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Trek Alliance Alleged Pyramid Activities Halted By FTC Court Action

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Deceptive multi-level marketing practices by Trek Alliance are barred under a temporary restraining order issued Dec. 9 by Los Angeles federal court, the Federal Trade Commission announced

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Equinox International

Supplement marketer agrees to pay an estimated $40 mil. to settle charges by FTC and eight states that the firm was run as a pyramid scheme, the commission announces April 25. FTC contended Las Vegas-based Equinox, its affiliates Advanced Marketing Seminars and BG Management, and their principal, William Gouldd, "operated an illegal pyramid scheme, made deceptive earnings claims and provided distributors with the means and instrumentalities to violate federal law"; numerous state law infractions also were alleged. While Gouldd and Equinox admit no wrongdoing, corporate and individual assets valued at about $40 mil. will be liquidated and distributed among injured parties. Gouldd is subject to a lifetime ban from multi-level marketing activities. The settlement follows an FTC-requested temporary restraining order levied against the company by a Las Vegas federal court in August (1"The Tan Sheet" Aug. 16, 1999, p. 11)

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