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Ackman Compares Herbalife with Pyramid Scheme Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing

March 14, 2013

Bill Ackman, the hedge fund manager who shorted Herbalife claiming it’s a pyramid scheme, has released a side-by-side comparison of the company with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing. Fortune, as many readers know, was shut down earlier this year by the FTC for being an illegal pyramid scheme.

Because Fortune is in receivership, the curtain has been lifted on the true health of the company and its distributor force. Ackman uses and compares these figures alongside his analysis of Herbalife. By virtue of being a publicly-traded company, Herbalife must file a Form 10-K with the SEC that comprehensively summarizes the company’s performance each year (and a Form 10-Q each quarter).

Here’s the slidedeck:

View this document on Scribd

What’s fascinating is that this story goes beyond the mere question of whether or not Herbalife is a pyramid scheme. Vanity Fair describes how this debate has become personal between some of the leading hedge fund managers in the country. Millions, perhaps billions, of dollars are at stake, and it’s not just the money being spent by those within the Herbalife community.

Regardless of which side you fall on, this debate is certainly one worth following closely.

41 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie Morgan permalink
    March 14, 2013 5:18 pm

    Amthrax~ I believe there is more companies that could be compared side by side and you would see the same things. You cannot link to the comparison by the information above. Wasn’t sure if that was intentional or not.

    Thanks for more information to allow others to see for themselves, what many on here have seen and could compare ourselves…How Weird and suspicious…the extreme similarities? 🙂

  2. March 14, 2013 8:43 pm

    There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of companies like Fortune that are operating under the radar of the government. Consumers need to rise up and complain to the government if they feel they were legitimately scammed.

  3. Melanie Morgan permalink
    March 14, 2013 9:57 pm


    I agree, one of the biggest things that need to change is that people stand up and do the right thing. File complaints rather than hold onto the indoctrination of fear of retaliation and/or a lawsuit, which causes the masses to walk away silently.The more people speak out and file complaints then this will make the change for those who are afraid. I believe if in anything, that you know is wrong then we all have a moral obligation to help others. Just the way I feel.

    Billions of dollars being scammed from unsuspecting good people all around the world who are being recruited, indoctrinated and mislead into these scams, that ultimately create so many damages to self, relationships, family and finances.

  4. April 4, 2013 3:49 am

    Whistle-blower Joseph Isaacs (, who was made famous by exposing the Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) pyramid scheme and fraud back in 2010 has just released his memoir called, “Skapegoat – the FHTM Blame Game Story” via Amazon

  5. Melanie Morgan permalink
    April 4, 2013 5:35 am

    Thanks for sharing that Skapegoat! 🙂

  6. April 4, 2013 6:33 am

    Here is a link to the Kindle Edition of Skapegoat’s book on Amazon.

  7. Melanie Morgan permalink
    April 4, 2013 9:00 am

    Promoted the book on my Facebook Page, can’t wait to read it today! 🙂

  8. bankalchemist permalink
    May 12, 2013 3:49 pm

    scapegoat posting is Joseph Isaacs so readers beware. his new book is out so he is trying to drum up symphony for being the victim when actually he was one of the perpetrators that simply got caught trying to fleece the BIG DOG. He decided to steal their website and marketing materials as if it was him so newbies simply gave him the money. Pure Joseph Isaacs.

  9. May 13, 2013 7:35 am


    Gee what a reveal – it went over like a pregnant pole vaulter. And who might bankalchemist be, if not a platitudinous jester? Anyway thanx for the chuckles.

  10. Melanie Morgan permalink
    May 13, 2013 3:27 pm


    Beware? Haha…sorry your warning…I find quite funny. Let me explain from most on here perspectives, there would be no need for any “warning” …..have you read any of this site?

    Are you worried someone will read the book?

    Have you read the book? What is your story? We’re you involved with FHTM? Are you involved in promoting any system?Did you promote FHTM or any other multilevel now, which one is it?

  11. Melanie Morgan permalink
    May 13, 2013 3:30 pm


    Haha… 🙂

  12. bankalchemist permalink
    May 15, 2013 4:04 pm

    no I was not involved with FHTM nor am I a MLM participant. I am a Joseph Isaacs watch dog. Isaacs has a long history of borrowing things that are not his and trying to profit from them. In the end there are victims usually loosing money so it fits a financial crime classification. I have tracked him through Russian Brides, Bikini Models, phony Ph.D credentialing, bank formations, telecom, and soliciting investments in real estate rental proprieties as an investment vehicle without the security being registered. Isaacs his like FHTM all wrapped up in one package. If one does not keep an eye out for him next thing you know he’s up to it again and there are losers assured.

  13. Melanie Morgan permalink
    May 15, 2013 6:04 pm

    Bank alchemists-

    I can appreciate that, thanks for answering. I am sure you can and do appreciate a site like this one! What do you do with the information you follow?

  14. Melanie Morgan permalink
    May 15, 2013 10:11 pm

    Think I need Vogel’s research skills and help. 🙂

  15. Vogel permalink
    May 16, 2013 7:01 am

    I’m always happy to help but what’s the assignment here? Sounds like bankalchemist isn’t much of an Isaacs fan, but what does that have to do with FHTM and pyramid schemes?

  16. Melanie Morgan permalink
    May 17, 2013 12:56 pm


    Haha, I agree but wanted your take.Thank you for your willingness to always help, it is appreciated, missed and welcomed! 🙂

    Seems odd that Isaacs needs his very own watch dog, ( I didn’t try real hard but couldn’t find anything this guy is accusing him of) why the need for a personal watch dog?..unless you consider he helped get an alleged massive million dollar pyramid scheme shut down and their perpetrators ac least temporarily stopped. No doubt he has attracted a few watch dogs!

    The real need for a watch dog is on the prevention of or exposure of these pyramid schemes!

  17. Melanie Morgan permalink
    May 17, 2013 5:19 pm

    I also know you have a seriously keen BS detector that helps us and I appreciate it !

    Glad to see you are still around, thanks.

  18. Vogel permalink
    May 17, 2013 5:55 pm

    Thanks Mel! Always here…hovering over your shoulder…smiling, being proud of you all, and looking out for you lest some evildoer try to mess with you. 🙂 If you ever need me, just click your heels 3 times or ring me up on the bat phone 🙂

  19. Melanie Morgan permalink
    May 17, 2013 7:08 pm

    HahaHaha…I will do that…..means so much…You are the best!!

    Miss your humor and presence, so thanks for still being there for us, even though we don’t see you. 🙂

  20. May 18, 2013 5:01 am


    You’re quite mouthy accusing the man of criminal activities. The way I see it you can prove he has been sanctioned and/or accused, tried & convicted of what you allege, or me thinks you being a cheap libeler.

  21. May 18, 2013 5:22 am

    David Brear, on his blog, has posted a link to a very compelling story on the sordid dangers of cult MLMs. ‘fore you read it tighten your boots good, your spurs are’bout to get spun!

  22. Vogel permalink
    May 18, 2013 7:37 am

    Wow, that Herbalife story was very disturbing. These MLM kingpins are such bullying manipulative monsters.

  23. May 18, 2013 8:01 am

    I have seen it all bullying, manipulative, egotistical megalomaniacs, etc etc, it’s always there, hidden from newbies though but always there. You can’t even start to explain it to an starry eyed MLM neophytes or a congressman/woman and I suspect, nor would they believe (unfortunately they are well blinded by campaign funding and oh…it’s a business see they have products, blah blah blah claptrap). Some acts (read abuse) may be absent or differ in their severity but MO is always the same, worldwide. Some scary parallels to Eric Scheibeler’s account, ain’t it? (And you can insert any other cult it’ll still hold true-Jonestown, Waco, etc)

  24. Melanie Morgan permalink
    May 18, 2013 9:28 am


    Thanks for the reality check! OMG…those spurs, …well they disintegrated!….Oh and how sickening and typica….the company avoids all responsibility!

    Everyone needs to read that link. How sick, evil, and twisted!

    We all know…although it may have not been as blatantly spoken or quite as obvious…in America, they are much more clever, subtle, and crafty! Aside from the exploiting of the woman…( although I have a book read or two that speaks of this similar activity from another M L M) the rest or methods of garbage…although much more subtle and tamed… quite disturbingly recognizable.

    Kudos to David Bread and the journalist…but this should me all over every media source available!

  25. Melanie Morgan permalink
    May 18, 2013 9:31 am

    Thanks for reminding…. of my WHY!

  26. Melanie Morgan permalink
    May 18, 2013 9:38 am

    Most important…I have an abundance of empathy and respect for those who were terrified by this evilness and monsters, but finally said;; ENOUGH, then had the guts to be come forward and speak out!!!

  27. Unplugged permalink
    June 7, 2013 6:32 pm

    I am a formal Team-Life Survivor. 6 years. I am asking if the Herbal Life products are good to at least purchase for Weight Loss and Nutrition etc. Seen a lot of good results of friends around me. I talked to them extensively today and I am thinking of joining for a discount on the products. They seem better than Mona vie and the Shakes taste better. I am just very causious with these companies after going through 6 years on learning experience.

  28. Melanie Morgan permalink
    June 7, 2013 10:41 pm


    I have no idea if Herbal Life products is good for weight loss or nutrition but my rule of thumb, eat right and exercise…do your research…find a reasonably priced equivalant rather before I would ever EVER, consider giving another red cent to another MLM or overpriced products to support Mlm especially top heavy plans.

    6 years? Why and when did. You leave?

    My opinion, and what I have seen after13 years of a hell …learning experience, and one of the most tragic indoctrination is that they leave others falsely believing and following the same old destructive path..I have seen way too many others leave one MLM to get suckered into the next one to find that wasn’t ephoria either… far far from it, in some cases even worse than the last one…because of those instilled false beliefs, and deceptions…people continue to turn to the same old stuff….very sad.

    It is fed as the daily diet…(Name of MLM) and so.has the best products in the universe, it is the only place you get flippity, floppity..Doctor and celebrity (paid endorsements)….sorry, the red flag…is in PAID for endorsments.and the rest of the misleading garbage…. its never been discovered before miracle curing, blah, blah, blah.. Usually you can find a similar or better product cheaper, cuz the price isnt highly inflated to pay for the scam…not saying I know anything about HB products, just what I have learned in general…that is why it is crucial to do your research.

    What I have learned and follow now…..

    Learn to do the research, listen to your gut, never blindly trust anyone with a motivaton to tell you because they are getting paid to…without getting facts and throughly checking out everything…, never fall for the tricks of the trade, …remain on red alert, and learn from your experience…then no worries, you have put the odds in your favor of not being scammed ever again and are doing your part…you need to remain CAUTIOUS!!

    Good luck 🙂

  29. June 8, 2013 7:39 am

    Consider Dr Amen’s OMNI diet. Teaches you what to buy from your local grocery store, what to eat when, what not to eat and of course exercise. We cook at home, hardly ever eat out, no weight issues, I guess I can say we’ve always been on an omni kind of diet. I don’t see any fanciness with it. It just seems obvious-like…that is what people used to eat and over time we the people just deviated at the lure of junk food and not helping is our ambulant decline, etc.

    Melanie said
    “…but my rule of thumb, eat right and exercise…do your research…find a reasonably priced equivalent rather before I would ever EVER, consider giving another red cent to another MLM or overpriced products to support Mlm especially top heavy plans.”

    Melanie is right. After 6 years any tango with an MLM in any way, shape or form is more dangerous than kissing a rattle snake. Please run from these scamsters. Don’t be worried that you won’t have similar results as your friends should you not use HL crap. Remember the disclaimer? They have it too. Besides why support an MLM charlatan kingpin somewhere with your dollars? HL is not the definitive last word on weight loss. There’s effective and cost competitive choices. After 6 years say enough of MLM crapology already. Make other choices. Good Luck!

  30. June 8, 2013 8:18 am

    @Unplugged – I’d avoid Herbalife if I were you. If you want to lose weight, diet and exercise change are all you need.

  31. bankalchemist permalink
    July 24, 2014 11:36 am

    bankalchemist; YO ExAmbot, as it goes for Isaacs I hope you are in on the launch of TelexFree. Joe has filed in every state for their licensing rights as a company to operate as a VoiP phone entity. I have not checked my TelexFree stock today. He made so much on that scam he has launched Toilet work.

  32. TruthSeeker permalink
    July 28, 2014 6:39 pm

    @bankalchemist, is that the same “TelexFree” that has recently been indicted for Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, and Criminal Forfeiture? Is that the same “TelexFree” that the government claims they have a strong case against?

    What planet are you from?

  33. Melanie Morgan permalink
    December 17, 2014 12:58 pm

    So it is true, they have known all along they were hurting and deceiving millions!

    I thought Bill Ackman and these victims testimonies were going to talk about TEAM or LIEf or whatever they call it now a days.. I was having a flash back of my experience for a second with TEAM, team of destiny, team, team in hiding, team monavie,…. and then I realized they were talking about Herbalief!

    Dang, I thought they made it big and were in the news lol

  34. Melanie Morgan permalink
    December 17, 2014 1:29 pm

    Hmmm…Wonder how many other people that you know must have data, documents, video, etc ? In these MLM’s that should become whistle blowers and turn states evidence on them?

    Those who knowingly will defend the intentional deception, wrong doings, and greedy fraudsters, deserve nothing less than to go down with them.

    Seems the light is becoming brighter and near blinding on much of the darkness. 😀

  35. Vogel permalink
    December 17, 2014 2:16 pm

    That video is heartbreaking. The saddest part is realizing that the name Herbalife could be replaced with that of virtually any other MLM and it would ring just as true. It’s a predatory industry and the only reason it has survived this long is that the MLM owners have poured piles of money into the coffers of politicians and regulators to turn a blind eye or even to champion their cause. That certainly has been the case with Utah (where most of these companies reside): e.g. Orrin Hatch, Jason Chaffetz, Mark Shurtleff, John Swallow, etc.

  36. Melanie Morgan permalink
    December 17, 2014 7:28 pm


    It truly is painful to watch the sadness in the people and millions experience this. It is a disease that has spread through out the world and is damaging on so many levels, it creates hate for everything outside of “their business” scam, liars, deception, damages relationships, divides churches, families, and friends and has a negative impact to the tune of billions on all those hard working people.

    But there is a known cure, and I hope beyond everything else those who NOW cannot deny and know the truth….they have been provided with mountains of evidence, just will take their responsibility and power to cure it and protect the consumers!

    I just thank God, I can see it now!

  37. Melanie Morgan permalink
    December 17, 2014 7:40 pm

    It helps that I can finally laugh a little more at these lying clowns, too! Justice needs served, swiftly, & harshly!

  38. Vogel permalink
    December 17, 2014 10:13 pm

    Well put Melanie. The truth will set them free!

    Happy chanukah!

  39. Melanie Morgan permalink
    December 18, 2014 8:39 pm


    Thank you. It is good to see you here and still have our backs… just in case you must slay the dragons. lol. You have had to slay many, when needed. 🙂

    You, Amthrax and all the others who have been here have done more in helping others and myself than I can express, Thanks to you all!

    Here is an awesome interview with Bill Ackman & Matt Stewart (not sure who he is but I like his thinking and love his articles, kudos to him!! ).

    Kudos to Bill Ackman. I don’t know if he knows but there are probably millions and millions who will thank him for taking up this cause and taking it ” to the end of the earth”… love this interview shows his heart and believe his contribution has/will be known as the straw that helped brake the camels back. There is one thing I disagree with one and made me shutter he said; paraphrased…if Herbalife gets shut down there is plenty of other Direct Selling companies they could go to. I wish he would dig as deep into them all!!! Anyway I respect him immensely And what I love the most, is he said he felt he had a moral obligation to do this. And he is going to donate any profit he may make from any gains (mentions it in the interview) and has spent millions to prove his thesis!!!

    The man is a hero to me as everyone else who has had the guts to expose the truth…that has and will set many more people Free!

    I have never felt freer!!!! Much thanks to you all!

    Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to All, I miss you guys!

  40. Melanie Morgan permalink
    December 18, 2014 8:40 pm

    Here is the exclusive interview, forgot to add: )

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