Here’s why you should avoid Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) and warn others

Throwaway account because reasons.

This predatory MLM has gone by many company names and project names. You may recognise some of these:

Project names

  • Baypoint estates (property project in Philippines)
  • Excelsior Capital (trading of silver)
  • IEP (International entrepreneurship programme / some other variation of the same meaning)
  • Agarwood
  • Royalty Mall (B2B platform to buy and sell assets)
  • Jade trading
  • IVAI Wines (trading of wines)
  • GBC (global business club)
  • Heulab project (technology project)
  • The Islandia (island development in indonesia)

Companies started by First Generation Leaders (FGLs) in the MLM

  • Legenda (a “subsidiary” of said MLM)
  • Invictus (a “subsidiary” of said MLM)
  • Aeon9 (a “subsidiary” of said MLM)
  • ICS (a “subsidiary” of said MLM)
  • (Many more I don’t remember)

Company names

  • Eurocuffz
  • Cuffz Holdings
  • CH Assets
  • 300% Positive
  • (Possibly more I’m not aware of)

These are just the ones that I’m able to remember.

I was an ex-member of this organisation. No, I’m not one of the leaders or head honcho or anything. I was a ground-level member/investor who was strung along for many of their projects. I’ve sunk more than 10k of my own student savings into them.

This MLM has gone by many names since they started (circa 2008). It’s run by two singaporean brothers who were groomed by James Phang Wah of the now defunct Sunshine Empire. They’ve learnt about the MLM structure from their Sunshine Empire days and have since struck out to found their own MLM which is still operating today under the IEP brand.

Since 2008, they’ve been unveiling many new projects like the above, and have been constantly raising money to fund them. They target 1) retiree aunties/uncles 2) poly/uni students 3) NS boys 4) anyone with a drive for success but is young and naive. They stay away from 1) true business owners 2) true investors 3) professionals because these people would know right away that it’s one big ass scam.

The sales leaders in this MLM are very often young men in their late teens and twenties who’ve been groomed by the brothers to look smart and always be positive. They typically wear their hair up in an undercut/backcomb, suits and ties, frameless gold rectangular spectacles, flashy luxury watches and huge gem rings, and they usually carry around with them a luxury pochette bag. Also beware if you see young men owning alphards.

I’m familiar with two of these sales leaders. They were the first teens to be roped into this MLM way back in 2009. The First Generation you could say. I signed up with one of them despite the ringing bells in my head because I was very (stupidly) allured by the 10% a month returns. But after a couple months, my returns stopped coming in, and the boss said it would be rolled into the next project where I’ll get a bigger return. Most of you reading right now would’ve told me at that point to get the fuck out of there. But I stayed.

Here’s the messed up bit: I stayed not for the promise of greater returns on the next project.

I stayed because I felt like I belonged, I felt like nobody else other than them could understand why I wanted to be financially independent, I felt like I was learning about wealth, I felt like I’ve found a group of like minded people who wanted to get ahead in life together. I was invited to parties at The Sail, sentosa cove, overseas trips, gala dinners. They made me feel special. I appreciated and loved them. From an outsider’s perspective, you’d say I’m an idiot, and frankly I was. I really was. But if you were in the environment that I was in, you’d feel special too, you’d love them too. That’s why this MLM is so terrifying. They’re levels above Amway, Nuskin and whatnot.

The brainwash was so gradual and insidious that I didn’t notice it until everything crashed in 2015.

Many investors lodged police reports against this MLM for not fulfilling their 10% a month returns. As a result, the head honcho brothers at the top shifted the blame onto the company lawyers for “running away with the money” and they also blamed the First Generation Leaders (FGL) for pocketing the money. Remember ‘Legenda’, ‘Invictus’, and ‘Aeon9′ I’ve listed up there? These were companies that were started and owned by the FGLs after much prodding from the brothers to “strike out on their own”. The brothers would come up with a new project and collect funds through these FGL companies. Should any disgruntled investor report to the police, the blame is pointed at the FGLs because they’re the ones who collected the money. This is how the brothers have been getting away. Raise a naive group of young people to start their own companies, collect money through their companies, and cutting them loose when the police comes knocking.

The brothers would brainwash and groom these young FGLs by bringing them to china, sending girls into their rooms, buying luxury gifts for them, taking them out to luxury night clubs, letting them stay in sentosa cove houses. All to give them a sense of power and ambition so they would work doubly hard to bring in the money.

If you’re inclined to feel sorry for the FGLs because they were brainwashed, used etc etc, don’t. After the 2015 crash, they took their millions and walked away and decried on social media that they’ve “lost everything, god brought me down to make me humble” etc etc. How do I know that they’ve kept their millions? They bought houses and are still living in them now, and have enough left over to invest in other companies and start their own businesses.

Most of these FGLs didn’t care much for religion while they were collecting retired aunties’ money. After the crash, they converted to christianity and posted photos of themselves going to church and attending service and taped videos of themselves singing praise as a means to clean up their image (while keeping their millions). I’ve got my own separate beef with the abrahamic faiths, but this is why one shouldn’t straight away believe whatever they see on the surface when a person tells you they are a christian who serves god and wants to do good. Because of this, I am naturally suspicious of rich chinese christians in singapore. Not to say they all definitely have something to hide, but the chance is there. I’m sure jesus didn’t intend for any of this, but the house of god can unfortunately be a shelter for assholes who want to wash their dirty image.

Btw no one was convicted. Not the brothers, not even the FGLs. That’s how methodical they were (even though they had infighting when the FGLs discovered they were being raised to be scapegoats).

So now, the brothers have been raising a new batch of young leaders. Young gentlemen who look too clean, too good, too well put together. I’m tempted to name them but reddit house rules.

Just be careful. IEP, ICS Rewards.

Protip: a legitimate investment event is supposed to be boring af because they’re bound by law to not hype things up with literal silver bars on the gala dinner table, or host excessive beauty pageants that are irrelevant to the business and are just there to lure hot blooded boys into the company.

H/T: Tea Time Stories