A class-action lawsuit filed against Florida-based MLM Jeunesse Global, which markets anti-aging skin care products and supplements, puts high-level distributors as well as company executives in the crosshairs of pyramid scheme and racketeering allegations.
The suit, filed in July in federal court in Arizona, names the company, three top executives and three top distributors, as well as 100 co-conspirators who it alleges enriched themselves by promoting and participating in a “classic pyramid scheme,” which also included backroom deals and secret compensation packages. The suit, which is seeking at least $250 million in damages, follows an investigation by TINA.org into the company’s recruiting practices and health and income claims that led to a complaint to the FTC.
The defendants named in the suit, which was filed by Arizona resident James J. Aboltin, include Jeunesse CEO Ogale “Randy” Ray and other top executives, as well as high-level distributors, such as Kim Hui, Jason Caramanis, and Alex Morton, a former Vemma affiliate who the complaint alleges signed a secret deal with Jeunesse right before the FTC filed a pyramid lawsuit against Vemma.
Direct Selling News recently ran a special section on which direct selling companies are the best to work for (Direct Selling News, April, 2016). The top companies included Jamberry, Jeunesse, LegalShield, Nu Skin, Team National, USANA and Zurvita. This is a popular topic in both the professional/company consulting world and in academia. The hot words seem to be “employee engagement.” The question for all companies is “How do you recruit and keep talented and dedicated people?”
Satisfaction at work has a long history. The whole notion of a need for human resource departments came out of the 1940s and 1950s with work by theorists such as Maslow and Herzberg. The need for job satisfaction was based on the idea of relieving stress and avoiding boredom. Most people worked in factories in the 1950s. Providing a safe environment and providing ways around boredom (you can only stuff beans into a can for so long) were the key needs.
Today, four-fifths of people work in the service industry. Manufacturing jobs have moved abroad. The nature of work changed. Some have suggested that the new millennial employees have changed. Either way, the business gurus and academics now consider the company challenge to be employee engagement.
If I get this right, and it’s tricky as I said reading through the article, and we are just now pulling the lawsuits and filing, here is what I see on the surface.
1. In 2010 two transactions took place (not sure of which came first at this point); major stockholders sold their stock valued at that time at $186 million to the EMPLOYEE ESOP secured by a high-yield (article called it an “exorbitant interest rate), and during this same year, MonaVie executives sought out financing for $182 million from TSG-MV Financing LLC, securing “virtually all the assets” of MonaVie.