LegalShield Termination the Story of how John Fraser’s business was stolen through vulturous acts.
And Now the REST of the Story… I need to get this out, because my team especially NEEDS TO KNOW THE TRUTH, and so do YOU if you are looking at starting a business of your own with LegalShield. My story starts in 1998, when I started with Pre-Paid Legal Services (now Legalshield). I was with TPN, The People’s Network and within 60 days of me joining they merged into Prepaid Legal Services. So one week I’m selling Positive Motivational Satellite Channels and the next week I’m selling Legal Services.
I started part time and worked Prepaid Legal Services from 1998 through 2012, on and off and recruited about 30 people the first couple of years- one of the people my team brought in was Mark & Tammy Smith.
This started a ripple effect that went Coast-to-Coast and into Canada. I was intrigued and excited about the “Book of Business” they kept “Pitching” us. A REAL Asset that we could, SELL, TRANSFER, or through a Will / Trust that Legacy income to our children / grandchildren. In essence building LONG TERM RESIDUAL INCOME… that was the goal anyway for me, because I didn’t want to work for the rest of my life and DIE broke.
Here is the Pitch that I wanted to believe… If you work hard and if you Stick and Stay You’ll Get your Pay! — “The Pitch” – The LegalShield Scam – Work your Ass off – so one day, you can have Residual Income allowing you to retire young and rich, and when you die, your income stream can be transferred to your family and children. That’s just ONE of their HOOKs!
Here is a slide from a corporate training:
The idea of residual income through Legalshield sounded really good to me and my wife. This “ONE key IDEAL” is what kept me moving forward and NEVER cancelling my membership. This is the 2nd HOOK they use to KEEP you VESTED with the company. This is the BIGGEST BULLSHIT pitch that Legalshield constantly tells you. This is the MAIN reason why we STILL have our membership, see it worked!
My Legalshield business was Abruptly Terminated
after an argument with Brian Carruthers, #2 Income Earner in Legalshield.
After I found out from my downline that he was “IN my downline” and had Somehow Taken Over Mark & Tammy Smith’s Business. (see the TEXT).
Somehow Brian, took over the Platinum Position of Mark and Tammy Smith’s and I DID NOT RECEIVE ANY NOTIFICATION FROM LEGALSHIELD. Legalshield’s policy on Buy/Sell Agreements is, ALL UPLINE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS TO THE PLATINUMS POSITION MUST sign off. This allows certain parties to purchase the position as long as it does not dramatically affect an upline leader financially. We were Silver Executive Directors and were never contacted by the company, so we’re not sure how Brian Carruthers took over this position.
I had supported and trained Mark and also had given him over 1000 audio training tapes from Amway — classic tapes that helped with psychology, never quitting, how to contact and invite, and how some of the leaders bought RV’s and drove all over the country where the NEW teams appeared and helped them grow their businesses. Well Mark and Tammy bought an RV and left Maryland and went around the country helping their teams. I was burned out an took off for a few years — all while maintaining my membership and NEVER let it lapse. EVEN To this day we still have our membership — primarily because of the lawsuit…. and so they could never come back and say you’re residuals are terminated because you cancelled your membership.
So you can see here my first checks from Prepaid Legal through my prior corporation Smartel. Smartel was a Distributor to TPN, Jeff Olson and Eric Worre’s company that was Merged into Prepaid Legal in 1998. NOTICE the MDT=Month to Date Sales, which was 3 personal sales. And I had made 10 sales total so far in my career!!
Here is a copy of my Original TPN Associate / Distributor Application that was under my business name: Smartel Corporation (See Attached Image – notice my signature at the bottom right). As December 31, 1998, the Company had 603,017 Memberships in force with members in all 50 states, and the District of Columbia see the original Securities and Exchange Commission document: SEC 10-K filing here.
In the next 14 years until October 2, 2012 my recruiting efforts led to a sales team that sold over 111,000 memberships & recruited over 32,000 sales agents.
Here is a Statement of my PERSONAL INCOME over the 10 months PRIOR to the Legalshield TERMINATION. When I noticed our income was a FRACTION of where it normally was, I started calling the company and asking questions. (see the RECREATED Screen shot).
I reached the Executive Director Support Specialists at the Home office, and within about 1 hour I had a call from Brian Carruthers talking to me about how I should be SO LUCKY to be in a Brian Carruthers Sandwich, having me in his DOWNLINE and having him in my UPLINE.
After Brian re-assured me that Nothing would happen to my income and that he was now Above me and Below me— and that i should be greatful? I basically bitched him out for stealing our income for his unethical methods. (Listen to the Entire conversation here AFTER he Threatens to Terminate me). Fast forward to 08:00 minutes into the audio and you’ll see how Brian Validates that he is NOW Underneath my position (ILLEGALLY- by circumventing the Policies and Procedures)
Here is the Audio / VIDEO on Youtube to view:
NOTE: There is a 2 year NON COMPETE with Legalshield. Based on documentation that was I found out through our Lawsuit with Legalshield, our NON COMPETE EXPIRED in at the END of OCTOBER of 2014.
LEGALSHIELD, and PREPAID LEGAL Policies and procedures state that NO Associate can acquire another position on their downline without the PRIOR AUTHORIZATION AND SIGNED APPROVAL OF ALL UPLINE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORs.
That means from Mark Smith & Tammy Smith’s Position that was producing thousands of memberships annually from there UP. Which included Patricia Hunt (Executive Director) & John Fraser (Silver Executive Director) and Nathaniel Coleburn (Executive Director) AND then Brian Carruthers, and above him was Patrick Shaw a person who is a PLATINUM in his OWN original business, but also OWNS a position under the company name of Gung-Ho Marketing, the position ABOVE Brian Carruthers. #2 Position in the ENTIRE company. This also brings up an INTERESTING POINT. Legalshield will allow you to combine your income for testimonial purposes (from all of your positions), so even though Patrick is a PLATINUM in his OWN Separate business from Brian Carruthers, he OWNS a position ABOVE Brian, and he is pranced across the stage stating how much money he and all of the Platinum’s earn, part of his earnings he states is income that he OVERRIDES on Brian Carruthers ENTIRE ORGANIZATION. You can understand that ALLOWING Brian to TAKE OVER ANOTHER POSITION IN HIS DOWNLINE WOULD WIPE away a GOOD portion of HIS overrides as there would NOW be another PLATINUM in his downline. So needless to say Patrick was NOT very happy to learn that he wasn’t even notified NOR signed off on any documentation that would ALLOW Brian Carruthers to take over Mark & Tammy Smith’s TEAM FREEDOM position.
Legalshield’s Policies and Procedures also STATES that the business you build is YOURs, the book of business is WILLABLE and TRANSFERRABLE to your heirs, for upto two generations, unless you place your business in a Corporation or TRUST and then it can go on INDEFINITELY.
At the same time, Legalshield will NOT allow you to OWN or ACTIVELY BUILD than one position. Husband and Wife must be under 1 business unit, unless they both had positions PRIOR to getting married and they were in separate lines or Organizations. Patrick Shaw’s Main Position is under a completely separate Platinum — UNDER JOHN HOFFMAN.
So Legalshield has been in the business of parading these TOP Distributors in front of everyone around the country, and they all have the same story. I got started just like you, and if I can do it you can do it too. Telling everyone that you can do it, I started just like you did. NO ACTUALLY you didn’t. These guys got special deals coming in. And They CONTINUE to get special deals to STAY.
This is why DARNELL SELF was OFFERED a CORPORATE position with Legalshield, to give him a BASE Salary – to make him a company man and a YES man. Basically Darnell’s alignment and speech will mirror corporate bullshit, not what distributors really need to hear.
Dave Savula their #1 Million Dollar per year earner was their Poster Child, until Brian Carruthers, Darnell Self, Mark Riches, the Larry Smith, and some of the other leaders arrived, they ALL have MULTIPLE business positions. From one source I found that Darnell self may have over 10 positions, Brian Carruthers, i know has multiple positions. When a friend of ours, Ben Bradshaw ended leaving and going over to Seacret after building a very strong Legalshield business, Brian Carruthers somehow “took over” his position and possibly gave this position and the income to a struggling guy — to help “prop” him up when many leaders were leaving Legalshield, to “buy him” and keep him in the business.
Dave Savula has had been paid on multiple agreements or arrangements, from Prepaid Legal since the beginning, shown in the FORM 10-K Securities and Exchange Commission form, for the period ending December 31, 2001. (the Original file has been “amended” to “omit” this and other information. I have included the original filehere.
So after we saw the above, denial of access while trying to enter help a customer sign up, we call the company, and were told they cannot talk with us, they cannot give us any information except that i’m NO longer an associate and here is the email the company attorney as they cannot talk to us any more, then they hung up on us.
I immediately emailed the company about why my business that was earning about $8,000-$12,000 per month was SHUT DOWN without any notice.
Here is the company’s OFFICIAL policy taken from their SuccessGuide Rev 8.12from page 74.
When a complaint is filed on an Associate,we call the
Associate to listen to his or her side of the story. If the
complaint is substantiated by LegalShield, a verbal
warning is issued to the Associate. Should another
complaint of the same nature be filed on an Associ-
ate, a formal warning will be mailed certified mail.
Legalshield blew us off for nearly 4 months. No access to talk to anyone. Zero Income. We blew through our savings! Our car ended up being given back to the bank in lieu of a repossession! All of our savings was depleted, and we were forced to get onto Food Stamps! We had to sell our computers, ipads, stereo’s, tv’s, electronics… all of the “fruits” of my effort, and eventually cancelled cable, and everything except for a phone and the basics.
Of course I didn’t have any money to sue them at this point. So I searched for months to find an Attorney would take our case on contingency to go after these bastards for fucking our life over.
These types of things are why people have a BAD taste in their minds and mouths about Network Marketing or MLM. I finally found a law firm out of Dallas who i found through this Article in the Houston Biz Journal about Anthony Anderson wins verdict against Ameriplan and awarded $5.5 Million in a contract dispute by a former independent agent.
Ross Sears referred me to Ron Lovett out of Katy Texas at 713-532-0043. So we SUED Legalshield in TEXAS in 2013. Legalshield stonewalled us for over 1 year, and still have NOT provided me a copy of our associate compliance file to that we can see “who” or “what” happened that caused the Termination. It’s my OPINION that Brian Carruthers provided false allegations against me and within 2 weeks — 14 years of my work and dedication was thrown away.
All the people who i’ve talked to about Brian Carruthers say that Brian is only about the money and that he would screw over his own family, if it could put thousands or millions into his bank account.
At a level of Platinum (taking over Mark Smith’s Positon)…. if you follow the money trail, the ONLY PERSON to BENEFIT from me being terminated was Brian. Lets do some simple math. Lets say the team was averaging 1000 memberships each month. A Platinum will override that POSITION by about $50 per sale. So Brian was to INCREASE his income by estimating :$35,000 to over $50,000 PER MONTH if I was gone. NOT TO MENTION All of MY INCOME would NOW GO TO BRIAN AS WELL of about $10,000 per month average.
You can Follow the filings on our CURRENT lawsuit with Legalshield here. So after my discussion with Brian Carruthers, I told him that I took screen shots of my back office showing him to have his NAME in place of MarkandTammySmith Login ID as you can see here. His name, Email Address, His home address for his home in Davidson Maryland and Phone number were on this document. When I questioned the company this, Brian Calls me… BITCHES me out, berates me and then proceeds to tell me that, I should consider myself LUCKY that i’m in a Brian Carruthers Sandwich, that I’m now Above you and Below you. I told him that because of his position at PLATINUM it is HIGHER than my Silver Position, and about 80% of my income would be DESTROYED overnight. I told that if this affects us that I would Tell EVERYONE what he had done to a friend of his for over 14 years. He said, he only started talking to me after I started rebuilding my business in 2009, and that I was worthy of his time now. He also said that I was a loser, someone who sucks off others, and that if I EVER TOLD ANYONE ABOUT the SCREEN SHOTS of him taking over Mark’s position that he would and I quote.
… if you tell anyone about the screen shots “I will make it my PERSONAL VENDETTA to take you out at the KNEES”
This conversation occurred on September 20, 2012. On October 2, 2012 — we are GONE. (Less than 2 weeks later)
Here is a LINK to the CONVERSATION on Youtube — make sure you listen from the very beginning you can hear Brian threatening me…
So here I am, it’s Wednesday April 6th, 2016. Prepaid Legal Services Inc dba Legalshield, has stonewalled me at every turn. They sued me in Oklahoma (for my DEBIT BALANCE) the amount they advance you but you haven’t earned back from Residuals. So Ron Lovett sued Legalshield in Dallas, Texas in 2013. in January of 2014, Legalshield sued me directly for my debit balance. I’d like you to note:
My debit balance with Legalshield upon termination was approximately $160,000. When I was sued directly by them in January of 14, about 14 months AFTER they said my debit balance was only $60,000.
SEE their entire Lawsuit against me here. (SEE page 4, line ,14-16).
While I was not even actively working this business my debit balance paid down over $100,000, and they want me to just walk away?
Can you fucking believe this?
Here is why most people cannot retire from legalshield. They are constantly living on the income, as you’re continually required to produce monthly sales — unless you’re at a certain level, whereby you dont have to “Produce” any more. So with me OUT of the way. All of the override income has passed to Brian Carruthers, All of the DIRECT sales commissions on Mark Smith’s position went directly to Brian Carruthers.
Also the company boasts having a 75% or above persistency. I personally sold over 500 memberships (to individuals NOT group business). I had over 111,000 memberships by October 2, 2012. My personal memberships left after 14 years was a little over 100, and organizationally ,a little over 18,000. If you divide those numbers out, you’ll see the real persistency over time, which is why if you ever start building this business you’ll never be able to retire unless your team brings in thousands and thousands of sales. See the infographic.
The company lies to you from the beginning. They put people in front of you that have special or different deals than someone getting started today its a perfect smoke and mirrors game and the only one that will be played is you.
Brian Carruthers works with the company in a CORPORATE PAID position, the company has POLICIES and PROCEDURES and if the rules are broken by Associates, the problems need to be addressed. But what do you do when Legalshield will NOT honor their OWN CONTRACTS, when CORPORATE members do ILLEGAL practices, that hurt people like ME.
It has now been almost 4 years, our non compete of 2 years has expired. I deserve the PROMISES that the company sold me 15+ years ago. I still have my membership, I am DUE my residuals and all of the monies that are due to me, not to mention all of the damages for severe emotional hardship, nearly getting divorced over all of this crap, and never having done anything wrong, never prostelyzed, never became part of another business PRIOR to my termination and NEVER pitching the existing team on any new deals this whole time.
These people and Brian Carruthers need to be held accountable for their wrong doings. And if you’re looking at joining Legalshield, please NOTE that on all of their NEW Videos (at the end) they DO NOT GUARANTEE continuation of Your Income or your Business (isn’t that interesting). I think the membership has merit and has worked for us many times. It has its shortcomings. But as long as you understand what it does and does not do, it’s a good deal. If you are looking at a company that stands behind their word, and will guarantee you a lifelong residual income and book of business that you can take with you when retire. Id recommend a different business.
If you would like to work with Me & Kelly in our current endeavors. Contact us.
——– UPDATE as of SEPTEMBER of 2017 ——–
I reached out to contact Jeff Bell the CEO of Legalshield via Facebook because standing up to the FTC on Pyramid Schemes. See the Article below (copied from this reference.
Jeff Bell is CEO of LegalShield, an USA based leading provider of affordable legal plans and identity theft solutions for individuals, families and small businesses, serving more than 4.2 million people across North America.
He has send the next open letter to the FTC:
When Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez steps down in a few days, we will remember her speech at the Direct Selling Association’s Business and Policy Conference in Washington last October, where she clearly laid out what it means to be operating a pyramid scheme.
Her remarks were important, and they were necessary. Because the Direct Selling Association (DSA) can’t seem to enforce the ethical codes and standards it created, the FTC had to step in to clean house. While some companies, such as LegalShield, embrace network marketing as a powerful tool for entrepreneurial success, many direct marketing companies have turned into pyramid schemes. Maybe their leaders believe they can get away with these unconscionable practices.
In the wake of John Oliver’s take-down of multilevel marketing last fall, and the possible institutionalization of the FTC’s ruling in the Herbalife case, it’s time to review Ramirez’s criteria for what it means to deploy a pyramid scheme — and to put the transformation of these guidelines into law as a top priority on Ohlhausen’s agenda. First, real sales must be made to real customers. To me it’s dumbfounding that this must be stated. Legitimate marketing is based on actual people buying an actual service or product.
Ramirez defines “real customers” as “consumers who are not pursuing a business opportunity.” This was a clear conclusion from the July 2016 FTC settlement with Herbalife. A pyramid sells product to wholesale distributors and calls it retail sales. That is not permitted. It’s simple enough for any company to be compliant here. If you are not paying commissions on retail sales, if your sales are not profitable or verifiable, if you use targets or thresholds that are met only by wholesale product purchases, then it’s nearly certain you are running a pyramid scheme.
Every company should be held to these (ridiculously achievable) standards: No required wholesale purchase, no monthly quotas that can be met by personal purchase, no automatic shipments, no tricks. Second, Ramirez stated, “It is time that MLM income representations matched the income reality of the majority of multi-level marketing participants.” Every network marketing and direct selling company must present the business opportunity as a way for establishing supplemental income.
At LegalShield, we are proud of our associates who have built and lead large sales organizations that result in high levels of income. But we are equally proud of the tens of thousands who have improved their lives by earning $300, $500 or $1,000 incrementally each month. Third, Chairwoman Ramirez stated that companies should train their distributors on the issue of income claims — and I would add, on how to establish a successful business. Network marketers need a standard set of tools for associates to use — videos, meeting slides, flipbooks and brochures — that are very clear on what should be said and what cannot be said.
There is power in the direct-selling model, which accelerates success with excellent third-party tools, meetings and events. All independent marketing and sales associates should share their experiences, and over time and with proper training, their stories become the message. Not through tricks, or get-rich-quick schemes, but through growth, dedication and earned success.
Fourth, the FTC wants all direct selling companies to monitor and enforce appropriate behavior. Companies must have rules and enforce them. It’s that simple. Monitor associates’ behavior, enforce ethical codes, conduct training meetings, establish a system for facilitating concerns and complaints.
LEGALSHIELD WILL NOT HONOR OR ENFORCE THEIR POLICIES AND PROCEDURES AGAINST BRIAN CARRUTHERS WHO GOT US TERMINATED AFTER THREATENING ME on September 22, 2012, and on October 2, 2012 — My position was TERMINATED and BRIAN CARRUTHERS IF YOU FOLLOW THE MONEY — WAS POISED TO RECEIVE BETWEEN $50-$100 in OVERRIDES ON ALL 1000-2000 or more memberships that I GENERATED WITH MY TEAM — BRIAN SOMEHOW GOT US TERMINATED and TOOK ADVANTAGE OF TURMOIL INSIDE THE COMPANY AS MANY LEADERS WERE LEAVING TO GO TO OTHER COMPANIES LIKE NERIUM, SEACRET, and other MLMS. Legalshield DID NOT DO ITS DUE DILIGENCE AND DESTROYED MY RETIREMENT INCOME THAT I INVESTED 14 years to that point in developing. (LISTEN TO THIS AUDIO ON BRIAN THREATENING ME on that September 22, 2012) — John Fraser, Sept 7, 2017 (5 years — Legalshield has Stonewalled me)
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All of these are critical to deploying a successful and ethical network marketing infrastructure. These practices are not optional. They keep the system working, ethical and profitable.
From Chairwoman Ramirez’s speech it’s clear she was not content with the status of the MLM industry. There’s too much consumer harm, too little product value and too much talk with too little action. I could not agree more!
LegalShield left the Direct Selling Association, and I resigned as a member of its board of directors, because the DSA allows bad companies to masquerade as legitimate network marketing companies, which further soils the industry’s reputation. The danger to every direct selling company that champions the best and appropriate practices is that their viability is being undermined by bad actors.
I strongly urge Chairman Ohlhausen to deploy these guidelines into law. At my company, we meet or exceed the FTC’s guidelines as we prove why direct selling and network marketing are powerful and positive models for entrepreneurship and free enterprise.
In a time when too few opportunities exist for too many, we believe in our model and know that it can help create happiness and success for entrepreneurs without preying on others or deploying unethical schemes. For us, onward will continue to be upward.
I connected with Jeff Bell on FACEBOOK to NOTIFY HIM OF THEIR WRONG DOING and Stone Walling our Case for 5 years. This was his reply to me:
Here is the AUDIO RECORDING of the Conversation with KERI NORRIS: (this might take a moment to load)
AFTER THIS recording, it TOOK nearly 1 month until I got a message hoping to proceed to the next step(s).