Nick Vertucci’s “Fortunes in Flipping” Flips Toronto Sept. 2016 (and Calgary in Oct. 2016)


For the last two weeks full page ads for the Nick Vertucci “Fortunes in Flipping” real estate seminar have been running in the Toronto edition of 24 Hours and also at least once in the Toronto Sun (September 24 page 47).

(Oct. 3, 2016 update: Nick Vertucci will also be flipping Calgary – see – the dates are October 13, 14 and 15, 2016. There is no longer a “24Hours” paper in Calgary, so it will be interesting to see what media promote and profit from these events. There are usually radio ads that also promote these events. Look out Calgary!  Update Oct. 10, 2016  The Calgary Sun has been running full page ads for a week. The Sun is owned by Postmedia, the publisher of 24 Hours Toronto.)

Your can find the ads in the online edition of 24 Hours – see – Sept. 12-26, 2016

It is not know yet who will be the presenter in Toronto. (registration for the program is on this web site: )

There will be presentations in Mississauga (Mississauga Grand Banquet and Event Centre on September 28), Toronto ( Marriott Toronto Bloor Yorkville Hotel on September 29), Markham ( Hilton Toronto Markham Suites Conference Centre on Sept. 30), Scarborough ( Delta Hotel Toronto East on October 1), and in Oakville (Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Oakville on October 2.)   Will the management of these hotels provide the warning set out by the Competition Bureau? (see link below)

(detail from the ad)


These are pretty much straight out of the playbook  for “Trump University” style seminars. The free “VIP TECH Packages” are very cheap products – the watch (if it is like what is usually handed out) is almost certainly not a “GPS” watch. The USB drive contains the audio of a couple of talks by Mr. Vertucci. It is not disclosed where the $20 gift card can be spent.

(detail from the ad)


In December 2015 this group came to Vancouver B.C.  The presenter for Nick Vertucci’s program then was Gus Fernandez of Seattle – who had been a presenter for the Trump Institute:  (Note:  Gus Fernandez has now removed the image below from on his web site: (UPDATE: the Trump Institute image below is on this page: ))

The text on the Fernandez site used to say:

“Gus has years of front line experience starting, growing and protecting the entrepreneur’s entry into real estate and small business. He has served as a Senior Instructor for the Trump Institute and Robert Kiyoaski’s Rich Dad Poor Dad ‘Launch Your Business’ series.  Beyond his entrepreneurial expertise, he is sought after as a ‘curriculum architect’ for emerging companies.  He has also served HQ management stints with Exxon, Alcoa and AT&T.”


Examples of the recent 24 Hours ads are below.

Here is the Toronto Sun Ad: (Page 47, Sept. 24, 2016)toronto-sun-2016-sept-24-p47

Reporter Sam Cooper of the The Vancouver Sun and Province did a story in July 2016 on these seminars – see

or” (here is the archived story: )

The presenter in Vancouver was Michael Syme (photo). At the seminar he would not give the reporter his full name.  From the article:

…However, The Sun found archived photos of the online auctioneer that matched photos of the Vertucci pitchman in Richmond. A 2009 online profile for Michael J. Syme of Idaho, Utah and Hawaii, says he “is a popular online auctions expert, educator … (who) started selling on the Internet nearly seven years ago after losing his job. Mr. Syme for years has made his living selling with online auctions, where he has made over $12,000 a month … he now shares his ‘auction success secrets’ with tens of thousands of people around the world.”

Bankruptcy records for Michael J. Syme of Utah show that in 2003 he owed debts to a long list of creditors including the U.S. International Revenue Service and Utah Division of Consumer Protection.

This true objective of course is not just to get folks to go to the free hotel event. It is not to just get registrants for the offered 3 day program. The sting, like the other seminar presenters in this game, is enrollment in a very expense ongoing program that may be of no or little value.

“Don’t Flip for “Free” Real Estate Investment Seminars” See the warning on the Competition Bureau of Canada web site:

Nick Vertucci’s “Fortunes in Flipping” Flips Toronto Sept. 2016 (and Calgary in Oct. 2016)

Doonsbury does Trump University – June 2005

It turns out there was a series of Doonsbury cartoons lampooning Trump University in 2005. Who know that both Trump University and it’s spawn would be so prominently in the news 11 years later?

(This excellent post dissects the con – “How Trump University Relied Heavily On The Craft Of Con Men –  – that Doonsbury mocks)


June 6, 2005:

June 7, 2005:

June 8, 2005:

June 9, 2005:

June 10, 2005: 

June 11, 2005: 


Doonsbury does Trump University – June 2005

Marco Kozlowski back in Toronto June 8-12, 2016

The Marco Kozlowski / At Will Events / At Will Education  / U.S. Property Success  / Wealth in USA seminar events are back in Toronto this week. Yet another new name for the same old con.

The new name is “Wealth in USA”, the domain is  No mention of Marco Kozlowski now that he cannot fully control Google search results.

The name “Stefan Harlan” (… ) is used in promotional materials and communications. ( See ” ” (Very cute …@wilevents…avoids the old “atwillevents” name..The address for At Will Events is 765 East 340 South, American Fork, UT)

This is on the heels of the firestorm of controversy surrounding the disclosure of the Trump University documents (there are thousands of stories now) and the warning by the Canadian Competition Bureau.

(This amazing blog post tells a story about the links of Trump University to older seminar scam organizations.)

Beware: These hotel events are the setup for the usual up-sell and sting.  If you want to know what will go on just read the Trump University Playbook (2010 version) and the various documents posted on this web site.

Read the BBB warnings (Update 19 June 2016: the original BBB page linked here is now deleted – “404” , see this saved version of the page) about similar seminars from SuccessPath and others. Read the Gazette and CBC stories on these programs.

Here is a screen grab from the site:

Screen Capture of dates in TO

Here is the address of “Wealth in USA” and a Google street view of the fabulous offices…

contact address


5764 N Orange Blossom Trail Orlando




Marco Kozlowski back in Toronto June 8-12, 2016

“B.C. real estate seminars prey on house hunters, promise insider tips: lawyer”

The Globe and Mail on May 26, 2016 (in print May 27) ran a story by reporter Mike Hager on “Success Path” real estate seminars:

For the full story see:

Excerpts from the story:

“Almost every month, real estate seminars in and around Vancouver promise ordinary people the insider tips and tricks needed to find a backdoor into the region’s frenzied housing market.

Inevitably, many of these free seminars end with the promise that attendees will learn real secrets and even get connected with a group of mysterious private investors if they pay thousands, on the spot, for another workshop or a mentorship.

About 20 tickets have been sold to the upcoming three-day workshop, at which at least one instructor and three experts will work with the participants, Mr. Carlson said. He denied allegations in complaints published on the Better Business Bureau website that experts at these events size up participants to sell them more courses, not to gauge what types of real-estate deals they can start making. He added that attendees are all invited to seek more education at one of his company’s intensive, $10,000 investor summits, which are held about five times a year in Las Vegas.

Tom Rogers, a 77-year-old from B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, said he and his son paid for this weekend’s three-day workshop to get connected to SuccessPath’s network of U.S. and Canadian private lenders. The pair wants the promised loans – at interest rates below 4 per cent – to buy properties in Canada to fix and flip.

“If there’s some hitches there, then I’ll be going to get my money back,” Mr. Rogers said. “I’m mainly after their contacts, their investor contacts.”

He said consumer complaints are “obviously bad news,” and added that “unfortunately, there are gullible people in the world that don’t take the time to do the research themselves.”

Last week’s energetic free seminar started with a brief video from reality TV home improvement gurus Tarek and Christina El Moussa, who apologized for having to stay behind in California filming their HGTV show Flip or Flop. The El Moussas did not respond to requests for comment.

In the short clip, the couple described how flipping property changed their lives dramatically.

“Four years ago, we never imagined we’d be where we are today. We went from driving cars we hated, living in places we hated, to driving the most amazing cars money can buy, living in the house of our dreams, with a beautiful yard. Literally, our life is better than we ever anticipated,” Mr. El Moussa says.”



“B.C. real estate seminars prey on house hunters, promise insider tips: lawyer”

“BBB Warns: Consumers Should Do Homework Before Attending House Flipping Seminars This Week”

The Better Business Bureau of BC recently issued a warning about a real estate seminar company – “Success Path Education”

BBB Warns: Consumers Should Do Homework Before Attending House Flipping Seminars This Week

Here is the text of the warning:

May 18, 2016

Vancouver, BC – A Utah-based business that is the focus of more than 150 complaints about what consumers describe as misleading and manipulative marketing practices has scheduled a series of real estate investment seminars across Mainland BC this week.

BBB advises consumers to exercise caution when dealing with Success Path Education or SuccessPath, which touts its upcoming seminars as “an exclusive real estate success event.” The company claims attendees will learn the ins and outs of buying and flipping homes for profit.

While the seminar is free, the business uses the free events to enroll consumers in progressively more expensive programs.

Most BBB complaints are from consumers who say the business or related businesses charged them anywhere from $2,000 to more than $70,000 for classes and personalized mentoring programs with little or no value. Some said they got partial refunds by contacting BBB or law enforcement; others said they were unable to get any money back.

“This warning comes out of the United States. BBB’s there have heard many stories from frustrated clients who paid thousands of dollars on promises of real estate secrets and tricks, only to come away disappointed,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “We just want consumers in BC to go into these with open eyes and do their research before spending any money.”

Most complaints to BBB are from consumers claiming they felt the business misled them about the potential value of its programs. Several consumers told BBB much of the focus of the seminars seemed to be designed to get them to sign up for more costly programs.

Most consumers told BBB that the first, free seminar ultimately leads into a sales presentation to get attendees to enlist in an upcoming three-day event at a cost of $1,997. Consumers who sign up for the three-day program eventually are invited to sign up for a more intensive, seven-day program – usually in Las Vegas – at costs ranging from $10,000 to more than $40,000.

The business appears to have used a variety of names including Premier Mentoring Inc., Advanced Financial Training, Advanced Real Estate Education, Zurixx LLC, Real Estate Addict and Top Trader.

BBB offers the following tips to consumers considering attending a free business seminar or meeting:

  • Research the business by searching the Internet and contacting BBB.
  • Understand that ‘free’ seminars are often set up to sell other products to the public.
  • Before paying anything, know what you are getting for your money. Before approving any contract, read it carefully. If there is anything that concerns you, make certain the document is changed in writing before you sign off on it. Be wary of any oral promises that are not in writing.
  • Know exactly how long you have to obtain a refund after signing an agreement. If that information is not there, ask for it in writing.
  • Ask for references and contact them before entering into an agreement.
  • Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the charge.


Media Contacts:

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor BBB Serving Mainland BC                                                                                                                604-488-8702                                                                                                                                                                                                                     604-505-2307                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          404-788 Beatty Street                                                                                                                                                                                                           Vancouver, BC                                                                                                                                                                                                                     V6B 2M1

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 111 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2015, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed over 7,500 complaints.



“BBB Warns: Consumers Should Do Homework Before Attending House Flipping Seminars This Week”

“Competition Bureau Issues Warning: Know the risks and avoid debt”

The Canadian Competition Bureau posted a warning on May 3, 2016 about “Free” real estate seminars.

The have captured the essence of what programs like Marco Kozlowski’s and others are about: “It can also be a slippery slope into debt. While the initial seminar may be free, additional training seminars and educational resources are not. It can cost up to $7,000 to attend a three‑day seminar, more than $20,000 for advanced training and up to $150,000 for coaching programs.”


Here is the full text of the warning:

“Don’t Flip for “Free” Real Estate Investment Seminars

Competition Bureau Issues Warning: Know the risks and avoid debt

May 3, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

With the peak real estate season fast approaching, consumers should be extremely wary of “free” real estate investment training seminars that promise large returns with little or no risk.

These pseudo‑seminars claim that they can teach anyone how to make quick money thanks to “secret” techniques and “proven” strategies.

The truth is that any real estate investment involves many financial and legal risks. Flipping properties for a quick profit rarely happens that way. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

It can also be a slippery slope into debt. While the initial seminar may be free, additional training seminars and educational resources are not. It can cost up to $7,000 to attend a three‑day seminar, more than $20,000 for advanced training and up to $150,000 for coaching programs.

Here are five tips to avoid wasting time and money on “free” real estate seminars:

  1. Do your research before signing up. Question the reliability and accuracy of the real estate deals, profits and earnings claimed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are considering investing in another country, get reliable advice on how this will affect your taxes.
  2. Don’t believe all testimonials. These seminars may use false or misleading testimonials promoting their success. Recognize that a testimonial may be inaccurate or fake.
  3. Know and understand the risks of “No money down” real estate investment deals. If someone offers to “give” you money for a down payment, ask to see the contract and understand the terms. Take the time to do your research and consult with trusted professionals before signing anything.
  4. Be skeptical of “get‑rich quick” promises. Those certainly seem appealing but remember that there is no such thing as easy money. Real estate investment requires time and large amounts of money.
  5. Consult with professionals for advice. Before paying for a real estate seminar, consult with a licensed realtor and consider getting legal advice to help determine if this is right for you.

Consumers who believe they have been misled should contact the Bureau’s Information Centre at 1‑800‑348‑5358, or visit the Bureau’s website to file a complaint. Businesses and consumers can also contact the Canadian Anti‑Fraud Centre at 1‑888‑495‑8501, or visit its website. ”

“Competition Bureau Issues Warning: Know the risks and avoid debt”