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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Have You No Shame?: Frum Peddler of MHA Writes and Writes

For (Orthonomic) background on MHA scam, see Lakewood Local.

This letter to The Lakewood Scoop regarding MHA is written by a loud and proud person who claims to be the first to introduce the program to the frum community. Wow! I'm blown away. Brazen is the only word I can think to describe this drivel.

This post is a continuation of a discussion of Get Rich Quick Schemes: see the previous post and a post from 2008. Add to this discussion of putting the cart before the horse. Also add to this discussion the many posts on Areivim "life insurance" because it all fits together in a larger discussion.

Here is a man that claims he brought big money into the frum community when he introduced and pedaled a product in the frum community, a "product" that wasn't actually a product after the grocery business was dropped and one that will reveal, with a simple Google Search, that there were quite a few questions on the business model, or lack thereof.

He is the tzadik and you just aren't hearing him out. Yep, I've dealt with those who lack integrity and I have a profile in my mind of how some people talk and walk. This might just be a letter, but the swagger and attitude is ever present. I can hear the letter and it is like deja vu. I can physically feel the letter in my bones.

Because the topics of yashrut and integrity are part and parcel of our being, and because I've been asked in the past about how to spot those who you don't want to do business with, I'm going to take the liberty to reprint parts of the letter for those who simply have yet to deal with someone like this because there is an educational purpose, even if this particular writer is sensational to the max. The emotions, the accusations, the self-promotion, the attitude. It is all there and it is sociopathic. (Note to self: pull a relevant find from Mishlei for the blog).

I have no idea if I have any readers are ones left holding the bag from MHA, but if you are, before you take the advise of this businessman purporting to be doing nothing but chessed, do yourself a favor and get legal advice before disputing charges on your credit card, i.e. taking his advice. The man cannot see straight.

It is so sad to see the comments coming in on this letters, comments such as:

"I think the Salesman was not intending to scam anyone..since the program was for 230 to get a 300 dollar card..if it lasted 5 months you are already ahead. I don’t think anyone truly thought this thing will last forever. Even now one can buy giftcards at 10-15% below face value..(big companies like Staples and Target sell them to get cash in bulk)." [My note: Put your gemorrah kop on. You simply can't compare big box stores selling prepaid gift cards for a discount to a company selling cash for cash. Staples and Target sell a product, not cash. It is to their benefit to gain your loyalty, peek your interest, and get you into their store to buy product.]

The question is to invest in a “window of opportunity” investment..where it makes sense until it doesn’t..if that is considered a scam. [My note: do you hear yourself?]

And this: "I dont know why so many people are beating up on you. I know you and you helped us out in a way that you thought we could all gain. And you helped us when it went down.

Fortunately there are just as many posters who do get it.

The letter:

. . . . . It’s amazing how so many people are mamesh mikayem naaseh vinishma when they blog. Why don’t you first find out the facts?

I was the first one to bring this to the frum world and I am happy I did. Since I did not listen to all the “its a scam” people, I got thousands of dollars into yiddishe hands. People who are have ordered their secure sleeves and expected to get a gift check (not CARD) can get back their money by disputing it with thier credit card. [deleted]

MHA was not a scam. No one got scammed. The ones who can not dispute, are those who made the purchase with a gift card. They will have to wait for the court to first collect all the assets of MHA and only then send in your claim. You will get a portion of the pie. (Not worth your time)

The “if its too good to be true, then it’s not true” people, could have been 5 – 10 thousand dollars richer by now. But alas “its too good to be true” so while you are wise and not naive, you remained wise and not naive but all the rest of us got money.

The “someone on the bottom will be left holding the bag” group of people, never took the time to understand that with this program you make money even if you don’t sign anyone up. They WILL be holding the bag, IF they don’t dispute it.

[. . . . . ]but I think it’s different when there is a credit card involved, because THEY are the ones who protect you.

“But lemaaseh Some people DID lose out, like the people who purchased with a gift card”. Good point, so let me ask you should have we decided not to pump in $150,000 into Yiddishe hands because someone might buy it the wrong way? Lets see what the coffee room says.

And for Mr. K who threatened to report me to the FBI and who threatened to publicize all my emails (in which I help everyone to make sure they dispute the charges properly). You’re mamesh a tzadik.

Finally I’ll say this. Besides for Mr. K (who was not even in MHA) I did not get even one accusing phone call. Every single person was so nice. Every one told me we know it’s not your fault and thank you for helping us with the information we need to retrieve our money.

I’m sure everyone who wrote things that are not so nice only did so because they were upset FOR those who may have lost money.

At the end of the day we still have each other and we each care for each other and this is what HKBH wants. Even my friend, Mr K. also meant well.

Wishing all my fellow brothers bracha vehatzlacha uparnassa b’revach.

And finally, I have a new thing which you could make thousands a month. It’ll cost you only $5. Pay ONCE. That’s it. Be careful, you might be “holding the bag”. Im serious.

[In comments further down in the thread the letter writer continues dig a hole, one that is really ugly. Might not be long until the pidyon campaign at this rate. See the lengthy comment #36 where he "lays it all out on the table" about how he didn't understand the business model but the men in charge have so much experience, how the business was ruined by consumers who called Walmart and later Wells Fargo souring the relationships, how consumers with funny names ruined a good thing, and on and on. Oy, a true believer who outlines a ponzi scheme, but has no integrity or clarity. And now he has another $5 opportunity for you to "invest" in if you are matzliach. . . an (illegal) chain letter with an attached product to kasher it].

And here is another jem from Mr. Parnassa:

I dont own the $5 business company. Ill send the link to those who are interested. And btw no one I know is out thousands. I just cant believe how people can talk without getting any facts. There is not one person i know who is out (so much) money.

We should all be tearing kriah. As reader JoelC says, "The comments on the Lakewood Scoop on this are heartbreaking. The mixture of naivete and brazenness make me lose hope for our brethren."

Time to promote the Tortoise over the Hare. Slow and steady is the way to "get rich."


Anonymous said...

The way to create wealth is to live below your means. Anything else should be viewed with severe skepticism, because the chance that it is either illegal or immoral is high.

Anonymous said...

When I read things like this, I again realize that just because another person is "Jewish" and "Orthodox", it doesn't mean I have ANYTHING in common with such a person. I have much more in common with my non-Jewish co-workers than with anyone posting on that site.

Bob Miller said...

There should be a mandatory course in consumer economics in all Jewish high schools. Our faith is meant to be placed in HaShem, not in fashionably dressed thieves touting impossible schemes.

Anonymous said...

Bob, a course in consumer economics would necessarily have teach Jewish teens not to spend beyond their means, including not paying for private education that one can't afford; and to save a certain percentage for retirement, which may also preclude private education. How does this square with the "have bitachon" approach that "Hashem will pay a person back for the financial sacrifices he makes for Torah" ?

Anonymous said...

Talmudical Academy in Baltimore has just such a course in consumer economics, taught by a CPA whom I know personally. He is both frugal and frum, he pays for private education and supports his family. He has both bitachon and the support of a wonderful ikeres habayis. His many children (who have been taught both frumkeit and to earn a living) are his 401(k).

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:57, I recommend referring to that woman as either an "eishet hayil" or a "baalat habayit" - ikeres habayis implies that she is childless until a miracle could be granted by God (c.f. ps 113).

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