February 18th, 2011
I’m an avid scuba diver and have traveled extensively participating in the sport. One of the places I’ve been fortunate to visit is the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia. On more than one of my many dives I encountered the Crown of Thorns Starfish, a plague that is threatening the natural habitat for many of the smaller reef fish.
Photo courtesy of and 1997 Jeff Jeffords (Thanks Jeff!)
What does this have to do with Search Entrepreneurs, Career Agents Network and the newest evil, Zeal Sales? Let me describe the Crown of Thorns Starfish in greater detail.
The Crown of Thorns Starfish is a coral predator. It destroys the coral reefs, depriving endemic species like the Clown Fish, Blue Chromis, and others from their nature shelter and home. A hungry starfish climbs up on the coral and pulls its stomach out of its mouth with its feeder tubes. They have thousands of these feeder tubes, each ending with a little suction cup. The tubes pass the stomach from one to the next until the huge yellow stomach is spread out over the coral. Then the stomach bastes the live coral with acidic digestive juices. The cells of the stomach slurp up the bits of dissolving coral. When the starfish has cleaned the coral down to the white calcium carbonate skeleton, it sucks in its stomach and creeps away. Nothing of value is left.
The two organizations in operation, Search Entrepreneurs and Zeal Sales are the Crown of Thorns Starfish among business opportunity seekers. They slither up on top of the budding home-based business person, promise them the riches of the sea, then wrap their greedy yellow stomach around their 20-50,000 dollars and rapidly digest it. The only thing left in the wake of this destruction are broken homes, bankruptcies, and the bleached bones of what was promised.
September 23rd, 2010
Paul Helm wrote a piece for the website today that discussed metrics. Metrics are extremely valuable tools in establishing and maintaining a business. They are also of great value when you are looking at the statistical information regarding a business opportunity. Let’s look at the metrics involved with Health Career Agents. You may remember that this is now Career Agents Network, as they had to modify their name to slither out of Missouri.
Over 1,000 people trusted them and their “business opportunity”
Paying $24,900 up to $74,900 for the deliverables they were to provide
“Lifetime” support was easy to offer since they knew from past businesses that very few of the pople they sign up are “alive in business” beyond the first year so that metric is 1 – the amount of years you’re likely to be in business.
Less than 1 out of 25 is your chance of being around long enough to be grandfathered into their next newly named scam.
Less than 1 out of more than 1,000 is your chance of surviving in business long enough to make it to the 2nd generation scam they place forward (or “roll out” as they say) after this one.
There are certain numbers we need your help with:
Letters to the Attorney Generals in Missouri and Michigan (and whatever State they choose to operate from for the next name under which they scam people)
Letters to the Department of Justice demanding them to scrutinize the HCA and CAN business records and determine if they have been fraudulently passing themself off as a franchise in fact or innuendo (like marketing themselves under all of the franchise headers)
Letters and Phone Calls to the Department of Consumer Affairs in your home States’ regarding the misleading and fraudulent manner in which the Health Career Agents purchase agreement was obtained.
The most frequent comment I receive from people that have been victims of this scam is that they thought it was their own fault. That they were the ones totally responsible for the failure of the business. Former members tell me they were made to feel like they were losers, it was their lack of effort, and they were the problem. They felt bullied, harrassed, and beaten down. Most victims suffered in silence. Since the loss of their tens of thousands of dollars, they lack confidence, feel bad about themselves, and since this is a home-based business spend most of their time alone. They will have negative thoughts about work. It may be difficult to concentrate on work. Some become anxious, have difficulty sleeping and could develop depression. Some have gotten divorced, others have lost their homes to foreclosure, and still others are living off the assistance of family and friends since they spent their “last dimes” on this scam. They call it a business opportunity, but call it what it really is, a
I’m glad Paul Helm can actually get the posting dates correct in his “NEWS” today. This was actually posted on the same day as the date imprint states. Try to keep your calendar straight Paul, at least something in what you say should have truth and accuracy.
September 21st, 2010
Paul Helm does some seemingly fancy math with his most recent post in the “News” section of their website. In writing about the U. S. staffing industry and the amount of revenue they generate during a year the dollar figure of 160 Billion is mentioned. As the President of a company, Mr. Helm should know the difference between revenue and profit, and the fact that much of a staffing company’s revenue goes back out the door in the form of wages to the personnel. He should also be intimately aware that most of the people engaged in the business he is aligned with and promotes are in Permanent Placement and not Staffing.
• In terms of specialist recruitment, the total global market is estimated to be worth US$29.6 billion on a net fee/gross profit basis.
• The US recruitment industry derives around 81% of its revenues from placing temporary/contract employees while only around 19% is derived from search and placement recruitment companies.
Further, Mr. Helm as part of the previous company, Health Career Agents (now Career Agents Network), should discuss the numbers associated with, and failure rates in the ”business opportunity” he promotes, such as:
29,900, 34,900 and 49,900
The number of dollars many people paid to become a member of Health Career Agents and feel they were scammed.
The estimated percentage of members that converted to Career Agents Network from their affiliation with Health Career Agents without it being part of the “loan forgiveness” offered by the financing arm of Health Career Agents in exchange for the waiver of liability for misdeeds contained in section 2 of the agreement.
The estimated percentage of Health Career Agents member no longer active in their business, don’t have a business email address, and many of which never earned their slice of the “pie”.
The known number of members out of more than 1,000 that have been associated with this scam and made an income by being “grandfathered in” through the various name changes and corporate slitherings since the formation of “The Internet Recruiting Group”.
The actual date of Helm’s posting, not 9/15/2010 as published. If you can’t get your facts straight, getting the date correct must be equally problematic.
Since CAN enjoys citing quotations and making nebulous references to dollar amounts received in fees, the quote that immediately comes to mind is “Figures don’t lie, but liars often figure”.
September 9th, 2010
I was watching the CNBC program last night “American Greed” which focused on the Kansas City Pharmacist that was diluting the chemotherapy that cancer patients were receiving. Over the course of time he had amassed some 18.7 million dollars in wealth by cheating people out of the medicine they had paid for and needed.
As with some cheats, scoundrels, and scammers, Robert Courtney, was found guilty and sentenced to prison for 30 years. Others seem to escape the judicial system, whether because of their “lesser evils” or the laziness of attorney generals to prosecute them. Whether a scammer is diluting drugs or deluding buyers the effect is the same, enriching themselves at the expense of others.
In another posting among her seemingly sporadic and inane writings, Charlotte Byndas discussed the question “does money equal happiness?”. The blog posting was in response to a recent study which claimed that above $75,000 in annual income the incremental happiness is negligible. I think that the appropriate follow-up question would have to include “Does being scammed out of $50,000 create unhappiness?” It would be something she should address since she has personal experience with hundreds of people that feel precisely that way about her and the company she headed up as Chief Operating Officer, Health Career Agents. It was, in her own words, her “baby” and she was therefore responsible for the destruction it created in many personal lives.
Some people survive their cancer even though given diluted drugs from Robert Courtney. Some people survive in recruiting even though given a deluded business model from Charlotte Byndas.
Some people survive no matter what, It doesn’t lessen the fact that they were scammed.