ZEEK SLAYER? Now, A Penny-Auction Site Married To MLM-Like Scheme Purportedly Tied To Effort To Save Children From Hunger Or Becoming ‘Sex Slave[s]‘; Build Up To ‘Founding Member’ Sales Pitch Drops Names Of White House, Chelsea Clinton, Historian And Presidential Adviser Doug Wead, Unidentified Presidential Candidate And NBC News Anchor Lester Holt
EDITOR’S NOTE: It is true that far too many of the world’s children live in poverty. It also is true that children may become the objects of criminals who engage in human trafficking and that children are exploited in the sex trades. It is equally true that legitimate charities exist to combat these horrific situations and that one MLM “program” after another has tried in recent times to tug at the human heart and “marry” their “programs” to a purported cause. If you desire to improve the human condition for the masses of children, it likely is best to donate directly to a legitimate charitable organization, rather than joining a get-rich-quick scheme that says it is doing good work behind the scenes.
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UPDATED 6:57 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) WARNING: The following development in MLM La-La Land may be harmful to your gag reflex.
Zeek Rewards, the U.S.-based MLM “program” that wraps itself in the American flag, collects sums of up to $10,000 from participants, plants the seed affiliates can earn a return of between 1 percent and 2 percent a day while insisting it is offering neither securities nor an investment program, has a payout scheme similar to the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme and securities swindle, is married to a penny-auction site known as Zeekler that has told successful bidders for sums of U.S. cash that they can receive their money via offshore payment processors and preemptively denies it is a pyramid scheme, has some emerging, U.S.-based competition.
The name of the “program” is “BidsThatGive” — and it unabashedly tugs at heartstrings while at once asking prospects to imagine themselves behind the wheel of a grand automobile and feeling good because they also could become a “Contributor” for $10 a month, a “Guardian” for $50 a month, a “Benefactor” for $100 a month” or a Global Ambassador” for $250 a month and pile up mountains of cash while they’re displaying a social conscience.
Two of the core aims of the “program,” according to a nine-minute video promo running on YouTube, are to help impoverished children and children who’d been exploited and became “sex slave[s].” The prelaunch of BidsThatGive appears to have been timed to coincide with the Independence Day holiday period in the United States.
One of the assertions in a the YouTube video is that the “rewards” the company provides include “an orphanage and a school, church or hospital built in your name.” All of this apparently is possible because BidsThatGive has a “global business model” and employes a “concept” known as “PPSC,” which stands for Private Profit Sharing Company.
But before we get to the uber bizarre, let’s address the run-of-the-mill bizarre in this latest entry in MLM La-La Land.
BidsThatGive is a little bit Andy Bowdoin. Indeed, the emerging penny-auction company with an MLM-style compensation plan, claims it’s not an MLM program and tells prospects they’re “probably not going to sleep at night” once they understand the profit potential. Bowdoin, the infamous AdSurfDaily Ponzi schemer, told prospects that ASD was not a “network marketing company” and used largely the same line about all the sleepless nights excited prospects would experience.
Meanwhile, BidsThatGive is a little bit like AdViewGlobal (AVG), a collapsed 1-percent-a-day Ponzi autosurf federal prosecutors said in April 2012 had ASD ties. AVG once claimed that one of its desires was to save the rainforest through charitable contributions. BidsThatGive also resembles ClubAsteria, which offered outsize weekly returns ranging from 3 percent to 8 percent and told prospects that its charitable arm would provide relief to victims of the devastating earthquake in Japan last year. ClubAsteria also purported to provide aid to children and claimed its mission was to elevate the word’s poor out of poverty.
Last year, the American Red Cross sent Club Asteria a letter demanding it stop using the Red Cross name in promos.
And BidsThatGive also resembles DataNetworkAffiliates (DNA), which tied itself to the U.S. AMBER Alert system for rescuing abducted children and said its “token system” could help prevent child poverty.
“Help DNA Feed A Million. OVER 1000 AN HOUR DIE. The DNA Token System Can Prevent This!” the company exclaimed.
Among other things, DNA used a YouTube video to trade on the name of Adam Walsh, the 6-year-old who was abducted and murdered in Florida in 1981. Adam’s father, John Walsh, became a prolific advocate for children and later became the host of the “America’s Most Wanted” television series.
DNA, which was associated with longtime MLM huckster Phil Piccolo, appears not to have helped a single abducted child or a single child living in poverty. Affiliates, though, tried to plant the seed that the DNA “program” was backed by Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump. When DNA’s CEO resigned suddenly in 2010, the company waited nearly a week to announce the departure — and then misspelled the former CEO’s name.
Randy Jeffers, an MLM aficionado, is the purported operator of BidsThatGive, according to promo videos on YouTube. Jeffers also presides over a nonprofit entity known as “Liberty Kidz,” which says its “[v]ision is to empower a child to be all that he or she is created to be, by providing homes, help and hope for discouraged, displaced and distressed children of the world.”
A similarly named Jeffers’ entity known as Liberty International LLC filed for bankruptcy in August 2010, listing about $1.94 million in debt and $641 in assets, according to federal records. The assets consisted of the balance of a business checking account.
What follows are comments from Jeffers in the nine-minute sales pitch for BidsThatGive on YouTube (italics added):
You know, there are so many terrible things that happen to children all over the world. Right now a little boy is dying of hunger, a little girl just got sold by her mother and is being forced into life as a sex slave.
Right now, children are being physically abused, and then there’s so many children that are just left by themselves and there’s no one there to love or care for them. I don’t know why bad things happen to innocent little children, but they do. But here’s what I do know: All of us can do something about it.
You see, that’s our No. 1 purpose. This company was founded to be a true partnership between those children, the children’s charities that it supports and its affiliates who make it all happen.
A ‘Founding Member’
One of the founding members of BidsThatGive is Glen Woodfin, according to 6:56 promo video dated July 2 and running on YouTube.
Woodfin describes himself in the video as an American who once moved to Brazil to be with his “multimillionaire” fiance who had 90 employees. Enjoying the “good life” on the beach while sitting around drinking “coconut milk” was fun for a while, but ultimately led to a desire to become more productive and to develop an online skill set. Woodfin ultimately discovered he had a talent for search engine optimization and that clients were interested in those services.
His SEO skills ultimately became so good that “I was hired by somebody running for President . . .,” according to Woodfin, who narrates the video. He did not identify the candidate.
Woodfin, however, goes to to explain that he was fortunate to know author and White House adviser Doug Wead, who wrote “All The President’s Children,” a New York Times Bestseller. (Wead’s Wikipedia entry says he advised GOP Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.)
Apparently in the market for SEO advice, Wead turned to Woodfin, according to the video.
“He said, ‘Glen, we’ve got one of the Presidential children about to get married in three weeks, and we don’t have a website up. Can we get in there and get to the top of the search engines with it?’” Woodfin recalled.
That Presidential child, according to Woodfin, was Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Over the weekend Chelsea Clinton got married, Woodfin said, his SEO techniques on Wead’s behalf put a site known as ChelseaClintonWeddingWatch.com at the top of the rankings. (Chelsea Clinton was married on July 31, 2010.)
When NBC News anchor Lester Holt was interviewing Wead, Woodfin said, Holt mentioned the website Woodfin had put at the top of the rankings, apparently attributing the feat to Wead.
Neither BidsThatGive nor Jeffers is mentioned in the first three minutes of the Woodfin video. But at roughly the 3:03 mark, Woodfin announces, “I’m going in business with a gentleman named Randy Jeffers. Randy Jeffers started the No. 1, fastest-growing MLM of all time, called Destiny. They put in 1 million distributors in 18 months.”
Woodfin goes on to say that Jeffers recently called him and offered him a “founder’s membership” in BidsThatGive.
“While he’s talking, the hair start[s] standing up on my arm, and I got thrilled,” Woodfin recalled. “As a matter of fact, every time I get off the phone with him now, I’m just, ‘Thank you for putting this together.’ It’s based on penny auctions . . .”
It’s not known whether Woodfin contacted the White House, Wead, Clinton and Holt as a courtesy to let them know he’d be using their names in a YouTube pitch for Jeffers’ BidsThatGive. What is known is that namedropping is common in the MLM sphere — often without the knowledge of those whose names are dropped.
Although the Woodfin pitch did not imply that any of the celebrities or institutions mentioned in the pitch endorsed BidsThatGive, the implication was clear that BidsThatGive prospects who joined under Woodfin would gain access to an SEO expert who’d worked for a Presidential candidate and knew a Presidential adviser.
Neither the Jeffers’ video nor the Woodfin video referenced the Liberty International LLC 23-month-old bankruptcy filing. Nor did either video address any of the potential problems BidsThatGive could encounter from regulators.
Like the Zeek Rewards’ business model, the BidsThatGive model resembles that of ASD. In 2008, the U.S. Secret Service seized more than $80 million from ASD-related bank accounts, including $65.8 million in the personal accounts of Andy Bowdoin.
Court records showed that ASD was trading on the name of then-President George W. Bush. Analysts saw it as a transparent bid to sanitize the “opportunity” by trying to link it to the White House.
Major politicians from both sides of the aisle have seen their names used in promos for “opportunities” that proved to be Ponzi schemes.
Former President Clinton’s name and image were used by the Mantria Corp. Ponzi scheme. Clinton is a Democrat.