Death of a Tax Club

Savage Johnson

Funny story :: one of Utah’s largest boiler rooms … is located in New York City. That’s the end of the funny part of the story :: I hope you laughed your ass off … because the rest of it is fucking terrible.

The Tax Club :: Earning more than your trust

Or as the FTC :: and the New York and Florida Attorney Generals :: put it in their lawsuit last week …

“This scam has victimized thousands of individual consumers, many of whom are unemployed or elderly. Defendants have defrauded each victim out of thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars and have taken in over $220 million since 2008.

The Tax Club and its related entities and principals have preyed upon consumers… What began as one company in Utah has expanded into a sprawling enterprise operating out of the 60th floor of the Empire State Building that now encompasses at least twelve interrelated corporate entities, all controlled by four individuals”

Two of those individuals :: Tedd Johnson and Michael Savage … are pictured above enjoying a nice day on a boat yo … spending your grandma’s retirement money and having a big old laugh about it while she’s contemplating suicide.

That sounds dark … because it is dark.

The Tax Club buys leads from other boiler rooms :: and reboils those leads … over and over and over again … until they’re empty.  And then fuck um :: cause that’s what they get for believing … stupid old grandmas don’t even understand the internet.

So Real Debbie spends $6000 buying into Anthony Morrison’s fake mentorship program … which is toxically hard-sold by Utah’s Professional Marketing International. Then PMI passes Debbie on to The Tax Club. Tax Club calls and pretends be the Morrison mentorship :: for a few minutes Debbie thinks she’s actually getting some service as they start explaining the basics of business structure … but it immediately turns into an upsell for thousands of dollars worth of setup services. Then the same pattern is repeated a few days later for tax preparation :: and on and on … etc.

If you don’t let The Tax Club help you now with the things you don’t need until later :: then you will have maxed out your credit cards for absolutely nothing … just like your wife said you were doing. Be afraid :: be very afraid … and give us your other credit card number.

Millions of dollars of this reboil money then gets pumped back into the orignal boiler room … which has also failed to in any way provide the promised services.

“An analysis of the Defendants’ bank records shows that The Tax Club Enterprise has paid approximately $44 million for consumer leads since 2008…

Each of these four lead sources has been the subject of numerous consumer complaints and/or law enforcement actions. NMR’s affiliate, Professional Marketing International (“PMI”), has been subject of 768 consumer complaints to the FTC in the last three years reporting deceptive practices involving coaching programs sold to startup Internet business.”

Am I excited about the FTC cracking down on some rat bastards?

Oh hell yeah :: totally … but isn’t like 700 complaints enough? How many exactly does it take? Because each one complaint represents ten real lives dramatically harmed … so do we have to wait for such a huge pile?

Anywayz :: the suit was filed with five volumes of exhibits :: recorded calls :: victim statements :: product samples :: financial records :: depositions of assholes … and the analysis of an FTC economist. They’re super impressive :: and super scary … whenever they decide to act.

The first time I heard about The Tax Club … I didn’t believe it. Thought people were prolly exaggerating :: as people are wont to do … but no. It’s just unimaginable levels of total awful. People getting scammed so badly that their physical heath is directly impacted.

According to footnote twenty of the attached document :: 42% of complaints to the FTC about The Tax Club came from consumers at least 60 years old … people who don’t have time to recover from these sorts of mega-losses.

The Tax Club Alliance

But The Tax Club was a proud part of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s {now defunct} Alliance for Lifelong Learning :: an organization of boiler rooms agreeing to do wrong … the right way.

… or something.

Mark Shurtleff never met a life destroying scammer he didn’t love :: isn’t that right The Tax Club’s Tedd Johnson?

He better say goodbye to The Tax Club’s Michael Savage while they still have time to hug. Because even if criminal indictments don’t follow this FTC suit {and they absolutely should} :: The New Canaan Advertiser reports that local authorities are getting closer to filing charges in last year’s “stumble away from Dad dying in crashed sports car” incident. A sports car paid for with your grandpa’s retirement incidentally.

But they’re not fucking monsters :: if you got screwed over by Bernie Madoff … The Tax Club will do your taxes for free according to the awesometown “journalists” over at CNBC …

You can’t make this shit up :: and if you could you wouldn’t … because it’s fucking terrible.

>> bleep bloop

116 thoughts on “Death of a Tax Club”

  1. Re “Alliance for Lifelong Learning”: damn. That’s some pretty harsh lesson to have to learn late in life. I.e.: “we, The Tax Club, just totally screwed you over and took all your retirement monies that you needed right now because you are retired. Enjoy!”

  2. Uh…
    unbelieavable. Not that I don’t believe it, just that…the level of scum is so low I can’t really contemplate it.

    @SD
    I read some of Gene Sharp’s books now, and I guess I’ll be commenting less. Mostly because while commendable, his approach is not one I can personally and philosophically stand behind, or even next to really. His approach is a bit like justice throughout history, it has a trickle-down effect that will take eons to make meaningful impacts. It is a necessary approach of course, especially when looking at the bigger picture, but not suited to my inclination to focus on specific acts, specific victims, and specific consequences to the victim and their families, and what should follow in my personal opinion regarding the specific consequences that a just society should ensure befall the perpetrators of vile acts such as the ones you report on. I’ll have to stick with Lysander Spooner’s views, as I have since I can recall.

    That said, I wish you the very best and hope you prove me wrong time and time again and manage to heap plenty on consequences on the scummy bastards you continue to report on.

    1. @realestateguru,

      When you write “worst”, it encourages my pedantic side to actually try to rate CNBC vs. other networks. But that’s a lost cause. I think they are all really-very bad and I couldn’t say if one is worse-er than the others.

      Except Fox of course. But I think they stand alone in their own category of perpetual shame. Or at least they should.

      Or am I wrong (again)? I don’t actually watch the channel so if they’re changing any in response to all the ridicule they receive these days I wouldn’t have noticed.

      1. @Jack,

        I googled the page you pulled the Consumer Affairs thing from.
        http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/thetaxclub.html

        Are the Consumer Affairs folks known scammers or something? (I miss a lot and forget a lot.) What’s really messed up is all these complaints are there, but then on many of them, someone from Consumer Affairs is (essentially) contradicting the contents of the complaint and/or saying that it’s all be happily resolved now with refunds and such.

        I mean I guess that’s very similar to BBB or Ripoff Report. It’s just I thought what those did is you pay for your high rating and you’re done. It seems that Consumer Affairs is adding the Personal Touch of discrediting anyone that dares to speak out. I wonder if that costs extra.

        And yet, for all that snazzy customer service effort, the overall satisfaction rating stands at slightly more than one star. And, of course, it’s Consumer Affairs Trusted.

        1. @Jack,

          The national BBB site is updated now:

          Government Actions

          The following describes a pending government action that has been formally brought by a government agency but has not yet been resolved. We are providing a summary of the government’s allegations, which have not yet been proven.

          On January 10, 2013 the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of New York and Florida sued to shut down The Tax Club Inc. It is alleged that The Tax Club Inc has taken money from victims interested in working at home or setting up Internet businesses, charging them thousands of dollars for nonexistent small-business development services. The FTC and attorneys general asked for an order shutting down the businesses, freezing their assets and appointing a temporary receiver. This case is currently pending.

          The case is Federal Trade Commission v. Tax Club Inc., 1:13-cv-00210, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

          Note the St. George, Utah, address in the URL:
          http://www.bbb.org/utah/business-reviews/taxes-consultants-and-representatives/the-tax-club-in-st-george-ut-18000718

    1. @Jack, Tedd Johnson also owns this hunting lodge in Texas. http://www.peartreegameranch.com/

      If you purchased the “Dean Graziosi” program you will see that Dean has been a guest at the ranch many times. He is not the only one either as the last AG for the state of Utah has been a “guest” too.

  3. And yet today they are still operating and still selling their products. This is just a complete shame. I don’t understand how a scheme like this, operating out of NYC’s most famous building hasn’t made mainstream news like the Times, Post or Daily News. They must have some powerful PR machine. And how after killing his father a year ago, still no charges. Must be great to have money, even if it’s someone else’s.

    1. @Nothing Shocking ::

      Yeah :: but … it’s coming for them now.

      There’s almost no chance the FTC won’t get their temporary restraining order with a receiver appointed. All the money will instantly dry up … and Savage will have to face whatever charges he faces in his father’s death as the poor person he deserves to be.

      They don’t have a PR machine. The press will catch up to this story eventually now that The Man is involved and the story is easy and riskless.

      Things do happen … it’s just all too fucking slow.

    1. @Crazy Utah ::

      Sweet! This story is finally getting some fucking traction …

      The Tax Club and its various associated businesses contributed more than $165,000 to Shurtleff since 2008, campaign finance records show. Swallow brought in another $30,000 from The Tax Club’s network last year…

      It was a well-known practice among Utah’s booming call-center industry, said former business owner Ryan Jensen, that if you wanted to thrive, you had to give money to Shurtleff and, after that, Swallow.

      Jensen’s business was the target of an investigation by the Utah Division of Consumer Protection. He attended a Swallow fundraiser last year but did not contribute money.

      “When we first got into this, in 2007, we were told from a group [in the industry] … ‘Get some money together and we’ll get you a round of golf with Shurtleff and you’ll be fine,’ ” Jensen said. “All through my career in this industry, I’ve been told, ‘Get with Shurtleff, get with Shurtleff.’ ”

      … better late than never.

  4. Ummm…looks like you stared righting your “one sided” dirty little article too soon. The Federal Judge told the FTC to stick it with their Summary Judgement, TRO, and Asset Freeze against The Tax Club!! They are in business. The Judge must have not been impressed with the evidence presented. Salty Nads??

    1. @Timothy Anderson ::

      Actually I haven’t “stared righting” this article :: I’ve finished writing it … that’s how you’re reading it. Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth right now?

      You refer to this …

      ORDER: For the reasons stated on the record at the conference held earlier today, Plaintiffs’ application for an asset freeze and for the appointment of a receiver or, in the alternative, a monitor, is DENIED pending a preliminary injunction hearing. After conferring with one another, the parties shall submit an order by the close of business on January 16, 2013, consistent with the proposal made by Defendants’ counsel at the conference today. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b), Defendants shall appear before this Court on January 31, 2013, at 9:00a.m., to show cause, if there is any, why this Court should not enter a preliminary injunction, pending final ruling on the Complaint against Defendants, enjoining them from further violations of Section 5 of the FTC Act…”

      … and you are wrong and stupid.

      Maybe go watch 10 seasons of Law & Order on Netflix and then come back here and try to give me some more “legel righting” advice.

  5. The Tax Club Hearts Mark Shurtleff :: now in The Deseret News …

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865570962/John-Swallow-got-campaign-funds-from-allegedly-fraudulent-telemarketer.html

    Cool. But …

    The Tax Club began in Utah in 2008 and expanded to comprise at least 12 entities doing business under a dozen names. It operated out the 60th floor of the Empire State Building in New York.

    No that’s wrong. Here’s an :: already in New York … lawsuit against The Tax Club that covers a period from 2005 to 2008 …

    http://saltydroid.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Employees-v-The-Tax-Club.pdf

    Attorneys general in two states — Ohio and Wisconsin, though not in Utah — joined the FTC in filing the complaint.

    Or was it New York and Florida? Their names were first on the lawsuit :: in all caps … is what makes me suspect them.

    Ohio and Indiana did just move against a couple of other Utah operations that the Utah press has refused to cover for more than a decade though.

    Just a couple of things I could have mentioned to The Deseret News’ Dennis Romboy privately if he would return my emails. But he won’t … so I guess public corrections it is.

    1. @Jack ::

      I found a video lingering around on that site :: this The Tax Club testimonial …

      http://youtu.be/c3BrcFljfNg

      It makes me a sad robot.

      Here’s John’s website …

      http://www.ourfishingboat.com/

      Success?

      Thanks for spending your career serving in our Navy John :: I know that to be a life full of sacrifice … as a little token of our thanks we’ll let a bunch of bastards fuck you over while the rest of us pretend it’s not happening.

      1. @SD,

        The biggest challenge to achieving scamworld destruction is the passive complicity of the large financial institutions: in particular the credit card companies that are supposed to protect the consumer.

        The passive complicity is nowhere better evidenced than by The Tax Club – $220 million in fraud – & how many customers asked for charges to be reversed? Very few, because of the heinous manipulative techniques and mechanisms used by the fraudsters to keep victims from doing so… ‘because it is the victims fault’, being the main one.

        The credit card company will say that they can do nothing unless the victim complains. And the credit card companies gleefully allow fraudsters with no ethics and worse reputations to set up as many credit card merchant accounts with as many new companies as they wish.

        The credit card companies could try a little harder when they vet new accounts for their merchant services, and vet the actual activities of the services concerned. Or just try a little. But it seems that they don’t give a fuck.

        But they should.

        The shameful sadness of http://www.ourfishingboat.com/ and the confidence trickster coned Navy vet – vulnerable because he is older, and valuable because he has retirement funds – highlights the issue so clearly. A bloodsucker injects an anaesthetic into the blood of the victim, so the victim does not feel it, and does not realise his/her blood is being taken, until there is a raw sore, and the parasite has crawled or flown away.

        The range of psychological anaesthetic trickeries that these fraudsters use against their victims is powerful and complex, and it is not only the elderly or psychologically vulnerable who fall prey – though these are their ideal targets.

        The credit card companies should be made to return every cent of the $220 million – as they are complicit in the crime. It would help them put in place some better processes to weed out the fraudsters some time before they have created the misery and the wreckage that $220 million of fraud on a personal level means.

        Plus – Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. etc. should do some thinking, and take some more effective actions themselves.

          1. @pigs trotters,

            Point understood: Why should anyone take action about credit card companies running merchant account for criminals when the US government takes action equivalent to slapped wrists in retribution for serious harm by large banks causing wrong doing, such as trillions in corrput transactions for criminal organisations?

            Agreed. But one bad does not and should not excuse another. There are honest people in all of these organisations – they need more of a voice, and more power – and then it would no longer be a pipe dream.

            I heard a slant on the HSBC story on the weekend:

            (a) the accusations were extraordinary and untrue
            (b) from a game perspective, it was cheaper to pay the bill rather than fight it, and risk having the banking license revoked
            (c) many US banks have really funded the drugs cartels, money laundering, etc. – but have not had charges raised because, being US institutions, they are protected against it by internal US govt stake holders in those same internal banks.

            Of course (a) and (b) is what HSBC would say.

            Re: (c) It is probably true to say that US banks – Vampire Squids down to the local retail banks, are similarily or more guilty than HSBC, in terms of the harm they have done, but just are not prosecuted, as they are US institutions.

            Even more so – after Lehmans crash, Goldmans took advantage of Government available liquidity 100 times in a single year, to keep itself solvent. Not just not prosecuted, the big bad US monster banks are actively financed by the US Government, and the US tax payer – in spite of their wrongdoing.

  6. Finally justice prevails we have assisted victims of the tax club practices for years.We understand the true facts of what the deception,fraud and scams they have performed on innocent consumers.Most of these consumers were elderly we have clients as old 97 many handicapped.We even have a victim legally blind with not owning a computer yet was sold an on line business.We have witnessed first hand clients of Scammer Guard and victims of the tax club and there affiliate company’s been hospitalized,for heart attacks strokes and some time death.Unfortunately we have people who have attempted suicide because of the aftermath of destruction that the tax club had caused due to there unethical business practices and false promises.
    So justice finally prevails and hopefully criminal charges are filed against every person responsible for this outrageous ongoing fraudulent attack on innocent consumers mostly the elderly who had been also subjected to fear due to tax club tactics.
    I personally would like to know where the tax club attorney Joseph Sancrainte falls in all this the same guy who likes to harass and threaten people and gives seminars on proper business practices he should be disbarred immediately and if any criminal charges are handed out well he should be one of those to receive just that.
    Again its a good day and justice prevails.
    Frank Esposito
    CEO
    Scammer Guard

    1. @scammer guard,

      http://getoutofdebt.org/35430/scammer-guard-winds-up-knowing-the-wrong-end-of-the-attorney-general

      http://www.sunshineslate.com/2012/01/30/scammer-guard-sued-flag/

      http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/delray-firm-sued-by-attorney-general/nL3Zq/

      http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-03-10/news/fl-scammer-guard-20120310_1_fraud-victims-upfront-fees-consumer-protection

      “One elderly customer was the 73-year-old mother of Akron, Ohio, resident Hank Schueler. Schueler said his mother paid the company at least $7,000 before her family realized she was suffering from the early stages of dementia.

      Even though he has been appointed his mother’s legal guardian, Schueler said Scammer Guard and Esposito have refused to detail what services they provided his mother or give back the documents she gave them.

      “The thing that really was the biggest red flag to me was (Scammer Guard) contacted her,” said Schueler, who filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. “This wasn’t something she found. (Scammer Guard) found her.”

      …sounds like it is true, and if true then

      “@scammer guard” is really a very evil “@scammer”

    2. @scammer guard,

      * Your comment on this site is not worded very well. Your writing style is that typically used by very small-time folks who want to cast great big shadows. I’m pretty sure that trick has worked on this site exactly 0 times even though it has been tried many, many times.

      * Your website is not well designed and/or is not managed well. More specifically:

      a) the Members page is one of the most cryptic I’ve seen in a while http://scammerguard.com/blogs/our-services/members-only/ It just reads “Members Page” and just has a lonely text box with an Enter button on it… so empty…
      b) On your main page, there’s a poorly built link “Get More Info”. But when you click it, it just goes to a page that says “Nothing found!”

      * One of your “services” is “Recovery Services”. I’m skeptical. My understanding of these matters, and this is partly based on personal experience, is that a person’s best bet is to 1) try to contact the company directly 2) give up on that and contact their bank, credit union, or credit card company to arrange a charge-back, and then if the person feels like they were really messed over also contact the FTC, and all the other orgs listed here: http://saltydroid.info/complaints/ (Although these days I’m not sure if I’d make contacting the BBB a high priority. Maybe do that one last. And while you’re at it, you might also want to report the BBB to themselves since they have been known to do that pesky pay-for-play thing as well.)

      * The other of your “services” that you say you do is “Scam Protection”. Well, if the article @Random stuff linked to above is any indication, you could help out your perspective customers on the “Scam Protection” side by ceasing to exist. I mean–doncha think it’s a bit of a problem for a Scam Protection service to be “On the Wrong Side” of an Attorney General?

      * By all indications (phone number, logos on your site, and the problems-with-your-AG article), you appear to be based on FL. And you have a tab on your site just for “Veterans and Seniors”. So I can understand how this saltydroid article might have popped up on your radar and it might have seemed like a good idea to comment here to drive traffic to your site. But I don’t think it was a good idea.

      From http://scammerguard.com/blogs/veterans-and-seniors/

      Scammer Guard is the ultimate in scam protection for military veterans, seniors and their families! Our company will assist you you in the protection from unethical business practices, conterfeit [sic] claims and fraudulent activity or false promises.

      Is that a promise?


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

    3. @scammer guard ::

      Go fuck yourself weasel.

      I dare you :: I FUCKING DARE YOU … to leave another comment on this site.

    4. I didn’t know any of this was going on I was looking up the tax club because I might move back to that area and I used to work for their sister company, hand and hand with the tax club I am shocked but with the stuff I was told to do at work everyday I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised. You see I was an article specialist and completed and filed all the forms to incorporate in Nevada as a resident agent. I know a lot of illegal things were done and how, I guess I’m more surprised I was never contacted or questioned as I worked for them for a couple years and set up hundreds of entities for them…

  7. Could be wrong but, I wouldn’t be surprised if the IRS decided to take another look at the returns filed over the past few years by Tax Club members.

    Some of these people might be in for an extremely unpleasant surprise … or perhaps I should say one more unpleasant surprise.

  8. I just wish the Elevation Group would have been able to sell leads to the Tax Club before this went down. That way Mike Dillard and I would be able laugh even harder at you pathetic suckers.

  9. OMG guys, you remember Empower Network, right? Check out this parody it’s fucking hilarious!

    1. @Dr. Evil Lives ::

      OMG :: is it highlarious … or is it Jamie Lewis?

      It’s fucking pathetic is what it is … as Jamie is without even the slightest inkling of what makes something funny.

      1. @SD,

        It’s fucking pathetic is what it is … as Jamie is without even the slightest inkling of what makes something funny.

        Since comedy is one of my most favorite things, in spite of the fact that it’s Jamie, and in spite of you saying it’s not funny, I gave the video the benefit of the doubt and watched the whole thing.

        It’s not funny. It’s epic lame. It was almost funny for half a second with the “Costa Rican drug trade” reference. But it should’ve stopped right about there. Instead, much like this comment I’m laboriously writing, the fucking thing just kept on going. It lost all humor-value and became “paralyzingly dull, boring, and tedious.”

        If it weren’t for all my years of practice watching MST3K eps, I don’t think I would’ve been able to make it through the full 8min 24sec of lame hitting me in the face.

        ———
        @Dr. Evil Lives

        But what’s interesting to me is the armchair psychologist question:
        Why would Jamie make this video in the first place?
        I can only imagine it’s that he sees himself as being somehow different from (and better than) the people he (failingly attempts) to parody. That’s really fascinating to me. That Jamie Lewis could have such a horribly distorted self-image as all that.

        And you’re, what, a petty thief with delusions standing?

        River Tam

        But, of course, that’s just my opinion. And I’ve never even come close to having a psych degree ever in any case.


        Furry cows moo and decompress.

    2. @Dr. Evil Lives, Apparently it seems even a randomly-remixed 40 sec scene from Silver Spoons is tremedously more the hilarity than any Jamie Lewisness. Watch and learn!

  10. It’s “nice” that Tedd Johnson changed his Twitter profile pic so that his kids faces are no longer embeded into my site.

    Why don’t you take down all the pics you’ve posted of them on Twitter too Tedd?

    https://twitter.com/teddj

    Quit hiding behind their humanity you soulless lump of shit. It was bad enough before :: but now you’re a proper fucking disgrace … so man up and get them out of it.

    1. @SD,

      I heard Edward (Tedd aka Ted)Johnson is taking a trip down to his ranch with a couple of “buddies” to lay low and kill some animals…

      He must need some quite time to work on his new project http://www.income.com

      I wonder how much the government will sell his ranch for?

      http://www.peartreegameranch.com/

      Interesting to see his picture along with Graziosi (one of The Tax Club’s main lead sources) right on the homepage…

  11. Wow Salty, you have brought back some very fond memories for me. Way back in 2005, I had the joy of being financially raped by these scumbags. The memory is a bit fuzzy, but luckily sometime in 2007 I decided to type up a summary seeking refunds for all services offered from the multiple companies that gang raped me. It has some personally identifiable info that I need to take out, but I’ll send it to you after that if you’d like. To think it all started with a shitty little E-course from Robert Allen and friends. From him, to Prosper, to The Tax Club, to MPG Bookkeeping, to Advantage Corporation.

    1. I worked for advantage corporation for a couple years and set up hundreds of entities I know quite a bit about how things were done. I didnt know all this was going on and well with what I know I’m glad it’s being handled @mc I hope your claim was righted… Wow is all I can say.

      1. @RT, the Utah GOP political machine is definitely in damage control mode right now and who knows if there is any seriousness to these calls for ethics reform. I’m not sure if the Democrats in Utah have enough muscle to pull it off considering they are greatly outnumbered…Alas the Utah Telemarketing machine with its political cronies keep marching on.

      2. @RT,

        The Trib’s article isn’t so sympathetic to Johnson, and it tells us:

        Senators meeting in a closed caucus last week expressed concerns about Swallow’s behavior and briefly discussed how the impeachment process works in Utah, but agreed to await the outcome of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

        State senators received a memo this week from the Legislature’s general counsel, John Fellows, outlining the process for impeaching an official — information Republican senators requested following their caucus.

  12. For replacing the other video that fell off of YouTube:

    The Tax Club segment on John Stossel’s big Inconvenient Taxes show from Fox:

        1. @Infodonor, Now, approximately ALL CPA networks need to get pulled in for running the hundreds/thousands of Utah-Boiler-Room lead-generations.

        2. @Infodonor,

          From the business week article… “Her credit-card company wouldn’t void the charges because she had approved the purchases online, she says.”

          Credit card companies will only protect a consumer if they have been scammed off line? Amazing. Anyone seen that clause in credit card company terms and conditions? Credit card companies are really part of the problem – in bed with the pernicious, from Scientology downward.

  13. @Random stuff,

    Credit card companies are definitely part of the problem. I’m not sure about the CC Co. not refunding b/c it was online though. I would want to know more of the details on that.

    AFAIK, generally it doesn’t matter if it’s an online transaction or not. If you strenuously dispute the charge *very soon after it appears*, the CC Co. will usually do the charge-back that you request. My bank had me FAX them a note saying I disputed the charge, etc.

    In the article, that person’s experience may have been different for any number of reasons.

    1. @Crazy Utah,

      From the article:

      Johnson balked Monday evening, however, saying he was upset that the audio was coming out.

      “I have refused to give that to anyone,” Johnson said in a text message, “and I am upset that someone who had access to it released it without my permission.”

      Lol. Oh come on, JJ, you had a good little ride there taking a lot of money from a lot of people and giving them nothing but heartache and misery in return! And you (apparently) wanted to hurt Swallow. I think maybe if the audio is out, you should just chill. Maybe try signing a consent decree with the FTC like all the other scammers do. Except it’s probably a bit too late for that by now.


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

    2. @Crazy Utah,

      (listening to the audio, so far 18 min in:)
      Message to Swallow: You need to stop (intentionally) confusing “wrong” with “illegal”. They are different things. You also need to stop pretending that you care about whether something is wrong. You don’t. If you did, you wouldn’t ever have had such a long standing close relationship with Jeremy Johnson or any other “businessman”.


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

      1. @Jack,

        I felt that, true to form for a politician, John said a lot on that tape without really saying very much. John exhibited the typical faulty memory politicians are so well known for. It’s like: I really don’t think John had any inkling he was being recorded, but he went out of his way to not confirm things that JJ said John said previously in emails. (political instinct, I guess)

        I have a suspicion that part of JJ’s purpose was to try to get John on record for the Reid thing and for whatever it was with the processing poker transactions thing. That didn’t seem to go very well. But John’s preoccupation with trying not to appear guilty, combined with the fact that he met with JJ, and has apparently had numerous dealings with JJ in the past, sure makes John look guilty.


        Furry cows moo and decompress.

      2. @Jack,

        I love it.. Drug Dealers and criminals get Burner Phones from Wal Mart! WOWZERS! What a dirt ball.

        What a great song!!! Seriously the AG is holding meetings like this in a Krispy Kreme Donut shop? IS this shit for real? Damn they would sellout their sister and not blink an eye.

        1. @Crazy Utah,

          JJ maybe, but as for John Swallow.. I think if the AG Swallow were to sellout his sister (if he has one), he would blink a lot.. and nervously. And he’d stammer and try to figure a way to make the case that selling out his sister wasn’t illegal.

          I kinda hate to go here.. but what the hell.. a morality lesson (which I take very seriously) for Mr. John Swallow from the devil himself, Lucas Buck:
          (links preserved to be nice and reference the source and stuff)

          American Gothic (1995-1996): Episode: Learning to Crawl:

          Lucas: “Let me tell you why Half-Ted here is a failure. You know what a conscience is?”
          Caleb: “It’s like when you do something wrong and it bothers you?”
          Lucas: “Well, not me. But see, Half-Ted here has half a conscience. A man with a real conscience never would have gotten himself into this pickle. And a man with no conscience would have killed us all and be in Florida already.”
          Caleb: “So you’re saying that Ted’s not a bad man?”
          Lucas: “I’m not talking about good or bad, son. I’m talking about survival. Whole. Half. Half is nowhere. Half is… half.”
          Caleb: “You’ve got to take it all the way.”
          Lucas: “That’s right. Half-Ted, you’re a lousy shot.”
          Submitted By TheCabinet

          Leave the serial scamming to the sociopaths. There’s no way to cut the baby in half and also be good.


          Furry cows moo and decompress.

    3. @Crazy Utah ::

      Wow.

      That was amazing and scary :: and also … scary.

      Scariest part … Swallow is a fucking idiot. JJ’s so comfortable … Swallow is squirming around … only talking about himself … asking JJ legal questions for fuck sake!

      Hey John :: after you’ve resigned in disgrace … lost your license … and taken a plea … you might oughta avoid talking to slick salesman on the phone offering you an opportunity at a whole new life. Apparently you’re susceptible.

      Maybe just get a Walmart phone … they’ll never call you there.

  14. yup, that’s right… I am a former employee of TTC. The worst part of it is that we all got ripped off too. Today half of the workers got laid off. Yes. We were coming to work every day, working as we were supposed to and being fed up with lies how legitimate the company is. And today innocent people had to pay for sins of sales reps. Thank you, TTC.

    1. @former employee,

      Holy Fuckamoly!! Wow, seriously??? I can’t speak for you personally, but all the employees I’ve ever came into contact with there were complete retarded scumbags, and not just the sales people. Then again, that might be a compliment to some of them. Those accountants or “tax professionals”, didn’t know their ass from their elbow. I spent more time fixing their stupid mistakes than they did preparing my returns. Innocent people… maybe if they were company janitors. There were 2 times in my life that I was hired by a company that later built up suspicion on their ethics, and I quit them both. I have no sympathy for those who try to make themselves out to be innocent victims of an organization where most of the people who worked there knew way beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they were ripping people off and victimizing the real innocent people.

    2. @former employee ::

      Well :: maybe if you think about it a little more now that it’s over … you’ll decide that the employees getting ripped off isn’t the “worst part.”

      I’d say the worst part of boiler rooms is:

      1) Suicides
      2) Breaking up marriages/families

      … just to name a couple of real doozies.

      And it wasn’t the “sins of the sales reps” that was the problem. The whole thing is a huge fucking fraud … built from the ground up to be a huge fucking fraud. “The sales reps are out of control” is a propaganda/manipulation technique used in almost all boiler rooms to keep the support staff quiet … and accepting their blood money paychecks.

      That said :: yeah … I’m sure you got totally screwed over and exploited while useless idiots like Savage and Johnson were funneling tens of millions into their personal bank accounts.

    1. @infodonor,

      Sadly, on past performance the judiciary is just as likely to go after and prosecute the guys who blew the whistle on Swallow as impeach him for wrondoing.

      I guess there’s always that ‘hopey changey’ thing to cling onto though.

      1. @pigs trotters,

        http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55765885-78/swallow-johnson-says-reid.html.csp

        Best question award:

        “Emily Chiang, an associate professor of law at the University of Utah who teaches ethics, says an overarching question — beyond any exchanges in the transcript — is why a top law enforcement official would meet with someone under indictment.”

        Worst quote award:

        “I have said from the beginning that there are things that in hindsight I would have done differently,” Swallow reaffirmed in a statement released Tuesday. “To ensure this never happens to me or anyone else, I have also instituted policies in the Attorney General’s Office to make sure the highest standards are followed.”

    1. @LONGLIVE_TTC, your celebration sounds like a premature ejaculation to me…

      An FTC lawsuit is not something that just goes away. I would suggest eating a piece of humble berry pie with a tall glass of shit your pants.

      It might take a couple of years for all of TTC skeletons to come out of the closet in addition to some settlement talks with the FTC but soon enough the hammer is coming down the real question is who from TTC is going to be under the hammer when it hits.

      Learn to read the writing or in this case the writ on the wall.

      Peace sucka.

    1. @Daniel Kalahan, something is fishy about you…it doesnt match up with your Google+ where you say you got scammed for 26k??? Then i checked on the company and theyve only been open a few weeks. How do you know for sure its the same people? Pretty irresponsible of you. This isnt a joke…people realy got hurt by the tax club. Jerk.

      1. @Silly, I don’t know about how Top-Shelf-Marketing.com can have anything to do with Tax Club ideas, unless somehow it has to be related to the person here who talks about working for The Tax Club:
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/56079685@N07/8573156131/in/photostream

        But, probably it’s a different person with the same name who made his name into the Whois record for Top-Shelf-Marketing.com here:
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/56079685@N07/8573156121/in/photostream

        And also probably not the same person with the same name who made his ideas up on the IncredibleHultConsulting.com site with his friends that he called:
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/56079685@N07/8574248610/in/photostream

        It would be bad for us to make the same mistake and think he would do the same ideas of The Tax Club.

        1. @Jack,

          That’s good sleuthing.

          Also, now that I have had my attention drawn to it…

          “Top-Shelf-Marketing”!? Wtf kind of a name is that? It makes them sound like they’re a bag of groceries or something.

          “I returned a bag of groceries . . .”
          “I came back as a bag of groceries . . .”

          — They Might Be Giants

    2. @Daniel Kalahan,

      This post seemed fishy to me. The website is very new and amature-ish at best, as it has pages that are still unfinished, the design is choppy, no member login area, etc. To me it looked like someone was “link-dropping”, either to boost the appearance of traffic to a new site, or to gain SEO rankings. I do real SEO for companies, and have had clients who had links like this pointing to their sites, and quite a few visitors from them in analytics. Controversy breeds curiosity, but leaves the company high and dry in the end. Well, that’s my take. Has anyone tried calling the number on that site to see what, if any connection it might have to TTC or its group of companies?

      1. @JD, I think for most people who are going about doing thinking and other things like it the “the” is meant to be the figurative speech idea some people know about.

    3. @Daniel Kalahan, @Jack, I know for a fact that the CEO of Top Shelf Marketing is the same Ryan Hult that lead the sales floor at TTC. It is the same company. Everyone who got fired or left just moved to the TSM office in Clifton NJ. Their website exists at http://www.tsmlive.com as well as http://www.top-shelf-marketing.com and it’s the same crap that was going on at TTC.

        1. Yeah, Top Shelf Marketing is a New Jersey corporation with a registered agent in Utah. If you look at item 10 on page 4 of the Utah Telemarketing Permit Application Form (PDF), Utah telemarketers must have an in-state registered agent to qualify for a telemarketing permit.

          Does anybody have any other info on EBC? Hult’s LinkedIn title is now “Hi haters,” so I’m not putting too much stock in everything else in his profile. I browsed the New Jersey and New York corporation databases for EBC, but I’m not seeing any ties to Hult or Minetto. There is a New Jersey LLC registered 7/2013, but I don’t feel like paying for the report to see who’s behind it.

          @Mark, How are you making the connections between Top Shelf Marketing and Creative Business and between Creative Business and account recovery services?

  15. What’s the latest with The Tax Club? I noticed they stopped sending me their newsletter; the last one I received was in June 2013.

    They’ve been billing me the monthly $49.95 without fail!

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