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Investors $ International
Investors $ International [gone now] was truly too good to be true. Founded by Dr. Rudolph Van Lin, a character who calls himself a psychologist and founder of the Libertarian Party, but is apparently a full-time government-hater and con artist. He is now in trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which filed an enforcement action in federal district court in Los Angeles on September 16, 1998.
The Commission alleges that the defendants engaged in the fraudulent offer and sale of unregistered securities through Sabre Asset Management Corporation in connection with a fictitious "bank trading" program. The complaint alleges that from December 1996 through October 1997 the defendants raised approximately $6.6 million from about 170 investors.
The company still advertises on the Internet, though it has changed its motto from
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
"Equipping People For A Lifetime Of Freedom And Financial Security"
The company's policy, on the other hand, seems to be:
Whatever we can dream up to get you to give us money we will do with boldness and it won't take a genius to figure out that you'll need some pretty powerful magic to make money with us!
Investors $ International's Home Page seems innocuous enough. Even their orignal Page was not too outrageous, except for one claim, viz, "We succeeded in creating a completely risk-free profit-making enterprise for our clients!"
But they don't tell you what this great enterprise is on their home page. Anybody who asks you to give them hundreds of dollars and guarantees it for a year is making a promise you should be skeptical of, especially if you have to contact them by e-mail or an 800 number to get the details of the risk-free investment. The promises are unbelievable. But the Home Page makes it clear that Dr. Lin is targeting a particularly vulnerable audience: people who hate the government and think the welfare state is the cause of all their problems. Dr Lin says he just wants to "help people help themselves and thereby defeat the non-productive and looters in society who have carved out an elite existence for themselves called government...." What a concept!
You can get in on this government bashing deal by simply shelling out $1,250. For this you get two things: (1) a bunch of material you could find in your library on how to cheat people out of money you owe them and other nifty ideas for people with bad credit and (2) you get to recruit six people into the scheme. After you get your six, you get to be a Director, which means you get a big cut out of the money now paid by the recruits of any recruits you bring in above the original six. Each recruit gets this packet of info on ways to improve your credit rating and ways to avoid having to pay your bills. What a great way to bring down the government and defeat freeloading looters!
If this sounds like just another MLM scheme, that's because it is, though this one tried to avoid being a pyramid by claiming it uses "parallel lines," "lines that go on forever, and never intersect." Call it what you like, it's a pyramid with parallel lines, an MLM with "panels."
How much money can you make on this scam? You'll probably turn a negative profit, but one true believer claims you can make $200,000 by Christmas. I'd give you his name, but he's probably changed it by now and on his way to Switzerland to join Dr. Lin.
By the way, apparently no one in the Libertarian Party has ever heard of Dr. Lin.
September 29, 1996