Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Team Leaders’ Bankruptcy Filings
This article was originally written on September 30, 2011
Most of the leaders on TEAM have been involved with Orrin Woodward for many years. Before LIFE, they were in MonaVie. Before MonaVie, they were in Amway/Quixtar. These leaders have walked across stage countless times and have been praised for their financial successes, their personal development, and their dedication to the goal of going to a million.
What if it’s all a lie?
I wrote a few weeks ago about the foreclosure and strategic default initiated by Policy Council member George Guzzardo. It prompted quick spin from Guzzardo himself on his personal blog. As that post and my investigation into Orrin Woodward’s own anonymous blogging exploits demonstrated, TEAM’s leaders don’t necessarily practice what they preach.
This is important for distributors to know, because they are in a relationship where they are being counseled about finances and ethics by these very people. If distributors knew that some of their upline leaders have (1) filed for bankruptcy, (2) initiated a strategic default on a real-estate property, or (3) engaged in hate-filled, anonymous blogging (at the same time they denounced such activity), would distributors remain involved?
I have recently come into possession of the bankruptcy filing documents for current and former TEAM Round Table Leaders, Chuck and Nancy Cullen, Joe and Laura Darkangelo, and Mark and Anna Huber:
- Chuck and Nancy Cullen Bankruptcy Filing (April, 2009)
- Joe and Laura Darkangelo Bankruptcy Filing (September, 2009)
- Mark and Anna Huber Bankruptcy Filing (October, 2010)
Do note that according to Section 107 Federal Bankruptcy Code, bankruptcy filing documents are public record.
Pouring through these documents, I’ve uncovered a few points worth further discussion.
Chuck and Nancy Cullen Bankruptcy Filing Notes
The Cullen’s filing was made in April, 2009. This is their bio from the TEAM website:
Chuck and Nancy Cullen represent a couple within Team that worked hard as employees and self-employed business owners and then used the skills they developed in those areas within the training system. Both Chuck and Nancy have master’s degrees. Chuck taught high school English, was a basketball and track coach, and also worked as a self-employed manufacturer’s representative. Nancy worked as an elementary school teacher and a reading specialist. After reading a few of Robert Kiyosaki’s books, Chuck invited his brother and his brother’s good friend, Mark Paul, to show them the Team training system. Chuck was completely impressed at the sheer number of people at one of the Tuesday night meetings. Chuck and Nancy now have the ability to live their priorities rather than their obligations. Thus far, they have strengthened their faith, their marriage, and their decision making skills. Chuck and Nancy have always been huge dreamers, but thanks to Team, today they are dreamers with a vehicle and they are excited about helping others achieve success with MonaVie.
The Cullens reported that they were self-employed in Internet Sales for the past five years (Page 19).
They accumulated over $42,000 in credit card debt and an additional $28,000 in a bank loan (Pages 15-16).
As of April, 2009, the Cullen’s monthly income was $4,155.59, with net $2,132.70 coming from profit sharing (TEAM) and net $2,022.89 coming from commissions (MonaVie) (Page 20).
No reported business expenses (Line 16, Page 21).
Zero charitable contributions (Page 21).
Income in 2007 was listed as $47,865.00. In 2008, it was $30,857.25 (Page 23). Up through April, 2009, income was at $10,389.09, which pro-rates annually to $31,167.27. Didn’t Orrin Woodward say that MonaVie would be paying the top leaders in the business several times that which Amway/Quixtar was paying them? It doesn’t look like that to me from the Cullen’s income statements.
Joe and Laura Darkangelo Bankruptcy Filing Notes
From the Darkangelo’s TEAM bio:
Joe Darkangelo was a successful business man before joining the Team training system and MonaVie. Joe has worked as a Sales Manager in the distribution business and is a franchisor in the Detroit area. Laura is a stay at home mother, and is dedicated to leading and helping the women on her team. Joe and Laura have two young children, and they love developing and improving the relationship they have with their loved ones. Joe first introduced to the Team training system from his neighbor down the street, and after his first seminar, he decided to pursue success by implementing Team’s system of leadership information. With great support from his mentors, Tim and Amy Marks, Joe and Laura have a drastically altered their lives at home and in their own business. They are both committed to the system and Team’s vision of going to a million people.
Judging from their September, 2009 bankruptcy filing documents, it looks like TEAM’s system of leadership and support from their mentors “drastically altered” the Darkangelo’s lives and business in a bad way.
Seven years employed by Darkangelo & Assoc./I Drinka Da Juice (Page 22).
Very little in savings accounts (Page 11).
Average monthly income in 2009 was $5,469.77. Average monthly expenses totaled $7,018.15 (Pages 22-23). No reported business expenses, but those could have been filed under the S-Corporation (Pages 22-23).
Zero charitable contributions (Page 23).
Over $252,000 in credit card debt (Pages 15-19).
Income from 2008 totaled $22,463.00. Income from January to September, 2009 totaled $41,840.00. Does that look like MonaVie Emerald income to you? The Darkangelo’s are still listed as MonaVie Emeralds on the MonaVie corporate website.
It’s unclear what assets, if any, are held by the Darkangelo’s corporations, Darkangel & Associates and I Drinka Da Juice.
Mark and Anna Huber Bankruptcy Filing Notes
The Hubers are currently being recognized as Round Table members in TEAM. From their TEAM bio:
Mark and Anna Huber looked pretty happy to most of their friends. Mark was an engineer and Anna was a nail-technician. They had a nice house, nice cars, and what looked like a happy home. But behind the scene there was massive six-figure debt, overdue loan payments, and a strained relationship. After seeing the Team training system, they got a very slow start. But thanks to a caring support team and the continuous training system they chose to embrace, they started to take off. As they applied some of the principles learned from Team, their decision making was greatly improved. Mark and Anna enjoy the uncommon freedom to design their own time schedules. They are an example of how an educational and mentoring system can change lives.
It doesn’t appear like the Huber’s financial situation has gotten better, judging from their October, 2010 bankruptcy filing.
The Hubers have been involved with Huber Enterprises, LTD, for 9 years. This business was designated as their TEAM profit sharing business. Their MonaVie business, on the other hand, is called Starfish Acquisitions, LLC (Page 49).
Combined average monthly income between Mark and Anna was $10,517.75. Monthly expenses, however, totaled $11,162.46, with $5777.46 of that being classified as business expenses.
From this example, if you are a high leader in TEAM, your monthly expenditures are going to be a lot more than the $500/month figure I quoted from MLM Punisher! I’d really like for some of the TEAM proponents to explain this.
Furthermore, in an addendum to their bankruptcy filing, the Hubers list the income and expenses for their MonaVie and TEAM Training businesses. Net income for the 2010 (through August) was just $28,834 ($75,053.96 gross and $46,219.70 in expenses).
In 2008, they listed their income to be $157,089.00. In 2009, it was $94,202.00. In 2010, it was $75,053.96 (Page 43). If their primary business was MonaVie and TEAM, their business got progressively worse in three years. Like with the Cullens and Darkangelos, this conflicts with statements made by Orrin Woodward about the MonaVie compensation plan when compared with the Amway/Quixtar plan. The Hubers are still listed as MonaVie Diamonds, but it sure doesn’t look like they are rolling in the Diamond money with MonaVie.
At the time of filing, there was very little money in the Hubers’ savings account (Page 12).
Had the Hubers fallen behind on their Federal and State income taxes? Sure looks like it (Pages 22-23).
Furthermore, there was a substantial amount of credit card debt, over $66,000, listed in the bankruptcy filing (Pages 24-32).
Zero charitable contributions (Page 37).
As with the Darkangelos, the Hubers had separate business entities for their TEAM and MonaVie businesses. It’s unclear from the bankruptcy documents how those were affected.
As with my entry on Guzzardo, the purpose of this post is not to revel in the financial misery of these TEAM leaders. Going through a bankruptcy is a life-changing and supremely stressful event.
That said, TEAM members have to look really hard in the mirror and ask themselves if their leaders are truly doing what they say they are doing. Do they deserve or warrant their members’ trust when they hide or spin away these facts? Are they qualified to teach about Finances, one of the precious 8F’s in LIFE?
Lastly, I really hope there’s no spin from Orrin Woodward or his leaders about how bankruptcy can be a good thing — a teachable moment — and I certainly don’t want to hear from them that Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson went through bankruptcy themselves!
Update 2012-10-26: See a visual timeline of key events during the TEAM Leaders’ bankruptcy periods.