California complaint against Fortune...possibly a hoax?
< class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-78" src="https://dev-thompson-burton-wpms.pantheonsite.io/wpmlm/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/hoax-200x300.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="300" /> Update: It has been confirmed that the California complaint against Fortune Hi Tech Marketing is indeed a hoax. This is a fascinating development. Two days ago, I commented on a "lawsuit" against Fortune Hi Tech filed by the California Attorney General's office. I said that Fortune was having a bad month because in the space of 30 days, they were hit with two state actions. The first action came from the state of Montana. The Montana lawsuit is legit, the California complaint is likely a hoax!I was contacted by one of Fortune's attorneys in Kentucky and he informed me that they're not able to find a California complaint. They're suspicious that the complaint was forged by a disgruntled distributor that's looking to harm their business. I think they're right. The hoax complaint can be found here. Update: The link is dead because I pulled the document from Scribd.com. Out of respect for Fortune, I've agreed to pull down the original post that references the California "complaint." I'll also pull down the hoax complaint from Scribd once you readers have a chance to see it for yourself.The California complaint was emailed to me during the weekend by a former FHT distributor. As you can tell from the link above, the complaint looks legit. Who would think that someone would go through so much trouble to forge a complaint!? It's too easy to rebuke if it's false and it's too easy to get caught and sued for slander. After looking at the complaint for a second time and comparing it to a recent California action against an alleged pyramid scheme and DSA member (California vs. YTB Travel), I noticed the following differences:
- The YTB complaint is double spaced;
- The font of the numbers is different between the complaints;
- The footnotes are identical between the two complaints, which indicates that someone cut and pasted certain portions of the YTB complaint and inserted FHT specific facts to create a semblance of legitimacy;
- The size of the pdf is huge. The hoax FHT complaint is over 8 megabytes, which implies that it originated from some editing program i.e. Adobe Illustrator. The YTB complaint was 1/20th this size and can be obtained directly from the AG's website.
Although I'm of the opinion that FHT has some problems with its compensation plan, I will not give any legs to a fraudulently drafted lawsuit. To this end, I will participate with Fortune as they weed out the culprit. And I offer the following free legal advice:
- Sue a "John Doe" defendant in California;
- Issue subpoenas and learn the identity of the anonymous author;
- Make it hurt and make him or her famous.
This is truly a strange event. Whoever took the time to forge the complaint, I advise that you get some Ambien. With the threat of a lawsuit looming, you'll need some help sleeping.