AXS of evil: GIN sale pending
Note: This post was originally published on 17 April 2014. Several important updates have been made since then; they are below the original post, so be sure to read everything. ~CC
Remember what I've been saying all along about there being
no neat and tidy endings
Well, after months of speculation and flying rumors, it seems there's a sale pending for jailed serial scammer Kevin Trudeau's huge scam, the Global Information Network, or GIN. Yesterday GIN sent out an email (screen shot courtesy of Bernie O'Mahony at GINtruth.com):
Seems there's this group called AXS Investment Group, with Troy McClain, longtime Trudeau buddy/cheerleader and hustledork in his own right, at the helm.
I wonder what AXS stands for. Could the "A" be for Athorn, as in Blaine Athorn, an even longer-time Katie buddy and co-huckster? (Here's an April 24, 2013 Whirled post with a bit of Blaine and Katie's history.) Some speculate that Athorn is indeed involved, along with two other slimy Katie buds, Chris "Voldemort" McGarahan and Jeff Devine of the Hybrid Group
My understanding is that as a private investment group, the AXS of evil is not under any obligation to reveal the names of all of the parties involved. So at this point I have not been able to confirm for sure if Athorn et al. are involved; the only name on the "official" announcement was Troy's. I'll let you know when/if any more documents become available for public consumption. But given that Athorn's nose has been up Katie for decades, it would be surprising if he didn't have his fat little hand in the pie somewhere, somehow.
At any rate it goes without saying that a lot of people will be pretty ticked off if this sale, which of course is subject to final approval by Judge Robert Gettleman, goes through. As I understand it, the court has wiped away the liabilities so any purchaser(s) will be buying GIN free and clear (at least from a monetary standpoint; courts don't directly address matters of karma).
In case you don't recall who Troy McClain is, he was one of Kevin's cheerleaders, and one who was pushing hard to keep people from leaving GIN in droves in the latter days. He's apparently most famous for having been on the comically repulsive Donald Trump's "reality" show, The Apprentice. Troy was the country boy that everyone fell in love with, according to Troy. He failed three times as project manager, and got fired on Week 12 of Season 1, original air date April 1, 2004. He was fired mostly because he sometimes used unethical business practices during the interview process, and partly because he only had a high school diploma.
The Jan. 12, 2014 update towards the end of this Whirled post has a bit about him, as do some of the comments.
Troy was/is a proud member of the GIN "faculty."
Troy has been very close with the GIN United group of GIN"leadership" and Katie buds, who have been talking for months about purchasing GIN.
And here's Troy in 2011, shilling with old-school hustledork Ron Ball on behalf of Katie and GIN. I think this one is pretty disgusting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgr9UjW1Ops
And here he is around the same time, lying to people about how easy Katie's version of the hCG diet is (he seems a little coked-up, but maybe he just had allergies):
Besides the KT Radio Network web site URL on that video, there's an hCG web site URL that, when you attempt to follow it, redirects to http://hcgchicago.com. According to that site, the "hCG support team" is led by one Thomas Drost, M.D., N.D., F.A.C.S., and his wife Lisa Drost, N.D. An alert reader pointed out to me that Dr. Drost is also a hemorrhoid doc who treats hemorrhoids and cures anal fissures in DuPage County and Chicagoland. Funny. On that 2011 KT vid I linked to above, Troy yammered on a bit about he LOVES to go fishing and always has. He gabs about both literal and metaphorical fishing. So... Troy is a fisherman. Dr. Drost is a fissure man. This opens up a whole new world of interesting Photoshopping possibilities. But I digress.
Here's more about what a superstar and master brander and co-brander our Troy is. http://theitfactorradio.com/alycia-kaback/tune-check-factor-features-troy/
And here's more about why you should hire Troy for all of his expert expertise.
Anyway. You get the drift. Troy seems perfectly poised to be a front guy who will take GIN to the next level of scamming. (His web site does say he specializes in "turnarounds.")
And besides, Katie has been on his client list for a few years now; note the "Natural Cures" and "Stand With KT" (his original legal defense fund) logos in the lineup below:
I see new infomercials in the making, with Troy as one of the spokes-hucksters. Maybe they can even get some really big names in Scamworld to join in the fun. It remains to be seen whether or not the GIN MLM/"affiliate" program will be reinstated; I do know that several of the prospective purchasers were very interested in exploring this possibility.
It also remains to be seen how or if the SciWINtologists, led by former GINtervenor and ex-con Perry Kiraly (and Scientology fan Yon Vetter Cole) will be involved. When their Plan A to snatch GIN from the clutches of the receiver failed in court, they began focusing in earnest on Plan B, and have been trying for months to cobble a GIN ripoff called WIN, or World Information Network. In the process they probably ran up a huge attorney bill, so expect some Shimkos to still be hovering around somewhere. But they have been kind of silent for the past several weeks, although Yon did send me a private message on Facebook explaining exactly why he is NOT a Scientologist. I told him to tell it to the blog. He said he might, but hasn't yet. [NOTE: See April 20 update below. ~CC]
The heads of another failing GIN ripoff, the IMBS-ing U MasterBaiter's Society, are already telling folks to write to the judge, though.
In his blog post about this pending sale, Bernie made note of this bit from the announcement email:
AXS and its management team will now be actively working hard to make our club the best it can be with the commitment to never over promise and under deliver.Spoken like a true Scamworld scammer. "We promise not to screw you; trust us!"
At this point it seems entirely possible that even the hopelessly caged Katie might still have a hand in the club, even from behind bars. (Unless Judge G says no to the sale, of course -- but another group of Katie pals could always step up to the table.) The point is that Trudeau's legacy lives on. And despite the many folks who will be outraged if the sale is finalized, there are also many, many people who still love Katie nearly to the point of worship, and think that his conviction and sentence are gross injustices, and want more than anything for his legacy to continue through GIN. As I've noted on this blog before, the GIN "leadership" are going to have to find a way to pander to both the Katie lovers and the Katie haters.
But one way or the other, it seems that GIN is still alive and kicking.
As I said... no neat and tidy endings. There rarely are, in Scamworld.
Update, 20 April 2014:
We didn't have to wait long to see what the SciWINtologists are up to. They are apparently going ahead with their plan to compete head to head with GIN. Time to stock up on more popcorn and beer! This was sent out early Easter morning:
From: [email address redacted]With a convicted felon at the helm, WIN members who miss GIN should feel right at home.
Sent: 4/20/2014 1:41:28 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: WIN Update 04-19-14
April 19th 2014
Dear WIN Members & Supporters,
March 31st concluded the time line of the Private Placement Memorandum and we did well.
The launch of WIN’s Website is currently on target for early May.
An introduction video was professionally filmed on April 10th and should soon be completed and up for viewing and release to everyone for use in the promotion of WIN. The video outlines what the club is all about as well as the benefits and value of membership.
After months of consulting with WIN’s MLM attorney Thayer C. Lindauer, WIN has completed a sponsorship compensation plan Member/Affiliate program that I think will excite nearly everyone.
A few of the highlights of the Member/Affiliate program are:
Commission eligibility requires only one non-affiliate member in good standing personally sponsored in your downline; period. Not one per month – one non-affiliate member; period (and it doesn’t matter when that member was sponsored in as long as they’re in good standing you are commission eligible).
High percentage commission’s payback on the first four levels:
L-1: 20%, L-2: 20%, L-3: 5%, and L-4: 5%.
Our MLM attorney has thoroughly vetted this sales program for compliance with MLM rules & regulations and has authorized its use on a worldwide basis.
Upon the launch of the WIN site the Member/Affiliate program will be up and running.
To further start WIN’s site launch off right and in honor of former GIN Members - for thirty days from the date of launch the membership fee of $1,000.00 will be waved.
To join and become a member, initiation of your monthly dues of $150.00 is all that is necessary. To take advantage of the waved membership fee you will simply use the sponsor/affiliate code WIN or the code of the WIN Member that sponsors you in.
To all former GIN members that had downlines, and plan to participate in WIN’s Member/Affiliate program, now is the time to begin calling your downlines in preparation for the launch of WIN’s Website. Once the website is launched you can sign up using the WIN sponsor code. You will then be given your own code to sponsor Members under you. If any Member of your former downline inadvertently uses the WIN code and actually wanted to be and requests to be back in your downline that request can be granted.
Additionally, all former GIN member training levels achieved will be honored in WIN if you join within the 30-day period from launch. There will be additional testing requirements to acquire the equivalent Pin Level in WIN but no charge for the upgrade.
Lastly, negotiations with the Wynn Hotel Resort in Las Vegas http://www.wynnlasvegas.com/ are underway to do WIN’s first major event there. Details will be forthcoming.
Finally, WIN’s official Facebook page is up and running. Click on: https://www.facebook.com/WINFDN?ref=hl to connect with us. WIN’s official Linkedin and Twitter page is also under construction and will soon be available.
Thank you and have an excellent day,
Executive Director, World Information Network
Update, 21 April 2014
Here is the court document filed today, regarding the terms of the proposed sale of GIN. Proposed sale price is $200k, with a few terms and conditions, including, for a period of one year, payments equivalent to 8% of the member dues for existing members, and 4% for new members. Favorite Whirled wag Tim Donohoe noted, "Essentially they are paying for a mailing list of suckers and paying the FTC a commission on everyone who stays suckered or gets suckered into GIN in the future." (At least for a year, anyway.)
Tim mused, "Not a bad deal for an up and coming scammer." Yep.
But as I noted above, if the sale is approved, the purchasers will not be purchasing any liabilities incurred by Kevin Trudeau's mismanagement. There may be some lawsuits filed by disgruntled ex-GINfolk, not to mention some justified ill will. But they won't have much luck getting any of their money back, since the court has wiped away the liabilities. And as I've said, there are still plenty of folks who love Katie.
What the purchasers will have is the intellectual property, including those all-important mailing lists. The various GIN ripoffs such as IBMS and WIN are probably seething with envy over the lists alone. There's still a chance that the purchasers can make money with the new, rebranded GIN. People seem to have an endless need to feel "special," and they'll pay dues to feel special, particularly if they think they can make some money from selling other people a chance to feel special. And the prospective purchasers have indicated that they will explore the possibility of starting up a new affiliate program. Hold on to your wallets.
As I've noted before on this Whirled, there is a bit of historical precedent here. Landmark Forum grew to a worldwide multi-million dollar company after the sleazy Werner Erhard (supposedly) sold the intellectual property that was est. So the people who are crowing that the prospective purchasers of GIN are making a bad business decision don't really know what they're talking about.
Meanwhile, Katie struggles to get his appeal going. He's claiming to be too poor to afford the filing fee, so he filed a form stating that he's a pauper. I saw the court docs the other day and shared them on Facebook. ABC7 (Chicago) picked up the story too.
UPDATE: Motion denied on April 24. The judge isn't buying that Trudeau is a pauper and can't afford the filing fee (click to enlarge).
Update, 24 April 2014
So apparently there was a GIN Conference call on the evening of April 23, 2014. My friend John Foster, one of the Founding Members of GIN and author of the new book, Kevin Trudeau's Road Kill Victims "He" Doesn't Want You To Know About (I'll be writing about it soon), informed some of us on Facebook that the call was "to announce the new GIN club owners, now the Five Amigos, Blaine Athorn, Chris McGarahan, Jeff Devine, Greg Kramer, and Troy McClain. The new GIN saviours."
So it appears that the buzz that Bernie and I had been hearing for months, and had heard more about recently, was pretty much spot-on. Apparently both Jeff and Greg are part of this deal.
Of course, the sale is still subject to final approval by the court. The receiver was scheduled to have formally appeared in Judge Gettleman's court today to present the Receiver’s Motion for Entry of an Order (A) Setting Hearing for Approval of the Sale of GIN Club Assets and (B) Approving the Form and Manner of Notice (which I linked to above, but here it is again). I'll post any updates but there's nothing on PACER yet as of this writing.
Meanwhile, the begging continues for caged Katie
As expected, Trudeau is going to appeal that ten-year prison sentence, but that costs money. So his good buddy in the UK, Lee Kenny, current "owner" of Natural Cures, used the NC platform to send out a begging email. Here it is in its entirety, with the usual Cosmic annotations:
Can you make a miracle happen for Kevin Trudeau?Funny. I had just mentioned Lee Kenny the other day on a thread, wondering what he was thinking or doing since the sentencing, and mentioning what a "deal" he got when he bought Natural Cures for $100k (as reported by former GIN CFO Michael Dow in a May 2013 deposition).
For those of you who’ve been following the case of Kevin Trudeau, original author of the Natural Cures books, you’ll probably be aware that he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his infomercial for the Weight Loss Cure book.
Reports of a former congressman having to be hauled out of court after showing outrage, tells you all you need to know about the fairness of the sentence.
What will you watch on TV tonight?
As you watch TV this evening and see the incredible before & after shots of the latest Diet or Fad, or hyped-up claims for some life changing vacuum cleaner, spare a thought for Kevin, but also for any other would-be advocate for Natural health or process that bucks the system.
Money, Money, Money
Like in any case there are appeals that can be filed, but after 10 years the Attorneys still need paying, research needs to be thorough and maybe, just maybe his legal counsel can find a way to release him much sooner. The lawyers must go back and review every word said in the case and research the law to its fullest.
Now Kevin is a resourceful guy.
If it were up to Kevin, He’d write a book or some marketing for a firm who could pay him what its worth and he could use that cash to defend himself. Unfortunately though every penny he could earn would not be his own, it would be turned over to pay the crazy $37m judgment. So his friends have created something to try and help him raise funds for his next round of legal challenges. [Actually, on a vid last June he babbled a bit about how he pretty much knows he is going to prison, but will take the time to write a book while he's there. I wrote about it on this June 7, 2013 post. So don't give up on the book dream yet, Lee, even if he doesn't complete it in time to fund his appeal. ~CC]
Los Angeles 10th May:
There will be a huge rally in honor of Kevin in Los Angeles on Saturday 10th May. All of his close friends, well-known speaker and many others will be on hand to help raise money on Kevin’s behalf for his continued legal defense. No contribution is too small and every little bit will help in the quest to free Kevin!
Can’t Make Los Angeles?
There are no other planned events, the deadlines mean the lawyers either get on this or not, so if you can’t attend, then any donation would be greatly appreciated. You may have already given in the past, but if you feel like Kevin improved your life in any way, and you can afford to, then it would be wonderful to have you support Kevin one last time.
I wouldn’t ask you to do something I wouldn’t do.
I’ve known Kevin a long time, just over 15 years in fact. I know his good and his bad points and I know this is not a fair fight. Whether people agree with what he has said, no-one can feel that 10 years is a just sentence for what he said in an advertisement.
As many of you know Court records have shown that I’ve donated a 6-figure sum so far from my businesses towards these legal fights. [See info below. ~CC] Not because I owe Kevin anything legally but because I believe in him and what he stood for. I don’t tell you this to brag, believe me there are days my businesses could use that money, but to demonstrate that this is a cause worth supporting.
If you’ve read Napoleon Hill’s books…
The similarities between the inmate that Napoleon Hill describes in his Laws of Success books and Kevin are incredible. No he’s not a saint, but his personality will lead him to use the time he has to help others.
Through friends and email (Who’d have thought email was possible in these circumstances!) Kevin has been sharing his high, lows & pearls of wisdom on Facebook continuing to help people and think of others, even whilst incarcerated. [Ha! Those 'pearls of wisdom,' written by Katie's proxy, smell more like the 'nuggets' in my cats' litter boxes. ~CC]
So if you can, here’s the website to make a donation. http://ktlegaldefense.com/KT_Legal_Defense/Welcome
If you can attend, you’ll get tremendous value. Sharing a common goal with some wonderful speakers and of course with the other attendees too. If you can’t attend, please do consider donating anyway, it will be very much appreciated.
Thank you for your consideration.
Owner & CEO: NaturalCures.com
PS - Once you contribute and are confirmed you will be sent our hotel discount link)
PPS – I just heard that the people operating the Website are closing it after the event, so this will be your last chance to help other than sending money directly to Kevin’s attorneys.
As you may know if you've been following this saga, Lee has been pretending to be cooperative with the courts, but apparently the receivers ultimately gave up on getting any useful info from him about hidden money. But more importantly, as I also recall from court docs, and as I wrote about last August, Natural Cures was set up in the first place to feed KT's legal defense fund. Here is a direct link to some August 2013 court documents that clearly state when and why Natural Cures Health Institute (NCHI) was set up.
So this all makes sense. And Lee's claim that he has already donated six figures from his own pocket towards Katie's legal defense... well, that seems a little deceptive.
Of note, Lee has also used the Natural Cures platform more than once to send out email promos for his and Kevin's $997 Baccarat scam (also mentioned a few times on this Whirled). I wonder if all of that dirty money goes to Katie's defense.
The terms on the current KT Defense Fund page are simple: Everything goes to pay Kevin's "management and legal fees," and all amounts are strictly nonrefundable.
I still believe that the ten-year sentence is a little harsh, particularly in light of the fact that convicted killer and star of The Secret James Arthur Ray served less than two years for killing three people (and hasn't even been called to account for a fourth death at another event). And now he's back in the Scamworld pool, teaching people how to "turn crisis into opportunity." Kevin wrecked many lives, but as far as I know didn't kill anyone.
Even so, he's a serial scammer, and most likely incorrigible. And I feel for the well-meaning people who are suckered into continuing to throw money at him, believing that they are somehow fighting the good fight.
Update, 26 April 2014
This "Message from the Receiver" was sent out by GIN to the GIN mailing list on the evening of April 25 (click to enlarge). The receiver will appear before the court on May 27 to seek the judge's approval of the sale of GIN's assets to Troy, Blaine, Chris, et al. (AXS). Protestors have until May 12 at 5:00 PM CDT to file their objections with the court. This should be interesting. I wonder if any of the sleazes and lunatics running the GIN ripoffs will bother to protest. Of course I'm not suggesting that everyone who protests this sale is a sleaze or a lunatic. I think the sale is a bad idea myself. But Scamworld runs on bad ideas, and for the most part the government and the courts turn a blind eye.
In addition, the receiver finally has finally uploaded the April 16 court document regarding the sale. Here is that link. And here is the link to Robb Evans' Kevin Trudeau page.
Update, 5 May 2014
More documents in the Kevin Trudeau civil case; filed on April 28, 2014. These are regarding the pending sale of GIN to AXS Consulting, LLC. Here the receiver explains in more detail than in previous docs why they want to sell GIN to AXS and not to others. Also, as discussed previously, they want to sell GIN "free and clear." (Hence the document title: RECEIVER’S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF AN ORDER APPROVING SALE OF GIN CLUB ASSETS FREE AND CLEAR OF ALL LIENS, CLAIMS AND ENCUMBRANCES.) As mentioned previously, the deadline for filing objections to the sale is May 12, and a hearing will be held, and the sale presumably finalized, on May 27.