EFUSJON: Is Efusjon Energy Club a Pyramid Scam?
November 23, 2009
According to the efusjon website: “efusjon energy club products offer remarkable taste, pack tremendous energy and deliver health and vitality! …Made from 100% all-natural ingredients and with no preservatives or additives, efusjon’s energy drinks give you a rich, smooth flavor you can enjoy anytime – completely guilt-free.”
efusjon is more than a drink… it’s a business opportunity. Says the efusjon website: “Not only does efusjon energy club offer the healthiest energy drinks available anywhere, but we also provide you with a unique opportunity to make a serious income! When you become an efusjon energy club Associate, you become part of the most unique compensation structure in the network marketing industry. Our revolutionary new system rewards you not only for the efforts of you and your organization, but even for sales in other people’s organizations! It’s part of the efusjon energy club’s ‘share the wealth’ philosophy that’s a win-win for everyone!”
However, a class action lawsuit has another term for the efusjon energy club’s ‘share the wealth’ philosophy: An illegal pyramid scheme. According to the COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL of LAUREL COOK, on behalf of herself, those similarly situated, and the general public, Plaintiffs, v. EFUSJON, INC., a Nevada corporation; ROBERT TOWLES; R. S. EDWARDS; KEITH DILLON; AARON CALLAHAN; KATHY HUMPHREYS; KENNY GILMORE; MARC SHARPE; KEN VANDER KAMP; and DOES 1-300, inclusive, Defendants filed in the SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, NORTH COUNTY DIVISION dated November 20, 2009:
Efusjon, Inc. (“efusjon”), a Nevada corporation, sells efusjon’s energy drinks to distributors through a pyramid scheme disguised as a multi-level marketing program. The efusjon pyramid scheme is fraudulent because it induces individuals to invest in products and to recruit new victims into the scheme with the false promise of enormous profits. Completely contrary to the law, efusjon forces its distributors to make purchases and then conveniently considers those purchases as “sales” to meet its legal obligations of accruing retail sales.
New entrants into the pyramid scheme are effectively required to invest approximately $170 per month to buy products from efusjon in order to stay qualified and be compensated under the scheme. Because efusjon distributors essentially do not sell products to consumers who are not also distributors, they obtain returns on their investment in the efusjon program only by recruiting new distributors who will then buy products (and recruit more distributors who will buy products), which purchases result in “bonuses” to the recruiting distributor. The efusjon pyramid scheme is a prototypical one, purportedly formed as a multilevel marketing (MLM) system, with rules and regulations which are drafted solely as a pretense, which are not enforced, and which have no substance in the operation of the business.
In the section of the complaint titled “Nature of Classic, Illegal Pyramid Schemes,” the Plaintiffs allege:
“An illegal pyramid scheme is characterized by the payment of money to a company in exchange for: a) the right to sell a product, and b) the right to receive rewards for recruiting others to join the scheme, independent from the sale of products to the ultimate users… Essentially, participants are duped into believing they are buying into a legitimate business opportunity to sell a product but, in reality, the profits are derived almost solely from money advanced by new recruits inducted into the scheme. In efusjon’s case, the new recruits are under exorbitant pressure to “get their three” and purchase the requisite amount of product for personal use, not for resale… Since the financial incentives require distributors to focus on enrolling new participants in the matrix, the sole way to make money is for the Executive Associates to continually recruit new distributors who are also willing to buy and self-consume, inventory load, discard, or give away the efusjon products. There is no incentive to make outside retail sales. This fact alone renders efusjon a classic recruitment pyramid scheme.”
DOCUMENT (PDF): 22852924-COOK-v-EFUSJON
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