Income Store: SEC Verified Ponzi Scheme
Let’s say you hand money over to a few people and obtain a guaranteed rate of return written up in a contract?
Does it seem like a product you would want to sign up right away?
You would think! But You’d be wrong!
Even though Income Store had a compelling and rational offer…it has transformed into nothing more than another online/ecommerce business running on Ponzi Scheme confirmed by the SEC.
But was it always like this? Was it their intention from the start?
We dive deep into all of the important aspects of Income Store and everything you have to know.
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Kenneth D Courtright
Ken Courtright created Today’s Growth Consultant back in 1992. It is an international company and dealing with more than 3,300 businesses in 49 states!
Ken is the writer of Guerrilla Marketing Today, part of his biggest selling series, “Online Income.” His co-author was Brian Tracy. Ironically, he also features a book called “Trust Trumps Everything”.
Ken Courtright Today
Before securities and exchange commission got involved, Ken used being featured by Forbes, WGN Chicago, and the USA today…
He had a booming business, “Income Store,” which helped individuals earn recurring income off sites for a time…however, it turned into a Ponzi scheme after mismanagement.
In 2020 he was charged with wire fraud.
What Is The Income Store?
The organization was founded in 2008 by Ken and Kerri Courtright in Illinois.
The deal was straightforward. Income Store will get out there and locate money generating sites for sale, then offering to investors (an easy pitch ) & get into it splitting income 50/50.
The investor’s responsibility is the upfront payment and Income Store would contact who they need to call for the deal and keep the websites themselves.
That may not seem wrong or anything…but the problem is providing a guaranteed return rate as they did.
You see… all of that money stops in case the websites stop producing.
All of this would have worked efficiently on paper. In a nutshell, it is people acquiring passive income…but where this went wrong was in management….
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How Does Income Store Work?
It was simple. Ken and his team will offer investors an opportunity to buy digital properties which were already making money.
All the investors will need to do is pay the bill. In exchange, Income Store would manage it, and they would split the earnings 50/50.
The business idea is solid.
The concern is they grew fast too quickly and rapidly burned out.
What Happened To The Income Store
Beginning in 2012 until 2019, they went through a considerable level of growth. Honestly, they’d the kind of development that any business would have dreamt of.
They will go out and buy websites from various brokerages and then search for investors to get it done.
Nevertheless, in late 2019 rumors began circulating that Income Store was going down the toilet. They couldn’t pay employees and shortly after, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) got involved and declared them a Ponzi Scheme.
In early 2020, the SEC close them down after their investigation concluded. In the end, Kenneth D Courtright had criminal charges and statements charge against himself and Income Store.
Because of the hard evidence and proof, Ken had no opportunity. He was accused and no lawyer was able to save him.
It was unfortunate, Ken and Income Store may have cheated over a hundred million dollars from people who wanted an opportunity to generate a portion of the profit Todays Growth consultant inc was making.
Was The Income Store Really A Ponzi?
We do not have everyone inside the company to provide us specific information about the issue. However, if the Securities and Exchange Commission allegation is true…then it is what it is.
As a result of all the mismanagement of assets mentioned earlier, the SEC (in the U.S.) alleges that new investor’s money was utilized as payment for older investors…you can see how that could be a problem.
That is not a stretch either…
The bank account which Ken was using said he admitted using investor funds outside of the contracted agreement. For that ground alone, they cut ties with Income Store.
This charge was alleged to a court filing.
But was the Income Store plan a scheme from the start? Or did management and irregular distribution of money management cause the company’s demise?
The authorities have discussed some info, but each claim, one way or the other, remains murky at this stage.
To a certain level, it does not matter what the motives were. The bottom line is, people still got scammed for their money.
The problem, in our opinion, at that point in time, TGC and Ken crossed the line. He crashed his contractual obligation with people and utilized their money in any way he saw best for his company.
However, if it was claimed to become a Ponzi right from the start, why invest huge sums of cash on sites? Why not build a site with an eye-catching name accessible with a throw-away email address instead?
Additionally, why get involved with a bank? And why admit to them you are using investor money in a manner that makes the bank cut off the ties?
Our opinion is they started off well but were victims of their success.
The business model they’d built was excellent, but they did not have the systems set up to scale and develop at the speed they were.
Eventually, this led to them burning out and making decisions they definitely should not have made with cash they didn’t own.
That’s all speculation. However, we don’t know the actual story. No one may ever. All we know is the fact that many people had lost their investment.
Other Issues With The Income Store
There were some other concerns we found with Income Store too.
Income Store had huge communication difficulties. They will go days or weeks without answering the deal broker. That is strange because, as a receiver, you would like the get access to the sites ASAP.
They will also want all the website info quickly, such as an earnings evaluation and such, though we never found proof documenting urgency from them to be a buyer.
Nevertheless, we do not think they’d have any bad intention behind that. We believe they were growing way too quickly for their own good. They could not react to everybody at the pace of which was necessary.
After Mismanaging The Assets The Receiver Decides To…Sue Empire Flippers?
In September 2020, the receiver filed with the court to modify their fee system from a fixed, per-hour rate to contingency.
So, what does it mean?
My guess is she recognized the websites had been in decline under her command and there were not sufficient funds to pay her hourly costs. Rather, she asked to test the situation on contingency – which means she will take 30% of what she can take from any people in the case.
When her requested contingency was authorized, she fired out legal actions late in 2020, likely to settle and collect her fees.
In doing this, she came at them hard.
Her lawsuit is not only asking for the fees we generated. She is asking for the full value of the organizations – including the money rightfully given to the sellers:
Even worse, the receiver goes beyond, declaring the websites were “worthless” and they “facilitated” and perpetuated the fraud against existing investors and new recruited investors.”
Empire Flippers states that they were provocative and false. They keep authentic documents and can quickly determine:
- These websites were sold under the same method other buyers used
- These websites kept their value during and through their purchase
- Their vetting procedure does not allow for unsalable businesses
We all know it will be unlikely for the receiver to prove the statements above – they are not accurate. So…why would she make them then?
Empire Flippers said she did not know if we were associated with the Income Store scam. Therefore it could be better to make the statements and see how things will react. If we had a groundswell of support that we had been defrauding our clients, operating a scammy enterprise, then she would have more action to take. (And can gather a bigger dollar amount considering her authorized 30% contingency fee)
And why Empire Flippers? They realize that their competitor sold many more websites to the Income Store than we did for a significantly more considerable dollar amount. Why didn’t she pursue them?
They think it has one of 2 reasons for her complaint:
1. The receiver might be dealing with one of their competitors.
2. Other brokers utilized Escrow while they were paid directly.
What Has Happened Since The Income Store Was Shut Down?
The court appointed receiver, Melanie Damian, took command of the organization in Q1 2020, like the office, bank accounts, employees, domain names, and all assets, including all the websites under Income Store’s management for this reasons.
However, one may argue the control is just not the best, considering one of the first moves would be to sue Empire Flippers.
Grounds for it remain to be unclear. Therefore we have to refrain from speaking much more on that subject.
But investors expecting this business may come back to what it was used to be will be disappointed. We recommend putting your money like that somewhere else.
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