ED Magedson – Founder
Rich Dad Education - Cash Flow Technologies1612 E. Cape Coral Pkwy., Cape Coral, FL 33904 Murray, Utah United States of America
Rich Dad Education/Tigrent Learning advocates borrowing money from your credit cards, friends and family, selling personal items, and the biggest crime of all, early withdrawal of your retirement fund! They will tell you anything it takes to close the deal!
In my case, they convinced me that their educational program was a very wise investment in my future, advocating that I use my IRA funds prematurely to finance their extrodinarily high priced mentor program! Well, hey, after all the instructor Damien Elston boasted numerous times over the 3-day "How to Launch a Business," event that he drove the ultimate driving machine, a brand new Bentley. So it stands to reason their course prices would have to be over the top!
One common thread I have read with regard to these complaints listed on this site is that the Tigrent Instructor would ask the students in the class, "who has access to the kind of money it takes for education these days." Not everyone is willing to divulge that information by raising their hand. The instructor then follows that up by saying that, "those who did not raise their hand should be concerned for themselves as they must not have a retirement account to fall back on." They also opening tell people that their product is an investment in their future, and they should do whatever it takes to get the knowledge from their program to change their lives. Sell anything and everything, borrow from your credit cards; they even have a script for you to get your limits increased with the credit card companies over the phone. With the interest rates hitting record highs, in some cases as much as 29% these days, even with a good payment history, some people who follow this advise must be getting themselves into serious situations. I ask you, does this kind of negligent financial advise sound intelligent coming from a prominent real estate investor like Robert Kiyosaki?
They assured me that if I registered for their Asset Protection and Tax Relief course which is contracted out to Anderson Advisors in Kent, Washington, I would receive legitimate guidance as to how I could shelter the $18,559 I withdrew from my IRA from taxation. This turned out to be the worst advise I have ever taken in my life, and it has been an absolute nightmare since! Please take the notion of anyone advocating that you withdraw funds from your retirement account early very seriously! As a matter of fact, do not sign anything, and run for the hills and never look back!
Tigrent Learning's company representatives also provided me with misleading information that was crucial to my decision making process. For example, I unfortunately had to file a personal bankruptcy last year, as I lost my job two years ago, borrowed from my credit cards to live, hoping to get back to work soon, but unable to find a job in my area of expertise, which involves consumer discretionary spending. After I had shared this fact with Linda Birnie, one of the company representatives, and expressed concern as to how I would optain financing for investment properties, she told me that, "the banks do not take your personal credit history into consideration, and that they look at your corporatations financial standing." That is assuming your corporation has made some deals and has assets. However, it takes a while to get to that financial point. So, this is no place for a person who needs to make money right away, has an insufficient income, poor credit, and little or no seed money! With the way the credit market is now, there is not a lot of opportunity to get property without cash or stellar credit. Cash is king in these challanging times. These company representatives were fully aware of my situation, as I openly disclosed my circumstances to them, but I was misguided, lied to, pressured and coerced into making a significant financial commitment hastily, and above all, ill-advised with respect to the ramifications relevant to the funding of my tuition costs.
The Tigrent Learning representatives also advocate that the prospective students/victims partner up with other prospective students in the class as a way to share the tuition costs and materials. This can be anyone you have known, or someone you just met in the class. This may have some merits, and be an equitable situation in theory, however in my case this greatly influenced my decision and caused me to make a much larger financial commitment that I would have otherwise. Someone I had just met the 2nd day of the workshop offered to partner with me in purchasing a $37,118 package! She and the Tigrent representatives promoted the idea that the 8-course mentor program was a "much better deal." I made them aware of my leaning more toward to the 2-4 course program, and that I did not feel comforter with the larger ones, but I was unduly influenced by outside forces. According to Tigrents rules, the partners must agree on the classes to take, whether they are 3-day workshops or online courses, and attend them together. When things were looking somewhat suspect to me by early December 2009, after we had signed the deal the week before Thanksgiving 2009, I asked this person I partnered with to provide me with a front and back copy of her tuition check along with a copy of her bank statement showing the check cleared. I have not heard from her since. I was the "registered student" and she was considered the "guest." As I recall, I also did not actually see her personal check turned into the company representative at the time of signing the agreement. This is very suspect to me, and naturally makes me think that she may have been part of the student/victim induction process.
When I contacted the company in writting on December 13, 2009 expressing my concerns of being lied to, pressured, coerced and over-sold, desiring a modification of my educational package, strangely enough, the individual I had partnered with received at least two phone calls from the "student resolution representative," Lauren Santy, while I had not so much as received one call back responding to my concerned inquiry. I continued to email the company requesting a response, but still no returned phone call. Finally by 12/30/2009, I left a voice mail for Lauren Santy, indicating that I would give her until 1/4/2010 to get back to me or I would contact the Attorney General and the BBB in California and Florida, as well as the California Department of Consumer Affairs. It was not until 1/5/2010 I received a phone call back. By then, I had already sent off all my formal complaints to these government agencies and determined Tigrent Learning was not at all concerned about me, they had my money, and that was all they cared about, so I was hoping I would get some safisfaction from the Attorney General.
In the mean time, I had bought a corporate kit for $600 from Anderson Advisors, (the legal firm that is contracted by Tigrent to conduct their Asset Protection and Tax Relief course), to form the corporation and signed up for their monthly membership program with a charge of $35/month which enables you to get unlimited legal advise. I had to cover my bases and file for my corporation with the Califormia Secretary of State on 12/23/2009. According to Anderson Advisors, one must establish the corporation and a Pension Fund for the corporation all within 60 days of withdrawing the IRA funds that paid Tigrent's tuition, so that I could shelter those funds from taxation. I hand carried the Articles of Incorporation to Sacramento on 12/23/09 so that the filing would be expediated promptly which required an additonal filing fee of $100. I finally received the confirmation from the state that the corporatation had been established on 1/18/2010. All along, the attorney with Anderson Advisors had said if we got the corporate filing done by mid January, it would give us enough time to establish the Pension account, which would cost me another $1,500, but was well worth it if I could save on taxes and penalties. I called an alternative Anderson Advisors attorney on 1/18/2010 to see if he could assist me with the formation of the Pension, but he was out of the office at a seminar. So, I decided to wait and contact my attorney who was handling my account on 1/20/2010 upon his first day back in the office from being out for a week on personal business. He informed that he felt he could not get the pension fund established by 1/29/2010 which was the 60 day deadline. At this point I was LIVID and very distraught! I was facing at least $8,000 in IRS taxes and penalties on the $18,559 in IRA funds that I was convinced would be alright to withdraw early provided I took the Asset Protection class and sought the guidance of their legal counsel, perform my due diligence, all due to this missed deadline! I emailed the attorney on 1/25/2010 asking him if he had in fact received my email response to him of 12/16 with the specific dates and amounts I wirthdrew. He emailed me back that day, telling that he had remembered receiving that email response with the exact dates and amounts from me which I sent him on 12/17, however it was not enough time for him to establish the Pension account.
On 1/25/2010, I emailed Tigrent Learning making them aware of this situation, and made it clear to them once again, that by their company representatives promoting the idea of withdrawing IRA funds early to pay their heffty tuition costs was unequivocally wrong and unethical! I gave them the opportunity to refund my $18,559 back so that I would have a chance to pay my IRA account back by 1/29/2010. I thought it was a very fair offer, letting them off the hook for the negligent and bordering on fraudulent business conduct, if they made me whole again. However, they put me through living hell for two consecutive days, phone calls back and forth, interrogating me, having me fax documents, and forwarding emails. They said that they could not possibly investigate these aligations and make such an offer in such a short period of time. But, let me tell you, they deposit your tuition check within three days of your writing it out to them. At first they were trying to put the blame me for not performing my due diligence in getting the corporation filed on time. As it turned out California started the new tax year on 12/17, so this was cause to hold off from filing until after that date, as to put off having to incur the California franchise tax fee until 2011.
On 1/27/2010, we had a 3-way conference call with the attorney at Anderson Advisors, where he said that I had not answered his email of 12/16, providing the exact dates and amounts of the IRA withdrawal, putting the blame on me, as I did not perform my due diligence. As we were on the phone, I forwarded the email to both Maite Benitez, Tigrent's Student Resoluation Representative and the Anderson Advisor attorney, Bob Wilkenson, where I had in fact sent him a response to his questions on 12/17. He lied, to cover his rear-end, and Anderson Advisors interest with Tigrent Learning! Just that Monday, 1/25, prior to this conference call on 12/27, he confirmed that he had in fact got my email response to his questions on 12/17/2009.
Since Anderson Advisors is contracted by Tigrent Learning to conduct their Asset Protection classes, they benefit substantially financially from their affiliation in the way of acquiring clients. There is a definite conflict of interest in terms them admitting to any wrong doing or failing to meet Tigrent students important objectives! How can I or anyone have any confidence in their integrity knowing this?
Tigrent has made an offer to discount my tuition package of $18,559 by $8,000 to cover the taxation which I speculate is probably coming from Anderson Advisors in the form of some sort of credit to Tigrent. However, they have not made any consolations with regard to an adjustment, or tuition refund even in light of the fact that they did not respond to my written notice of 12/13/2009 until 1/5/2010, but had the time and inclination to contact my tuition partner twice within that time frame, when her name is not even on the contract. Had an attorney from their affiliated law firm of Anderson Advisors lie on the phone. And, completely discount the premise that it is perfectly acceptable to have their company representatives promote the idea of funding their excessively high priced tuition with an early IRA withdrawal, over-sell you product, disillusion you with the idea that you will start to make money right away, coerce you with high pressure and manipulation, and lie to close the deal! They are wolves in sheeps clothing putting on a grand Dog and Pony show with only one interest in mind, get your money however they can, and unfairly fight you tenaciously to keep it!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/31/2010 11:22 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/adult-career-continuing-education-rich-dad-education-c-rich-dad-education-cash-flow-562861. 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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