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Date Posted: 19:28:42 03/15/06 Wed
Subject: Power of People Network
I too fell for the newest twist on the old "gifting program" scam recently. I was instructed to "pledge" $3,500.00 cash to Jon Parr. I was seduced by promises of others "gifting me" thousands of dollars. Jon said he makes about $30,000.00 per week TAX FREE. The organization is called The Power of People Network. I found the organization through an online ad stating "Make money at home for returning calls". Once I "qualified", I was sent leads via email from someone named Shawn in Michigan.
After I sent the money I began to worry about this "activity" being illegal, so I contacted my City Attorney who directed me to call the police department's white collar crime division. This "activity" is considered legal although this newest group seems to be operating just under the law. As it turns out, you aren't allowed to send cash via the postal service for illegal gifting/pyramid schemes. This was one point that was hammered home to me by Mr. Parr. He said that if I sent the money via the USPS, he would decline it's delivery. This seems to indicate to me that he is aware of where this activity stands in the legal community.
Secondly, an organization is not allowed to receive money - gift or not - without providing the giver with some sort of product. This is strictly a gifting program with no product whatsoever.
Here is what I was emailed about their practices:
We are certainly not a pyramid. Pyramids are associated with a business or a company. We are neither. We have no top brass that makes all of the money and no corporate office. We have no sales quotas, we do not sell positions and we do not have an ever-widening base to the structure, which just keeps going and going. A pyramid never allows anyone coming in on the bottom to ever reach the top. Everyone gives the same gifts, works together in team dynamics and receives the same gift. In a pyramid, only those at the top get the profit while those at the bottom never reach the top. In a pyramid, people can and have lost their money. A pyramid is also not to be confused with "Network Marketing". Although Network Marketing is a legal and viable source of income, when was the last time you, or anyone you know, was able to start at the bottom of the company and reach the top position in the company? NEVER! We are neither a networking company nor a pyramid.
Lastly this is a legal activity 100% Yes! Churches, civic groups and people from around the world have participated in organized gifting for over 300 years. Laws state that it is legal for individuals to exchange gifts. In the United States we have the Preamble, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to protect a private citizen's rights to earn, pay taxes and give away property and cash as long as it is done according to the laws and codes of this country. Do you receive gifts for birthdays or Christmas? Do you consider that to be legal? Gifting is so legal that the IRS has a specific tax code for it and allows a one time gift of $11,000 per person per year! So NOW you've been informed. "
I immediately removed myself from this illegal group and demanded my money back. Of course, Mr. Parr refused. I am not under taking the arduous task of reporting this group to the right authorities. So far, I have been asked to file with the Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, The National Fraud Information Center, The National Consumers League, CyberCops, The National Consumer Complaint Center,
The Internet Crime Complaint Center and Attorney General's Office.
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