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 – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-university-con_us_5756b5e6e4b0ca5c7b4ff16b  – that Doonsbury mocks)

Enjoy!

June 6, 20015: http://doonesbury.washingtonpost.com/strip/archive/2005/6/6

June 7, 2005: http://doonesbury.washingtonpost.com/strip/archive/2005/6/7

June 8, 2005: http://doonesbury.washingtonpost.com/strip/archive/2005/6/8

June 9, 2005: http://doonesbury.washingtonpost.com/strip/archive/2005/6/9

June 10, 2005: http://doonesbury.washingtonpost.com/strip/archive/2005/6/10 

June 11, 2015: http://doonesbury.washingtonpost.com/strip/archive/2005/6/11 

 

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 www.wealthinusa.com  No mention of Marco Kozlowski now that he cannot fully control Google search results.

The name “Stefan Harlan” (…@willevents.com ) is used in promotional materials and communications. ( See ” http://willevents.com/ ” (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

see https://gallery.mailchimp.com/028de8672d5f9a229f15e9edf/images/18b4f836-1f02-40e3-b5b9-a2cba6226d2e.jpg

 

 

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: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-real-estate-seminars-prey-on-house-hunters-promise-insider-tips-lawyer/article30182672/

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.

-30-

Media Contacts:

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor BBB Serving Mainland BC                                                                                                                604-488-8702                                                                                                                                                                                                                     604-505-2307                                                                                                                                                                                                           evan@mbc.bbb.org                                                                                                                                                                                                         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.org. 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.”

See http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04069.html

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”