From The Wall Street Journal, April 18, 1996:

Nutrition for Life's Distributor Charged in Pyramid Scheme

Chicago -- The Illinois attorney general accused the largest distributor for Nutrition for Life International Inc., Houston, of operating an illegal pyramid scheme.

In an Illinois state court, Attorney General Jim Ryan alleged that Kevin M. Trudeau, Trudeau Marketing Group, Inc., and sales distributor Jules Leib violated the state's consumer fraud laws and failed to disclose relevant background information. The suit alleges Mr. Trudeau and the other parties make money recruiting sales representatives rather than selling products and that Mr. Trudeau never disclosed past felony convictions and a bankruptcy. The suit seeks a restraining order, permanent injunctions and a $50,000 penalty.

Nutrition for Life, a marketer of nutritional supplements, wasn't named as a defendant in the suit.

Both a Nutrition for Life spokesman and a spokeswoman for Mr. Trudeau declined to comment, saying they hadn't see the suit. Mr. Trudeau has said he is in compliance with all state regulations.

This newspaper reported in January that Mr. Trudeau had been convicted of larceny and credit-card fraud. Mr. Trudeau is the top distributor of Nutrition for Life and the beneficial owner of a 13% stake in the company.

Nutrition for Life has said its "executive" distribution program is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible securities law-violations. Mr. Trudeau is a member of that program, although he has said he hasn't been contacted by SEC officials.

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