FTC Action Against Alleged Pyramid Scheme Affirms DSA Membership Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 29, 2013) – Following the Jan. 28 announcement that an enforcement action against Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) is being initiated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and several attorneys general for allegedly operating a pyramid scheme, the Direct Selling Association (DSA) has received numerous inquiries regarding whether FHTM is a member of the Association. “FHTM is not a member of DSA,” confirmed President Joe Mariano. Additionally, he stated that “the Association’s membership application process is rigorous, and is designed to ensure that only legitimate direct selling companies become members of the direct selling industry’s trade association.”

DSA

FHTM had applied for DSA membership, but withdrew its application in 2011. A rigorous review of each applicant’s marketing and compensation plan is conducted to ensure compliance with DSA’s self-regulatory Code of Ethics. DSA works with applicant companies to address any deficiencies in policies and procedures prior to recommending to the Board of Directors that the company be approved for full membership. Mr. Mariano explained that “the membership review process serves to identify pyramid schemes that are masquerading as legitimate direct selling companies.” Mr. Mariano also stated “that well over half of the companies that apply for membership in the Association withdraw their applications for a variety of reasons including failure to come into full compliance with the requirements of the DSA Code of Ethics,” thus making the company ineligible for membership. Pyramid schemes and other fraudulent scams are ineligible for DSA membership.

While DSA cannot comment on the specific allegations regarding FHTM, Mr. Mariano commended the FTC and state attorneys general “for their comprehensive, ongoing efforts to identify and prosecute illegal and fraudulent pyramid schemes, an approach that is consistent with concerns raised by DSA through its membership application process and its long-established self-regulatory efforts.”

As part of the membership review process, DSA welcomes comments from the public about pending member companies. A full list of pending members of the association can be found at www.dsa.org/pendingmembers.

For more information about DSA’s membership review process visit www.dsa.org/ethics/understanding-code/.

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Contact:
Amy Robinson
202-452-8866
arobinson@dsa.org

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2 thoughts on “FTC Action Against Alleged Pyramid Scheme Affirms DSA Membership Process”

  1. Whistle-blower Joseph Isaacs, who was made famous by exposing the Fortune Hi-Tech
    Marketing (FHTM) pyramid scheme and fraud back in 2010 has just released his memoir called, “Skapegoat – the FHTM Blame Game Story” via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C43JKQG

    This compelling, true and personal, story is about a successful semi-retired 30+ year entrepreneur that turned whistle-blower after getting involved with an illegal Ponzi style MLM called Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) in 2009. Top FHTM leaders and its founder Paul Orberson tried to destroy his life after he developed a FREE Facebook style tool-set for the industry.

    Subsequent to FHTM receiving their 2nd cease and desist from Montana, he filed a complaint with the Kentucky BBB explaining their fraudulent ways, in an effort to get reimbursement for unwanted inventory. Shortly thereafter they make him the global scapegoat for everything bad happening to FHTM.

    Mr. Isaacs was hit with a frivolous lawsuit claiming trademark violation for marks they never owned. The “fortune mark” is owned by Time, Inc. and FHTM was under an order to stop using it themselves. This was a foolish attempt to gag him and stifle his “Freedom of Speech” rights to prevent FHTM from being further branded as an “Illegal Pyramid
    Scheme”. The stress of the harassing litigation caused multiple life-threatening heart attacks. Mr. Isaacs almost died in 2011 from the heart issues caused by FHTM. This
    story will keep you mesmerized by the deceit, sexual harassment, lies, judicial manipulation, influence peddling and the drama that unfolds over the next couple of years.

    His campaign for truth-telling finally bears fruit when FHTM was shut down on the morning of January 28th, 2013 when the FTC and Kentucky AG raided the Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing corporate offices in Lexington, Kentucky. Employees were sent walking and all files were confiscated. Northern District of Illinois Federal Judge Darrah issues a temporary restraining order. Receiver Rob Evans and Associates was appointed.

    “This is the beginning of the end for one of the most prolific pyramid schemes operating in North America,”Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said. “This is a classic pyramid scheme in every sense of the word. The vast majority of people, more than 90
    percent, who bought in to FHTM lost their money.”

    The memoir is available for the Kindle at Amazon, the Nook via Barnes and Noble and in paperback via http://www.joseph-isaacs.com

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