A company named RMI Associates has been claiming it can help people get refunds from Dalbey, but first the company wants a fee of several hundred dollars. The FTC believes that this company is attempting to defraud you. Neither the FTC nor the Colorado Attorney General is working with any company. Two courts have orders against RMI Associates. Under these orders, RMI is not allowed to claim that it is working with the FTC or that it has a track record of having obtained refunds for consumers. RMI is also not allowed to ask for or accept payment to assist consumers in seeking money from the Dalbey companies’ estate and in filing a claim in bankruptcy court.
If you are contacted by someone who says they can help get your money back for a fee, do not believe them and do not give them money. If you are contacted by any company making such claims, please file a complaint with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office atwww.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov. You may also file a complaint with the FTC by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP or 1-877-382-4357 or by going online to www.ftc.gov/complaint.
For more info: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/05/dalbey.shtm
From the PAPER SOURCE JOURNAL:
Russ Dalbey — you’ve seen him for years pitching get-rich-quick by being a “cash flow note finder” in his late night “Winning In The Cash Flow Business” (a.k.a. “America’s Note Network”) infomercials — is being sued for fraud by the Federal Trade Commission and the Colorado attorney general.
Someone who says he was a “coach” for Dalbey posted at the Denver CBS-TV website:
“We were the instructors for the program — the sales team essentially sold our ability to work with the customers (students)…I routinely worked with people who purchased $15k-$45k worth of products and services from (Dalbey), and if you spent less than $1,500 you didn’t spend enough to speak with me. One customer had (spent) nearly $75k, and I am fairly certain that the majority of folks (who spent) upward of $30k in products and services never made a note deal.
“….The program can work, but it is not cost-effective for the vast majority of students who lack the skills and character traits to make the system effective… Simple “note finders” spend time and money and get little result.”
“In addition, the coaching staff worked very hard to fulfill the lies of the sales team, but we really didn’t make a wage comparable to the amount of “soul selling” we had to go through on a daily basis due to the questionable ethics all around us in the company policy and behavior.
“All in all, I think a fool and his money are easily parted, but there is some valuable information to be had – for a very limited amount of money, not the levels that I frequently saw.”
“I used to work for Russ Dalbey when the company was called America’s Note Network or ANN (the company has changed names multiple times, for reasons I’m not privy to)…(I) accessed and evaluated the recorded calls between the sales team and the customers to make sure nothing was ever said that could be legally used against ANN. (We) could IMPLY that there were riches to be had in the note-finding business but never actually promise that the customer would see any.
“I finally quit when I could no longer morally justify to myself the flagrant fleecing of the uneducated and elderly. For every “student” who actually managed to flip a note, there were literally hundreds, if not thousands, that were bled dry of thousands of dollars for “additional coaching.”
From “Jonathan Ripepi”:
“I am also a former (Dalbey) employee. Initially I was hired “off the street” as a “fronter.” A “fronter” is the sales person who first cold-calls on Dalbey’s “leads.” A sales lead is anyone who has purchased anything from the infomercials. The fronter’s job is to find the person’s “hot button” or motivation for purchasing any product. This information is passed on to the “closer” who exploits this hot button and up-sells to additional products or services (thousands of dollars). The sales tactic is used to exploit anyone that has fears (of the future, of the poor economy, of steady work, not enough income, providing for a family, paying for college education, etc). So you see it is not limited to widows and old ladies but to anyone who is honest enough to reveal why they purchased or showed interest in Dalbey’s program.
“Not only are they scamming people who purchase the program, (because so few of their clients make any money at all), but they are also scamming the employees. Fronters are not told much about the program or what they are selling. In fact, during the years I spent there, Dalbey’s closers and management were proficient at keeping new hires in the dark about how the program worked, how “students” made money, or how realistic the “education” material prepared you for this industry…If you believe in “truth in advertising” then you will be happy to see Dalbey go out of business.
“…As for me, I would willingly testify against a Dalbey “education.” (All you have to do is Google “Russ Dalbey” before you throw money at his program).”
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH DALBEY’S PROGRAM? LEAVE A COMMENT AT
FTC Charges Promissory Note Pitchman With Deceiving Consumers
Infomercial Falsely Claims It’s Easy to “Find ‘Em,” “List ‘Em,” and “Make Money” Agency Also Settles Charges Against Consumer Who Gave Allegedly Misleading Testimonial
The Federal Trade Commission has charged Russell Dalbey, the CEO and founder of the company behind the “wealth-building” program “Winning in the Cash Flow Business,” with defrauding consumers, in some cases out of thousands of dollars, with phony claims that they could make large amounts of money quickly and easily by finding, brokering, and earning commissions on seller-financed promissory notes.
The FTC’s complaint against Dalbey and others involved in marketing the program, filed jointly with Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers, alleges that the defendants misled consumers about how much money they could make using the program and how quickly and easily they could make it.
“‘Winning in the Cash Flow Business’ was a real loser for hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “When someone is selling a program designed to help people make money, they have to accurately describe how much consumers can expect to make and be truthful about how quickly they will be able to do so. None of that happened in this case, and people who bought the program paid the price.”
Millions of consumers nationwide saw infomercials for the “Winning in the Cash Flow Business” program, which were hosted by TV personality Gary Collins. The program supposedly teaches consumers how to find, broker, and earn commissions on seller-financed promissory notes – privately held mortgages or notes that are often secured by the home or land that is the subject of the loan.
The FTC complaint alleges that consumers spent approximately $40 to $160 on the initial program, and were later encouraged to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars more on additional products or services, such as multi-day seminars, coaching sessions, and promissory note holder lead lists. Few of these consumers made the money that Dalbey promised them. The FTC and the State of Colorado seek a court order to stop Dalbey, his wife, and the corporate entities they control from making the allegedly misleading claims, and to obtain money for consumer refunds.
According to the complaint, since at least 1996, Dalbey has used various corporate entities to market his program. Beginning as early as 2002, he has done so mainly through a 30-minute infomercial. Along with pitches on the Internet and through direct mail, the infomercial claimed that consumers could successfully earn substantial income brokering promissory notes in three easy steps – “Find ‘Em,” “List ‘Em,” and “Make Money.”
“[Y]ou’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to generate a stream of extra income every month. Build financial freedom and a better quality of life in just minutes a day. Or even retire earlier than you ever dreamed possible. Order now and you’ll be ready to profit in minutes,” an infomercial allegedly claimed.
These claims allegedly were supported by “testimonials” from consumers who claimed to have made “$1.2 million in 30 days,” “$79,000 in a few hours,” and “$262,216 part time,” for example. “In less than 30 days, I closed two transactions and I netted 1 point – a little bit over $1.2 million,” a testimonial by “Don B.” from New York stated.
Unfortunately, according to the FTC and Colorado Attorney General, this was far from the typical consumer experience. The complaint charges that Dalbey and the other defendants violated the FTC Act and Colorado law by making false and unsubstantiated claims that consumers are likely to quickly and easily find, list, and broker promissory notes and earn substantial amounts of money; and that defendants’ additional products and services, such as coaching programs, workshops, seminars, note holder leads, and other resources, will meaningfully increase the likelihood that consumers will succeed in the note business.
The complaint also alleges that while Dalbey claimed he has earned substantial money finding, listing, and brokering promissory notes himself, most of his note-related income for the past two decades has come from marketing and selling products and services supposedly to teach consumers how to find and broker such notes. In addition, the complaint alleges that consumer testimonials in the defendants’ advertising are inaccurate and do not reflect the results that customers are likely to achieve if they buy the program. For example, some testimonialists, the complaint charges, stated earnings claims that were total earnings figures accumulated over several years, rather than in one year.
The complaint also charges the defendants with violating the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule by making similar misrepresentations to consumers during sales calls.
Finally, the FTC and Colorado Attorney General charged Marsha Kellogg – one of the consumers who provided a testimonial in an infomercial – with falsely claiming that she earned $79,975.01 from one promissory note transaction using Dalbey’s program, and that her total earnings were more than $134,000. The complaint alleges that Kellogg made this statement even though she earned $50,000 less than what she claimed.
Kellogg has agreed to an order settling the FTC charges against her. The order is the FTC’s first against a consumer charged with making misrepresentations in a product or service testimonial. It prohibits Kellogg from making several types of misrepresentations in the future. In addition, Kellogg has agreed to cooperate with law enforcers in their case against the remaining defendants.
The Commission voted 5-0 to authorize the staff to file the complaint and to approve the order settling the charges against Kellogg. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on May 23, 2011, and names Russell T. Dalbey; DEI, LLLP; Dalbey Education Institute, LLC; IPME, LLLP; Catherine L. Dalbey; and Marsha Kellogg.
Information for consumers about how to spot and avoid investment fraud, “get-rich-quick” schemes, and other types of wealth-building scams can be found here, on the FTC’s “Money Matters” website.
NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. The case will be decided by the court. A consent judgement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant that the law has been violated. Consent judgments have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
- MEDIA CONTACT:
- Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
- STAFF CONTACT:
- Michelle Rosenthal
Bureau of Consumer Protection
- Alysa Bernstein
Bureau of Consumer Protection
(FTC File No. 092-306)
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH DALBEY’S PROGRAM? LEAVE A COMMENT AT