Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Texas Gold Rush Pyramid Scheme

There's Gold in Them There Shills

"Finally! A program that pays everyone. ( not just the people at the top! )"

That's one of the catch phrases for yet another blatant pyramid scheme that tries to disguise its true nature behind an offering of products and objectives that fail to meet the standards established by authorities to distinguish a viable and legitimate multi-level marketing system from an outright scam.

Starting off in July of 2001 as Circle Round the World, LLC ( ) this "re-invented network marketing" system by one Beverly Skinner of Texas claims to provide "marketing tools & services for online networkers" and help in achieving "financial independence and wealth."

Your $145 entry fee entitles you to a $10 phone card, 250 free internet products and services and an opportunity to join a bonus structure that will "pay out over the next 7 to 10 years." This is somehow accomplished even after the Circle is closed "once investments no longer exceed the outgoing bonus money."

Bonus payments for signing up new members are paid back in the form of "fast start" cash payments of $40 for each qualified new member and ultimately "collector gold coins" as well as automatic entry into an unbelievable array of separate, yet linked, pyramid structures with different names and goals to supposedly better humanity.

There are also cycle bonuses of $250 for signing up, or having, 14 people in your "sales matrix" or "center" which consists of a four level pyramid structure with you on top, two under you, four under them and eight under them.

Only $200 is actually paid out, along with a phone card, with the $50 going towards "automatic Cycle reentry" into the progressively more expensive operations which "will take you to the next level of financial freedom while you help others and our planet."

Whether you join the newly formed company structures that follow with your potential cycling bonuses or cash from your wallet you are certainly encouraged to at least bring along the two you signed up.

Once Circle Round the World closed shop it was time to start the Texas Gold Rush which required an entry fee of $250. For this you get two 1/10 of an ounce "collector gold coins worth $100 each" plus a "financial package" worth the $50 balance. (valued at $350)

Even the attempt at justifying the pyramid enrollment fee as a full value product purchase is diminished by the $75 "fast start bonus" you are paid for each person you recruit.

A full cycle of fourteen participants under you gets you another gold coin and a bonus of $350, half of which is held for the next organizational structure entry fee yet to come.

The number of new companies to be formed, along with their "products" and "services" is restricted only by the imagination of the founder. If it is allowed to progress before government intervention, or ultimate implosion causes it collapse, it will be interesting to see how creative the stories will need to become to have people continually redeposit their bonuses into ever more expensive ventures.

To date, they are following a common vein seen in other such "financial and educational opportunities."

Next up was the Texas Gold Rush Phase 2 which is to be followed by the Financial Safety Net  ( ) and then The Money Tree company which claims to have humanitarian goals.

Each company enhances your membership with different e-books of escalating "value" on such different important financial topics as precious metals and legitimate tax sheltering.

"The financial information packet offered as our product, is worth its weight in gold! It’s an e-book packed with information that will show you how to maximize the value of the Internet.

You will be able to build amazing websites, develop savvy marketing skills and much more. Your e-book will provide you with valuable information regarding the value of your gold and cover a variety of additional topics pertaining to business. This value packed book will be regularly updated with new business tools and information.

The true value of the e-book is based on your ability and willingness to put it to work, but, if calculated it is worth in excess of $1,000.00, proving to be a wise investment for you or your business at only $145.00. The Web-site builder alone is worth $450.00.

Only you can take your destiny in your own hands. Take these tools and build your financial future! A bonus included with your product package is an inflation and recession fighter in the form of a piece of gold.

The gold coin or nugget you receive will be a hedge against currency devaluation, and it will afford you a way to gain an advantage in today’s markets.

The value of the gold will most certainly rise as constant economy fluctuations cause the dollar value to be adversely affected."

"The compensation plan for Texas Gold Rush (phase 1) is based on the sale of the retail product package for $145.00. Each direct sale earns the associate $50.00 in fast-start bonus. The first two sales qualify you for further compensation. The next fourteen sales that follow your first two will give you additional bonus of $100.00, a bonus piece of gold, and free re-entry.

Each consecutive 16 sales that follow in your direct line of sales will compensate you with $100.00, another bonus piece of gold and free re-entry. You will be compensated for your direct sales and that of your group as well as any company sales that benefit you.

The company does not guarantee future earnings except through your own efforts. You will earn a bonus for joining the Texas Gold Rush Ventures, Phase 1. Upon joining you will receive a 1/10 oz piece of gold and and an additional piece of gold each time you produce enough sales to cycle again."

"The retail product offered with Texas Gold Rush Phase II consists of an enhanced version of the Phase I e-book series...retails for $250. The financial information packet offered... will help you in your business... help you on your way to financial success... The true value... based on your ability and willingness to put it to work, but, if calculated it is worth in excess of $1,500.00... Only you can take your destiny in your own hands.

Take these tools and build your financial future. A bonus... gold coin or nugget... hedge against currency devaluation... value... will most certainly rise..."

If you aren't sure you can convince others to join you on the road to El Dorado you can pay $25 to have a qualifier sign up people under you. But with even the Cattleman's Association of Texas supposedly onboard how hard can it be to convince your friends and family to join your "business cycle with products and a compensation plan that are enough to sell this company into the next century."

After all, you don't have to sign up more than your two, though you are expected to help the two below you get their two each and so on.

The Financial Safety Net is a package of health benefit discounts (valued at $650) that is to be used at participating licensed health practitioners and facilities. Also included is a debit card which pays a residual income, for downline usage, and another e-book valued at $350. Membership at this level is $500 and pays a one time cycle bonus of $650.

At this stage you can also start marketing her Miracle 2 line of five soap products designed for reaching optimal health.

The fourth level company, The Money Tree, involves share-cropping the cash crop by-products of a miracle tree called the Paulownia. This "fast growing hardwood is light, does not warp, crack or twist and is fire-resistant and water-repellant." "The straight grained, light colored wood is often used for fine furniture, musical instruments, blind slats, plantation shutters, door and window frames, fiberglass cores, poles, pulp and paper.

The dried leaves, which grow to 36" across, are to be used as feed for cows, horses, sheep and hogs while the blossoms attract bees for a sideline of fragrant and abundant honey."

"The bark peels faster for use as veneer and plywood and the tree regenerates from the cut stump after reaching a height of 70-80 feet at maturity".

This, of course, is only if you don't have to cut it down beforehand to prevent the giant above from descending to earth to reek havoc on your humanitarian efforts to "get farmers back on their feet."

The Energy Company is the fifth in the line with Water Solutions and The Desalinization Project followed by yet more which will "help us with Community and Humanitarian projects in your own community" with the financial structure of each a doubling of the one before it.

Even with the disclaimers stating that compensation is not for the mere act of sponsoring but for product sales it is unlikely that the drawing card for most participants is the training in marketing and finance or legitimate tax sheltering but the promise of untold riches just by believing that "it is better for all to make it than just a chosen few."

Update: The companies claim to be no longer using an MLM or Network Marketing structure. Like the company name changes they are now calling it a Direct Sales structure for legal purposes.

Early participants continue to be "grand-fathered" into the new companies provided they submit an application.

"No one will lose anything! This is a big win-win gift to us!"

More on Pyramid Schemes

Circle Round The World LLC
P.O. Box 69090
Odessa, TX 79769


4572 N. Robin Ave.
Odessa, TX 79764
Tel: 915-385-7313 Fax: 509-691-3190/915-381-0018
Conference calls: Mon/Wed 7:30 p.m. Central 865-362-4350 PIN#1112

If you ask how the companies started or actually work you are either told "it's all about numbers" or that " it's none of your business to know and shouldn't concern you" but apparently there was a group of millionaires that wanted to do something with their money and give a helping hand to others less fortunate.

These millionaires laid the groundwork and built the base for the foundation of this "new" idea where it took the form of an MLM, but instead of just a few reaping riches, everyone in the company would help everyone else and everyone would get paid. And so every time someone joins, these millionaires pay an equal amount into the company.

I have a problem when people use the word "lucrative" to describe anything to better your well-being, especially where money is concerned. This word should be interchangeable with "scam".

Recruitment Attendee 04/02

I am so glad to see you post your comments about Beverly Skinner and this SCAM she is in. All I can say about Beverly is she is a person who thinks this sort of thing will someday make her rich. I believe the only way to make it in this world is to work hard and watch your finances.

Unwilling Participant 07/28/02

They have now changed the site to

Internet Consumer Frauds