Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Neo-stinker Mark Scamilton cleaned up in GIN -- everyone else, not so much

As many of you who are following this saga may know by now, yesterday, September 6, was an active day in the courts for the folks who are poking around in serial scammer Kevin Trudeau's business entities, which include but are not limited to his Ponzi-like Global Information Network (GIN). For one thing, the receiver -- Robb Evans & Associates LLC, who took over on August 7 -- turned in their first monthly report -- and truly, they have been busy little bees (Case No. 1:03-cv-03904, The Hon. Robert Gettleman presiding). In addition, the proposed jury instructions and pre-trial motions for the November 4 criminal contempt case (Case No. 1:10-cr-00886, The Hon. Ronald Guzman presiding) were filed by the government and by Trudeau's lawyers.

It is the civil case document -- the Receiver's First Report, with attached exhibits -- that is causing most of the buzz on Facebook. The usual suspects are foaming at the mouth,
as my pal Bernie put it on his GINtruth.com blog about the matter. Mocktor Loony Coldwell and his "little brother"/protege are saying that this it -- BOOM! -- the end for GIN, for KT, and for the "zombies" who still believe in Katie.

Although much of the information from these mouth-foamers is over-stated and exaggerated and has to be taken with a whole shaker full of salt, the truth is that things don't look so good right now for Katie or for GIN. Top staffers have been let go (including Kevin's ex-girlfriend, long-time business partner, and past co-defendant in various legal actions,
Janine Nubani Contursi). The receiver is seriously questioning the legitimacy of the MLM portion of GIN and the club's future profitability. And they have banned Katie from speaking at GIN events, live or otherwise, even without pay.

If you are at all interested in this case, you really do owe it to yourself to read the entire Receiver's Report.
Here is that link again; Bernie put it on his site.

As you may also know, because I keep telling you and I won't shut up about it, I've been writing about how GIN is a scam since,
oh, 2009, shortly after GIN was officially launched. And I wrote about how Kevin Trudeau is a scammer many months before that. But the truth is, my snarking only scratched the surface. I didn't have any inside info or numbers to back up my contention that GIN is a scam, at least if you're trying to make money with it. The only GIN members I ever heard from were those who ventured outside the GIN bubble enough to perceive the presence of my blog, and to write to me about what a jealous loser and hater I am.

For the past sixteen months or so, however, I've not only been making friends with ex-GIN and even a couple of current GIN members, but I have also been scouring reams of court documents, and in the process I've seen much more concrete evidence that...yeah, GIN is a scam. I could have told me that years ago. And I did. Okay, I'll shut up about that now.

There have been hundreds of pages of financial records and other corroborating material filed in the courts over the past year or so. But the Receiver Report puts it down in black and white, in a concise manner. Here are just a few screen shots taken from that report (and as usual, click to enlarge):

And if you really want to get ill, take a gander at the "Inner Circle" numbers.

Despite the fact that some folks spent more money on GIN than many of the world's people will ever see in their lifetime, GIN has not been a money maker for anyone but a few at the top -- including Kevin and his wife Natalyia Babenko, of course. But do you care to take a wild guess at who made the most in commissions, by far? If you've looked at the graphic at the top, or even read the title of this post, you probably already know. That's right: Mark Hamilton, aka Wallace Ward, Jr., aka on my Whirled Mark Scamilton, of Neo-think/Neo-Tech/NovaTech/Nouveau Tech/Society of Secrets infamy.

I first wrote about Scamilton and the Neo-Scampire in August 2011:
here and here. I wrote more about the GIN/Neo-stink connection in this May 2013 post.
(In the May 2013 post you'll also see more evidence of the scammy circle jerk in action, in this case, then-GIN staffer Peter Wink and then-GIN speaker and GIN recruiter Loony Coldwell hanging with Neo-stink promoter Steven Hinz, who has ended up in some legal hot water himself for committing fraud in his own businesses. Turds of a feather...)
When I first read about Neo-Tech, etc., it was in a context totally devoid of any mention of Kevin Trudeau, as you'll see if you read the long and rather circuitous post in the first link in the paragraph above. I'd never even heard of Neo-Tech before that, though it had been around in one form or another for decades. Yet I had this strange feeling there was a connection between Neo-Tech and GIN. Something about that whole seekrit-society/forbidden-knowledge marketing meme reeked of collusion between the Neo-Scampire and the True-dough Screw-topia.

And I was right. A little casual digging revealed a long-time connection between Scamilton and Trudeau, perhaps beginning when Kevin first met Scamilton's late dad Frank Wallace (aka Wallace Ward Sr.) when the two were doing time in prison. Over the decades, the Neo-Scampire and the Wallaces have garnered their own cultish following, which include relatively normal people as well as those who make Trudeau's nuttiest followers look downright sane and almost boring.

It seems clear to most of us who have read past court documents, and correspondence dating as far back as 2008, that Katie's former attorney and "asset protection" expert Marc Lane was the big co-conspirator regarding the legal structure of GIN and related entities. But Scamilton's fingerprints are all over this and other Katie operations. Oh, my goodness, here's an email from early 2009, in which Wallace Ward's name was mentioned. This email showed up in one of the civil case court documents filed this past July (Document # 723-6, filed 07/22/13, Page 49 of 142):

Sent: Wed, 7 Jan 2009
Subject: Following up

Good to see you today, as always.

Your observation that Wallace Ward's company has entered into a sponsorship relationship with IPT [International Pool Tour] prompts me to remind you that IPT is owned by you and not, ultimately, by KMT Fiduciary Trust. As an asset of yours, the company itself is subject to claims of your creditors, including the FTC. For that reason, you should maintain only minimal cash (or other assets) in IPT or any company you own.

It may make sense for me to assume a greater role in cash management, both to maximize such asset-protection opportunities and to minimize income and other taxes. If you'd like to consider this idea, I'll be happy to discuss it with you at your convenience.

Finally, thanks for understanding about my cash-flow challenges. You know I'll always do all I can for you, and I'm grateful for your sensitivity to the realities we both face.

The Law Offices of Marc J. Lane, P.C.

[Marc J. Lane contact info]

Marc Lane was the main legal brain behind the scam, but Mark Hamilton, aka Wallace Ward, was clearly one of the "creative" brains behind GIN, and has been one of its most aggressive marketers. Here's a snippet from a court doc filed this past July, with some red Cosmic annotations, of course.

A friend of mine who is in the know, having worked for a Trudeau business in the fairly recent past, says, "I think if everyone really knew, they would be so surprised at exactly how much influence and pull Mark Hamilton has had [behind the scenes] and in creating GIN."

Indeed. I published these jpegs in my May 2013 blog post about Scamilton, but here they are again. They depict a hype-y "typewritten"-looking letter dated November 2009 (personalized, of course, though the name is redacted) that has every lame cliche in the book.

You have to wonder how anyone could believe such cliched, simplistic copy... but apparently many people did.

And now we see the receiver's data. Scamilton had not just one but two GIN accounts: one under his pen name and one under his real name. According to the receiver's figures, he made nearly ten and a half million dollars in commissions between 2009 and 2013. Here is another close-up:

Now, granted, that's a rather modest sum by the standards of the big-time scammers of the world, but it's still a hell of a lot more than anyone else made from GIN -- possibly even including Kevin Trudeau himself -- though I have a feeling the receiver will find many more sneaky and under-reported money streams for Kevin. Credible sources from the ex-GIN camp have pointed out that Trudeau made many times more from GIN than is shown in the commission figures -- for instance, he made millions from the sale of the GIN tools. And as one of my ex-GIN friends noted, "That's not even to mention the money he made selling private promos -- the [Baccarat] gambling scam... plus 5 grand per hour to talk to him." So I'm not exactly weeping for Kevin. He cleaned up more than anyone.

The point here is that all told, Mark Hamilton, aka Wallace Ward, did quite well for himself with GIN. Nice scamwork if you can get it.

To me, that's one of the pretty big sub-stories in this whole thing that none of the mainstream media -- or anyone else -- seem to be reporting. Why aren't any of the authorities digging into Mark Scamilton's affairs? Or are they doing so, but just being kind of secretive about it for now?

Let me know if y'all hear anything. And I'll do the same for you.

More True-dough on this Whirled:

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Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

We've been having some Facebook conversations about Mark Scamilton and GIN. I received a rather snooty private message from someone who told me I need to get some basic business education so I can understand that a fictional name (Mark Hamilton, in this case) is a business account, and that the Wallace Ward account was Hamilton's personal GIN account. The person who messaged me informed me that in the beginning, GIN was only open to individuals, not to businesses. She also informed me that MH would actually have made more money had his two accounts been consolidated. I thanked her for the information and the condescension, and replied to her that my main point was that Hamilton/Ward apparently made much, much more money in commissions than anyone else in GIN.

Monday, September 09, 2013 2:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

On one of the Facebook forums, someone pointed out that Scamilton was the first member of GIN, so of course he would have made money off of all of the other members. Even so, as my pal Tim wrote:

"Can you really justify Mark Hamilton and Wallace Ward raking in millions with no investment, no contribution to the club and while listed as anonymous? [Which is true; Hamilton was the big "Anon" at the top of the pyramid structure on most of the info that was shared with members. ~CC]

"Hamilton also inserted himself into other downlines that started to look promising as GIN was growing.

"Now that you know this, you also know that GIN was set up for this reason and no other, to provide commissions for kt's friend while kt lived like a king on a GIN expense account. If there really was any self helping or business training kt and mh would have shown this info the members and said 'See? this is how you make a million dollars by ripping off suckers.'

"MH, despite the millions he took out of GIN, did not put his NEOTech empire at risk in any way. He was very careful to keep his neo business far away from GIN."

Another friend wrote that when GIN first launched, MH sent letters to his Neo mailing lists about GIN, asking them to use his name so they would fall under him in the pyramid. GIN was the big marriage of Neo-stink and Trudeau's natural-health shtick, my friend says.

She also says that MH did keep his 'clubhouse' and GIN separate. Neo-members were, however, given the option to join GIN because, MH promised them, they could make lots of money. Making Neo-think clubhouses was supposed to make lots of money for them too.

"The thing I think is funny," she added, "is that [a Neo-thinker] told me that MH took losses because of this whole GIN fiasco -- and everyone, especially MH, had to tighten his belt and take the losses because he was involved."

Tim wanted to know why Hamilton was listed in the pyramid scheme as an anonymous sponsor. And my friend noted that Hamilton always has kept a relatively low profile on things, adding, "I was told by someone else that when they saw an 'Anonymous' sponsor on their up-line they thought that was the GIN council or the Illuminati...If I was a GIN member I would have been upset that MH was getting such a large share of the pie!"

Tim added, "GIN in its entirety was nothing more than a complicated scheme to send millions of dollars to kt through his wife and best friend. You might notice that he trusted MH more than his wife; she got a few hundred grand per year while he raked in millions."
[Of course Natalie also got ownership of GIN and who knows what other schemes and scams, so there's that.]

My other friend noted that Hamilton's dad was the one who got them all started on the Neo-Scamworld path in the first place. "It is just that kt is more charismatic and more of a sociopath tham mh. mh is rather awkward, yet he has a strong 'family like' following." This was the context in which she said that most people would be surprised at exactly how much influence and pull Mark Hamilton had in the GIN scam.

Tim noted that this is probably why MH stays anonymous and does most of his recruiting by snail-mail. And that's true; Neo-stink does still use the old-school methods, since those were their roots from decades back. It's still easier to scam senior citizens by direct mail than by the Interwebz.

I think we'll be finding out a lot more about Neo-stink as the larger story unfolds. I've certainly done my part to nudge some of the media.

Monday, September 09, 2013 2:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Steven Hanma said...

Two things,Connie.

1. A few of Abe hussein's followers seem to hold you in somewhat a high regard,despite your "snarkiness" and downplaying of him. To quote Touchstar68 ,"So where have all the GIN zombies gone? Only squabbling now about who will claim the credit for the demise of GIN. In my opinion Connie,Bernie,Salty Droid and even Dr C deserve credit for bringing down this Scam." I,for one,agree with him. No neat and tidy ending? You maybe right,but the fire has become an inferno.

2.You blew my mind when you exposed Mark Hamilton as like somewhat a secret "puppetmaster". It makes me feel that Kevin is the ultimate victim and sacrifical lamb in this scam.This is not sarcasm. It Shows this entire GIN issue in a new light.He profited most,while he gave KT the illusion of wealth with an "expense account". I thought KT would benefit the most...now seeing this Hamilton guy appear as the dark profiteer,i humbly ask your opinion as to whether or not Hamilton will be effected and/or pulled into this court case...

Thanks for your time,your work...and (whatever) your snarkiness...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 9:58:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Steven, and thank you for your comments. I supported Abe for a long time but became less supportive over time because of his continued alliance with Coldwell ("Dr." C) who for numerous reasons is, in my opinion, many times worse than KT.

It appears to me that Coldwell would have been perfectly happy to keep scamming people into joining GIN had he not been jettisoned from the GINtanic. And that is not even the worst of what Coldwell is and does. How Abe can continue in good conscience to support Coldwell and be in business with him is beyond me. Well, no... it's not beyond me. I think I understand perfectly. But it does not reflect well on Abe.

I realize you are not being sarcastic when you speculate that Kevin is the ultimate victim (of Mark Hamilton/Wallace Ward), but...sorry, I don't see things that way. I strongly believe that both True-dough and Scamilton knew going in that they were creating a scam that would be mainly a money grab for them. It just started backfiring, perhaps in ways that neither could have predicted, but on the other hand, it looks as if Kevin planned pretty well for a number of contingencies.

MH no doubt suffered some losses and reportedly regrets going into the scheme with his "brother," but as indicated in comments above, he was apparently clever enough to keep much of his Neo-Scampire separate from GIN. However, he no doubt suffered some loss of credibility, even though, like Kevin, he has fans who will stick with him no matter what.

And hey, you're welcome. I blog because I love doing it, and I hope that it is helpful or at least occasionally entertaining. :-)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 7:12:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Someone who read this blog post wrote to me the other day with a question: "Connie, I’m puzzled by the GIN Inner Circle page that you published on September 7. The way I read it, each member was to be paid 1% of 2% of gross revenues. Is that basically it? If each member got paid 1%, then it would take 100 members to consume 100% of the available pool. But they apparently sold 107+96=203 memberships. Meaning, they sold more shares than existed? Sounds like The Producers, only in real life!"

I responded that this was my first question when I first heard about the Inner Circle last year. I was puzzled about this very matter, particularly in light of the 2% Platinum deal that was also going on... I mean, only so many people can get 2% of gross revenues before they run out of percentages, right?

But someone explained to me that it didn't work that way. All of the Inner Circle members – however many there ended up being – were supposed to SPLIT that small percentage of gross revenues among themselves. Meaning that the remaining 98% or 99% whatever would go to GIN and KT and his wife and best buddy, Mark Hamilton. The "little people" -- no matter how much they'd spent for the privilege of calling themselves Inner Circle -- would not get the entire 1% or 2% or whatever.

How could people fall for this, particularly with no apparent written contract? I've often wondered that myself. But I know that GIN was being oversold (no big surprise; after all, this is Kevin Trudeau we're talking about), and people were apparently being told that the money would be flowing like lava, and that investing a mere $50k or $75k would reap an amazing return. (Several people have spent much more than that -- even more than $100,000, on GIN. One former Inner Circle person claimed on one of our private Facebook forums to have spent more than $130,000.)

Last year -- after he had separated from GIN/KT -- Trudeau's former marketing guy Peter Wink told me that even he was amazed at the quick response to the first ($50k) Inner Circle offer. By the end of the first day they had payments for 105 Inner Circle members at $50k a pop.

I guess the money flow was too irresistible for KT, and he decided to raise the stakes and create a $75k sucker pool later -- which would only make the potential individual shares even smaller. I am severely math-impaired and don't have much business sense, but even I can understand that this was an obvious money grab. If I had been a $50k Inner Circle member I would have been really ticked off at the subsequent $75k scam.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 7:13:00 PM  
Blogger Christoffer said...

Thank you for offering your point of view and refering to these sources, Connie :)

Your opinion seems to be that a lot of the people you choose to write about are scammers. Would you please be as kind as to describe how you define a scammer? What is a scammer in your eyes? :)

Thanks in advance!

Monday, September 30, 2013 6:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Connie,

Any idea if this Natasha Babenko (facebook) is the same Natalie/Nataliya Babenko that we know from this saga? It seems like Natasha has been in the US, specifically in 2014 when she screened a documentary short, and this 2013 post says that Trudeau's wife left for Ukraine...

Friday, May 06, 2016 3:36:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Christoffer: Sorry for the delay in responding to your September 2013 comment. Try this post:

Friday, May 06, 2016 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon May 6, 2016: I have not been keeping up with the whereabouts of Ms. Babenko, as may be apparent. But yes, the woman on that Facebook profile is the same person. In fact Kevin and his "asset protection" lawyers referred to her as "Natasha" in some of their correspondence a few years back, as revealed in various court documents. I sent her a "friend" request on Facebook a couple of years ago and she never responded, although she has accepted friend requests from several of my pals who have publicly criticized her hubby (or ex-hubby, as the case may be; I'm not sure). Included among these FB friends are my pal Bernie at the GINtruth blog, who has been a strong critic of Kevin and GIN ever since he started that blog. Go figure.

As for her location... your guess is as good as mine. For a while the journalists who presumably had more knowledge of what's what were saying that Ms. Babenko had gone (back) to Ukraine, and that may have been the case for a while, or perhaps it was just a ruse to keep the receiver and the Feds off of her trail. I don't know. But it seems clear that in more recent years she has been moving about more freely. The Feds may still be breathing down her neck, and I have no idea whether or not she and Kevin Trudeau are still even married, but I imagine she has some stories of her own that she isn't going to spill any time soon. I sense that she would rather just get on with her life and leave the GIN scandals behind.

Friday, May 06, 2016 12:45:00 PM  

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