MPB Today Affiliate Website That References Food Stamp Program Has Links To At Least 100 ‘Surfing’ Programs — Some Of Which Already Have Gone Belly-Up; ‘Ken Russo’ Defends Program On Ponzi Forum
A promotional website for the MPB Today multilevel-marketing (MLM) program specifically references the U.S. Food Stamp program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and includes links to at least 100 “paid to surf” programs, including programs that use domains registered offshore and programs that appear already to have failed.
Separately, an MPB Today affiliate is using a YouTube video to inform prospects that they are better off not buying groceries from a Florida-based company linked to the MLM program. Instead, the affiliate suggested, incoming members should follow the herd and not purchase groceries from Southeastern Delivery in a bid to earn a higher payout later from MPB’s 2×2 cycler matrix.
“When you join MPB Today, you buy or purchase a $200 food voucher — food voucher,” stressed the affiliate in a video pitch. “That puts you into the business.
“You can purchase food with that voucher,” he continued. “Or you can wait and do the business and exchange that voucher for a Walmart gift card . . . which I did and everybody else is doing.”
During the portion of the video in which the affiliate was stressing the importance of following the herd — a snippet of about 60 words — the word “voucher” was used four times. The use of the word — coupled with a published statement by MPB Today that it charges up to 50 percent of the cost of the order to ship groceries and ships only “dry-goods” — gives rise to questions about whether MPB Today actually has a product behind the business “opportunity.”
“We ship ONLY non-perishable dry-goods only,” MPB Today stresses on its website, using the word “only” twice in a seven-word sentence. Because the firm’s purportedly high shipping costs, dry-goods “only” policy and lack of dollar-stretching generic products, questions have been raised about whether the firm and its affiliates are deliberately steering members to the matrix program and seeking to minimize or eliminate grocery orders from outside its base of operations in Pensacola.
The video first was referenced by “Ken Russo” on the Ponzi-pushing ASAMonitor forum as a “very concise . . . presentation” that outlines the advantages of the MPB Today program.
“Ken Russo,” who also pushed the Regenesis 2×2 cycler program that became the subject of a U.S. Secret Service probe last year that featured undercover operatives and the surveillance of a Dumpster into which business records were tossed, opined on the ASAMonitor Ponzi forum that he has “concluded that MPBToday is one of the best and most practical programs I have ever seen in the network marketing industry.”
In April 2009, while pitching Regenesis on ASAMonitor, “Ken Russo” observed that “ReGenesis is an excellent program which lends itself to a team effort approach which will greatly enhance the Automated Recruiting System that they provide to ensure that each and every member is credited with 2 personal referrals.”
By August 2009, the Secret Service had applied for and executed search warrants in the Seattle area as part of its probe into Regenesis, according to court documents. The agency informed a federal judge that it had kept certain subjects under surveillance for five weeks and that it had linked the scheme to a securities fraudster who had been released from federal prison in January 2009.
The agency laid out allegations of an elaborate fraud involving multiple individuals, multiple bank accounts, multiple addresses and multiple company names. Agents said they observed complaint letters directed at the firm being discarded into a Dumpster that was kept under constant surveillance.
Also found in the Dumpster were copies of checks sent in by customers, other documents that included customersâ€™ names and information to identify them personally, complaint faxes sent by customers and a letter from a law firm complaining about false, misleading and deceptive advertising, according to court filings.
In the promo that specifically referenced the Food Stamp program, meanwhile, the affiliate claimed that MPB Today sells “prepaid” groceries.
â€œThis grocer is so legitimate that they are legally authorized to accept payment via EBT,” the affiliate claimed. “EBT is an abbreviation for Electronic Benefits Transfer which is the method now used for distributing the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As of Oct. 1, 2008, SNAP is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program. One word â€”> LEGITIMATE !â€
The clear implication of the claim is that, because the government approved Southeastern Delivery to accept Food Stamps, the MLM program also passes muster. The word â€œvoucherâ€ also is used on the Food Stamp pitch page, and the page includes links to multiple autosurfing sites and other highly questionable business opportunities.
One of the programs pitched on the page is Data Network Affiliates (DNA), which purports to collect license-plate data that can aid law enforcement and the AMBER Alert program rescue abducted children. Like MPB Today, some affiliates of DNA used an image of Donald Trump to pitch the purported license-plate data program. Trump’s image appeared for 10 continuous minutes in a pitch for DNA, while a narrator said the company had “incredible” people on speed dial. DNA, which lists an address in Boca Raton, Fla., uses a domain registered behind a proxy in the Cayman Islands and says it can help members avoid traffic tickets by providing them a protective spray that purportedly shields intersection cameras from taking pictures of license plates, has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau for not responding to customer complaints.
DNA once claimed that churches have the “MORAL OBLIGATION” to help it pitch a purported mortgage-reduction program. Florida is plagued by mortgage fraud — and scammers who are targeting foreclosure subjects.
MPB Today is targeting foreclosure subjects in a video sales pitch. Trump’s image was removed from the MPB Today website Tuesday.
In a video accessible from the page in which the MPB Today Food Stamp claim is made, another affiliate is shown cashing his check from Southeastern Delivery at an FDIC insured bank. The video captures the voice of the bank teller.
The affiliate then was videotaped inside a Walmart store making a purchase with a Walmart gift card sent to him by the MLM program. This section of the video captured the face of a Walmart employee.
Later, the affiliate was taped inside a taco store. In an apparent gag, the affiliate attempted to pay for his purchase with a Walmart gift card. This section of the video showed the faces of at least three taco-store employees. The employees, whose faces now are on YouTube along with the face of the Walmart employee and the voice of the bank employee, appear to be confused about what is happening.
It is unclear if any of the workers knew they were being videotaped or audiotaped for an affiliate’s commercial for MPB Today.
MPB removed an image of a Walmart store from its website Tuesday. Walmart has not responded to questions posed by the PP Blog. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is conducting a review of claims made about the MPB Today program.