By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
According to the statute, a pyramid scheme is "a plan or operation by which a person gives consideration for the opportunity to receive compensation that is derived primarily from a person's introductions of other persons to participate in the plan..."
The Direct Sellers Association echoes that belief. Spokeswoman Amy Robinson says you can determine a business's legitimacy by evaluating the compensation plan.
"If your compensation is not based on the sale of a product or service to the ultimate consumer, you're looking at something that is a fraud," she says. And, "if the money that you're paying to come into the business is really just going to your upline because they brought you into the business, that's a huge red flag."
But for FitzPatrick, frauds can still be perpetrated under the guise of selling products or services -- especially in Texas.
"You can let these predators run loose and engage in this deception of telling people this is an authentic business opportunity, when it is not. You can do that -- it won't change what happens to the consumers in Texas, though...In fact, it will probably result in more of them losing their money."
For FitzPatrick, "Most people don't grasp the math...it is a math trick, at the end of the day."
It's reminiscent of something Darnell says in his flash presentation:
"This is math. This is nothing more than how numbers work."
And then there's how the Book of Numbers works. God speaks to Moses clearly, face-to-face, without riddles. It's a pretty good book. Tim Darnell and his followers might want to give it another look.