The Kingpins10 Jun 2018 :: by Jason Jones :: Comments
You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney–and obviously you cannot–then screw you.
That’s how the law “works” for real people. The system is built for, and run by, powerful synthetic people. Corporations, cartels, partnerships, shells, professional associations, unions, and government agencies are “the people”–the people are the pawns.
When Herbalife needs lawyers to fight off fraud claims, they get to pick from the biggest and the bestest. It makes no difference that their business model is a blatant deception bringing about a humanitarian crisis. Members of the legal monopoly don’t have to care about petty triflings like morality. Herbalife’s got the cash to put up a huge retainer–and to pay legal bills larger than the operating budgets of most companies–so the “best” lawyers and law firms are immediately available to them… less than no questions asked.
Boies, Schiller & Flexner
David Boies has done some famous stuff. Like losing to Ted Olson in Bush vs. Gore and then later fightting for gay marriage with Ted Olson at his side. More recently he’s famous for representing the New York Times while also representing Harvey Weinstein in his efforts to silence the Times-driven exposure of what everyone relevant already knew to be the truth about Harvey.
Boies, Schiller & Flexner enters our story in 2007 when, in a surprising move, the firm brought a class action against the mother of my dragons… Amway.
Here’s the first paragraph of their Pokorny vs. [Amway] class action complaint:
“This is an action to recover damages caused by defendants’ operation of a pyramid scheme. This pyramid scheme is fraudulent because in induces individuals to invest in products and marketing tools and to recruit new victims into the scheme with the false promise of enormous profits. The pyramid scheme here consists of two separate but related businesses: [Amway], a multilevel marketing business, and the “Kingpins Corporations,” which are a group of businesses that sell purported motivational materials and services to distributors of [Amway’s] products. New entrants into the pyramid scheme are effectively required to invest money to buy products from [Amway] and “tools and functions” from the “Kingpin Corporations.”
The complaint showed a well above average understanding of how America’s massive MLM frauds operate.
Amway tried to compel arbitration, but courts thought Amway’s contract was too much crap and refused to enforce its unconscionable arbitration provisions.
Four years into the litigation–but well before a goddamn thing had happened–the parties agreed to settlement terms that were good for everyone but the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives had been ruined by Amway’s fraud. The court rejected the settlement and sent the parties back to their collusive bargaining table.
The Court first notes that many of the hallmarks of collusive unfairness are present in this Settlement Agreement. Defendants agree to not oppose an attorneys’ fees motion by Plaintiffs’ counsel for as much as $20 million. If the Settlement and the contemplated motion for attorneys’ fees are approved, nearly two-thirds of the $35 million Cash Fund would be awarded to Plaintiffs’ counsel.
The court later approved an equivalent settlement in which Boies, Schiller & Flexner took slightly less of slightly more. Nearly ten years of damage done by the world’s largest MLM fully paid off for a measly $55 million. That’s less than 1% of Amway’s reported 2017 revenue.
While the ink was still drying on this court approved consumer apocalypse, Fox Business reported that Boies, Schiller & Flexner had accepted a “significant eight-figure retainer” to represent Herbalife in their troubles with the truth. The firm’s newsletter announced their prestigious new client thusly:
Herbalife has engaged Boies, Schiller & Flexner in one of the most closely watched disputes in the financial world this year. BSF represents Herbalife, Ltd., a leading global nutrition company, publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Herbalife is a member of the Direct Selling Association, a group of companies that sell products directly to consumers through independent distributors.
Herbalife denies Ackman’s allegations and has hired the Firm to advise on a variety of issues related to Ackman’s statements. Herbalife has repeatedly stated and demonstrated that it sells product not only to consumers unaffiliated with Herbalife, but also to its own distributors who themselves consume Herbalife products.
But Herbalife was never really going to fight Ackman… they just wanted to troll him. So instead of providing legal counsel in a closely watched battle between Wall Street heavyweights; Boies, Schiller & Flexner represented Herbalife in a lopsided battle against their powerless victims.
Numerous parties objected to the Boies, Schiller & Flexner negotiated settlement in the Bostick vs. Herbalife class action, including:
- Truth in Advertising
- National Consumers League
- 18 Herbalife victims represented by Doug Brooks (part of the drama captured in the documentary “Betting on Zero”)
According to an analysis of the final outcome done by Truth in Advertising, the majority of the tiny percentage of total victims who bothered to file a claim received just $20 in compensation.
Boies, Schiller & Flexner took what they learned in the Amway case and immediately used it against the American consumer. And whichever side they represented–consumers lost.
Who are the real “Kingpins” of this underworld? Is it the high-level distribs on the weekend-to-weekend airport grind? Or is it the lawyers, the bankers, and the billionaire backers?
I’m only asking the questions because I already know the answers.