Boom or Bust, a year in review for FHTMCompany: Fortune Hi Tech Marketing
Read More: ag | business scam | FHTM | fortune hi-tech | fraud | home business | Paul Orberson | pyramid scheme | rico
Boom or Bust, a year in review
2010 has been a bone chilling year for the Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing representatives or IR’s as known in their world. It started with the Attorney General of North Dakota issuing a cease and desist for operating a business in that state without the proper licensing. That was followed by the Montana Securities Commissioner, Monica Lindeen also shutting them down, but this time, it was for operating as an illegal endless recruiting pyramid scheme. The company was forced to change their business practices (in an attempt to make themselves legal. Can you do that if you were already legal or is that an oxymoron), charge only $75.00 entrance fee (from the then current $299.00) to new Montanans who wished to explore the American Dream through FHTM and refund almost $1,000,000 to the good folks of that state who made no money and wanted a refund of monies paid.
FHTM was also forced to produce (one time only) an income disclosure statement (“IDS”) which according to industry expert, Robert FitzPatrick who is the President of Pyramid Scheme Alert, is so skewed that it isn’t worth the paper it is written on because the figures do not include the almost 30% who did not make even a dime in this business opportunity. Looking at the numbers produced by FHTM itself, over 90% fail.
In talking to FHTM reps, they insist on telling the story that every business is a Pyramid and so is the government. What they fail to differentiate is what is a legal and an illegal pyramid scheme. They go on to explain that 95% of all businesses in America fail and the team they have an opportunity to build in FHTM will produce a lifetime of residual income. They have coined the phrase, “Loyal Customer”. In fact, the reality is that when reps drop out of this business (and 90% or better will do so within 6 months) all of those “loyal customers” are gone along with the residual income. Most sales of products and services are to the IR’s that have paid for the right to be part of this business opportunity.
Existing IR’s saw multiple compensation changes that were sold to them as a message from God and as “another pay raise” yet it was merely a way to screw more at the bottom of this pyramid and enrich those that were hand-picked by the self proclaimed King of MLM, Paul Orberson. In fact there were more than a half dozen compensation changes that occurred in 2010 which somehow parallels the ½ dozen state Attorney General’s (IL, TX, SC, KY, ND and MT) that began active investigations into this alleged pyramid scheme. FHTM had an “F” rating with the KY BBB until November/December 2010, when top leaders in the organization posted bulletins asking for their IR’s to report FHTM as a model company which assisted in raising the current rating to a “C”. What a sham that system is.
Fortune Hi-Tech has lied about being debt-free and its business relationships/partnerships with real fortune 100 companies to cover up their illegal ways and to produce the aura that they are some way legal because of these affiliations. Major companies like GE, DuPont, Travelocity, Home Depot, Dish Networks and Peter Lamas have either run from these relationships or claimed they never existed in the first place. Fortune thought it was ok to use the logos of major international enterprises to enhance their own images. They attempted to tie themselves to Fortune Magazine until ex-representatives revealed the truth.
The nightmare for representatives deepened as FHTM was about to hold its national convention in Lexington, Kentucky in September 2010. On the eve of the convention USA Today appeared there to interview IR’s and attend its presentations. It was the same day that Fortune, its officers and 40 top distributors were served with its first of two class action lawsuits claiming mail and wire fraud, RICO violations, pyramid scheme and money laundering.
The FHTM outside legal team got an early Christmas present with the filing of the 2nd class-action lawsuit in the Southern District of California on December 22, 2010. This lawsuit mirrors, in many ways, the one originally filed in Kentucky in early September with the addition of multiple violations of California consumer protection laws.
Paul Orberson has managed to keep this cash cow alive for ten years and the company just celebrated that anniversary on New Year’s Eve 2010 in Florida. The amazing thing is that out of the supposed 104,000 IR’s it has in the USA – only 250-300 attended this $450.00 a couple event. How many other companies that do 500MM in annual revenue charge their people to attend a ten year celebration? What a joke!
FHTM has only succeeded in recent years because of the recession and the fact that its top reps in 2004 brought their teams from the defunct Excel Communications. They were hand-picked by Paul Orberson to be the top reps in FHTM, paid to bring their teams, given large cash bonuses and a back door deal which included a piece of the pie (equity). They are referred to as the “Fab 6” by Paul Orberson. This enterprise will always remain private to hide these side deals and the money made by its founders.
How can representatives in 2011 continue to tout this as the best marketing plan and business opportunity ever when the founders have been caught in so many lies, changed the compensation plan to further enrich those at the top, have such a huge 95+ failure rate, are being sued in Federal court by ex-reps as well as ex-vendors and have multiple states investigating their illegal ways?
If you are an illegal immigrant, an unemployed truck driver or just a fool – this business is for you. If you don’t mind operating an enterprise that never can be willed, sold or profitable - this business is for you. If you don’t mind screwing your friends and family to get into a business with you that you know they will lose money in – this business is for you. If you don’t mind buying or selling overpriced goods and services – this business is for you. If you have the ability to tell folks this is your destiny per God’s word – this business is for you. If you are a great liar – this business is for you.
Network marketing and word of mouth marketing are phenomenal business models - unfortunately FHTM doesn’t operate under that guise.
For more on this company go to www.fhtmclassaction.info