TINA blasts iMarket Live and Alex Morton

It was just a matter of time before Alex Morton made headlines once again – despite his attempts to lay low.  It took less than 3 years after Alex and his team were blamed for getting Vemma shut down for TINA (Truth in Advertising) to publish the results of an initial investigation revealing Alex Morton’s new company is up to the same tricks.  While you won’t find Alex anywhere on the iMarkets Live website, according to TINA, he’s the Vice President of the company.  If this proves accurate, iMarkets Live knew he would be a lightning rod for government regulators, so they kept it quiet.

Alex Morton’s M.O. has been to target the under 30 crowd with promises of getting rich quick.  Alex figured out that this group was open to the message of making easy money online.  This message coupled with the messaging on the iMarketsLive.com website has attracted a lot of college-aged kids looking for a quick buck.  A recent Facebook post from Mathew Rosa (one of the IML leaders) shows him standing in an auditorium full of students somewhere in Arizona.  In fact, posts from several other top leaders show them speaking to similar audiences.

A cursory look at the evidence collected by TINA reveals claims of making huge amounts of money in your sleep, no trading knowledge or expertise, etc. Christopher Terry has tried to evade SEC laws governing FOREX trading by demanding each distributor find their own FOREX broker.  While this may have side-stepped the SEC, they’re still bound by the anti-pyramid scheme laws enforced by the FTC.

One piece of evidence cited by TINA was an interview in which Troy Dooly interviewed CEO Christopher Terry.  The YouTube video is marked with “Includes Paid Promotion” – meaning Troy was paid to promote iMarkets Live.  In an email sent to us, Troy states his involvement with iMarkets Live was limited to a consultant.  Of the consultants in the industry, Troy is one of the most experienced when it comes to regulatory compliance.  The SEC has been abundantly clear when it comes to the sales of unregistered securities and the FTC has vigorously pursued companies that make income claims without proper disclosure statements.

If you followed industry news, you already know that TINA has successfully shut down a number of alleged pyramid schemes through filing complaints with the FTC .  In August of 2015, Vemma had all of their assets frozen and was shut down while the Federal Trade Commission investigated the company after numerous complaints (including one from TINA) that stemmed from Alex’s marketing tactics.   If the FTC decides that the iMarkets Live IBO’s income is derived primarily from recruiting instead of customers, this company won’t be around for much longer.

The network marketing industry needs to rid itself of the actual pyramid schemes so that it doesn’t taint the reputation of legitimate network marketing businesses.  When these fly-by-night deals crash and burn, it tarnishes the reputation of everyone in the industry.  I implore anyone that considers themselves a network marketing leader to speak out and speak LOUDLY against any deal that is running afoul of the law.

As far as consulting goes – it’s difficult to understand why any consultant would want to publicly affiliate themselves with a company that is attempting to skirt the law or operates on the fringe.  While there’s nothing illegal about consulting with a company that isn’t exercising good judgement in their marketing, it is my opinion that making (paid) public appearances can lend credibility to a company that people should avoid.

 

 

 

 

1 year ago

5 Comments

  1. I waited to see if anyone else would comment.

    I believe you did a solid job is reporting on the facts here.

    However, I did send you the official response to TINA article which was sent to Jason Bagley, and in using best practices in journalism, it seems publishing it would show You are wanting to stay unbiased and publish facts.

    Since the original article came out, IML with the help of Donna Marie aka The Queen of Compliance, most income claims have been removed, accounts suspended and a larger compliance team formed.

    Now as for “why a consultant would want to publicly affiliate with a company trying to skirt the law” statement.

    First of all, If IML was trying to “skirt the law” we would not be working with them.

    As a journalist of your qualifications, I’m perplexed as to why you would raise such a subjective and biased question. Especially since I had sent you the response from IML showing this company is NOT trying to circumvent or skit any laws.

    I’m also perplexed that you would use the term “skirting the SEC” when just a little due diligence on your part would show, that by not offering any brokerage services, a company isn’t skirting the law, they are acting well inside the laws.

    To offer any form of brokerage services, a company would need to be licensed.

    However, to specifically answer your question on why I am very public on who my clients are is simple… it’s the law!

    Both the SEC as well as the FTC have rules in place which are very clear. And let’s not forget YouTube also has terms and conditions which must be followed by all YouTube Community Partners.

    Under the 1934 SEC Act if a person is publicaly working with a company, and their work may be interpreted as PR, advertising etc., then the consultant must make that clear.

    The FTC under the Dot Com Rules are very clear that if a person receives any form of compensation, from sex to money, it must be disclosed. And in case anyone is wondering it was money and not sex I was paid from IML.

    In 2012, I violated the SEC Act and paid a fine for this infraction. That will never happen again.

    I’m still an active advisor to IML and proud of the accomplishments we are making it working with the field to get them into compliance.

    Again well written article, just a couple of areas where you seemed to take a biased stand, even after the facts were presented to you.

    1. we all know iML is shady and will always remain shady.
      Why would I put money or my trust in a company that keeps popping on the blacklist of several FEDERAL agencies and countries?

      “Hey buddy, you should give us your money for financial advice and education but just so you know, we are under investigation from the FEDS for allegedly running a pyramid scheme and our new consultant was also convicted by the FEDS a few years ago because he tried to hide compensation money from the IRS for the work done as a consultant. other than that, we are clean, no worries. The sooner you pay us, the sooner you have the chance of being rich like us”

  2. First of all, I appreciated your prompt response when I reached out to you for comment on this. I’m confident you’re doing everything you can to bring IML back into compliance with the law.

    I’ve never been shy about stating my bias towards cleaning up the industry and avoiding the appearance of anything afoul of the law.

    I along with many others have a lot of respect for you Troy. Much like EF Hutton, when you speak, people listen. That’s why companies seek your advice and consulting. They’re keenly aware of the fact that you’re an influential voice in the industry.

    With great power comes great responsibility.

    I’m not suggesting you or any other leader/consultant stop doing work for companies that are doing things that are questionable. Frankly, they need to hire people like you to help them come back into compliance. The concern I raised was about making public appearances with companies that are not yet back in compliance.

    Let’s say a company is engaging in consistently questionable behavior and then they hire a consultant to come in and get them straightened out. If a consultant sees they’re doing everything to keep their nose cleans and THEN makes a public appearance to say “We’re working together to ensure this opportunity is around for years to come” – that bodes well for both the industry and the parties involved.

    When TINA or some other 3 letter agency gets involved – it damages the entire industry. The point I wanted to make is that it’s incumbent upon those of us who know the law and have a voice to speak up and keep the industry clean BEFORE the authorities step in.

    I’m biased in the fact that I love network marketing and I want to protect this industry from those who would give it a bad reputation by malice or negligence.

  3. In my opinion and from an inside view of both companies. Its not one man being the face of a company and running some criminal Ponzi Scheme. It was a few very specific instances that were actually detailed in the ruling the SEC made with VEMMA. The reason VEMMA rebranded wasnt because it was all along some pyramid scheme or ponzi scheme. In fact the SEC ruling determined it to not be and mentioned that they needed to be more upfront with income disclaimers in videos etc. Also It legitimately had products to sell to customers and that was enforced. Which is what a business does, sell a product or a service. Also after said investigation the company fully embraced the areas that needed work and that were brought to light. VEMMA rebranded because people were not getting paid for a month or longer due to the investigation and went to other companies because their livelihoods and their team members livelihoods depended on money coming in to pay the bills. If people dont work they dont eat and cant feed there families. So a large majority of people left and moved on to other opportunites many within Network Marketing or Direct Sales. In addition IML a services based network marketing company provides financial education and trading software to its users. Which is a digital product. A branded, licensed digital product that is for sale. Theyre are so many forms of trading software out there for sale or with a monthly fee. In addition you still are taxed on investing and have to pay trading fees. Like literally every single trading platform since trading became an option in The United States Of America. So just Because people or a single person who has definitely been singled out enjoy the money that ive personally witnessed them grindin their asses off for, for years doesnt make them bad people or up to nefarious things. I read what that other site said about few companies and honestly find it all kind of rediculous amd honestly super opinionated. Yes their are bad companies, CEOs, Reps etc. And things should be handled appropriately. However this all seems like a witch hunt. Not objective, not taking into account all the facts but bending the truth in order to sway public opinion to create stigma or to further boost peoples misguided viewpoints of what a business is and isnt and how one should operate. Yes they’re should always be checks and balances but you people just sound like sore losers who didnt stick it out and make it work and now are on some kind of witch hunt for someone who probably actually cares more about people in five minutes than you could manage to muster in a lifetime. Please wake up and realize not everything in the world is bad, evil or constantly taking advantage of people. Everyone has their place to start, journey to run, and where they finish or end up is entirely up to them, their work ethic and whether or not things pan out for them. God Willing. Wish the best for you. Please gather all the facts next time. Have a Blessed Day.

  4. One of my frustrations is I was sold on the fact that this company teaches you to trade and assist. Instead you are pushed to recruit, I wanted to learn how to trade properly, it’s almost impossible to get the teachers to respond to you unless you are recruiting. They only give one on one with students that are IBOs actively recruiting and they seem to target minority’s more than anything, especially college kids. To further my complaint most of their teachers are students that have only had recent success with 8 months or more of trading that is not consistently duplicateable.

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