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Blessings in No Time

The Federal Trade Commission and the state of Arkansas sued the operators of a “blessing loom” investment program, alleging that it has operated as an illegal pyramid scheme that bilked tens of millions of dollars from thousands of consumers, and targeted African Americans and harmed people struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In their joint complaint, the FTC and Arkansas charged that the operators of Blessings in No Time (“BINT”) have lured people into joining their program by falsely promising investment returns as high as 800 percent. The complaint alleges that some BINT members paid as much as $62,700 to participate. In reality, though, as in other pyramid schemes, the vast majority of participants have lost money, the complaint alleges.

BINT’s operators are banned from the business of multi-level marketing as a result of enforcement actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Arkansas alleging the operation of an illegal pyramid scheme.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
2123043
X210020
Case Status
Closed

Kushly Industries LLC, In the Matter of

In May 2021, the FTC filed a complaint against Kushly Industries LLC and its CEO, Cody Alt, for allegedly marketing products containing cannabidiol (CBD) using unsubstantiated health and establishment claims. According to the complaint Kushly sold a variety of CBD products to the public through its website, kushly.com, and social media platforms from January 2019 to August 2020. The FTC order announced at the same time as the complaint banned the company and Alt from the alleged illegal conduct. The Commission approved the final order in July 2021. In August 2022, the FTC announced it was returning almost $21,000 to defrauded consumers.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
202 3111
Case Status
Pending

AdvoCare International, L.P.

Multi-level marketer AdvoCare International, L P and its former chief executive officer agreed to pay $150 million and be banned from the multi-level marketing business to resolve Federal Trade Commission charges that the company operated an illegal pyramid scheme that deceived consumers into believing that they could earn significant income as "distributors" of its health and wellness products. Two top promoters also settled charges that they promoted the illegal pyramid scheme and misled consumers about their income potential, agreeing to a multi-level marketing ban and a judgment of $4 million that will be suspended when they surrender substantial assets.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
162 3109
Case Status
Pending

MoviePass, Inc., In the Matter of

The operators of the MoviePass subscription service have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations they took steps to block subscribers from using the service as advertised, while also failing to secure subscribers’ personal data.The operators of the MoviePass subscription service have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations they took steps to block subscribers from using the service as advertised, while also failing to secure subscribers’ personal data.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
192 3000
Case Status
Pending

Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical, Inc.

In July 2020, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint in federal court against the California-based marketers and promoters of bogus treatments for serious medical conditions.  The defendants are two corporations headquartered in Porterville, California, and two of their executives: Huu Tieu, President and CEO of both companies; and Stephen Meis, Medical Director and board member of Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical.  The complaint alleges that defendants have promoted and sold a variety of products through "plans of care" ranging in price from $23,000 to $200,000, which falsely claim to treat or cure COVID-19, cancer, Parkinson's disease, etc. On June 14, 2021, the FTC announced a proposed order barring the defendants from making bogus health claims.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
202 3146
X200051
Case Status
Pending