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Salty Droid

Jessie’s Playbook

Jessie Conners Tieva is a scammer who’s spent most of the last ten years fronting for various Utah fraud operations. She’s a grinder–always out on the road, talking about doing things she’s never done. Jessie is one of the few scammers who I’ve had the pleasure of heckling in person. When we met in a half empty hotel conference room in Chicago six years ago, she was fronting for the Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad Poor Dad Utah-backed op.

This week Jessie and her husband Matt Tevia were busted by the FTC and the Minnesota Attorney General for operating a short-lived hustle called Sellers Playbook.

The Fake News should be running the headline:

Trump University “Professor” and Failed “Apprentice” Busted for Fraud

It’s great clickbait. The media lets perverse clickbait incentives dominate their important industry… but they still suck at clickbait! Jessie was one of Donald Trump’s “handpicked” Trump University instructors.

But the headlines I see are more localist:

The FTC’s press release headline reads:

“Get Rich Scheme” is derisive, and patronizing, to the victims of a coordinated manipulation scheme whose continuous operations span decades and require the complicity of people at the highest echelons of our society. The lawyers who worked on this complaint know these scammers are constantly saying things like: “If you want to get rich, we have a plan for that. But if you just want that extra little bit to help make life less scary, we also have a plan for that.”

From the text of the FTC’s statement:

Jessie Conners Tieva… previously promoted, sold and benefited from a similar scheme, known as FBA Stores, which ceased operation in March 2018 as a result of an FTC enforcement action.

Jessie Conners created an identical clone of an operation the FTC had shut down less than a year before. It was very stupid of her, and it necessitated this action.

The court appointed a receiver to take over the assets and operations of FBA Stores (the almost certain fate of Jessie’s current companies). One of the receiver’s reports to the court provided some details from a pile of victim complaints–many left unread–that were stashed in an unused office at FBA. Here’s a taste of the people who were trying to “get rich” in this scheme.

An elderly gentleman, age 87, sent a letter to Adam or Chris Bowser (Exhibit 43-11) stating that he and his wife, age 75, had attended FBA Stores meetings. “Both my wife and I attempted to make clear that our ages and personality caused us not to have the interest in being sellers of products. He assured us that the program being offered was not designed for us to ever need to actively participate in daily operations of selling on Amazon… We understood that FBA Stores have professional personal [sic] that do nothing all day but buy and find the items that will sell quickly on Amazon. Thus we did not need to worry about the money to pay for these items. We could charge them on our credit card and when the credit card statement came at the end of the month we would be able to pay for it with the profits from this merchandise that had already been sold. He impressed on us that this was a wonderful way to augment our Social Security.”


A letter (Exhibit 43-8) to Adam Bowser from a couple who were not “looking for riches, just being of retirement age some supplement” states they spent $54,900 on the Diamond and Master programs. They were assured the reasonableness of reaching a $3,000-$5,000 net revenue goal and “mortgaged our home.”

Jessie Conners Tieva can sympathize, as she told a local newspaper in response to the allegations:

There are some people out there who think they can get the world handed to them and not work for anything.