 23, 2012
How can such a reputable company which is supposedly built on religious principles of honesty and ethics tolerate having their leaders with such horrid backgrounds?

"Todd Rowland's mistress is married to a convicted child molester and sexual predator. Thats right - the infamous Woodson Gardner's husband Clay is a felon".
Mardi_Gras_Baker

San Jose, CA

#20 Jan 31, 2013
FHTM finally shut down by FTC for good...

www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/01/fhtm.shtm
brent

Sunbury, OH

#21 Feb 3, 2013
Weknowbetter wrote:
How can such a reputable company which is supposedly built on religious principles of honesty and ethics tolerate having their leaders with such horrid backgrounds?
"Todd Rowland's mistress is married to a convicted child molester and sexual predator. Thats right - the infamous Woodson Gardner's husband Clay is a felon".
Its amazing that you can right anything about anybody on the web and you do not have to have any documentation or fact to back up and prove what you are saying. It amazes me!!! But you get on the air of channel 4 news and spout of your mouth you can be sued for defamation of character. Thats way google today is essentially the bathroom wall for society. Google gets paid every time we click on the negative because nobody clicks on positive and we live in a negative society.
Bye Bye FHTM

San Jose, CA

#22 Feb 4, 2013
Brent,

Give up on the FHTM cool-aid and do some real research like so many others have. If you do, you will find that FHTM has spent millions to prevent people like you from know what they dont want you to know. They have attempted to sensor the internet.

Google gets nothing when people click on the TRUTH!

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