YTB SETTLES WITH STATE AG FINALLY
3 May 2011- The Attorney General of Illinois settled with Your Travel Biz, a scam first announced on the MLM WatchDog years ago. YTB is paying the state $153,000 to cover paybacks to people that were scammed into buying YTB travel websites. YTB has agreed not to do bad things (of course). YTB is now operating in rented space in their very first building selling junk on the Internet. It appears that their revenue will be down from $162 million at the height of their scam. They had 130,000 Internet Distributors and were really rocking! Ed. Note: Their big mistake was going public so the MLM WatchDog could read their books and confirm that it was a pyramid fraud.
YTB YOUR TRAVEL BIZ UP DATE
Feb 2010 - Illinois AG still has not let go. Franchise attempt still on hold till AG lets go? At this rate will the franchise idea even fly, as stringent as the Francise law is. Several class action suits are still in play against YTB. Bodies still dropping out? Staff cuts would indicate moving toward dead. They are moving toward nutritionals and cosmetics. Analysis... (three dots = Greek Ellipis) A year too late!
So does this traffic tracking:
UPDATE: YTB Illinois now going after YTB
18 May 2009 - Wood River, Il. (KMOX News) -- Illinois is the latest state to go after YTB an on-line travel business accused of operating a pyramid scheme.
Rod Cook your Editors Opinion: Scamsters can never understand that Attorney General's talk to each other and co-operate. In these times of tight budgets AG's shine when they bring $$ into the state coffers. In the future I look for the Ill. AG to hit a shaky Model (or scam) do the heavy lifting (evidence) settle with scam - then California AG office will file suit based on their evidence.
Brown Ends YTB's Online Travel Pyramid Scheme
News Release From California AG
Editors Opinion: Wow YTB got off cheap...... although nothing was said about how much they paid the AG's office for costs (was it seperate)? They have had an Illinois AG Investigator flying back and forth and you will see the results of that. Now the question is about other MLM Travel Companies. Some I know have moved to only selling travel packages which is smart (more income = more customers). Read below the red notes. And at the bottom after looking at other AG hits..... I question other MLM Models like "Shop To Earn" not much money in online stores as we saw in the pyramid hits on online malls in years past. To have the California AG mention them is .........a warning?
May 15th 2009 - Los Angeles - Stopping an "elaborate pyramid scheme," Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today completed an agreement forcing YTB International to stop the deceptive marketing of its largely unprofitable travel websites and prohibiting the company from charging consumers nearly $500 to recruit others into its endless chain scheme.
"YTB falsely promised they could get rich quick by selling travel online," Brown said. "In reality, customers were reeled into an elaborate pyramid scheme and most never earned a dime. Today's settlement ends YTB's pyramid scheme by arming consumers with hard facts and eliminating the need to sign up for this largely unprofitable website."
On August 7, 2008, AG Brown filed suit against YTB (also known as yourtravelbiz.com), its affiliates, & founders to end the pyramid scheme and stop YTB's false and misleading marketing campaign. Today's judgment, filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, accomplishes this by:
- Prohibiting false and deceptive marketing;
- Requiring that YTB provide information in a clear and conspicuous manner about how difficult it is to make money by selling travel through YTB;
- Prohibiting the company from charging almost $500 to recruit others into the scheme and requiring that new member recruitment be done with a free online demonstration;
- Limiting future income from "downstream sellers" (e.g., people who have been recruited and who have become recruiters themselves);
- Eliminating perks & incentives for joining; and
- Making it a lot easier to quit.
YTB pulled consumers into its travel business with phoney promises of wealth and deceptive marketing. YTB charged customers $449.95 for the purchase of a website, and $49.95 a month to operate it. In total, consumers who became sellers of travel paid YTB over $1,000 in the first year of operation.
Many Distributors signed up to sell travel or to obtain travel discounts, but they quickly found it virtually impossible to make money selling travel. A plane ticket from Los Angeles to New York, for instance, would only yield $3 in profit. An international ticket from San Francisco to London would net only $6 in profit.
In 2007, the investigation showed annual median income for those selling travel was $39.00, less than one month's cost to operate the website. The majority of consumers who purchased YTB websites made no money through the sale of travel, and many lost money through continued website operations.
By contrast, recruiting others to purchase websites, and having those purchasers recruit others to purchase websites (and so on), was much more profitable. Members earned money in the pyramid scheme based on how many websites they sold, as well as how many websites those they recruited sold. These multi-level sales, combined with the required purchase of the $449.95 website, formed the foundation of YTB's pyramid scheme.
The Court stipulated judgment ends this pyramid scheme by: Prohibiting false and misleading marketing and requiring that consumers be provided with information about how difficult it is to make money through YTB. Until now, YTB has made wildly misleading claims about how much people can earn from selling travel. This included videos of YTB agents driving luxury cars and holding up $10,000 checks, and making misleading statements about millions of dollars earned in commissions. The stipulated judgment requires YTB to provide consumers with information in a clear and conspicuous manner about typical income earned by website purchasers, typical cost of operations, the number of people who quit, and the number of people who have not earned commissions. This allows consumers to see that most YTB travel sellers make no money, and in fact rack up high costs.
Stopping YTB from charging consumers money in order to recruit others. Until now, the only way that consumers could demonstrate the website is if they had already purchased one for $449.95. The stipulated judgment requires YTB to establish a free demonstration website that must be used when recruiting others. This will reduce the incentives for people to purchase YTB websites, which are largely unprofitable when used to sell travel.
The stipulation significantly limiting how much people can make from individuals they have recruited and who have become recruiters themselves. Sixty percent of recruiters' sales must come from persons who are not themselves recruiters; otherwise, their income will be reduced.
It also Prohibits YTB from:
Issuing travel credentials in California and advertising that travel discounts, perks and tax-write offs are available by purchasing a website.
Stating or implying that their travel rates are comparable with those of travel booking sites such as Expedia or Orbitz.
Providing any recruitment bonuses or compensation based on the recruiter's purchase of a website.
The stipulation Requires YTB to open up its operations to scrutiny by the Attorney General's Office. The Attorney General's Office will have access to all YTB marketing materials, events, meetings, gatherings and presentations to ensure the company is complying with the agreement and California law. YTB will also register as a franchise with the California Department of Corporations as required by law.
The stipulation Requires YTB to make quitting easily available by fax, email, or telephone.
The stipulation Requires YTB to pay $1 million in penalties, costs, and restitution to California victims who filed complaints against YTB.
In filings with the SEC since Brown's 2008 lawsuit, YTB stated that there is "substantial doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern." Also, it revealed that in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, YTB has lost $5.9 million from its operations. The number of internet websites sold decreased 75% in first quarter 2009 compared to first quarter 2008, and the total number of website owners decreased 53% in first quarter 2009 compared to first quarter 2008.
Today's settlement builds on the Attorney General's ongoing commitment to protect Californians from the get-rich-quick schemes that proliferate in a down economy. In March, Brown entered into a settlement enforcing tough restrictions on two companies - Imergent, Inc. and Stores On Line - that falsely promised customers that they could earn full-time income by selling merchandise over the Internet.
Your Editors Opinion: The last paragraph raises big questions about Shop To Earn the Binary boomer that is promoting customers like crazy to get out from under the Pyramid Ax. The money made from affiliate fees with online stores consists of pennies just like travel.
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YTB UPDATE DIRECTORS QUITTING
The News Doesn't Sound Better
8 May 2009 - Directors Quit and an outside auditing firm recently filed a report with the SEC questioning the company's management practices. The auditors claim the board had little control over managers' spending, and company officials signed contracts without board approval.
NO AG SETTLEMENT - YTB THIS IS CRAZY! YTB SUICIDE?
April 2009 - Your Editors opinion: I received a link to a Press Release from the CA - AG from a reporter saying that the Press Release by YTB was false…..OR very premature! It is crazy to make a State AG mad if NO settlement has been reached yet. Theoretically the press release was NOT put out by YTB Corporate - yeah! Right! Wink - Wink!
YTB ON FOX NEWS
Your Editor wrote a protest letter to this TV station for saying 100's of MLM Companies do the same as YTB. I told them to have a list ready next time.
1 Sept 2008 - AMERICAN SOCIETY OF TRAVEL AGENTS
MLM TRAVEL SWEEPS STARTING AGAIN?
Is YTB going to join Travel Max, World Class Network (WCN) and New Concepts in Travel (NCT) plus other ones that were hit in 1997 and 1998?
ARE THERE MORE TRAVEL SWEEPS COMING?? OTHER MLM TRAVEL COMPANIES?
The WatchDog hopes not..... But! Read down to the bottom - MLM Travel Companies are a target!
YTB HISTORY BEFORE THE AG HIT!
YTB DODGING THE HEAT?
SEC Form 8-K for YTB INTERNATIONAL, INC. 15-Jul-2008
Item 7.01 Regulation FD Disclosure.
On July 15, 2008, The Chief Executive Officer of YTB International, Inc. (the "Company") Scott Tomer, announced that the Company is contemplating the replacement of its referring travel agent ("RTA") business model with a franchise operating system in 2009. The Company expects that a franchising model would facilitate the Company's expansion by providing more training and a new proprietary e-commerce platform. Details regarding price, product offerings and the conversion plan are all under up for grabs, but the Company thinks its existing RTA base would be treated favorably under itsproposal. If franchising is adopted, its distribution is to be managed by subsidiary and current marketing arm of the Company, YourTravelBiz.com, also known as YTB.com. Rod Cook Editors Note: Great = get the law off your back! Also GEE WHIZ an opportunity for Distributors to spend more money and get a franchise! :>)
MLM TRAVEL YTB LATEST PUZZLING NUMBERS AND PAINS
Dec 6 2007 – Now Phil Piccolo the MASTER of shady deals the world's massive money grabber joined MLM Travel Company YTB. He set up a plan to help all the poor folks that lost fortunes with him before in his different scummy schemes. Jump to YTB! Was this the straw that broke YTB’s back by attracting the law? On good authority the watchdog knows there are several law enforcement entities following good old Phil’s activities. Having Phil’s tracks going to YTB is not good for YTB! http://www.worldwidescam.info/sumphilp.htm
EDITOR'S NOTE AFTER THE AG "HIT": Did Phil Piccolo cause the hit on YTB. Phil solicted 1,000's to join YTB popping out the max $$ amount. Did that create the wave of complaints both the AG's are referring to?
YTB PUBLICLY HANGS ITSELF = DUMB
Nine months ended Sept. 30, 2007
Online travel stores and
monthly fees $ 69,031,218 72.0 % $
Travel commissions and
services 13,930,824 14.5 %
Training programs and
marketing materials 10,364,547 10.8 %
Other 2,592,266 2.7 %
Total net revenues 95,918,855 100.0 %
Marketing commissions 55,370,759 57.7 %
Travel commissions 9,398,036 9.8 %
THIS IS QUICKLY BECOMING THE LAW OF THE LAND
FTC PYRAMID CONSIDERATION 50% “RULE”
The FTC has "Said" This in Public Forums
with the "Burn Lounge" case heard in December 2008
it may be the "LAW OF THE LAND"