Short List of Financial
about a career in the financial services industry? Listed below are
just a few of many companies you may work for, pulled from popular
job search sites like Monster.com/Jobs.com,
Many have advertised the same positions for years on end. Which are
seeking to fill positions due to legitimate expansion, and which
are just churning through naive recruits to mine commission trails
on their referrals? Everyone needs experience somewhere;
reading this site will help you at least go in with your eyes open.
FOR THOSE WHO NEED YET MORE CLARIFICATION
ON THE ABOVE: THIS SITE HAS NEVER IMPLIED ANY OF THESE COMPANIES
ARE RUNNING A SCAM. THIS LIST ONLY INDICATES THE COMPANIES BELOW ARE
EXACTLY WHAT I SAID THEY ARE: FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES I FOUND
ADVERTISING JOBS ON POPULAR JOB SEARCH SITES.
If a court decides they're running a scam, then they're running
a scam, but they are innocent until then, as I state and restate on
this site. That is why it is so important for victims to get their
cases on the books. Please also realize that occasionally two or more
completely separate companies may share the same name, so be fair
in your research.
CTRL+F to find a company on this
page, as some have advertised under multiple names over time.)
AIG Retirement Services / VALIC
AllState Insurance Company
American Classic Agency
American General Financial Services
American Income Life / Altig International
American Life & Health Group
Ameriprise Financial / American Express Financial Advisors (AEFA)
AXA Advisors / AXA Financial
Bankers Life and Casualty
Charles Schwab & Co.
Citi/ Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
David Lerner Associates
Diamond State Financial Group (DSFG)
Direct Capital Corporation
Farmers Insurance Group
Financial Foundation Group
First Command Financial Services
First Investors Corporation
Guardian Life Insurance / First Financial Group
Independent Capital Management,
John Hancock Financial Network
JP Morgan Chase / WaMu
Liberty National Life Insurance Company
Lincoln Investment Planning
MassMutual Financial / Pastore Financial Group
MetLife / East Penn Financial Group
National Planning Corporation - Guardian Life
New England Financial
New York Life
Northwestern Mutual Life
North Star Financial / North Star Resource Group
PNC Financial Services
Primerica Financial Services / AL Williams
Principal Financial Group
Prudential Insurance Company of America
Raymond James & Associates
Renaissance Financial Corporation
State Farm Insurance
Strategic Financial Partners (NOTE: This does NOT refer to
Strategic Financial Partners in Colorado Springs, Colorado whose website
is www.sfp.us, which is an entirely separate company)
Tax & Financial Group (TFG)
Trilogy Financial Services
Wachovia Securities / Wells Fargo Avisors
Waddell & Reed
World Marketing Alliance / World Financial Group (WMA/WFG) / National
Lending Corp. (NLC) / Aegon Financial Group World
the way, I've noticed companies increasingly using employment agencies
or job sites that permit them to remain anonymous
in their job postings, or they post through an employment agency.
Use even more extreme caution with those! And
you should always use caution with any financial services company
that cold-calls you about the resume you posted publicly on job search
sites. (Hint: Use the option to keep your contact info PRIVATE.
This way you will avoid resume-miners, and the only people contacting
you will be those you contacted first about the open position they
Around 1995 I worked for
Independent Capital Management, Inc
for about 3 months, under Branch Manager Art Villar. I met Villar's
manager, Jeff Motske, during a commission dispute with Villar after
I'd quit. (I wish I hadn't felt intimidated and let the statute of
limitations expire, as a "GUILTY" verdict would have vindicated
the very allegations I was later sued for making. Learn from my mistake!)
Around 2000, I found both Motske and Villar working for Trilogy
Financial Services (TFS) **.
Around 2003, I mentioned details of the commission dispute on an Internet
message board, and Motske, Trilogy's president, sued. Ignorant of
law and just wanting to end Trilogy's financial harassment, I
accepted an injunction
forbidding me from doing things I'd never done anyway, plus not
mentioning Trilogy/Motske's name in ANY capacity whatsoever for
two years (they tried to make that criterion permanent but were
denied). After that period ended, I legitimately added Trilogy's
name to this website's sample list of financial services companies
I'd found advertising jobs (above). On October 13, 2009 Motske sent
Cease & Desist letter; note missing page 17, which contained
the clear disclaimer (green).
complaint amounted to my site harming their ability to recruit, but
I don't control what people search for on the Internet, and some 200
people per month type "Trilogy
Financial Services SCAM" into Google [a
few stats: Aug,
which produces a hit on my site, in fact to the point that my Alexa.com
"keywords" showed it was the top search term that hit
this entire site (as of November 11, 2009).
Less than a month after Trilogy sent their C&D letter, ICM's CIO/COO,
Ross Gerber, sent me an email
assuring me I would not "survive a legal battle" if I didn't
take down this entire website
within 10 days. ICM's
own C&D letter followed, courtesy of [what appears to be]
Ross Gerber's attorney brother
as their reasons words
that were never spoken by me to begin with (see Section
230.c.1 of the Communications Decency Act) and that came with
clear disclaimers (green).
followed through and sued again.
time I did defend, though I couldn't use the anti-SLAPP law because
of the prior injunction I'd naively agreed to. In the ensuing bench
trial, Judge Andrew P. Banks issued a judgment
against Trilogy. ICM has not sued, presumably because
they know their case WILL be a clear-cut SLAPP suit in which I'll
additionally be entitled to all attorneys' fees and court costs (and
other damages) should they choose to pursue it.
stress that though this site mentions over 3000 companies,
Trilogy and ICM are the ONLY entities that have EVER threatened me
and/or this website with legal action, and I remind all that companies
that are not running the scams detailed on this site have NOTHING
to fear from this site.
FAT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This site represents
my OPINIONS, i.e. what I have come to BELIEVE based on over
a decade of research, and should under no circumstances be
construed as condemning any company of wrongdoing unless I've
so noted a legal case or opinion that indicates such. Only
a court is qualified to make such a decision, hence it is
so important for victims to get their cases on the books.
Such legal notations here should not be interpreted as being
all-inclusive; I've quoted only enough to make my arguments.
Nothing on this site should be construed as taking the place
of the advice of an attorney. It is up to you to do your own
research, come to your own conclusions, and make your own
decisions. Lastly, the opinions of all sources quoted remain
theirs and do not necessarily represent the views of this
FAT LEGAL THREATS:
As of October/November
2009, this site was threatened by two legal
threats, the first **
alleging I've somehow directly accused his company of running
a scam despite the many disclaimers clearly stating that this
site personally accuses no specific company of running it,
and the second ***
alleging that this entire site is somehow illegal and thus
must be taken down. In January 2010 I won the first case.
to be seen if the second case actually materializes given
it's a virtual carbon copy of the first.
stable job with a future, or a scam that will leave you penniless?
Sometimes it's not so easy to tell!
expansion, nationally respected firm is seeking career minded
individuals who desire training in all aspects of operating
a branch office. Excellent career opportunity to earn $50,000
first-year management income. Prior experience
desirable but not necessary. Call (XXX) XXX-XXXX for immediate
above ad is NOT real. The author made it up as an example.
Any resemblance to anyone's actual ad is coincidental.
reasonable enough. You apply. Your interviewer advises you that
the average rep in the industry makes over $100,000 a year,
not just the low-end $50,000 advertised, and the firm will
help you get there quickly. The risk sounds reasonable.
You agree to pay over $700 for your licensing/background
check, and in spite of your lack of experience, you are
hired. You note upon the first day of the training class that the
ten other new hires are primarily young and inexperienced. You stick
it out and pass your exams; now you are told to create a list of
friends and family that will serve as your leads, and you memorize
a sales script. After six months of being a "star performer"
slaving 60+ hours a week, you have grossed less than $5000, and
a good portion of that has been depleted by "business
costs" revealed to you only as they cropped up. Your
leads are drying up. The help you were promised is now minimal as
your manager focuses on attracting and training new reps. The vast
majority of your original class has left
(as well as even many reps hired after you), and you
finally decide that the job involves far more risk than was represented
to you. Although you signed a Non-Compete Agreement indicating
that you must leave your clients behind when you leave, you still
expect the commission trails from those clients' investments to
continue to help support you while you seek new employment. You
quit. The commission trails never come.
just described one victim's experience*.
fact, this is one of the less extreme examples.
reps leave heavily in debt because they've been convinced
to pay as much as $75,000 for the licensing/background check as
well as the firm's "exemplary" training classes. They
may even have been advised to "fake it till you make it"
and maxed out credit buying expensive business attire and a car
beyond their means just to project a successful (but false) image.
am not describing the many legitimate financial services positions
in which it takes months to establish a clientele but ultimately
pays off. In a legitimate job, the risks are disclosed up front.
With a scam job, the scammer deliberately misleads reps
about the job's true earning potential and then profits
on them till they are forced to quit for lack of income, and then
continues to profit even after on their commission trails. In fact,
it sets up the recruits to fail, much like many of today's illegal
MLMs and pyramid
schemes, continuously mining an inexperienced work
force who is willing to pay to get "trained"
to make a "fabulous" income and leave their hard-won clients
behind as they fail. When the above-mentioned
rep and over a dozen others sued the firm for fraud, the firm defended
itself by pointing to its official corporate literature, which described
an average rep being expected to earn only about $12,000 his
first year!* Of course, each rep claimed to have never been
informed of this. The Internet is
rife with such complaints.
the scammers don't just mine new college graduates and similarly
inexperienced job hunters. Victims have included seasoned former
attorneys, IT professionals, and even financial industry professionals
seeking an exciting new opportunity. Perpetrators of these types
of scams have become increasingly clever to avoid detection, and
ultimately, prosecution. The law has yet to catch up.
I can take no responsibility for a decision
that is ultimately someone else's to make, my goal
is to help NEW COLLEGE GRADS and THOSE NEW TO THE FINANCIAL SERVICES
INDUSTRY to enter the field forewarned with what I believe to be
critical information, to aid those who have been defrauded, and
to do my part to help end the scam.
that if you came here looking for evidence that a particular firm
is involved in the scam, you will not find absolute proof
here. I am not interested in getting
sued (hence I have NEVER accused ANY company on this page of
running this scam)**/***;
I am interested in imparting information I believe is helpful to
researchers, and guiding potential fraud victims.
The next pages describe an overview of the scam and then
examine the components in detail as far as I can make them out.
Cases were found in public court records.
The financial services
industry is one of SEVERAL that has been directly influenced
by the MLM (multilevel marketing) industry - to its detriment,
hence this site exists at all.
If you are considering employment in
a sales job of any sort in which you will be classified as
an independent contractor (particularly in the real
estate, financial services, delivery, taxi, personnel staffing,
and auto rental industries), you will benefit from reading
this site in its entirety and understanding the MLM connection.
Chances that you will fail
are extremely high,
but you may miss your window of opportunity for recovery if
you spend too much time blaming yourself when you have in
fact been defrauded.
compiled the truth about MLM into this site's
opinion article conveniently called "ALL
YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MLM: IS MLM A SCAM?",
which educates jobseekers and consumers
on the big picture: how MLM's questionable legality was established,
why it continues to flourish despite defrauding millions of
consumers, and how it's silently spread to other industries
(including financial services) to defraud even more consumers.
If you're in an MLM, you will learn how to operate your business
"legally" and avoid getting scammed and inadvertently
scamming others you care about. Don't