Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

"Buy 1 for yourself and get the chance to sell your friends and family 5 and get your downline started!" We examine the multi-level marketing industry, where only the people who come up with the ideas make any money, and everybody else is left unhappy, broke, and tired of reading scripts and selling overpriced vitamins and similarly worthless products. Includes Global Prosperity, Pinnacle Quest International, IRS Codebusters, Stratia, and other new Global Prosperity scams.

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Postby wserra » Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:09 pm

CaptainKickback wrote:Guys, isn't Barry Minkow the guy who ran the ZZZZ Best Carpet Cleaning scam when he was in his late teens?


Yep.

Did everyone forget how badly he ripped people off running that little scam?


Nope.

And is anyone really surprised he is involved in another crooked deal and possibly shorting the stock? Please.....


Whatever his personal involvement, he did his homework on USANA - as he has on other scams. Remember Nu-Way Christian Ministries? So check out the reports linked in the other posts to this thread. His lack of personal credibility doesn't affect the proof that USANA is a scam.

It's too bad, though.
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Minkow

Postby michaelwebsterlaw » Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:03 pm

I think that Minkow has great credibility, on this issue and other fraud cases.

I am not a big fan of instant rehabilitation, but it has been 20 years since his stock fraud.

He will always have the fraud in his background, but the FBI has been using him for years to train their investigators.

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Postby wserra » Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:08 pm

An interesting USANA flier from New Zealand.

Note the following promises, concerning what you'll get from attending their rally:
You'll learn about some major causes of today's diseases (like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke) - and what you can do to reduce their impact on your health.
Now, I'm sure that they mean that they'll tell you about wearing sunblock and avoiding a salty, fatty, sugary diet, right? Why, if they were to tell the audience that avoiding those illnesses has anything to do with use of USANA products, that would be making unsupported and unethical health claims - unlawful claims, if done in the US. They wouldn't do that, would they?

And then there's this:
You'll learn how you can fire your boss in the next 3-5 years - so you can live the lifestyle of your dreams.
You think they tell the marks about how much the average USANA distributor makes (or loses)? Probably not, since most people don't dream of a lifestyle that depends on scrounging in landfills.
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Postby Demosthenes » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:36 pm

Another 'pyramid' suit hits Usana

By Tom Harvey
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Article Last Updated:09/05/2007 11:43:41 PM MDT

A shareholder has filed a fourth lawsuit in federal court in Utah against Usana Health Sciences based on allegations the publicly traded company is operating an unsustainable pyramid scheme.
Robert Keith Larson alleges that the board of directors and executives touted the company as highly successful with solid earnings and a successful business model. But a story in The Wall Street Journal revealed "the underlying unsustainability of the company's business model and the company was in fact perpetrating a 'pyramid scheme' in an attempt to sell its products," according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday. That story and a subsequent one at Forbes.com were based on the work of Barry Minkow, an investigator who spent time in prison for securities and tax fraud but now runs a business known as the Fraud Discovery Institute.
Three other lawsuits against Usana are pending in U.S. District Court for Utah based on Minkow's investigation. Usana vigorously denies the allegations and has sued Minkow, alleging he sought to profit by driving down the price of the company's stock.
After the March 15 Journal story, shares of the company fell 15 percent and by Aug. 8 had dipped to $29.48. Shares traded at $41.60 at the market close Wednesday, down from its 52-week high of $61.80.
Also Wednesday, Usana Health Sciences said it has appointed Pricewaterhouse-Coopers as the company's new independent accounting firm.
PricewaterhouseCoopers is expected to immediately begin reviewing the company's financial results for the second quarter that ended June 30. The Nasdaq stock exchange last month told Usana it could be delisted because its latest quarterly report was not reviewed by an independent auditor.
The company's auditor, Grant Thornton, resigned July 10, apparently over questions related to Minkow's report and before an accounting firm audited second quarter results.
Demo.

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Postby wserra » Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:25 pm

Well, PWC has taken over USANA's auditing, and the company did one of those love-fest conference calls to accompany the filing of their Q3 10-q. I was interested in their answers to questions regarding the suit against Minkow, but the transcript just shows the usual "We can't comment on advice of our lawyers but it's going great" hoo-haw.

One thing caught my eye in passing, though. Most of you who follow this forum are likely familiar with an item in the MLM bag of tricks called "autoship" - X amount of product (as large as they can convince the mark to order) is shipped automatically each month and charged to the mark's credit card, no action necessary. It's how distributors wind up with a garage full of unsellable, very expensive cosmetics, vitamins or whatever.

In any event, some sycophant directs a puffball question about the success of USANA's autoship program to CFO Gilbert Fuller, and his answer is revealing:
Tim, one of the things that we try to do sometimes more successful than others is create incentives for people to be on Autoship. And just looking at it by country here, it looked like we had the U.S. go up a couple hundred basis points in the quarter versus on a consecutive basis for the second quarter. And that was what drove since it's the biggest market that we have -- that was the thing that seemed to drive our overall number up nicely. So we are always looking for ways to give folks a reason to have their products on Autoship. It helps compliance. It's a great -- that is they will likely to keep taking their products and also of course, it's a great cash flow thing for us and also gives us some visibility as to what’s coming.


Want to run that by me again, Gil? You mean that people aren't buying your crap because it's great stuff? Because it's a real bargain? Because they'll live longer? Be healthier?

What "incentives" are we talking about here, Gil? It's moving up the pyramid, isn't it? It's going to the Promised Land of Purple Trapezoids, right? People don't really buy your stuff because it's good, do they? It's the dollar signs that you put in their eyes that really drives your sales, isn't it?

And isn't that what Minkow is saying?
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Postby wserra » Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:42 am

Well, everyone, USANA is up to its old tricks again - they just can't resist making outlandish health claims for their products. Were it done in the US, such claims would run afoul of the FTC (if they ever got around to noticing, anyway), so they do it elsewhere.

The stuff doesn't even make sense:
USANA feels confident about its products that protect healthy cells from diseases like stroke, heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, liver function.
I mean, who knew that cells suffered strokes, or developed heart disease? Who knew that cells had hearts? And I bet you didn't know that "liver function" was a disease, now did you? Thank God for USANA this holiday season.

I know, I know, it's those evil "independent distributors" over whom you have no control. Cutting them off wouldn't have any effect, would it? Well, I guess that it would - on your wallets. And we all know that's the important part.
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Postby Stinky McGurk » Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:52 pm

Feng Gao
Deputy Director of the Economic Crime Investigation Department
Ministry of Public Security of China 14 East Chang'an Street Dongcheng District Beijing 100741
Phone: (8610) 63070913
Fax: (8610) 63070900

Mr. Wang Zhongfu - Director
State Administration for Industry and Commerce
8 Sanlihe Donglu, Xicheng District, Beijing 100820, China
Tel: (86-10) 6803-2233
Fax: (86-10) 6802-0848
http://www.saic.gov.cn

Dear Deputy Director Gao and Director Zhongfu;

The Fraud Discovery Institute has been filming a documentary to be released internationally in the 4th quarter of 2007. This documentary is focused on two companies, one of which is a multi- level marketing company called Usana Health Sciences, Inc. (hereafter referred to as Usana).

During our research for this documentary, the Fraud Discovery Institute came across evidence of apparent material impropriety by Usana in various Asian markets. Specifically, the company appears to be involved in multi-level marketing activities in China without a license, and where, multi-level marketing practices are banned. The Fraud Discovery Institute has named the investigation into these alleged practices “Cheating in China.”1


... all 40 pages of the report.

“Cheating in China.”

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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby wserra » Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:36 pm

In a decision with quite interesting implications, Judge Campbell has granted Minkow's motion to dismiss all claims except the claim of violation of 10(b)(5) (manipulating stock prices). The news story is here and the opinion itself here. Basically, the Court ruled (as have others) that the state-law (here California, since USANA's claims were brought under CA law) anti-SLAPP statute applies to diversity cases under Erie. However, Minkow and associates' profits from shorting USANA stock don't come within the rubric of "public participation", and also arguably constitute a federal claim, and so that cause of action remains. I cannot resist pointing out that, when the suit was first brought a year ago, I wrote above that Minkow's hubristic stock machinations were going to cause him problems.

By dismissing the defamation claims, Judge Campbell ruled that USANA could not show a probability of prevailing on Minkow's basic points that its products are wildly overpriced, misleadingly advertised and so on. Does this sound familiar? USANA's people try to spin it - see the news article - but this is a major defeat for them. You see, their products are overpriced and misleadingly advertised. And the stock price is half what it was a year ago. For comparison, the S&P500 is down 8% in the same period.
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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby soapboxmom » Tue May 20, 2008 1:17 am

USANA GOING PRIVATE?????

By Dr. Myron Wentz

Founder & Chairman USANA

Hello, USANA Family.

I have something very important that I wanted to share with you personally. I want to say that I am sorry that you have had to struggle through some challenges over the last 13 months, as your business was attacked for others’ financial gain. It has pained me that there was so little I could do to shield you from the unscrupulous lies and deception that you were subjected to. The short sellers have made an art and a living out of distorting the facts and profiting off fear.

I am here today to tell you that I have decided to take USANA private. I am about to take on the biggest challenge of my professional career, and I’m excited to do so. I am personally taking the steps necessary to buy out all of the outstanding shares in USANA. I am doing this because I believe so much in the vision of USANA and you, our Associates, that I want to do what I can to protect you and your business.

We want to manage this great company for your benefit, and not those on Wall Street. Their only concern is the next quarter, and when to get in and out of the stock. We won’t have to deal with the detractors who are after financial gain by spreading false rumors and creating fear. There really is very little benefit to USANA being a public company, and so much more we can do for you, the USANA Family, without Wall Street’s short-term view and demand for profits, above all. I have committed to putting everything I have, and can borrow into USANA, so we can focus USANA’s resources to continuing to make a difference in peoples’ lives.

We are here for the long-term, as there is so much more we need to do for mankind. May you live life to its fullest, in happiness and health.


Dr. Myron Wentz

Founder & Chairman

USANA Health Sciences, Inc.


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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby wserra » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:34 am

From the "adding insult to injury" department: As posted above, Judge Campbell has dismissed all of USANA's causes of action against Minkow except the stock manipulation, basically agreeing that Minkow had sufficiently shown that USANA's stuff is overpriced and overhyped. Now, under California's anti-SLAPP statute, she has awarded Minkow costs and attorneys' fees in the amount of $143K, to be paid by USANA.

Is it a coincidence that Wentz is trying to take USANA private? I can't resist repeating wserra's Rule One for ripoff MLMs: don't go public. They can find out too much about you.
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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:30 pm

From personal experience I can attest to the fact that being publicly traded just ain't worth it. Having a few shareholders to deal with in a privately held company is a walk in the park compared to the distractions officers in a public have to deal with on a routine basis. So many times founder/senior executives are key factors to success and when they have to devote a third or more of their time and energy to non-productive issues the business suffers.

This isn't intended to defend USANA but my sense of this is were they not a publicly-traded company they wouldn't have fallen into Minkow's sights. The fact of the matter is, there is nothing inherently illegal about selling over-priced products and mercilessly hyping them is how the game is played. If you don't believe that, just ask Mrs. Bean about her purses [strike that] handbags, the value of which are almost entirely in the name/logo.
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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby wserra » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:42 pm

Minkow and USANA have just settled USANA's lawsuit on largely undisclosed terms. The final order is here. As you can see, part of the final terms are secret. The public parts are (1) Minkow will not trade in USANA stock, about which I could care less, and (2) Minkow will remove material from his web site and from such places as YouTube concerning USANA. The latter I actually care about a good deal. Minkow touted that information as vital for the public to possess, and used it to build his own rep as a dedicated fraud fighter. I have copies of what I cared about, but it doesn't say good things about Minkow that he agreed to silence as part of a settlement.

I wrote him the following email:
Dear Mr. Minkow:

I see from PACER and various news reports that you and USANA have settled their suit against you, largely on undisclosed terms. I also note that you have removed all USANA material from your web site, and the videos about USANA that you placed on sites such as YouTube. In addition, of course, you consented to the sealing of the settlement agreement.

Especially given the time and hype you devoted to your campaign against USANA, this behavior seems contrary to the reputation you now wish to promote - that of a tireless fraud fighter. While it is of course your suit to do with as you wish, the suit has garnered a fair amount of publicity, largely as a result of your own efforts. For example, see the thread below, at the Quatloos! anti-fraud site.

http://quatloos.com/Q-Forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=80

As you can see, despite your past, you have a number of defenders, of which I was one. However, your withdrawal from public view information you previously touted as vital - that thread's links to your site are now non-functioning - raises issues as to whether you really were just in this fight to profit from shorting USANA stock. The only other options are that you were wrong from the beginning, or that you lack the courage of your very-publicly-expressed convictions. The latter two options, of course, apply equally to USANA, but (1) you started this and (2) I didn't think much of them anyway.

I would welcome your response, preferably on Quatloos. If you do reply to me, be aware that I may publish what you write.
We'll see what happens.
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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby wserra » Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:29 am

Man, that was fast.

To Minkow's credit, I already received a lucid, intelligent response from him - at least purportedly from him. He is calm and rational, if not entirely satisfying, and to an email (mine) which was intentionally somewhat provocative. Before I make any more comments, here it is:
Dear Wesley;
I appreciate your email. The Fraud Discovery Institute is not the FTC nor the SEC.

Moreover we are a small concern and must allocate resources accordingly. What you will soon learn is that the very week we settled with Usana, we submitted a 68 page report to the FBI and the SEC documenting a 4 month undercover operation that involves millions of dollars and sadly lots of innocent victims.

We are proud of the work involved in that case and hope to achieve a TRO very soon which would be our 21st TRO (temporary restraining order through an official law enforcement agency).

How soon people forget the 21 cases we have done for free for the last 4 years iincluding the recent 68 page report. My point is, we simply cannot do it all and must make decisions about where resources are allocated. Finally, the fact that we never "counter sued" in the Usana case hopefully goes along way in demonstrating what we are not about....
My best to you
Barry

As I say, calm and rational. The part about being a small concern which must allocate resources is surely understandable. I do have several points, though:

(1) It's a fight he picked. His organization is not like Quatloos, where poor Jay is stuck with the ranting of various opinionated maniacs (like this one). Just keep reading 47 USC 230, Jay. The Fraud Discovery Institute is Minkow, and he decided to pick the fight. If he wasn't prepared to go the distance, why did he start down the road? Which segues into . . .

(2) What is the story with shorting USANA stock? Did he just take his profits and leave, given that USANA stock had plunged before the recent private buyout attempt? Could that be Minkow's motive? I'd rather not think so, but he doesn't address it. It is especially strange, since he had won summary judgment on every issue except the stock manipulation. If that one has no substance, hey, go for the knockout, especially vs. entering a sealed settlement which results in deleting important information.

(3) It makes no sense to say that the failure to counterclaim proves anything about Minkow's motives. What would he counterclaim for that has any merit? And he did counterclaim for anti-SLAPP costs and attorney's fees, and won. Kudos, but it still makes no sense.

I'd be interested in readers' perspectives, and still wish Minkow would personally contribute - unless, of course, he muzzled himself by settling.
"A wise man proportions belief to the evidence."
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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby Doc Bunkum » Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:41 pm

Your "buddy" Kerry Hein over on scam.com posted this recent update from Len Clements.

Nothing too much interesting - except maybe the "Please see the whole Alert here" link near the bottom to Len's 5 page assessment of the "Usana Settles Law Suit with Barry Minkow" case.

I'll c&p the whole post so nobody has to go searching for it in case they're interested (or maybe want a few chuckles reading Kerry's pro MLM rant at the end).
ohein56 wrote:Just got an update from Len Clements Re: Minkow & Usana.

I didn't want to edit a single word. Note:this is just an excerpt from a five page article from Len.

Don't miss the entire five pages of exposure for Minkow & his lunatic fringe..

Originally Posted by Len Clements-MarketWaveAlert
When are the anti-MLMzealots going to give a rest already.

Here's the alert from Len;
Usana Settles Law Suit with Barry Minkow
Team Minkow Losing Streak Continues
August 1st, 2008


Last Monday morning (7/28), Usana announced they had reached a settlement in their lawsuit against Barry Minkow. USANA has agreed to withdraw its lawsuit and Minkow and his "Fraud Discovery Institute" have agreed to remove all references to Usana that they control, never to comment on Usana again in the future, nor will he ever trade in Usana's stock (long or short).

See the press release here: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080728/20080728005457.html?.v=1

The timing of Minkow's surrender was not that surprising considering his already discredited case against Usana, and to a lesser extend Herbalife, had taken another battering the past few days. To wit:

In their effort to eradicate naked pyramid schemes, China banned all forms of multilevel commission structures in 1998. Several legitimate direct sales companies were allowed back in, on a case-by-case basis, but with single level pay structures. China's Ministry of Commerce (similar to our FTC) just granted Herbalife five additional licenses to conduct direct-selling business in five more provinces, including Beijing.

See the press release here: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080720/20080720005039.html?.v=1

But this was just a tremor compared to the seismic rocking Team Minkow took last Thursday (7/24). Within days of Minkow's first anti-Usana report being published in mid-March, 2007, three class action law suits were filed on behalf of shareholders based specifically on Minkow's claim that Usana was an illegal pyramid scheme (the most prominent allegation of wrong doing among many). The suits were eventually consolidated into one, and that suit has just been dismissed with prejudice (meaning the plaintiff is barred from ever bringing an action again based on the same claim).

The US District Court judge ruled that the plaintiffs failed to assert any actionable securities laws claims against USANA. The ruling cited all of the major attack points presented by Minkow, and specifically addressed his "Fraud Discover Institute" as the source. Here are some, but not all, of the issues the court considered, and then summarily rejected:

⇒ Lack of demand for Usana Products
⇒ Inevitable Market Saturation
⇒ Misrepresentation of Usana's Long-Term Sustainability
⇒ Unlawful Pyramid Scheme

See the press release here: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080724/20080724005398.html?.v=1

Commentary:

Obviously, I have a lot to say about all this. Too much for a short Alert. In fact, my Commentary went to five pages.

Please see the whole Alert here:
http://www.marketwaveinc.com/alerts/alert-97.doc

Have a great weekend!

Len Clements
MarketWave, Inc.


Gee, if all MLM's are such clearcut, blatant scams, especially USANA, and to warrant such accute attention from Minkow, why's Barry having such a hard time here establishing a case?!

Could it be that Mr. Minkow is practically clueless as to what constitutes an illegal pyramid? Could it be that Barry needs to broaden his narrow-minded view of DS/NWM a little, no alot!? Does Barry & his marry little band of delusional, anti-MLM zealots need to make a drastic paradigm shift?

Yes, yes, yes, YES....!

Live and learn one would hope....

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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby wserra » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:39 pm

As you can tell from my posts and exchange of emails with Minkow, I'm somewhat ticked off by the way he agreed to end USANA's case (not to mention the fact that he shorted USANA stock). Not the least of the reasons is that it permits the ignorant and/or the scammer (Hein, Clements, etc) to crow, and those whose common sense is blinded by visions of wealth to believe them. Even so, the crowing is manifestly inaccurate, showing either ignorance or scam, depending.

ohein56 wrote:
Originally Posted by Len Clements-MarketWaveAlert
Last Monday morning (7/28), Usana announced they had reached a settlement in their lawsuit against Barry Minkow. USANA has agreed to withdraw its lawsuit and Minkow and his "Fraud Discovery Institute" have agreed to remove all references to Usana that they control, never to comment on Usana again in the future, nor will he ever trade in Usana's stock (long or short).


True. I posted on it hours after it happened.

The timing of Minkow's surrender was not that surprising considering his already discredited case against Usana, and to a lesser extend Herbalife, had taken another battering the past few days. To wit:


Nonsense.

As I have posted throughout this thread, Judge Campbell had entered two dispositive orders through the course of the litigation. Minkow won both of them. The short version: Order (1) dismissed every claim USANA made - all of the libels, the tortious interferences and so forth - except the 10(b)(5) stock-manipulation claim. A necessary corollary of that order was that Minkow had established sufficiently the truth of his pyramid / overpriced-product and similar claims. Had he not shorted USANA stock, the case would have ended right there. Order (2) held that Minkow had shown that USANA's suit violated California's anti-SLAPP statute - in other words, that USANA sued only to shut Minkow up - and awarded Minkow $142K in costs and attorneys' fees for that violation.

That's only a "discredited case" "taking a battering" in the MLM fantasy world.

[Snip stuff about Herbalife. I thought we were talking about the USANA-Minkow lawsuit. Why don't you change the subject?]

But this was just a tremor compared to the seismic rocking Team Minkow took last Thursday (7/24). Within days of Minkow's first anti-Usana report being published in mid-March, 2007, three class action law suits were filed


Blah, blah, blah. Can MLMers ever say anything succinctly? I have one question: was Minkow a party to any of those suits? No? Then how does their fate have anything to do with him? I have all sorts of things to say about abuse of class action and shareholder derivative suits, but I thought we were discussing Minkow.

Commentary:

Obviously, I have a lot to say about all this.


Now, there's a shock. If the short version is any indication, though, the long version is just piled higher and deeper.

ohein56 wrote:Gee, if all MLM's are such clearcut, blatant scams, especially USANA, and to warrant such accute attention from Minkow, why's Barry having such a hard time here establishing a case?!


He didn't. See above.

Could it be that Mr. Minkow is practically clueless as to what constitutes an illegal pyramid?


If he is, Judge Campbell is too. See above.
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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby soapboxmom » Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:07 am

http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2008/07/2 ... d-day-for/
USANA Health Sciences and Minkow settle lawsuit - a sad day for free speech
Posted Jul 29th 2008 4:00PM by Zac Bissonnette
Filed under: Law, Scandals

Shares of USANA Health Sciences (NASDAQ: USNA) rose more than 7% on Monday and is up again today after the company announced that it had settled its lawsuit against Barry Minkow and his Fraud Discovery Institute, which had accused them of making false allegations about the company and working in concert with others to manipulate its stock and profit from downward movement.

In the press release, the company announced that "USANA has agreed to withdraw its lawsuit and Mr. Minkow and the FDI have agreed that they will not trade in USANA's stock in the future, will remove information regarding USANA within their control from the internet, and will not publish any further statements about USANA."

Here's what's so messed up about this: USANA had accused Minkow of defamation but, in March, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell tossed four claims against him, leaving only the allegation of a conspiracy to drive down the stock.

In other words, USANA was unable to demonstrate in court that any of Minkow's allegations were untrue -- and never really rebutted any of them in its PR effort to tar and feather him. But now Minkow will stop telling the public what he believes about USANA. The real loser here is anyone looking to hear another side to the USANA story: potential investors and potential distributors in the company's multi-level marketing business.

Doug Lane, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., told The Salt Lake Tribune that "It seems like USANA has succeeded in getting the Fraud Discovery Institute to stop making negative comments about their business, to pull down from the Internet all commentary and to not trade in their stock anymore."

Again: not untrue comments, not defamatory comments -- just saying stuff that's negative. Basically Usana was able to sue Minkow and then use its size to muscle him into promising to be nice to them.

Essentially, a large corporation was able to bully a small dissident into silence with the help of a cumbersome litigation process that led to a war of legal fees that Minkow could not win.

This corporate bullying and efforts to intimidate people who raise red flags is the issue that the SEC should be looking at. Unfortunately, Chairman Chris Cox is too busy battling the imaginary demons of naked short selling.

Thank goodness I am being sued by destitute ding-a-lings!

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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby wserra » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:11 pm

Zac Bissonnette is an astute observer from whom I have learned things on several occasions. I don't see this one exactly how he does, however. Below is my comment on Zac's blog. By way of explanation of parts of my comment, Michael Webster is a Toronto lawyer who posts here from time to time (he began this thread) and whose two comments appear before mine on Zac's blog.

Begin my comment:

My view is midway between Zac's and Michael Webster's. In a couple of important ways, Minkow is not simply the victim in this, but I don't see how one can conclude that he was paid off to go away.

First, as to Minkow's actions: he's no babe in the woods. He had to know that he was stirring up a hornet's nest, and possibly a lawsuit. Anyone in that position needs clean hands. So what does he do? He shorts USANA stock. This gives him a profit motive to bash USANA, and USANA - completely predictably - jumped all over it. Lest we forget, had Minkow not shorted USANA, Judge Campbell's order of March 3 (http://www.box.net/shared/static/khhybjxwcc.pdf for anyone who wished to read it) would have ended the case in his favor. She granted summary judgment on every cause of action except the stock manipulation, all but holding that Minkow had the negative stuff right. That would have made a nice ending, no?

Moreover, when Zac writes that the suit amounted to "a war of legal fees that Minkow could not win" - well, Zac, he did win them. As Michael points out, Campbell awarded him costs and attorneys' fees under the California anti-SLAPP statute - see opinion at http://www.box.net/shared/static/6lir1yzcws.pdf . It was again the hubristic move of shorting USANA that sank him.

Minkow agreed to a sealed settlement - order http://www.box.net/shared/static/0a1sshs4ks.pdf - and confidentiality, so we will never know the details. That's bad. It allows the scammers and their shills to crow victory, which is already happening. But, Michael, we equally don't know that Minkow was paid a dime. It is possible - as he says - that he had no money to continue litigating. In that sense, Zac, you're right, free exchange of information is the loser. But tell me, Zac, even without knowing whether he was paid to drop the suit, how much did Minkow make by the short? Before the recent attempts to take USANA private, its stock had dropped like a rock.

We'll never know, will we? Few things are black and white.
"A wise man proportions belief to the evidence."
- David Hume

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wserra
Quatloosian Federal Witness
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Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby wserra » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:13 pm

soapboxmom wrote:Thank goodness I am being sued by destitute ding-a-lings!


And I'm sure you'll ding their lings, SBM.
"A wise man proportions belief to the evidence."
- David Hume

michaelwebsterlaw

Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby michaelwebsterlaw » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:37 pm

The reason why I believe that Minkow got paid is that USANA could have never got the website taken down even if they had won their lawsuit.

They were losing that one too.

Minkow deserves his money, but I hope this doesn't become a business method of greenmail.

MWave

Re: Fraud Discovery Institute's Analysis of USANA

Postby MWave » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:17 pm

But this was just a tremor compared to the seismic rocking Team Minkow took last Thursday (7/24). Within days of Minkow's first anti-Usana report being published in mid-March, 2007, three class action law suits were filed


Blah, blah, blah. Can MLMers ever say anything succinctly? I have one question: was Minkow a party to any of those suits? No? Then how does their fate have anything to do with him? I have all sorts of things to say about abuse of class action and shareholder derivative suits, but I thought we were discussing Minkow.


Mr. Serra,

I no longer have the time, nor, it seems, the necessity (since Usana has now been legally vindicated on practically every charge made against them) to write rebuttals to this anti-Usana propaganda, especially within a thread that appears to have few remaining readers. However, I will be launching a professionally produced podcast show in a few weeks (to an audience of thousands), called "Inside Network Marketing", which will include an interview/debate segment. Would you like to defend your arguments within this forum?

And BTW, The shareholder suit that was dismissed on summary was directly and specifically related to Minkow's charges against Usana, and "blah, blah, blah..." is not a very effective rebuttal.

Len Clements
MarketWave, Inc.


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