It's not the fraud itself though, but the circumstances that caught my attention.
According to the article, Andre Vaughn *had* an illustrious MLM career MLM.
In an article in Networking Times, Vaughn claimed to have found MLM on "February 24, 2005".
In 2012 Youngevity brochure, Vaughn was named as one of the "million dollar earners"
In 2014, he was cited as "Senior Vice Chairman," and "Marketing Director" of Youngevity.
Vaughn jumped ship to Wakaya Perfection in late 2015 when the existing leader left the company with several top "officers". This resulted in Youngevity and Wakaya suing and countersuing each other.
He was cited as "Founding Member" and "Gold Member Billionaire's Inner Circle" in Wakaya. His current rank is believed to be "Blue Diamond Ambassador" (among the highest") which I presume, comes with a hefty paycheck.
Now let's put that in perspective by lining up the events, just those we can document. And that doesn't even include any of his Wakaya titles.
Joined MLM in February 2005
Declared bankruptcy in April 2005
Joined Youngevity sometime prior to 2012 (probably 2009?)
Million dollar earner in Yougevity in 2012
Declared bankruptcy in June 2012
Declared bankruptcy in July 2013
Senior Vice Chairman, Marketing Directory of Youngevity in 2014
Declared bankruptcy in April 2015
Either this guy declares bankruptcy at a whim to cheat his creditors, or MLM doesn't pay NEARLY enough and his "million earner" status was an illusion. The truth is probably somewhere in between.
In fact, even Vaughn's accomplishments at Youngevity is in doubt. In the lawsuit between Youngevity and Wakaya, Youngevity alleged that then-president Andreoli "force qualified" Vaughn and his wife (i.e. they got the rank WITHOUT meeting the required goals) resulting in them getting paid more without actually bringing in more sales.
Either MLM attracts this sort of people... or encourages this sort of behavior.
Apparently a parent (also attorney) Rainey is threatening to sue Milford Primary School in Auckland, New Zealand if essential oil diffusers are not removed from the classrooms. A one paragraph notice, buried in a newsletter to parents, notified that 20 diffusers will be spread among the classrooms diffusing DoTerra Onguard mix which supposedly helps students concentrate and ward off illnesses. However, several ingredients in the Onguard mix can trigger asthma and other allergies.
Since she didn't unilaterally approve the purchase, it's technically NOT an ethical violation, but her failure to disclose that she's the seller? It's DISGUSTINGLY DISHONEST.
And about keeping students healthy? That's the sort of bogus claim that got DoTerra an FDA warning back in 2014. But then, DoTerra reps always had a sense of hyperbole... Previously they had even suggested DoTerra oil can kill Ebola virus (and many other viruses). No, I wasn't kidding. And no, essential oil doesn't kill viruses when diffused.
Not that it matters to the claimant, who simply dismissed the rebuttal, so I called him out on it.
So he jumped over to Google and pasted the first link he found that supposedly proves it.
Which leads to this article:
At the bottom, the "source" is cited as Transcend Media Service, where a virtually identical article can be found, but the ORIGINAL source was revealed to be YourNewsWire... the very source debunked in the article I linked.
If you look on Youtube for health advice, you may have come across Dr. Bob DeMaria, who goes by the moniker "Drugless Doctor", and sometimes, "Dr.Bob".
The problem is, he never got an MD. The closest credential he got was a chiropractic degree he got from the "National College of Health Sciences" (now National University of Health Sciences) back in 1978.
Bob mentioned in his LinkedIn profile that he went to Clayton College for further studies. What he did not mention was that Clayton College of Natural Health was NOT an accredited school, does mostly distance learning, and closed in 2010 instead of seeking accreditation, and was sued by students who got neither degree nor refund. Indeed, one investigation by the state turned up someone who managed to obtain FOUR diplomas from this school over 14 month period: BS, MS, Ph.D., AND "Doctor of Naturopathy".
Clayton College is also known for selling their founder's nutritional supplements "Doctor Clayton's Naturals", from minerals and vitamins to homeopathic remedies.
But that's not the most disturbing thing about Bob DeMaria (I refuse to call him doctor)...
When challenged by a British skeptic to provide peer-reviewed studies to support his anti-GMO views and his research on chlorella, Bob's reaction is to delete all of the skeptic's comments.
But he will gladly sell you some nutrition (-al supplements) that he claims are not drugs, but will help you nonetheless, for whatever that ails you, including ADHD (which is obviously, NOT a part of chiropractic studies), not to mention a lot of OTHER stuff unrelated to chiropractics.
Bob DeMaria's website where he'll sell you plenty of stuff NOT related to chiropractic, the only thing he's certified in
Why would anyone trust his non-chiropractic advice? Are they all dazzled by his (not) doctor demeanor?
My skeptical advice to you is to NEVER follow any medical advice you got on social media and Youtube. Youtube is great for DIY mechanical stuff, but complete garbage when it comes to health.
Without going into too much detail, LuLaRoe is best known for selling leggings (and other stuff) on a lottery system. Each consultant is expected to buy $2000 to $9000 worth of stuff upon signing up. Yet they will not know what they will receive. Since 2014, over 3500 Washington residents signed up, but less than 2000 remain active today. Between 2014 and 2017, LuLaRoe consultants receive bonuses based on how much inventory they and their recruits have PURCHASED (not sold) from the company. It is obvious that the more the consultants recruited (and each recruit bought THOUSANDS of dollars of stuff), the more bonuses were paid out. The compensation plan was changed in 2017 to be only based on sales of the consultant alone.
There are PLENTY of other problems with the company's practices. The leggings have to be unpacked to be show to potential customers (including for eBay), yet LuLaRoe have refused to provide refund if the package was opened. There were frequent charges of "low quality". Multiple designers have charged LulaRoe of stealing their designs and patterns without their permission. After multiple complaints, LLR seems to have moved to taking vector art and remixing them, but again, many seems to have been used without the proper license.
Woman claimed to have purchased software from Europe that can let doctors to remotely examine and talk with patients, and need more money to pay taxes and fees. But it was all a ruse. In the end she got $5.4 million from about 50 people and spent it mostly on herself and her friends, only 300K actually went to the software, and it's not even purchased.
But what's really disturbing is how she exploited her friends and victims, making them believe they just need to lie a little, she'll get the money soon. Even more, she convinced two ex-air-marshals into pretending to be still active to intimidate people into coughing up more money.
What's even more disturbing is she apparently believes she will be offered probation because of her education and career... as she somehow has degrees in electrical engineering and law...
Unfortunately, this time, the law has documented all of her lies... Like her claim that a fictitious billionaire will "lend" her 74 million, and the time she claimed to be in negotiation for the "loan", she's actually in Jamaica, celebrating one of her girlfriend's birthday. And she had been to Bora Bora and other ritz-y resorts around the world, all while claiming medical emergencies and tough negotiations to her victims, trying to squeeze even more money... Once, the victims even sent her the social security check...
And it's not just the money, but the devastation it left behind on the victims. Most of the victims had invested their life savings, and even mortgaged their homes and businesses to put in even more money for a "sure bet". Now they have lost everything, all based on lies, lies, and more lies.
Meet Keisha L Williams, who will be spending the next 15 and a half years in Federal prison. And this is her story.
That's 1.4 million bucks raised to pay for some VERY expensive water proven to do nothing, that could have been used for palliative care or other purposes that may have made final moments of life more bearable. 1.4 million bucks could have paid for a lot of weed or even more powerful opioids or whatever the cancer patients needed to spend the final days in peace, and leave some for their family to cover other expenses.
Instead, the money is going to cancer quacks, doing NOTHING for the actual patients, who have to live their final days with treatment proven to do NOTHING, see their hopes dashed and pain unmanaged.
Basically, the 1.4 million bucks paid for suicide by water and pain.
Crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe (but also YouCaring, CrowdRise, and FundRazr) are the go-to place for desperate people to solicit money to try these quack medicine. So much so, it's now a BILLION dollar industry. And these platforms, claiming neutrality, will NOT restrict funds raised by their platforms to be used for legitimate medicine. One does wonder whether the fees they collect are the primary reason for the claims of neutrality.
But that's only the beginning. Bogus and unproven treatments are advertising themselves online, and telling potential patients/victims they should crowdfund their care. Examples include oxygen hyperbaric treatment for brain injury, stem cell for brain and spinal cord injury, long-term antibiotic therapy for "chronic Lyme", and more. And they are raising millions that are going into pockets of people providing these questionable and sometimes, outright dangerous therapies.
The donors are basically helping patients commit suicide while enriching people deceiving the patients with false hopes.
You wouldn't pay for someone committing suicide. But if you paid for someone's "alternative medicine" crowdfunding treatment, you've done exactly that.
One of the ways scams and woo spread is by linking a famous person to it, never mind that famous person actually said the EXACT OPPOSITE.
Recently, there was a Twitter debate when someone rehashed the myth that "cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment", and cited Dr. Otto Warburg, 1931 Nobel Laureate, and even claimed that's what he got the Nobel prize for. But it wasn't.
This alkaline nonsense was thoroughly busted by Snopes back in 2016, as well as by practically every major medical news website and several hospitals and medical schools. To make a long story short, it's circular reasoning. Dr. Warburg actually discovered that cancer cells produce MORE lactic acid by using a different metabolism method than healthy cells. While a cancerous body is slightly acidic than normal, this is the effect of cancer, NOT THE CAUSE. And you can't force a body or blood to be acidic through diet (that means your kidneys have FAILED!). It's clear that whoever listened to this nonsense doesn't understand cause and effect. They think cancer -> acid, then anti-acid = anti-cancer. It doesn't work like that. A caused B. B does not cause A.
Back in 2004 Actor Ray Liotta sued Nerium after some Nerium reps falsely claimed via Facebook posts that Mr. Liotta's facial complexion improved due to the use of their products. The case was later settled out of court. But this hardly stopped other overeager reps from claiming things that have no basis in science or fact.
One of the more recent victims of false endorsement was Malaysia sprinter Watson Myambek. In November 2018, someone was spreading claims on Facebook that Nyambek is a Bitcoin millionaire to promote some sort of crypto-scam. He categorically denied such allegations and said he will file a report with police and want the lying culprit found.
The point is unless you can trust the source, like a reputable newspaper article, you should NOT believe anything you read on Facebook and similar social media platforms.