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The development of this site has taken over nine years of research and development and has been brought to you at a great expense of time, money and resources, without financial assistance or governmental support.

That being said, it would not have been possible without the source material content freely available on the web, itself publicly and privately funded.

The shear volume of data which was collected, evaluated then condensed, paraphrased or simply left intact, made attribution difficult, if not impossible, for which we apologize and wish to rectify in the following fashion.

Any person, organization or other body which after viewing this site, feels that source attribution should be noted in this section or wishes to provide further data may contact us with particulars and we would be glad to acknowledge your efforts along with links to your site information.

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Any person wishing to supply information for this site will be acknowledged, should the material be deemed relevant and complementary. We reserve, however, the right to condense, alter or incorporate the information into appropriate sections.

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All material within this site, present, past and future, in printed or electronic format, is copyrighted by its developers, with the exception of source material with earlier attribution and copyright protection or public domain availability.

The tradename "Crimes of Persuasion" is a registered trademark. Unauthorized use of the term is forbidden.

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As for myself, I don't access or store personal information about visitors nor do I give or sell email addresses to other parties. If you send me an email I may keep it around for a while until I answer it, delete it, or forget that I even have it. Regardless, no one else gets to see it unless it's a threat against me or my site, or you have asked me to forward it on to someone else.

I don't spam anyone so anything you get that purports to come from this site is likely from some crook or a guy in Florida who feels its okay to steal my tradename for his own dubious purposes.

Disclaimers

Information provided on this website is provided for a worldwide audience with the exception of the State of Florida. Individuals from that State are prohibited from viewing this website, purchasing books from the author, Les Henderson, or otherwise doing commerce with the website owner or any of the advertisers on the website. I will have absolutely no contact with any consumer from the State of Florida for any commercial purpose related to this website.

Information within has been primarily gleaned from court records, government information circulars and enforcement actions. All persons are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law, even despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Reference to any firm or individual, in any form, within any section, does not imply any wrongdoing or illegal behavior. All persons or companies mentioned on the site are invited to reply to comments or statements with an alternate view of events.

The site headings referencing Crimes of Persuasion: Schemes, Scams, Frauds; which are consistent throughout the entire site; are not a statement of facts to be attributed to any person or entity mentioned within, but merely identify the site itself.

Any innuendo which may be attributed to any party mentioned shall be deemed a comment based on facts truly stated.

Derogatory statements made in error will be swiftly removed upon request and will be accompanied with a posted apology if requested.

As there will inevitably be those con artists who, having absconded with millions and now living on a beach, will feel slighted by comments or allegations made herein, we have tried to deliberately avoid using individual names in order to avoid nuisance law-suits. Another reason for omitting their names is that we do not wish to immortalize them as clever individuals, so we endeavour to ignore them and focus on the deeds themselves.

Unfortunately, this failure to properly identify ongoing concerns, for which complaints have been recorded, prevents individuals from locating them by web searches.

Advertising on the site helps to pay for its continuing operation and to finance the numerous lawsuits that the scammers keep filing against me. I have little or no control over what the advertisers place on the site since it is done automatically and changes constantly. Just be aware that many scammers use online advertising to promote their dubious or illegal wares and services. Do not assume that I endorse any product or service because it is advertised on my site. I do not.

In fact, I would suggest you carefully read the entire site before taking any action regarding any ads unless it is for informational purposes only. Simply do not believe every ad you read, no matter where it appears.


Legal Advice Pertaining to Threats of Libel and Slander

Q: How far should I go in covering a scam which hasn't been officially charged yet? Even with a million complaint letters saying the same thing I get the feeling they can sue me for libel for posting them on my site. I thought opinion pieces had some leeway. Do I have a leg to stand on?

A: First, truth is a complete defense. That being said, the only way you can really show truth is in front of the judge. Best to not be sued and have to make a successful defense.

Second, there is some leeway. If you are simply printing consumer complaints, then it's less likely that you can be personally liable. If you have some kind of disclaimer, like, "I don't know if this is true and accurate, but I get lots of complaints like this one," it still doesn't protect you from getting sued, but it will prevent them from successfully suing you.

And it gets you out without having to show that their business is a scam. Merely showing that others believe so is sufficient.

Q: Even when I have someone write in asking about a company I have had demands to remove the company's name from the section as it deals with scams and could be interpreted as one. Another site that dealt with scams was shut down by his web site host because a company which had daily complaints from viewers threatened them.

A: It is not at all uncommon to have scam businesses respond with allegations of slander and libel. An overall disclaimer on your site that you do not verify the accuracy of the consumer complaints, but merely post them, should make the business realize that it can't shut you down.

In a recent Seattle case, the web host was sued to try to get the names of the people who had posted. The judge did not require the host to reveal the names unless the business had sued the people who had posted and shown that it could not get the names through some other method. The web host itself had no liability.

My most recent experience with scams trying to fight back by claiming slander is with Great Expectations Video Dating Service. They try to claim that anyone who posts on one of the several anti-GE websites has defamed them.

This doesn't make sense, because another defense to slander is that there are no damages, usually proven by showing the business' reputation in the community. Amway can't claim that you've slandered them by calling them a pyramid scheme because millions of people call Amway a pyramid scheme.

If it's not uncommon for consumers to complain about the business, then it's hardly a damaging comment. A business that claims this person said something bad about them (on a website where lots of people say bad things about them) wants to ignore the part in parentheses.

They also never state how they have calculated the damages that they have allegedly suffered. They can only recover their damages (or in some cases, "nominal damages").

Nominal damages are awarded where they technically win but could not show any accurate damages. In these situations, the court awards $100 to show that they won. Of course, the court case itself can be very expensive, and this is usually the big club that the business holds.

But in most cases, a "slander of a business by a consumer" case would be dismissed on a preliminary motion (such as where the web site contains a disclaimer).

I recently advised an Indianapolis Great Expectations member to respond to a slander and libel counterclaim to his lawsuit by printing out all of the Anti-GE pages off the internet and submitting them as evidence that you can't really hurt GE's reputation in the community.

I never heard back from the consumer, which is usually a sign of success. Think of how GE would have had to respond to this evidence. "Your Honor, everyone is slandering us." Gosh, I wonder why?

A threat of slander and libel is a sign that you're on the right track.

Mark Fleming


 

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