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One24 Threatens to Sue Me for Defamation

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Stop me if you've read this one before. I write about a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme and their lawyers send me an email that I'm going to be in trouble. This happened with MonaVie twice. Yesterday, a lawyer claiming to represent One24 contacted me about my article: One24 Scam. In it, I explained that the FTC has said that some multi-level marketing are actually pyramid schemes. I then showed how the FTC's guidelines for pyramid schemes apply to One24.

The Lawyer's Email

I received an email from Charles McMurry, corporate attorney for 124 LLC. In it he "strongly suggested that [I] remove any comments about 124 on [my] web site." He claims that my comments are defamatory. McMurry takes exception with my implication that One24 is illegal because it is a pyramid scheme. He defends this by saying that I'm clearly wrong because it would mean that numerous large companies in the US would be under investigation. He then informs me that there is no law against MLM companies. Then he says that each state has separate statutes that govern these businesses and that there is no scam or illegal activity. For good measure he says that the 124 "sells a good product" and that it "returns a large percent of sales to its members in the form of commissions." He then suggests that I should look more closely at the laws of regarding defamation. He then said that they "need me to remove all my negative comments about our company with the next 24 hours." If I fail to comply he said he will pursue "legal remedies." He closed the email by inviting me to email him or leave a phone number to call and urging that I "govern [myself] accordingly."

[Update: Since I was asked in the comments to post the email, here's a screenshot from my Gmail account. As you can see it is nearly a year old and One24 has not responded to my latest email. Charles McMurry was unable to put forth any specific part of my article that was deemed incorrect and resorted to trying to attack me because he couldn't defend One24's practices. It appears that One24's the large law firm of Grimes and Reese agrees with me since they took no further action. I tried my best to work with Mr. McMurry, but it seemed like he was only interested in preventing the consumers from obtaining important information about the company, not correct any kind of injustice.]

What is defamation?

When in doubt, one of the first places I go to is the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Blogger's Guide. The EFF is one of the best known and reputable sites I know. They even have a whole FAQ devoted to defamation, which comes in handy in times like these.

One of the first things the guide makes clear is that defamation is against a person. At the bottom of the page you get to a question about trade libel, which as it says, "Trade libel is defamation against the goods or services of a company or business. For example, saying that you found a severed finger in you're a particular company's chili (if it isn't true)." So one of the first things to note is that One24 wouldn't have a defamation case, they'd have a potential trade libel case (if any case at all).

Let's put the question of trade libel vs. defamation aside for a minute. Suppose that it is defamation as Mr. McMurry claims. According to the EFF's guide:

"The elements that must be proved to establish defamation are:

  1. a publication to one other than the person defamed;
  2. a false statement of fact;
  3. that is understood as
    • a. being of and concerning the plaintiff; and
    • b. tending to harm the reputation of plaintiff.
  4. If the plaintiff is a public figure, he or she must also prove actual malice.

"

The most important thing that I see here is that there has to be "a false state of fact." So if I were to say that One24 is a pyramid scheme, One24 would need to prove that is not a pyramid scheme. This would be an extraordinary difficult thing to do considering the FTC's statements as I showed in my original One24 post.

Getting back to trade libel for a second, the burden of One24 proving that it is not a pyramid scheme is backed up by this post about trade libel: "A second difference is that plaintiff is required to plead and prove that a disparaging statement is false in regard to trade libel, whereas in a cause of action the plaintiff is NOT required to plead that the statements are false in most cases."

Furthermore I found this information about the false statements with regard to trade libel:

"3. The defendant must have made the communications knowing they were false or with reckless disregard of the truth. (Leonardini v Shell Oil Co. (1989) 216 CA3d 547.) Reckless disregard of the truth is determined on a case by case basis but essentially means that no reasonable person would have considered the defendant’s fact finding as acceptable practice prior to publishing the untrue statements. A typical situation is that the defendant claims the product is unsafe without either testing the product or investigating the claims of lack of safety in any verifiable manner."

In this regard, not only would One24 have to prove that it isn't an illegal pyramid scheme. It would have to prove that it wasn't reasonable for me to suggest it was a pyramid scheme which would be extremely difficult considering this article from the FTC about MLMs and pyramid schemes.

Analysis of the Rest of the Email

The rest of the email is interesting. I should point out that the email has a few typos and grammatical errors. I wouldn't typically point this out, because as a blogger, my posts are filled with them. However, as an official communication from a lawyer, this seems very unusual.

It also makes the common error that all pyramid schemes are investigated promptly. Bernie Madoff was operating his for more than a dozen years. There's even a book about it. It is also worth noting that in many cases, there is no one to bring these cases to trial. The one organization that could do it, is the FTC. However, the FTC doesn't have the budget to fight against one company, FreeCreditReport.com - it's hard to imagine it could bring cases against every MLM company that it felt was a pyramid scheme. Furthermore, Pyramid Scheme Alert has an article about politics and why the FTC lets MLM run wild in America. I'm not a political scholar so I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Is One24 just trying to Whitewash Justified Criticism?

The final part of the email essentially demanding that I take down "negative comments" looks to me like they are trying to squash criticism. It's important to note that the email didn't state that I should remove "false negative comments", but all negative comments. I'm pretty sure that I'm legally allowed to criticize a company.

My Response to One24

I returned an email to them that I don't believe there is any defamation case to be had here.

I then strongly suggested that they consider the consequences of bringing legal action against me. There is a well-known phenomenon called the Streisand effect. Wikipedia describes it as, "primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely." If One24 is looking to keep the negative comments quiet, the approach they are taking has a history of backfiring.

What are you thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Last updated on August 9, 2016.

This post deals with:

... and focuses on:

MLM, One24

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42 Responses to “One24 Threatens to Sue Me for Defamation”

  1. All I have to say is: srsly?

  2. Wojo says:

    *Sigh* Silly lawyers. I’m glad someone has the balls not to get bullied. :)

  3. humiliated says:

    One24 lawyer, Charles McMurry…you have just been STREISANDED! Defame THAT!

    I will be reading up on their shenanigans and spreading “the gospel” on how to avoid this scam.

    Thanks Lazy, for fighting the good fight!

  4. […] [The article below has garnered the attention of One24 and their lawyers. They are trying to whitewash this information. For more details see One24 Threatens to Sue Me for Defamation.] […]

  5. Evan says:

    Incredible that you seem to be able to analyze the law better than these attorneys (although to be fair I don’t remember learning about trademark liability in torts).

    The Monevie attorneys just left you alone and I bet this guy will too!

  6. This statement seems to be a bit at odds with element 2.

    “Is truth a defense to defamation claims?

    Yes. Truth is an absolute defense to a defamation claim. But keep in mind that the truth may be difficult and expensive to prove.”

    If the falsity of the statement must be proven (element 2) then why would it be necessary for the defendant to prove the truth? :)

    I think it is because the EFF may be wrong (gasp!) about the need to prove the falsity of the statement.

    I’m not a lawyer, but my understanding has been that the plaintiff must merely prove that the statements were damaging. The defendant could then introduce “truth” as a defense, but would then need to provide evidence of truth (as opposed to the plaintiff proving the falsehood), since the defendant is introducting the claim. This follows the general principle of placing the burden of proof on the party making a claim.

    Proving the falsity of statements could be an unreasonable burden, as it could place the plaintiff in the situation of having to prove a negative. (Let’s say I accuse you of spying for Cuba. Could you prove that you have never spied for Cuba? How?)

    Here’s an example from another site: “If the defendant can show that the substance of a defamatory statement is essentially true, then the plaintiff’s claim for slander or libel will fail. For example, assume that the defendant publicly ACCUSED his boss of cheating on taxes. The boss could sue for slander or libel, depending on whether the accusation was written or spoken. If the defendant could prove that the boss actually did cheat on taxes, the defendant would prevail. If the defendant had no proof of such tax cheating, the plaintiff would prevail”

    Note that this doesn’t say that the plaintiff must prove that the statements are false.

    Source: http://www.enotes.com/everyday-law-encyclopedia/libel-and-slander#defenses-libel-slander

    The EFF is a great group, but it would be nice if they sourced their information about the elements of defamation (if they did, I missed it).

    However, I stress that I am NOT a lawyer. I’m just a guy with an interest in the law and the ability to use Google :) I’d be curious to see a real lawyer weigh in.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Evan,

      I’d guess that a large percentage of people just comply out of fear. They probably feel that don’t have much to lose with this tactic.

      Kosmo,

      Good point on that burden of proof there. I’m going to take a stab that may or may not be on target (I’m not a lawyer). I think it’s because there’s defamation and trade libel. While they are similar it seems that burden of proof switches. In a defamation case, it would be up to the defendant to prove that the claim is true. So if I make a claim that you like to eat babies, you could claim defamation. Then I’d have to show that you do eat babies. However, if a company says that a publisher is spreading falsehoods in an attempt to hurt their business, they have to prove that the statements are indeed false. I think this is also where the part comes in that plaintiff would have to prove that I spread falsehoods that I actually knew to be false.

  7. Yeah, it was the eating babies example I was trying to come up with :)

    If you’re correct, the EFF might want to re-work their page a bit. They only mention trade libel in passing at the end (and they need to re-write that section anyway).

    Maybe I’ll crack open my business law book from college. It’s been a while since I opened the blue beast.

  8. Anonymous Aussie says:

    Oh this is too rich! Defamation?! What the?!

    Let’s not forget pyramid scam, Business In Motion who were stupid enough to file a defamation lawsuit against another consumer advocate, David Thornton who accused the company of operating a pyramid scheme.

    David Thornton represented himself and it was determined by the judge that the accusations were NOT defamatory on the basis that the business model was “prima facie” evidence that the scheme was a fraud. The company’s actions were described as a “naked” attempt to intimidate a consumer advocate.
    http://www.crimebustersnow.com/
    http://bizop.ca/blog2/000597.html
    http://pyramidschemealert.org/canadian-mlm-business-in-motion-appears-doomed/

    CLEARLY this is yet another case of a company, namely One24, attempting to silence and intimidate a consumer advocate – their actions are as transparent as the PYRAMID SCAM they are operating.

    Lazyman, I’ve hoped and prayed that one of these pyramid scams are as ignorant as BIM were to bring their case to court but we all know that’s not going to happen. However, I will personally fly up there to be in your corner should their empty threats ever come to fruition!

    • Lazy Man says:

      Aussie, you are a fantastically awesome person. I had no idea that there was case history.

      You are correct, it is extremely unlikely this goes to any court. I envision my wife and I see you first in your home country in a few years.

  9. Anonymous Texan says:

    To quote a famous line from the movie, “Law Abiding Citizen”; “It’s not what you know… it is what you can prove in court.”

  10. Pat says:

    Such letters are not uncommon, it may not even have been from a real lawyer. As any of us here may well be familiar with, debt collectors use the same tactic. They send out letters that look legal and look as if they have been sent by a law firm. Like this, it’s just a scare tactic. That email isn’t worth the bits it took to transmit. A REAL letter from a lawyer would have been on watermarked letterhead and would have been send certified mail.

  11. Larry says:

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Lazy Man! The world needs more people like you in it; dispensing the truth in the face of immoral threats. Deceptive pyramid scheme execs and lawyers are two groups often devoid of values – keep fightin’ for the right side.

    -Larry

  12. […] received a follow-up email from One24's lawyers regarding their threat to sue me for defamation. It was a little unusual. In it, it made the assumption that I "know" One24 is not a pyramid scheme […]

  13. Jack Anonymous says:

    Hey Lazy I think that you are a complete jackass and that maybe we all don’t wish to live by the FTC rules. Who say’s that they even know what they are doing. You probably think that the FDA is really keeping us safe from the food and drug companies too. WAKEUP AND JUST KNOW ONE THING THAT YOU CAN’T STOP A GOOD THING LIKE ONE24. YOU COULD NOT PULL ME OUT OF ONE24 WITH A TOW TRUCK it is the best company that I have ever been involved with.

    • Lazy Man says:

      It’s worth noting that the FTC doesn’t create guidelines haphazardly. They are developed over years of experience dealing with companies who scam others. That’s why a consumer protection agency. I can understand why a scammer would be against consumer protection – it’s like a bank robber being against the police. Wake up yourself – we just want to keep our hard-earned money.

      Those who don’t wish to live by the FTC’s guidelines are welcome to challenge them in a court of law. Ditto for the FDA. If you choose not to challenge them via the American judicial system then you should conduct your business outside of America.

      Play by the rules or don’t play the game… it’s quite simple.

  14. Money Beagle says:

    You wrote your opinion and that’s your right to post that. Others can post how much they love it, it’s a free world. I hope you stand your ground. Personally, I have no feeling about this company either way (never heard of ’em…next!) but I don’t think they should be able to bully you. Keep us posted!

  15. Marc Chase says:

    When this stuff first came out, people were knocking on our doors almost daily asking us to become “distributors”.

    The sales pitch reminded me exactly of pyramid scams. Good for you.

  16. Anonymous Aussie says:

    Jack Anonymous states “Hey Lazy I think that you are a complete jackass and that maybe we all don’t wish to live by the FTC rules.”

    Pyramid schemes are a form of FRAUD. As deluded as you are about being one of the very few who are able to succeed in such a venture (the pyramid math confirms you have a less than 1% chance of success), in the very unlikely event you are able to succeed it will be as a direct result of having defrauded other participants into the scheme. That being said, who’s really the jackass here…

    Jack-Ass states “Who say’s that they even know what they are doing.”

    We don’t need to ask whether you know what you’re doing – despite your own pyramiding activities and involvement in the most thinly veiled pyramid scheme, you STILL haven’t figured out you’re participating in a scam! If it wasn’t so sad, it’d be laughable.

    You’ve openly admitted to blatantly ignoring and don’t care for the warnings and red flags provided by the authorities – is this the sales pitch you give to your prospects?! Obviously not. You come equipped with all the ignorance a greed drive distributor this company requires to firstly, continue the scam and secondly, continue pursuing an opportunity that doesn’t exist and continue to line the pockets of the 1% who have already assumed their positions at the top of the pyramid.

    Jack-Ass states “WAKEUP AND JUST KNOW ONE THING THAT YOU CAN’T STOP A GOOD THING LIKE ONE24. YOU COULD NOT PULL ME OUT OF ONE24 WITH A TOW TRUCK it is the best company that I have ever been involved with.”

    Personally, I’m beginning to think that people like you, who lack any morals and ethics and who have no qualms about inflicting a potential scam on other people in your quest for the (elusive) dollar, deserve to be scammed yourselves. Enjoy, a$$hole.

  17. Kellen says:

    If everything you wrote is based on fact – ie, this is what they do, this is what the FTC says is not allowed, it appears to me as if what they do is what the FTC does not allow, then I doubt they’d have any case.

    In terms of burden of proof, obviously a lot of people have weighed in, but, in response to Kosmo’s comment:
    “Proving the falsity of statements could be an unreasonable burden, as it could place the plaintiff in the situation of having to prove a negative. (Let’s say I accuse you of spying for Cuba. Could you prove that you have never spied for Cuba? How?)”
    It does seem a little unfair that the plaintiff needs to prove falsity, but that doesn’t mean that’s not the case. I know as an auditor, depending on what situation we’re being sued in, the burden of proof can switch to from us auditors having to prove that we were NOT negligent, to the plaintiff having to prove that we WERE negligent.

    I think that the quotes about proving the truth of your statement do not mean that you are *required* to produce proof, just that, if you can, the lawsuit would be over with that much quicker.

    If company is taking the time to sue you for saying something false, then it seems reasonable that the company should have to prove that it’s false – otherwise they could sue every individual who made a complaint about their product, and those individuals would have to produce proof that their complaint was based on a real experience!

  18. @ Kellen – The company would be suing you for saying something defamatory, not something false.

    Just because truth is a defense doesn’t necessarily mean that the plaintiff would need to prove falsity. The defendant must make the defense in order for the jury (or judge) to consider it.

    It is my understanding that is possible for a statement to be defamatory and true OR defamatory and false.

    In my understand is correct … then the plaintiff would merely need to prove the defamatory nature and leave it up to the defendant to raise a defense. Lacking a defense (truth of statement or anything else), a mere prima facie case should produce a victory for the plaintiff.

    I really do need to crack open by business law book, because there seems to be two very different opinions on this matter on the internet. (Of course, it’s possible that it varies by state).

    • Lazy Man says:

      My understanding was that it is not considered defamation if it is true. However, if Wikipedia is correct, “It is usually a requirement that this claim be false.” The key word there being “usually”, not “always”.

      In doing that research though, it seems that I would have four very solid defenses:

      – Truth. This would put a lot of the burden of proof on me. However, my article cites FTC’s articles, so that would help me with that.
      – Belief of Truth. From Wikipedia, “Statements made in a good faith and reasonable belief that they were true are generally treated the same as true statements; however, the court may inquire into the reasonableness of the belief.” I think the FTC’s guidance as to what counts as a pyramid scheme gives a very reasonable belief of truth
      – Opinion – My article is my interpretation of the FTC’s guidance
      – “Fair comment on a matter of public interest, arguments made with an honest belief in their soundness on a matter of public interest (such as regarding official acts) are defendable against a defamation claim” – I think alerting the public of a possible pyramid scheme should qualifies as a matter of public interest.

  19. Paul Wise says:

    I agree, why would they want to stir the pot and intentionally call attention to negative publicity by suing you? I think they started in business in the summer of 2010, and as they grow and more and more of their members have negative experiences, there will be LOTS more negative publicity – I can even see the FTC becoming involved, because it is clearly MLM and definitely a Pyramid Scheme by definition alone.

  20. Carl says:

    Anyone can sit on their computer, be a “lazyman” and complain/write false information on any company. The people that complain about these MLMs are the people who don’t put in the valid effort to actually gain anything from them. There are a lot of people benefiting from the commissions program that One24 has to offer.

    Sure, it is your right to be skeptical, and sure, it is your right to be a jack ass and say negative things about a company who works really hard to help thousands of people out. But in the end, you’re just a skeptical Jack ass that claims to know a lot and actually knows very little.

    One24 is NOT a pyramid scheme. It is not a scam in any way. It just requires that you spend a little bit of time, and in the end, it gives you a chance to have a lot of extra money to use for whatever you may so choose.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Thanks for your comment Carl.

      I have a five year history of being a personal finance blogger here. So if you want to be a “lazyman”, put up over 1300 articles of 500 words each and let me know. I’ve had over 2 million visit this website for a reason… I provide consumers with logic arguments. They either agree or counter with other logical arguments.

      Your argument is not logical. The “didn’t put enough effort” is a failed Orrin Woodward scam. It doesn’t address the fact that It’s Not a Matter of Effort, it’s a Mathematical Certainty.

      From the evidence that I’ve given about the FTC’s definitions of pyramid schemes, what is your rationale that it is not a pyramid scheme? Please debate the specific points from the FTC – their words not mine.

      The rest of your comment just shows that you are concerned about your own money, and don’t care about the pyramid scheme that the FTC warns consumers about.

      When in doubt, this “lazyman” focuses on the government agencies that are paid by our tax dollars to protect us.

      Does that sound reasonable?

  21. CGC says:

    Carl wrote, “It is not a scam in any way. It just requires that you spend a little bit of time….”

    You must spend a little bit of time doing what Carl? From all evidence given by One24 promoters, you must spend time recruiting other people to buy in. And how do these new people not get stuck throwing money away every month? They just need to spend a little bit of time — recruiting new suckers! Voila, the pyramid grows!

    Thanks for wasting a little bit of everyone’s time with your vacuous and redundant post. Next time spend a little bit of time reading up on the case made against One24, dust off your brain and try to bring something meaningful or new to the discussion.

  22. Good ol’ Chuck McMurry. I got an email from him too for owning http://www.MarkSeyforth.com. I was promoting the website and getting nearly 100 leads a month which about 50 percent signed up each month. They told me I couldnt have the site and they would kill my 124 account if I continued to use it. Then I spoke with Mark Seyforth himself (saved his phone number too). After this whole thing happened I stopped putting effort into 124… and sure as shit, my checks have been getting smaller and smaller each month. Its funny how people ignore simple math, in hopes of getting rich.
    -Chris Carpenter

  23. […] They cover nearly every point point from beginning to end. I guess their lawyers realized that One24's threat to sue me for defamation had no legal ground. It seems this is their plan B. I think I irk them because I rank at the top of […]

  24. GoldenIrishLad says:

    One24 is not a scam, but I’m not here to elaborate on that. A pyramid scheme in my defintion would be “the dude on top gets all the money” , and One24 isnt designed like that at all. While we are on the subjects of pyramids take a look around you and look at all the very successful businesses that are pyramids. Walmart, McDonald’s, as well as a lot of successful stores, and eaterys are all pyramids. Don’t hare on something that you have absolutely no knowledge in. You are probably one of those who tried something like One24, and didn’t do jack squat in it, and now you’re all butt hurt. Typical.

    • Lazy Man says:

      One24 is a scam, if you aren’t here to elaborate on that, why are you here?

      Your definition of a pyramid scheme doesn’t match anyone else’s as there isn’t a scheme where everyone just gives all their money to “the dude on top.” Even Bernie Madoff, who ran a Ponzi scheme didn’t “get all the money.” However, the important thing is that your definition also does not match the FTC’s guidelines of a pyramid scheme and One24 does match those guidelines of being an illegal pyramid scheme.

      Walmart, McDonalds, stores or eateries do not match the FTC’s guidelines of a pyramid because they actually sell goods to people who don’t work at the company. You would be wise to familiarize yourself with those FTC guidelines before you claim that I am the one with no knowledge. It only goes to show that these people scamming others are not educated in the law.

      By the way, I’ve never tried anything like One24. I heard about it, did the research and found it to be a pyramid scheme. As a well-respected personal finance blogger, I decided to tell others before they lose their money like those involved in Bernie Madoff’s scheme did.

  25. Jeremy says:

    hey Lazy post the email for us.. All you gave is your opinion.

    • Lazy Man says:

      I’ve updated the article with the email exchange with McMurry, including updates after the post was written. As you can see, I clearly didn’t give my opinion.

  26. l says:

    Well I have seen proof My good friend has made 10,0000 and continue to make money what pyma scam do you know give away 25,0000 monthly in a sweepstakes. You pay 60 dollars and you making that double. Yes you are getting people, But you are building so why post your bull if you dont know what you are talking about.

    • Lazy Man says:

      The early people in pyramid schemes do make some money. Unless they are actually selling significant product to others outside of the scheme, this is simply a redistribution of the money from the people who signed up later. That sounds fine until you realize that for one person to make $10,000 there has to be hundreds (usually thousands though) of recruited people who lose money. It is much like someone saying, I saw someone win the lottery, so I have seen proof that it is a good business.

      Did you know that the first $25,000 monthly prize went to Mark Seyforth’s friend from high school? That’s what I found out. Giving away $25,000 is easy when you are scamming people for hundreds of thousands or millions. If you get 10,000 people to give me $100 each every month, I’ll create a drawing where people can win $25,000. Hmmmm, that actually might be a lottery, so I’ll have to work on how to make that legit.

  27. m says:

    Well you seem bent on this pyramid scheme. The company only been in business a year and half. It’s placing money in people pocket. I spend 70 dollars and I double that. I dont even have to bring a soul on and make money. Many have stated this too you but think what you want. We are all grown and free to make are own mistake if any. Keep making your comment it’s not going to stop people. Thanks for making us award of your pyramid scheme but that’s it. One24 is not in jail still paying out money Monthly still making money. Get a life along as you dont place your money in One24 are any MLM marketing company. That will keep you at peace. I’m glad you have all the facts !!

    • Lazy Man says:

      M,

      You should look at the FTC’s definition of pyramid scheme. It has nothing to do with whether it puts money in your pocket. In fact, pyramid schemes are often also called money transfer schemes, so yeah, some people will have some money transferred to their pockets.

      If showing people that One24 is a pyramid scheme doesn’t stop them, that’s their own decision. They are welcome to lose their money.

      However, keep in mind that the California DA:

      To avoid becoming both a victim and simultaneously violating the law, do not let anyone rush you into making hasty and unwise decisions. A good opportunity to build a business in a multi level structure will not disappear over night. Take time to consider your investment before signing anything or giving someone your money.

      Ask questions about the company and its officers, the products, their cost, fair market value, source of supply and the potential for sales of the supposed products in your area. Ask about start up fees, required purchases and about the company’s policy regarding the buy back of required purchases. Inquire about the average earnings of active distributors, but be wary if the incomes cited sound to good to be true. Also, be aware that those who promote pyramid schemes may be charged with a felony.

  28. CF says:

    Lazy Man says:
    January 26, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    “One24 is a scam, if you aren’t here to elaborate on that, why are you here?
    Your definition of a pyramid scheme doesn’t match anyone else’s as there isn’t a scheme where everyone just gives all their money to ‘the dude on top.’ Even Bernie Madoff, who ran a Ponzi scheme didn’t ‘get all the money.’ However, the important thing is that your definition also does not match the FTC’s guidelines of a pyramid scheme and One24 does match those guidelines of being an illegal pyramid scheme.
    Walmart, McDonalds, stores or eateries do not match the FTC’s guidelines of a pyramid because they actually sell goods to people who don’t work at the company. You would be wise to familiarize yourself with those FTC guidelines before you claim that I am the one with no knowledge. It only goes to show that these people scamming others are not educated in the law.
    By the way, I’ve never tried anything like One24. I heard about it, did the research and found it to be a pyramid scheme. As a well-respected personal finance blogger, I decided to tell others before they lose their money like those involved in Bernie Madoff’s scheme did.”

    From my perspective, Lazyman, you are just another self-anointed blogger following the time honored trend of successful journalism…MUCKRAKE! And if there is nothing factual to muckrake, no problem, just invent it!
    Controversy based on fear guarantees readership. When I read down through your comments in response to earnest people in a misguided belief that you have only to be “educated” to understand the truth, You admit that you have never been in ONE24, you just heard about it and decided to “research” it.

    You and I both know that you have no interest in having your opinion changed on the subject, regardless of the facts. It would not suit your purpose.

    Why would you or anyone listen to the opinions of anyone on any topic when they do not have personal experience with it?

    Here is my opinion based on my experience with you. You are just a garbage fly on the top of your self–created pile of sh-t. My advice to others would be to ignore you, shoo you away, or allow you to continue to wallow in and eat your sh-t.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Thanks for the comment CF.

      I understand that you think I’m just “muckraking” and that I’ve “invented” something “not factual.” Can you look at the article and tell me where I’m wrong then? What isn’t factual that I invented that requires fixing? Is it the links to the FTC’s website and the quotes from them regarding pyramid schemes? How does someone invent something not factual by citing the most trusted government source on the topic?

      You also make the comment that because I have not been in One24, my knowledge of the topic isn’t relevant. This is a something that sounds logical, but isn’t. For example, there are people who are trained to help those with suicide who have not attempted to kill themselves. For more examples see my article: MLM Mind Game: Real Life Experience vs. External Perspective. You’ll find that those who do have experience in MLM are exactly the ones who should not be listened to… they are paid to get you to join the system through any means necessary.

      I am interested in anyone who wants to debate the topic. However, if all you have is insults of me being interested in “muckraking” and not backing it up with evidence and using poor logic about experience, it doesn’t seem like you’ll have much to contribute here.

  29. April says:

    So If you are a part of One24, who will be held responsible in the court of law? Is it just the to guys or everyone signed up?? Thanks for all the info :))

    • Lazy Man says:

      April, that’s up to the courts who enforce the law. I would point any person thinking about joining One24 to the office of the Attorney General in California‘s website:

      To avoid becoming both a victim and simultaneously violating the law, do not let anyone rush you into making hasty and unwise decisions. A good opportunity to build a business in a multi level structure will not disappear over night. Take time to consider your investment before signing anything or giving someone your money.

      Ask questions about the company and its officers, the products, their cost, fair market value, source of supply and the potential for sales of the supposed products in your area. Ask about start up fees, required purchases and about the company’s policy regarding the buy back of required purchases. Inquire about the average earnings of active distributors, but be wary if the incomes cited sound to good to be true. Also, be aware that those who promote pyramid schemes may be charged with a felony.

      Of course that’s only California law, I don’t know if there is a similar Federal law. However, it stands to reason that such actions are likely to be true in other states. I don’t think there’s a state where they have a free pass for promoting pyramid schemes.

      I’m a believer in not putting myself in a position where it would ever become an issue.

  30. Todd says:

    I joined One24 one month ago, invested 78.00 which gave me my own link and back office to manage my efforts in recruiting, and the product. My first month, because mainly of a new gold rush stripe bonus worth $82.00, my check was $95.00. I also, years ago attepted Amway. I totally understood the business but it was just too much work with a full time job. Other than the linear silver line in One24, the two businesses are pretty close. Amway globle advertises on nation television. Whether one or the other is a mlm, One24 paid me in my first month covering y initial investment. Also in One24 you income, is based on eight different structures, based on your recruiting along with…

    Also your income is caped off. You always get a resisual income, but continue to help others reach their goals. My question is: If someone willingly joins the One24 business plan and or Amway, saturation over a long period of time is almost inevitable, but the world is always recycling, people turning 18 while others pass away. If people enjoy what they are doing, does it really matter? I really don’t want to be involved in any illegal activities, but I do enjoy the excitment of reaching my goals. Thank you

    • Lazy Man says:

      Thanks for the comment Todd. I suggest you read the comments and reply back at: http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/one24-natraburst-scam/.

      I understand that One24 sets you up with what amounts to a break even check when you join. You didn’t address the points here that it is a pyramid scheme.

      As for a comparison to Amway, that only makes it seem more like a scam. The fact that Amway advertises on national television doesn’t make more legit. It just says that they have the money to advertise nationally. Anyone that scams people will have money, so that’s a particularly worthwhile point.

      You don’t always get a residual income. You need to keep those people under you buying product. This sounds easy, but people won’t continuing buying the overpriced product unless they are making money. As with any pyramid scheme, those people at the bottom won’t continue to make money.

      It’s not about people enjoying what they are doing, it is about not scamming others and participating in a pyramid scheme. So yes it does matter. I’m happy for you reaching your goals, but I think you are a little premature with that in your first month.

      In the end, just make sure you make more money selling the product to people rather than recruiting them. That’s the point that the FTC says about not being in a pyramid scheme.

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