Business Opportunity Rule #522418-11492

Submission Number:
522418-11492
Commenter:
Jo-Ellen Fico
State:
CA
Initiative Name:
Business Opportunity Rule
I am extremely supportive of of the Business Opportunity Rule because it's intention to "prohibit business opportunity sellers from failing to furnish prospective purchasers with material information needed to combat fraud and which would prohibit other acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive" would likely have prevented me and many others from being a "victim" of such practices. It is precisely due to the non-disclosure of information, and even out and out lies, put forth by the network marketing company Liberty League International, that I have come to be in a position where I lost over $20,000 (which is all debt); where I am on the verge of bankruptcy; and where my life has just spiraled downward as a result of my participation with Liberty League International. I made many decisions based on their deceptions which resulted in devastating results for me. I also know many others who had the same experience. In fact, the Attorney General in Arizona was inundated with complaints which resulted in the following news release from their website: Terry Goddard Settles with Personal Development Marketing Company (Phoenix, Ariz. -- May 24, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a settlement with Liberty League International, LLC, and its principals, Brent Payne and Shane Krider. The consent judgment resolves complaints that the multi-level marketing corporation tricked customers into spending substantial amounts of money by promising "sizable commissions" if they helped market three "personal development" products and recruit new participants into the program. The settlement requires Liberty League International, based in Scottsdale, to pay $115,000 which will be used to pay for consumer education, attorneys' fees and investigation costs, and victim restitution to be determined by the court at a later date. According to documents filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, Payne and Krider said customers had the potential to earn large sums of money if they used and recruited new participants to use Liberty League's "personal development" products. In fact, the majority of participants did not earn enough to cover the amount they paid to buy the products sold to them. The personal development products included a home-study course, a four-day personal development conference and a five-day personal finance and development conference. Prices ranged from $1,495 to $12,995 per person. In addition to the civil penalties, attorney's fees and restitution, the defendants are also required to: ? Refrain from making unsubstantiated income claims. ? Advise potential customers of the correct percentage of participants who have made a profit through their participation in the Liberty League program. ? Refrain from making any false or deceptive statements in their marketing materials. Assistant Attorney General Nancy V. Anger handled this case. The actual document is attached below. Unfortunately for me, I am only going to receive $495 in "victim restitution". This incident has been so difficult to endure, both financially and emotionally; and it has the capacity to impact the rest of my life if I am unable to "recover" and get myself out of debt. I have an absolutely impeccable credit rating that I do not want to ruin by declaring bankruptcy but my debt keeps building as a result of my predicament ever since my participation with this network marketing company. I and many others who became involved are highly educated, successful, and even corporate executive types and I wondered how this could happen? But I have since learned that these types were targeted to give the business opportunity credibility, since apparently it was based on deception. I strongly encourage this Business Opportunity Rule to be implemented. I wish it had been implemented sooner for perhpas if Liberty League International had disclosed certain information, I would have declined participation and avoided disaster.