Chain Gifting from the "Cash Mentoring Team" - Julie Wilson and Paul Stevenson
I was introduced to this cash gifting scheme by somebody I will not name. This person took it upon himself to email me and a handful of other people. He was urging us to listen in on a live teleseminar held on the 22nd May 2008.
In his introduction email he said:
"Before you listen in though, you need to spend 15 minutes on this website www.passivemoneyplan.info"
(Update 11/06/08: This week the site has been changed to bigbankbalance.info)
I checked out the site which is basically a poorly-designed pitch page for a cash gifting scheme called the "Number One Success System" or "NOSS" for short.
The passivemoneyplan.info domain masks another site with the address "UKMentor.net". This site is owned by Paul Stevenson and was registered as such until mid May when he added privacy protection to the registration details.
The introduction audio on the site is made by "Julie from Scotland" and those who know her will recognise the voice immediately as Julie Wilson of Inverness.
Julie is very well known for promoting a number of different "1-Up" schemes over the last few years - this is the latest in a long line.
In 2006 she was extremely busy promoting a pyramid scheme known as the Prosperity Automated System.
That pyramid scheme collapsed when the SEC stepped in to halt proceedings in America. Shortly before it collapsed one of the main promoters made a statement claiming that around 80% of the membership had never made a penny from PAS.
This time around Julie has teamed up with Paul Stevenson who claims to live in Plymouth, according to one teleseminar he participated in. Paul's site UKMentor.net is registered using his name and a residential address in Brighton.
Together they are calling themselves the "Cash Mentoring Team".
Cash Gifting (aka Chain Gifting) Explained
The idea of cash gifting is that you send a sum of money, in the case of noss123.com up to $3,500, to an existing member of the scheme. This allows you to become a member and to also receive cash gifts. You must also send $120 to an address in Hawaii for "administrative" purposes, this is a yearly fee.
After you have made this first gift, you then have to introduce another person into the scheme in order to get "qualified". The money this person sends in is passed to the person who introduced you.
Once you have paid $3,500 and then convinced somebody else to pay $3,500 you are then said to be "qualified". This means that you are now allowed to accept cash gifts from anyone you introduce.
Most sensible people will immediately see the glaring problem with this type of activity.
Let me explain...
In order to join, you must pay out $3,620 ($3,500 plus $120 admin fees). So, immediately, you are $3,620 down, before any other incidental costs (postage, advertising etc).
Assuming you can persuade another prospect to join, they then send $3,500 to somebody else. You are now qualified although still $3,620 out of pocket.
Next you need to find a second person and persuade them to join. Because you are now deemed to be "qualified", you receive all $3,500 of their money. You are now $120 down.
If you can find a third person to join under you, you can finally get into profit. They send $3,500 to you and you are $3,380 in profit (minus, of course, any other costs you incurred during the process of finding and convincing 3 people to join).
Can you see the problem with cash gifting?
It's simple - any one member who joins is required to bring in at least 3 other people in order to make a profit.
So each of those 3 people need to bring in another 3 people, and each of those then needs to find 3 new members and so on. Each level becomes much larger than the one before it.
Drawn on a piece of paper, it starts to look remarkably like a pyramid:
And so on.
So, is it a Pyramid Scheme?
Julie Wilson doesn't actually commit to giving an answer on whether noss123.com is or isn't a pyramid scheme. Rather bizarrely she instead chooses to describe in detail about how she thinks that big companies are pyramids.
Speaking on the 29th May 2008 she said:
"... every week near enough on these teleseminars somebody asks a question of us, is this a pyramid scheme?"
She then continues:
"Now the thing is that almost everyone who asks that question does not actually know what a pyramid scheme is... Well a pyramid has got a top, I donít think anybody is going to argue with that, and as it progresses down it gets wider and there is a hierarchy of people in that pyramid with those at the bottom serving those above them who serve those above them and so on... the higher up you are in the pyramid you are, the more important you are and generally the more money you make. And the more money you make off the efforts of those people lower down in the pyramid. Now, an example of this would be a company or an corporation so take for example Tesco in the United Kingdom or Walmart in the United States."
Very non-commital I think you would agree - Julie pretty much avoids answering the question.
Contrast her so-called explanation with this definition from Wordnet:
a fraudulent scheme in which people are recruited to make payments to the person who recruited them while expecting to receive payments from the persons they recruit; when the number of new recruits fails to sustain the hierarchical payment structure the scheme collapses with most of the participants losing the money they put in"
(Source: pyramid scheme. Dictionary.com. WordNet 3.0. Princeton University.
(accessed: June 04, 2008))
In my opinion the definition from Wordnet describes the Number One Success System exactly. The only source of money is from people who are recruited underneath existing members.
Is cash gifting legal in the UK?
On the 8th May 2008, Julie was asked by a listener:
"there is no product or service is this purely accepted as a legal form of business to conduct in the United Kingdom?"
Her answer was as follows:
"As far as being legal, well first of all it absolutely is... we operate within very strict guidelines. This organisation is in its 8th year. Itís been running for almost eight years and in no way do we operate out with the law or do anything thatís illegal."
Paul Stevenson also added to Julie's answer:
"Our particular deal, our activity is not based in the UK. Itís totally outside of the control of the UK authorities and therefore I donít think there are any issues whatsoever in what we are doing and as many people who know me I actually rang the Inland Revenue the day I joined before I joined to qualify and quantify a couple of points but I donít want to dwell on that."
I wasn't so sure about this so I asked somebody who would know - the Gambling Commission at http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk.
I received a reply which said:
"I can confirm that under the Gambling Act 2005 it is unlawful to promote a chain-gift scheme."
Not manage, organise or run but PROMOTE.
Anyone promoting a cash gifting scheme in the UK is breaking the law.
You can read the exact law here:
The important part reads:
"A person commits an offence if he-
(a) invites another to join a chain-gift scheme, or
(b) knowingly participates in the promotion, administration or management of a chain-gift scheme."
The person who originally emailed me about Julie Wilson and Paul Stevenson's website committed an offence by inviting me to join a chain gifting scheme.
Anyone who is actively inviting people to join noss123.com in the UK is committing an offence.
The punishment in England or Wales is a large fine (I believe up to £5,000) and/or up to 51 weeks in jail. In Scotland and Northern Ireland the maximum jail time is slightly less at 6 months although the fine is the same.
More than anything else I have ever covered on this website, please, please, please AVOID cash gifting aka chain gifting schemes.
passivemoneyplan.info - Cash Gifting Scheme From Julie Wilson
passivemoneyplan.info From Julie Wilson and Paul Stevenson
Julie Wilsonís passivemoneyplan.info is now bigbankbalance.info
The Overnight Cash System by Simon Johansson and Orlando Batista