• Report: #935997

Complaint Review: Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing

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  • Submitted: Sun, September 02, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, May 13, 2013

  • Reported By: fhtmfacts — San Jose California United States of America
Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing
880 Exxecutive Way Lexington, Kentucky United States of America

Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing FHTM, Paul Orberson, Tom Mills FHTM graduates from Ponzi/Pyramid Scam to Attempted Murder Lexington, Kentucky

*Consumer Comment: 5 Porcelians Thrown Awards to Jospeh Isaacs

*Author of original report: Get your facts straight

*Author of original report: FHTM revenues from sales mainly signup fees

*Author of original report: FTC shuts down FHTM as Pyramid Scheme

*Consumer Comment: Large firm accused of being a multi-level pyramid scheme

*UPDATE Employee: Attempted Murder?? Really

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FHTM graduates from Pyramid Fraud to attempted murder!

It is so incomprehensible to understand how a company (Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing) that claims its mere existence is to help as many as possible, with help of the church, can also be so obnoxiously arrogant to believe they can manipulate the justice system to a point where they can push someone to death. After exposing the truth about Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) the whistleblower was sued in an attempt to shut him up and stifle his rights to freedom of speech.

If the fate of your business model rests at the hands of one individual, (not me) to the extent that you have to spend millions of dollars to try and shut him up then the system is just fatally flawed. Fix the PROBLEM not the SYMPTOM. This is all just a side effect of what you have created. I dont see the worst of the worst companies out there that act like this or have to put up with this nonsense. Whats the common denominator? Stop acting like 3rd graders and run a business for once, says Rob Jenkins.

Not only are they arrogant enough to think they have to the right to destroy Mr. Isaacs financially, but they continue, to this day, the harassment and intentional lies to the Federal courts and American Arbitration Association until he was on his death bed almost gone. Their briefs and motions totally elude any factual tatements and are based on unsubstantiated speculation and outright falsities, just like the foundation of their business since 2001. For 10 years they have claimed partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, being 100% debt free, solid enterprise and a money making franchise opportunity.

When you peel the outside off of this lemon one discovers the bitterness and the exact opposite is true.  Multiple AGs including North Dakota, Montana (http://spokane.bbb.org/article/kentucky-based-fortune-hi-tech-marketing-%28fhtm%29-agrees-to-settlement-with-mt-commissioner-of-securities-and-insurance-19131), Texas  https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/fortune_avc.pdf) and North Carolina AG offices have investigated,  prosecuted and/or fined them for operating an illegal pyramid fraud.

They are also on the FTC Operations Empty Promises list of companies being investigated for illegal activities. During the settlement with Texas AG in 2011 they claimed to not have enough money to pay back the 1+ Million in restitution yet they have found the funds to persecute the whistleblower that brought it all to light.

In 2009, USA Today did an article on FHTM which laid out their legal woes and allegations of fraud.  (http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/2010-10-15-multilevelmarketing14_CV_N.htm)

ABC news did a two part story on the crimes which involved an interview of Mr. Isaacs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3x_kgx60Tc)

FHTM has not only engaged in a malicious prosecution since the very beginning but they have had their representatives call and threaten Mr. Isaacs life. Filing a trademark violation case for using the world Fortune which they knew was owned by Time Magazine, and not them, was just a way to take advantage of the system by someone with more money that the poor defendant had.  The ex- FHTM general counsel, Judy Hammerschmidt,  who was not even licensed to practice law in
Kentucky, during her tenure with FHTM, has displayed a great deal of malice and wrongful intent. Her attempts at intimidation as their general counsel were hilarious considering the fact that she was acting as a lawyer illegally. She has since been reprimanded by the Kentucky Bar Association.  No evidence existed or exists to back any of their claims. If FHTM had a case with legal merit they would have never agreed to a settlement and dismissal in June 2011. They didnt win anything as they have rumored through the ranks of their cult-like followers.

FHTM continues to purposefully engage in behavior that is extreme and outrageous which is intended to cause severe mental anguish and they should be penalized for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. The FHTM attorneys, who are milking their cash-cow client, have outright said that they will not be satisfied until Mr. Isaacs is homeless, without family, living on welfare in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere.  Their intention is not to get at the truth but instead to bankrupt Mr. Isaacs.

One year ago, in June 2011 a settlement agreement was negotiated, which was intended to eliminate the proceeding, unbelievable financial and emotional stress and put the issues to rest forever.   The agreement was entered into under false pretenses and with great malice as during the last year they have done everything possible to continue the manipulation of the judicial system in an effort to stall or delay its finalization.  

Mr. Isaacs took a sabbatical since the settlement in June 2011.  He has given no further media interviews, no television appearances, no AG complaints and no internet blogging. It doesnt matter if he discusses FHTM or not. The FHTM legal team is so bent on blaming Mr. Isaacs for every negative comment or complaint made against them anywhere that they are blinded by the fact that others despise them as well of not more than he ever did. They have made Mr. Isaacs the poster child for not going against their cult and fraudulent business model. Bernie Madoff ran his Ponzi scheme for thirty years before being shut down. If FHTM spent as much time fixing their lies to act more like a real business then they wouldnt need to continue to harass and destroy anyone.

Their continued malicious prosecution and harassment resulted in Mr. Isaacs stress level hitting the roof in August 2011 causing a major life threatening heart attack. He underwent two major surgeries inside of a month to save his life. Doctors orders were to eliminate anything stressful in my life including the FHTM litigation and work.

He was forced into retirement and has been going broke as a direct result of the litigation by FHTM in their attempt to kill him literally. It is like they smelled the blood and wont let up till Mr. Isaacs is gone from the face of the earth permanently.

Who in their sane mind would ever think that such a supposedly respectable company, run by the King of MLM Paul Orberson, would spend all of their resources on attempted murder? Their intentions are clear - dont rest until Mr. Isaacs is dead and gone.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/02/2012 05:33 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Fortune-Hi-Tech-Marketing/Lexington-Kentucky-/Fortune-Hi-Tech-Marketing-FHTM-Paul-Orberson-Tom-Mills-FHTM-graduates-from-PonziPyramid-935997. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

5 Porcelians Thrown Awards to Jospeh Isaacs

AUTHOR: bankalchemist - ()

its important to note that most of these post are Joseph Isaacs anyway. he likes to start the conversation and then answer with his annonmys or fhtmclassaction headings. he is just releasing his new tell all "SKAPEGOAT" I was the Victim. This new edition take liberty as a history rewrite for Isaacs to justify his position as the Victim. This is truly a porcelian throne read with the possibility of a power flush note. It was convienent of him to release it in paper back as we are able to use this with the no smear INK to finish up our paper work.

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#2 Author of original report

Get your facts straight

AUTHOR: fhtmfacts - (United States of America)

I would like to respond by saying that your interpretation of the facts is 100% distorted and if you are not a party to the litigation you have been misled. The news broadcast Mr. Isaacs was interviewed for was with an ABC station in Lexington, as previously stated.

The class action lawsuits against FHTM is NOT a list of Mr. Isaacs' friends or associates. Furthermore, the case was NEVER dismissed as you lead people to believe. In September 2012 the federal judge reverses her previous decision and the class action goes on.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/106712590/BREAKING-NEWS-FHTM-loses-in-Federal-Court-after-Judge-throws-out-Arbitration-Agreement

To make things worse, the FHTM lawyers send out an email stating that all of the NSM defendants must now fend for themselves and get their own representation. Orberson throws the reps under the bus again.

Furthermore, the interview Mr. Isaacs did with USA Today outlined the truth about FHTM. The FTC shuts them down and a receiver seizes all personal and corporate assets in January 2013.

Stop blaming the whistle-blower for the issues FHTM had and still has. It is true he was responsible for bringing the truth about their operations to light. The FHTM attorneys set out to kill the man to shut him up.

Read all of the court files and his memoir at www.joseph-isaacs.com
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#3 Author of original report

FHTM revenues from sales mainly signup fees

AUTHOR: fhtmfacts - (United States of America)

Here is a breakdown of the sales revenues FHTM has had since 2006. Almost 59% of all revenue from sign up fees, renewals and tools for reps to built pyramid scheme.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/125616007/FHTM-Summary-of-Gross-Revenues-from-Sales-2006-2010
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#4 Author of original report

FTC shuts down FHTM as Pyramid Scheme

AUTHOR: fhtmfacts - (United States of America)

As the final days of the FHTM business wind down, what will happen to all of the victims of this prolific pyramid scheme?

Whistle-blower, Joseph Isaacs, who was made famous by exposing the Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) pyramid scheme and fraud back in 2010 finally gets vindicated by the Federal Trade
Commission and the Attorneys general of North Carolina, Kentucky & Illinois last week. From the press releases circulating around the internet as well as hundreds of media accounts, FHTM was officially shut down on January 28, 2013.

In the morning of January 28th, the FTC and representatives from Roy Coopers office (Kentucky AG) raided the Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing corporate offices at 880 Corporate Way in Lexington,
Kentucky. Employees were sent walking and all files and computer systems were confiscated.

Federal Judge Darrah, from the Northern District of Illinois court issues a temporary restraining
order to shut down this alleged pyramid scheme and a receiver was appointed to seize all assets in order to prevent the Defendants Orberson & Mills from fleeing the country and moving their money outside the USA. This action also prevented any of the related companies from liquidating assets.

According to the FTC, the operation affected more than 100,000 consumers throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico, and Canada.  In some areas, including Chicago, the scheme targeted
Spanish-speaking consumers.

Pyramid schemes are more like icebergs, said C. Steven Baker, Director of the FTCs Midwest Region.  At any point most people must and will be underwater financially.  These defendants were promising people that if they worked hard they could make lots of money.  But it was a
rigged game, and the vast majority of people lost money.

Did the FHTM titanic finally crash into its iceberg?

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.

In addition to charging the defendants with operating an illegal pyramid scheme and making
false earnings claims, the FTC charged them with furnishing consumers with false and misleading materials for recruiting more participants.  The attorneys general offices of Illinois, Kentucky and North Carolina joined the FTC complaint, as well as alleging violations of their respective state laws.

The defendants are Paul C. Orberson, Thomas A. Mills, Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing Inc., FHTM Inc., Alan Clark Holdings LLC, FHTM Canada Inc., and Fortune Network Marketing (UK) Limited.  On January 24, 2013, the court halted the deceptive practices, froze the defendants assets, and appointed a temporary receiver over the corporations pending a trial.

The Commission vote, including Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch, authorizing the staff to file the complaint was 5-0.  The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. The seriousness of these crimes finally came to a head.

The whistle-blower, after being frivolously sued in 2010 by FHTM in a bogus trademark infringement case for intellectual property, they never owned, began a campaign of truth-telling. He was interviewed in 2010 by WHAS11 ABC news affiliate out of Kentucky. He was also contacted in 2010 by USA-Today and interview for an investigative piece on FHTM that resulted in a trifecta of articles on this entity. That investigative report exposed that other Attorneys Generals were looking into FHTMs evil ways and confirmed Isaacs analysis that all of the money was made by recruiting whereby minimal efforts and rewards actually came from the sale of products.

The FTCs own expert has now vindicated Mr. Isaacs when his analysis became part of the Memorandum in Support of the TRO for Federal Court.

According to Dr. Peter Vander Nat stated that after reviewing the financial data provided by FHTM, at least 88% of the compensation paid by FHTM is in the form of recruiting bonuses, not sales based commissions. Furthermore, most recruits will never recoup their investment into FHTM. Conservatively, at least 90% of FHTM participants earn nothing, and 94% of the recruits drop out within a year.

In fact this massive loss rate is the mathematical consequence of FHTMs business model.

Dr. Peter Vander Nat wrote with his examination on FHTM... ? "If the more than a minuscule number of recruits were able to achieve the results touted by FHTM, the bonuses could never be paid and the company would quickly collapse. FHTMs mission is to enroll ever more victims and replace them as they suffer losses and quit the program. Its a rigged game. In other words, the FHTM compensation plan was derived to support the fraud. It was designed for people to fail.

The perpetrators of this pyramid scheme promised big returns but instead delivered significant losses for thousands of families in Illinois? and all across the country, Madigan said. In collaborating with our state and federal partners, were seeking to bring the full force of the law against this entity to ensure that it is put out of business for good.

Even the corrupt Direct Selling Association had to chime in on this FTC action in order to prevent any backlash. For years FHTM misrepresented their relationship with the DSA. They promised reps for three years their membership would soon be approved.  They even went so far as to claim they followed the rules of the DSA and their compensation plan was approved by the DSA as well as all 50 states here in the USA. The had the DSA policies on the bottom of their website until 2011 when that tidbit was replaced by the disclaimer that they had no affiliation with Fortune Magazine or rights to use the Fortune logo.

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 Associations 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."

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."

So where does this leave all of the high level representatives that are loyal cult followers to its founder Paul Orberson? Many have taken to the internet over the past week promoting prayer vigils for the company lead by Cheryl Orberson, Pauls current wife. Others have promised that FHTM will get through this minor speed bump in its business. One leadership call from the 30th said that
all companies go through this type of investigations and that the FTC was performing a business colonoscopy on Fortune Hi-tech. Folks like Joel McNinch promised everyone that Paul and Tom were fighting for them with every grain and fiber of their soul.

I think Paul is fighting to keep his proverbial butt out of prison. He will probably throw the reps under the bus as he did with both the Montana and Texas AG actions. He has been lying for so long I am certain he himself isnt even aware of what the truth really is.

Has the Federal government ever lost a Motion or case when they attempted to shut a company operating as an illegal pyramid or Ponzi scheme? Just ask the folks from YTB ore Zeek rewards. The sad part is that the high level representatives and leaders currently left in FHTM have no clue what it means to have a receiver going after you to recover ill-gotten gains.

Why have so many leaders like Darla DiGrandi, Scott & Molly Aguilar, Ruel Morton, Mike Misenheimer and Alexis Adame run from this legitimate company over the past few months. Some left just in time and others fled right after the FTC action. All of these leaders are defendants in the multiple class action lawsuits too. 

Have any of them received legal advice on what happens when a pyramid scheme collapses and
a Federal judge orders assets seized by a court-appointed receiver? I doubt it.  Should the receiver have the ability to go after the net-winners and claw-back all of the ill-gotten funds made at the expense of the millions of net-losers? For sure and he will. What does this mean to the leaders that fled just in time? Nothing at all, they are not going to be immune to the pain that is about to come down on their families. The bigger question is Do any of these people have any money left or was it all spent on the aura they had to create as an illusion for success? Was all the money spent on the lavish lifestyle to keep up the facade?

How will the Fortune tellers spin a weave of lies to justify what is about to happen on the 7th of February? Only time will tell.

For more information on the whistle-blower responsible for these investigations please
visit his website at www.joseph-isaacs.com

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#5 Consumer Comment

Large firm accused of being a multi-level pyramid scheme

AUTHOR: joyceclarkson - (United States of America)

Are you tired and sick of hearing news of the pryamiding  scam? I know there are lots of them operating but hold your fire guys because some are coming to break down now. State and federal experts recently descended on Fortune Hi-Tech Advertising, a multi-level marketing business in Kentucky. The firm was seized and operations were shuttered as the firm is accused of running a multi-level pyramid scheme. It's not the first company, nor will it likely be the last, to be accused of doing this. Resource for this here
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Attempted Murder?? Really

AUTHOR: Truth vs Self Interest - (United States of America)

I've already typed this rebuttal once, but when I hit submit there was an "error" and it was lost.  Interesting how that happens.

I'll be brief. The author of this post is not objective nor does he relay facts.  Although it is written in the third person, it is written by the very person he is describing in his comments.  Here is a direct cut and paste from his post-

"Their continued malicious prosecution and harassment resulted in Mr. Isaacs stress level hitting the roof in August 2011 causing a major life threatening heart attack. He underwent two major surgeries inside of a month to save his life. Doctors orders were to eliminate anything stressful in my life including the FHTM litigation and work."

Do you notice in the last line where he slips up and goes from third person to first person?

This individual has had a menical and almost insane obsession with damaging the reputation of FHTM for over 2.5 years... which is far scarier to me than the average people who are simply trying to use FHTM as a vehicle to better their lives and which he calls "cultish".  Notice how he manages to get every reference to every successful effort HE has made to get some third party to do a negative report on FHTM into his post?  Do you realize that the mainstream news/media does not care about facts.. only sensational stories that may sell ads?  I personally heard the reporter from a station that did a negative report on FHTM respond to the question about whether facts were important to him or not say "facts are irrevelvant, all we want is a sensational story".

He is not objective and distorts the truth at every opportunity and invents his own truth in most cases... he is the author of a vast majority of the negative info on FHTM on the internet.   ABC did not do an expose on FHTM that quoted him... a local affiliate in Louisville KY did, and all of the negative media coverage on FHTM from that to the USA Today article are the result of his unceasing and untrue pursuit of FHTM.  Even the only law suit that survived for more than a brief period (and was dismissed in March of 2012) was created by him- the plaintiffs were 8 friends/associates of his.

FHTM is not a perfect company or opportunity, but it is an exciting and successful business for those that put effort into it.  His willingness to distort the truth and spread false info about FHTM only makes it a more difficult business for those people who choose to fight to create a better life for their families.

Decide for yourself whether FHTM is right for you or not.. but DO NOT listen to this menical, vengeful and bitter person who has his own revenge and self interest as his primary motivation... not your well being.

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