FTC Hits Internet Pyramid

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Chris Gunn

Jun 2, 2011, 1:57:46 AM6/2/11

The Federal Trade Commission has negotiated a settlement with The Mentor
Network, Inc., and Parviz Firouzgar, southern California-based marketers of
an allegedly fraudulent pyramid scheme promoted over the Internet. The FTC
charged that the defendants had made false and misleading earnings claims
for their pyramid scheme that nominally involved the sponsorship of needy
children in foreign countries. According to the complaint, the defendants
told individuals they could earn as much as $12,285 by paying an initial
"MentorVision" fee of $24 and then paying $30 for one year and recruiting
three people to do the same. The company also allegedly provided new
members with promotional materials to use for recruiting which made the
same misrepresentations.

To settle the charges, the defendants have agreed to pay $75,000 for
consumer refunds. They are also banned from engaging or assisting another
in any manner of advertising, promotion or operating of a pyramid marketing
program or from make a material misrepresentation of such facts as earnings
potential or government approval. And, if the defendants are ever involved
in any future multi-level marketing programs, all payments to participants
must be derived primarily from the sale of goods or services to
non-participants and not from recruiting.

There is a big difference between a legitimate marketing program and a
pyramid scheme. Before you or anyone you know gets involved in a network
or multi-level marketing program, read the FTC's "Don't Get Burned by a
Pyramid Scheme" pages. If you read over the promotional material and you
see that most of your revenue will come from recruiting, don't get
involved. Any money you earn from a marketing program should come from the
sale of a legitimate and needed product.
<a href="http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/pyramid/index.html">

To read more about Multi-Level Marketing Programs, read the FTC brochure.
<a href="http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/invest/mlm.htm">

To read the FTC press release on the Mentor Vision settlement, click here.
<a href="http://www.ftc.gov/opa/9703/mentor2.htm">

This settlement does not constitute an admission by the
defendants of a law violation.

Log on the WebSite at http://www.fraud.org, or call 1-800-876-7060.
If you spot obviously illegal operations on the E-Ways, please
forward copies of the messages to NFIC at frau...@psinet.com.
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