We Attack Pyramid Schemes and
Abusive MLM Companies
NEWS & WARNINGs
MLM is Good - the last hope for the "little" guy.
WatchDog Online Magazine: Archive INDEX

Annual Network Marketing Cruise: Register TODAY!

DRA: MLM Distributor Rights Association: Meeting

JOIN Today! Watchdog Mail List
NetWork Marketing
MLM Watchdog(tm)
News letter & Magazine
Google
The contents of the MLM WatchDog are editorial in nature
and protected by First Amendment rights.
This site is partially supported by donations from paid subscribers, donations by 3rd partties and donations from America's MLM Consultants
the worlds leading MLM consultants for Network Marketing, Party Plans and MLM
www.mlmconsultant.com

MLM Watchdog(tm) ~ All Rights Reserved
Web Master: WebPilotExplorer.com
NEW BIG SCAM
ELITE BUSINESS NATION     
OUT OF PRISON & BACK IN THE GAME

Folks, the Watchdog has been around long enough to have not only had an almost perfect record of Identifying early on new and illegal SCAMS as they launched and then  faithfully  following them and reporting  their demise as predicted. We then usually  and  followed the various legal actions through the Court Sentencing of the convicted players.   Now the gang is back with ELITE BUSINESS NATION!

Not a perfect record because you cannot catch all of them, but the big and important ones doing the greatest economic damage to the public were over the years accurately called out for what they were as we did our best to help clean up the "bad and the ugly" as well reporting on the good ones too.
In 1996-2004  (Global Prosperity got 100’s of innocents (including Drs./lawyers put in jail for following their tax evasion scheme) The top scammers attempted to change their name to Pinnacle Quest to stay in business a bit longer.  Ed. Note: Watchdog featured on Nightline for revealing/publicizing Scam

The Watchdog has now watched the Principal players emerge from Prison, serve  out their Probation and once again start up new Frauds and Scams trying to pass them off as legitimate..  History is repeating itself over and over. 

Lorenzo Lamantia, called "Zo" by some of his friends, Called "Lorenzo the Rat"by others for being the first to 'flip' in the Government's take down of Global Prosperity and testifying against everyone else.  He was released finally circa 2011 doing probation before joining up with former top Global Prosperity Scam Queen Nadine (then Griffin) now Nadine Joy who had to do a few years herself.  Nadine along with Lloyd Merrifield (Vancouver) Vern Croy (Ontario) and a couple of others started Elite Business Nation 3 or 4 months after Zeek Rewards , the $850 million dollar Ponzi that was shut down by the USDOJ in August 2012..  

Most of the Players early on in this new Scam were in Zeek during it's short run.   The Government is getting more adept at finding the scams and shutting them down sooner forcing these con men  to keep changing their "scams"   More criminal prosecutions and prison time too may be having an effect on these career cons.

Go to www.findyourfortunetoday.com and let Lorenzo in two minutes explain the product-  as usual it is  A FIVE FIGURE MONTHLY INCOME......(THAT NEVER QUITE HAPPENS  HOWEVER LOSSES OF BETWEEN $5,000 AND $15,000 each USUALLY OCCUR FOR WELL OVER 90% OF THE PARTICIPANTS.....THESE ARE CALLED THE SUCKERS (by the Professional hustlers and con men. "MOOCH"  is another term I heard them use recently.  See they know who you are if they have you in this game and are "working with you along with their other entrepreneurial business partners.....and they do all of this to help you become as financially successful as they have become.  Isn't that just so considerate of them.....trying so hard to help you out.,.....except for one thing....all of the money keeps flowing in only one direction,THEIRS.  If you have just joined or are in Elite Business Nation, please give your head a shake and step back for a moment.   MLM Watchdog will shortly give you the :information you will need to either limit your losses or perhaps even recover some of them.
 
The Watchdog has had someone working on this for a few months but kept quiet because  they brought it to the attention of the Regulators in several different Jurisdictions in North America who now have active investigations. The Watchdog will be reporting a whole lot more particularly about the legality, their Modus Operandi, their attempts to keep it undercover  and hard to prosecute. But like all the Con Men and Women that came before this one and thought they could not be busted, the Watchdog feels that History will repeat again on this point too.   Another update coming very soon.
Watchdog Reporter #1942 ON ELITE BUSINESS NATION

May 2014 - These poor scammers did not learn an honest trade in jail so they are back with a new scam for Innocents selling robo calls!  Stand by! Millons of calls going out!

FIRST THERE WAS GLOBAL PROSPERITY IT WAS HIT
After selling illegal tax evasion training.  100's of innocent dummies including doctors and lawyers went to jail - for tax evasion 2006 -- Founder Jailed for long time!  Read Links upper right hand corner for history!

SO TOP PLAYERS STARTED PQI
PINNACLE QUEST INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS GOT JAILED
Sept 2008 Editors Note: Rumor (or deliberate leak?) out of D.C. Feds tired of messing around with scams - jail the owners and top players and there is a new "big case" that will change the way of doing business for scammers to include top earners.  The Watchdog repeats this is a leaked rumor and the it is ASD is only deductive opinion.  Handcuffs below may just be a start!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Editorial Note: Claudia Hirmer named below is Kevin Lehman's sister.  Lehman ran an MLM lead generation company that dumped it's distributors and he has being settling with the IRS ever since.  Lehman used to "showcase"  Global Prosperity Aussie 2 up players as his top distributors.  Claudia Hirmer was also a top distributor with Global Prosperity.  She should have given up when she was ahead!  Ur. Ed.

4 Sept 2008 -- Niceville Fl. residents Mark and Claudia Hirmer were cuffed and hauled away by federal authorities. The Federal charges were conspiring to "impair and impede the Internal Revenue Service." The Hirmers and 11 others were arrested for operating a business called Pinnacle Quest International and charged for memberships that gave customers information to help them get out of paying their taxes, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorneys' Office.  PQI venders sold "memberships" for anywhere from $1,350 to $18,750, the news release said. Vendors hawked the phoney offshore trusts they were selling by convincing prospective customers they were buying shares of a company owned by a non-resident alien.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2008
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
(202) 514-2007

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FILES INJUNCTION SUITS IN NATIONWIDE CRACKDOWN ON ALLEGED TAX DEFIER SCHEME PROMOTERS

“Pinnacle Quest International” Allegedly Promoted “Tax-Fraud Trade Shows” at Resorts and on Mediterranean Cruise

WASHINGTON D.C. – The United States has filed civil injunction complaints in three federal courts on the east and west coasts, seeking to bar promotions of alleged tax-fraud schemes, the Justice Department announced today. The government complaints and other court papers allege that a multi-level marketing organization called Pinnacle Quest International (PQI) and a number of individuals and organizations currently or formerly affiliated with it are promoting a variety of fraudulent tax defier schemes.  The complaint filed against PQI alleges that the organization has 830 salespeople, thousands of customers, and gross sales from 2002 through 2006 of approximately $54 millions. During the same period, PQI’s leaders allegedly received commissions from sales of PQI products of approximately $8.8 million.

Court papers allege the defendants have sold tax-fraud and other schemes through vendors at trade-show-like conferences at resorts around the world and—in one instance—at a 400-person conference on the Celebrity Cruise Line ship Galaxy in the Mediterranean Sea in May of 2007. The complaint describes PQI vendors as “a Who’s Who of notorious tax defiers.”

The complaint alleges that one PQI promoter on the Galaxy cruise was Sherry Peel Jackson, a former IRS revenue agent turned promoter of frivolous tax theories. Jackson allegedly earned some $138,000 in commissions on sales of PQI products from 2002 to 2006. She was indicted by a federal court in Atlanta shortly before the cruise and was convicted of tax crimes last year by a federal jury. In February of this year Jackson was sentenced to four years in prison for those crimes.
Ed. Note Conviction : http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan/press/2007/10-30-07.pdf
Ed. Note Sentence: http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/usaopress/2008/txdv08Jackson_JudgmentCrimCase.pdf
A list of the alleged PQI conference locations and dates is provided at the end of this press release. Copies of the three injunction complaints will be posted today on the Justice Department Tax Division’s website.

The suits allege that PQI, based in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., is a successor to Institute of Global Prosperity, a business that sold tax-fraud schemes until law-enforcement actions caused it to shut down. Daniel Andersen, a co-founder of Global Prosperity, pleaded guilty in 2004 to a federal felony tax charge. Last November another Global Prosperity co-founder, David Alan Struckman, was found guilty of tax evasion and conspiracy in a federal court in Seattle.  Ed. Note: Struckman Guilty,  but not sentenced YET being held in lieu of bond something about where he hid millions?

http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv07903.htm

According to the PQI injunction complaint, PQI took up where Global Prosperity left off, and has been promoting tax-fraud schemes similar to those that Global Prosperity formerly promoted.  The suit against PQI was filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, in Pensacola. Named as defendants in addition to PQI are Claudia Hirmer of Niceville, Fla., alleged to be the de facto leader of PQI’s “Executive Council,” and other individuals alleged to be members of PQI’s Executive Council.  The other two suits were filed in Portland, Ore., and Tacoma, Wash., in the U.S. District Courts for the District of Oregon and the Western District of Washington.

The Washington suit names Sharon Kukhahn of Tacoma, who allegedly sells a scheme that falsely purports to “decode” Internal Revenue Service (IRS) computer transcripts of customers’ taxpayer accounts to show that the customers are not liable for federal income tax. Kukhahn allegedly falsely advises customers that the IRS, in order to subject people to federal taxes, fraudulently misidentifies citizens as residents of a U.S. territory such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, or misidentifies them as operating an enterprise subject to federal excise tax, such as firearms manufacturing. According to the complaint, Kukhahn charges single taxpayers between $1,750 and $1,900 and charges married taxpayers between $2,450 and $3,195 for her bogus “decoding” service.

The Oregon suit names Eugene “Gino” Casternovia of Ashland, Ore., and three other individuals. According to the Oregon complaint the defendants operate two businesses in Medford, Ore., Southern Oregon Resource Center Educational Services (SORCE) and Castlenuevo Inc., that work with PQI to promote tax scams involving the use of sham entities to help customers conceal their assets. The defendants also allegedly promote a “disenfranchisement” scam, falsely telling customers that the federal income tax system is voluntary and that customers can opt out of their federal income tax obligations by revoking their Social Security numbers.

“The size and sheer brazenness of the tax defier activities alleged in these complaints are staggering,” said Nathan J. Hochman, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “Tax defiers sometimes claim to be ‘patriots,’ but those who push bogus tax schemes are nothing more than con artists, and those who pay for these schemes are buying nothing but trouble.”

“Tax scheme promoters should be aware that we will continue to work closely with the Justice Department to shut them down,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “Taxpayers should carefully review any questionable advice because they are responsible for what goes on their tax returns.”
Assistant Attorney General Hochman thanked Tax Division attorneys Robert Fay, Grayson Hoffman, John Monroe and Seth Heald, as well as agents and attorneys from the IRS, who were all involved in the investigations leading up to these injunction suits. The complaint in the PQI case notes that the IRS investigated the case with assistance from the Joint International Tax Shelter Information Centre—known as JITSIC—which helps tax administrations from five nations identify and curb abusive tax schemes and transactions.

Since 2001, the Justice Department’s Tax Division has obtained injunctions against more than 320 tax-fraud promoters and unscrupulous tax preparers. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website, as is information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division.
###


Defendants Named in PQI Injunction Suit (N.D. Fla.)
Name  City and State 
Claudia Hirmer, Niceville, Florida - Mark Hirmer,Niceville, Florida - Brian Barker, Destin, Florida - Tonya Holder, Destin, Florida
Joshua Holder, Destin, Florida - Armand Bright, El Cajon, California - S. Anthony Larson, Seattle, Washington - Douglas Hagerty, Kent, Washington - Michael Leonard, Elmira, New York - Arnold Manansala, Renton, Washington - Nadine Griffin, Danvers, Massachusetts - Ellen Stubenhaus, Doral, Florida - Dover Perry, Renton, Washington - Joseph McPhillips, Colorado Springs, Colorado - Lee Williams, Crystal Beach, Florida - Michele Brown, Holly Springs, North Carolina -


Defendant Named in Sharon Kukhahn Injunction Suit (W.D. Wash.)
Name City and State
Sharon Diane Kukhahn Tacoma, Washington -

Defendants Named in Gino Casternovia / SORCE Injunction Suit (Oregon)
Name City and State
Eugene “Gino” Casternovia, Ashland, Oregon - Robert Hagopian, Las Vegas, Nevada - Rod Pendell, Ashland, Oregon - Mark Lyon, Williams, Oregon - Southern Oregon Resource Center Educational Services (“SORCE”) Medford, Oregon - Executive’s Resource, LLC,  Ashland, Oregon - Castlenuevo, Inc., Ashland, Oregon

Editors Note: Updates see links upper right on this page

EDITOR NOTE: ALSO SEE SOME OF SAME SCAMMERS SEE ASD CASE AND COMMENTS