Source: 4/26/2010

Fortune Hi Tech Marketing Reaches Settlement in Montana Case

In a precedent setting decision, the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance has ordered FHTM to pay almost $1 million in fines and restitution to Montana residents recruited by distributors and erroneously informed that they would have established contacts with companies like The Home Depot and General Electric, when no such contact existed.

The damages also cover charges and consumer complaints that FHTM distributors were promoting the company to participants as an income potential, as long as they agreed to recruit new distributors. The operation of a business where the only income and profit stems from signing up other people who pay for membership, is a pyramid scheme.

The consent agreement states the following particulars with regard to FHTM and any business they conduct in Montana:

- Agreement to refund more than 3,400 Montana participants in an amount of up to $840,000

- Company founders Paul Orberson and Thomas Mills will pay a fine of $100,000, and Dianne Graber, a Montana FHTM representative will pay $5,000, to the Montana general fund

- The Investor Protection Trust, a Montana investor education non-profit, will receive $50,000 from FHTM

Required changes to business practices include:

- A $75.00 fee for new representatives

- Training seminars in six Montana communities throughout the state and include mandatory web based training for all current and future representatives

- Full disclosure to current and future FHTM participants that includes average income and time commitment necessary for achieving same

Reinforcing sales of products to non-participants as well as participants, and maintenance of non-participant sales records to be submitted monthly.

Any participants eligible for a refund will be notified by the Commissioner's office. Refund amounts will be determined by subtracting any earnings received from FHTM from the cost of enrollment in the program.

View Fortune HiTech Marketing Review

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