Madoff Victims Will Start Getting Refunds This Week

Madoff Victims Will Start Getting Refunds This Week

Those who lost money investing with jailed shyster Bernie Madoff will be getting some of their ill-advised expenditures back this week, thanks to the bankruptcy court-mandated liquidation of his estate. [More]

Judge Tells Madoff Investors They Won't Get All Their Fake Money Back

Judge Tells Madoff Investors They Won't Get All Their Fake Money Back

A federal judge shot down an appeal from Madoff investors who didn’t just want the money they’d invested back, they wanted the amount of money Madoff said they were worth on paper. The judge said that Madoff’s financial statements were “fictitious” and thus can’t be used as a basis for claims by investors. [More]

In Prison, Madoff Is A Hero

In Prison, Madoff Is A Hero

In the outside world, Bernie Madoff is reviled. Inside prison, he’s a hero, admired for his stunning successes. [More]

Spammer Forgets To Fill Out Personalization Fields

Spammer Forgets To Fill Out Personalization Fields

I got this spam recently. Looks like our spammer forgot to fill out his form fields! “Whatsup My parents are from #CSVFIELD(3)# too! Are you 100% sure you wish to get rid of this #CSVFIELD(2)#?”I love how vague and modular it is, it’s like spam madlibs! [More]

See Madoff's AMEX Bills

See Madoff's AMEX Bills

Wanna see the Maddoff clan’s AMEX statements? They’re online here. 2 grand Giorgio Armani in Paris, 8 grand at a hotel, 10 grand to charity, $441 at a bagel store, the garners of unlawful gains really know how to live it up. But you gotta give the guy some credit: he did pay his bills on time. [Scribd] (Thanks to Chris!)

Multilevel Marketing Is Bad

Multilevel Marketing Is Bad

Everyone seems to have a friend or family member that’s been suckered into a multi-level marketing road to nowhere. While you may have no trouble identifying Amway, Zrii, Arbonne and the like as pyramid schemes, convincing naive loved ones, blinded by get-rich-quick dreams, is another matter entirely.

Madoff "Victim" Looks Strangely Like Nigerian Scammer

Madoff "Victim" Looks Strangely Like Nigerian Scammer

To help the judge decide Madoff’s sentencing, the NY AG’s office submitted 96 pages what they said were emails from his victims. I feel bad for this one guy on page 36

SEC Orders Cali Ponzi Scheme To "Disgorge" "Ill-Gotten Gains"

SEC Orders Cali Ponzi Scheme To "Disgorge" "Ill-Gotten Gains"

The SEC has busted another Ponzi scheme and ordered its operators to “disgorge their ill-gotten gains.” In this one, Anthony Vassallo of “Equity Investment Management and Trading” recruited investors through his church by saying he had a computer program that would guarantee a 3.5% return on stocks. Eventually he stopped trading and paid off investors using other investor’s money, while shoveling the rest of the funds into other schemes and scams. Vassallo was eventually busted when his investors ganged up on him and said his reports were phony-baloney.

How To Tell If A 'Business Opportunity' Is A Multi-Level Marketing Scheme

How To Tell If A 'Business Opportunity' Is A Multi-Level Marketing Scheme

Kevin’s been invited to his friend’s house to hear about a great new business opportunity! He writes, “I did a quick Google search and… while the company appears to be legit, it seems that their way of marketing their products [is] almost pyramid scheme in nature.” The problem for Kevin, and anyone else researching this sort of thing, is it can be hard to tell how much you should trust any specific page of reviews or feedback. Here’s a clear 5-step evaluation to determine whether or not the next big thing is really a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme.

Suicide: Hedge Fund Manager Who Invested $1.4 Billion In Madoff Scheme Found Dead

Suicide: Hedge Fund Manager Who Invested $1.4 Billion In Madoff Scheme Found Dead

A hedge fund manager, Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, who invested $1.4 billion in Madoff’s $50billion Ponzi scheme was found dead by apparent, movie-style, suicide.

$50 Billion Ponzi Scheme Could Just Be For Starters

$50 Billion Ponzi Scheme Could Just Be For Starters

Madoff’s $50 billion scam came unwound when too many investors tried to pull their money at the same time, which means we’re likely to more big swindles get exposed in the coming months…

$50 Billion Ponzi Scheme Busted

$50 Billion Ponzi Scheme Busted

Famous broker Bernard Madoff was arrested yesterday for running what was really a $50 billion pyramid scheme. Slate’s The Big Money has insight on how investors can spot an operator like Madoff:

Just What The Heck Is MonaVie, And Should I Sell It?

Just What The Heck Is MonaVie, And Should I Sell It?

I’ve been approached by a friend to join up with MonaVie acai juice—it’s a “superfood” juice that’s sold through “network marketing.” I actually do like the product, and this is a friend I trust, but my alarm bells are still going off. I don’t want to get sucked into a scam, obviously. There’s nothing about this company on your site, so I thought I’d drop you a line and see if you had any advice.

How The Modern Pyramid Scheme Stays Barely Legal

How The Modern Pyramid Scheme Stays Barely Legal

The modern pyramid scheme has undergone slight tweaks in order to stay just with the bounds of the law, and still keep the fun scam times going. When you strip away all the pretty foil and chocolate, though, a naked Ponzi sits in the center, laughing his ass off.

4 Typical DS-MAX MLM Scam Job Ads Found On Monster, HotJobs, CareerBuilder And Jobster

4 Typical DS-MAX MLM Scam Job Ads Found On Monster, HotJobs, CareerBuilder And Jobster

Using the names of companies accused of being DS-Max (now known as Innovage) subsidiaries/affiliates on Ripoffreport and a list on DS-Max The Aftermath, I did a search of Monster, Hot Jobs, and other job sites to pick out real ads that are out there and should be avoided.

How To Spot A DS-MAX Style MLM Scam Job Ad

How To Spot A DS-MAX Style MLM Scam Job Ad

Here are some of the qualities of a “business” operating under DS-MAX (now known as Innovage, though the same company owns both trademarks...) principles, an organization responsible for many complaints alleging scams, fraud, and general employee deprivation in a “sales-cult” atmosphere. [More]

13 Confession Of A Former DS-MAX Manager

13 Confession Of A Former DS-MAX Manager

This is almost everything you need know about DS-MAX (now known as Innovage), the super-shady multi-level-marketing group whose business practices seems to have inspired the Midtown Promotions office we’re looking into. It’s culled from an excellent post over at DS-MAX: The Aftermath:

Pursue Exciting Opportunities In Energy Deregulation

Pursue Exciting Opportunities In Energy Deregulation

You too can work for an energy supplier and seize a piece of this exciting money-making opportunity! At least, that’s what the Craigslist ad told us.

You may know well the great promise of Network Marketing.

We love the part where they say the amount of money you can make from this depends on,

The timing of entry of the networker into the company growth curve.

aka, it’s better to be at the top of the Ponzi scheme. For the uninitiated, network marketing is just another name for multi-level-marketing (MLM), structurally similar to a pyramid scheme, except usually there’s an actual product being sold. Employees get money for selling products, and for signing up new recruits. A cut of your commission flows up to the guy who signed you up, and you get a cut of your recruits’ commissions, and so on up the pyramid. The FTC ruled that MLM isn’t illegal per se. Often they’re set up so the people on the very bottom don’t make much, or even end up losing, money. Amway is a famous example.