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My Shopping Genie Investigative Report

My Shopping Genie Investigative Report

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Published by Troy Dooly

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Published by: Troy Dooly on Sep 27, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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There's usually a catch or two in getting rich quick
Sunday September 26 2010 A few weeks ago, I was asked by a friend to go to the Red Cow Inn to see a business opportunitythat would make me a fortune and set me up for life. At the meeting I heard of this softwarecompany, whose St Louis, Missouri, headquarters was located between Google and eBay andwhich was run by respected businessmen and backed up by millions of dollars.The software was unique; it was a million-dollar brand and was fully patented. However, afterlooking into the product and the company and consulting independent technical experts, anactuary, former distributors, international trademark and patent lawyers and even the BetterBusiness Bureau and FTC in America, I came to a very different conclusion.What I found was an international get-rich-quick scheme, co-founded by two Americans, one aconvicted fraudster who was previously involved in one of the biggest global pyramid schemesof all time, and whose latest scheme, according to an expert in Irish Law, "had many of thehallmarks of a pyramid promotional scheme".The product was called My Shopping Genie and purported to be an application which, whendownloaded on to your computer, sits on top of Google and kicks in when you are searching fora product.At the first meeting I went to, I met Hugh Paul Ward, the main distributor in Ireland. He gave avery slick presentation and told the room of hopeful investors that he had been over to MyShopping Genie offices and had been really impressed.According to him, the average American saves $200 per month using the Genie.So here was the magic bit. You're impressed that everyone would want a Genie. You could nowgive this away for free to family and friends and every time they made a search using the Genie,you get paid a 'pay-per-click' income."As you click, you get paid. You don't have to buy anything off these websites. When you click on those links within the comparison section you are making money. You click you get paid, youclick you get paid. You don't have to buy anything," he said.According to Mr Ward, you can earn an average of $3 a month in 'pay-per-click' income fromeach Genie you give away. That's $300 a month if you give away 100 of them to family orfriends.
All you have to do is sign up as a distributor for $199 and pay a monthly subscription of $29. Itdoesn't sound much, but it adds up to an impressive $547 in the first year.According to Mr Ward, there is money to be made by giving away the genie. However, if youbuild a team of people to give it away, you can make a fortune. The earnings were impressive.Get two people to join up and they give you $100, get four and they give you $200. They alsogive you $10 a month every time those four pay their monthly subscription.Even if you went off on holidays for a year, if those four signed up another four, you would getthe equivalent of a further $12.50 per person and $2.50 per person per month signed up belowyou. You could earn up to $20,000 a week this way! This was clearly where the big money wasmade. That's over a million dollars a year to an ordinary distributor.I decided to research the software, the company and its promoters and was stunned by what Ifound. The company was co-founded by Bruce Bise and David Freed. Bise had been sentencedto seven years in jail in the US for felony forgery and fraudulent schemes artifice.When he got out of jail he became involved in a series of multi-level marketing schemes such asCelebrity Galleries International, My Hand PC and Get Moving Today, which filed for Chapter11 (bankruptcy protection) leaving thousands of investors stranded. David Freed was theinternational marketing manager of that company.I asked FR Kelly, international patent and trademark lawyers, to look into My Shopping Genieand their holding company, My Net Universe.To my great surprise they informed me that My Shopping Genie wasn't even trademarked. Thecompany had started the process but hadn't followed it through. Furthermore, a company calledKelkoo had a similar product called "Shop Genie" registered much earlier already.I approached RTE's Prime Time with what I had found and they agreed to work with me on it.With producer Bill Malone I went undercover to meetings, which were held in the Red CowHotel on Thursday evenings mainly.We sent the software to be analysed by RingJohn, internet marketing and advertising consultants.John Ring himself found plenty of odd features. He also found that when he replicated thesearches that Mr Ward had done, all prices came back in sterling. We couldn't find an Irish site inany of his searches. Some Genie!Mr Ward declined an opportunity to go on Prime Time or to answer questions about hisinvolvement in the scheme.After last Thursday night's broadcast, Mr Freed, president and CEO of My Net Universe andAndrew Cauten, president of My Net International, said they believed that Prime Time haddecided "to do its best to damage our reputation".

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