MLM Court Cases and Regulatory Proceedings

This list is in two parts. Part A includes releases by regulatory agencies and legislative materials concerning MLM, pyramid schemes and related topics. Part B is a list of the most significant court decisions concerning MLM and pyramid schemes. In both lists the items are listed by date, as I thought this might be more useful than alphabetical.

A.  Regulatory and Legislative Proceedings

Securities and Exchange Commission – Interpretive Release – Multi-level Distributorships and Pyramid Sales Plans, 36 F.R. 23289-91 (December 8, 1971) https://www.sec.gov/rules/interp/1971/33-5211.pdf

Congressional Record, Volume 118, Part 25, pages 32660-32662 (September 28, 1972) (Senator Mondale introduced S. 4043, an anti-pyramid bill; it did not get enacted)

Congressional Record, Volume 119, Part 14, pages 17860-17866 (June 4, 1973) (Senator Mondale reintroduced his anti-pyramid bill as S. 1939; it did not get enacted)

Congressional Record, Volume 121, Part 9, pages 11363-11364 (April 23, 1975) (Senator Mondale introduced S. 1509, a revised version of his anti-pyramid bill; it did not get enacted)

International Monetary Funds Seminar on Current Legal Issues Affecting Central Banks, Washington, D.C., Deborah A. Valentine, Former General Counsel FTC (May 13, 1998) https://www.ftc.gov/public-statements/1998/05/pyramid-schemes

Federal Trade Commission, Staff Advisory Opinion – Pyramid Scheme Analysis, Letter from James A. Kohm, Acting Director of Marketing Practices to Neil Offen, President, Direct Selling Association (January 14, 2004) https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/advisory_opinions/staff-advisory-opinion-pyramid-scheme-analysis/040114bizopp-pyramid.pdf

Federal Trade Commission, Notice of Proposed Rule-Making for the Business Opportunity Rule (April 12, 2006)     https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2006/04/12/06-3395/business-opportunity-rule

Federal Trade Commission, Staff Advisory Opinion – Letter from Robert M. Frisby, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection to Bill Gouldd (February 19, 2008)  https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/advisory_opinions/letter-robert-m.frisby-assistant-director-division-enforcement-bureau-consumer-protection/080219robertfrisby.pdf

Federal Trade Commission, Revised Notice of Proposed Rule-Making for the Business Opportunity Rule (March 26, 2008) https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2008/03/26/E8-6059/business-opportunity-rule

Federal Trade Commission, Business Opportunity Rule – Statement of Basis and Purpose (December 8, 2011) https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2011/12/08/2011-30597/business-opportunity-rule

Federal Trade Commission, Business Opportunity Rule – Statement of Basis and Purpose (December 8, 2011) https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2011/12/08/2011-30597/business-opportunity-rule

Keynote Remarks of Chairwoman Ramirez at DSA Business and Policy Conference (October 25, 2016) https://www.ftc.gov/public-statements/2016/10/keynote-remarks-ftc-chairwoman-ramirez-dsa-business-policy-conference

FTC Business Guidance Concerning Multi-Level Marketing (January 2018) https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/business-guidance-concerning-multi-level-marketing

Seller Beware, Keynote of FTC Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips at the DSA Legal and Regulatory Summit (October 15, 2020) https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements/1581726/phillips_-_dsa_remarks_10-15-20.pdf

FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, The Case for Resurrecting the FTC Act’s Penalty Offense Authority (October 29, 2020) https://www.ftc.gov/public-statements/2020/10/case-resurrecting-ftc-acts-penalty-offense-authority

FTC Advance Notice of Proposed Rule-Making: Deceptive or Unfair Earnings Claims (March 11, 2022)

FTC Advance Notice of Proposed Rule=Making: Business Opportunity Rule (November 25, 2022)

B. Case Law

Twentieth Century Co. v. Quilling, 130 Wis. 318 (1907) (one of the earliest endless chain scheme cases) https://cite.case.law/wis/130/318/

Ewing v. Mytinger & Casselberry, Inc., 339 U.S. 594 (1950)    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/339/594/

Mytinger & Casselberry, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission, 301 F.2d 534 (D.C.Cir. 1962)  https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/301/534/28720/

Holiday Magic v. Warren, 357 F.Supp. 20 (E.D.Wis. 1973) https://casetext.com/case/holiday-magic-inc-v-warren-2

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Glenn W. Turner Enterprises, Inc., 474 F.2d 476 (9th Cir. 1973) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2857800830304992891&q=474+f2d+476&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006&as_ylo=1973&as_yhi=1973

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Koscot Interplanetary, Inc., 497 F.2d 493 (5th Cir. 1974) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=13586881894916051373&q=securities+and+exchange+commission+v.+koscot+&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

In re Holiday Magic, 84 F.T.C. 748 (1974)  https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/commission_decision_volumes/volume-84/ftc_volume_decision_84_july_-_december_1974pages_713-812.pdf#page=36

In re Koscot Interplanetary, 86 F.T.C. 1106 (1975), aff’d sub. nom. Turner v. FTC, 580 F.2d 701 (D.C. Cir. 1978) https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/commission_decision_volumes/volume-86/ftc_volume_decision_86_july_-_december_1975pages_1106-1202.pdf

Ger-Ro-Mar, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission, 518 F.2d 33 (2nd Cir. 1975) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=10874646572586430032&q=koscot+interplanetary+inc&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

People v. Bestline Products, Inc., 61 Cal.App.3d 879 (1976) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=17439035790459011158&q=koscot+interplanetary+inc&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

In re Amway Corporation, Inc., 93 F.T.C. 618 (1979)  https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/commission_decision_volumes/volume-93/ftc_volume_decision_93_january_-_june_1979pages_618-738.pdf

Piambino v. Bailey, 610 F.2d 1306 (5th Cir. 1980) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3021276461436738966&q=koscot+interplanetary+inc&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

Davis v. Avco Financial Services, Inc., 739 F.2d 1057 (6th Cir.  1984) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4463754352008823402&q=koscot+interplanetary+inc&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

Securities and Exchange Commission v. International Loan Network, 968 F.2d 1304 (D.C.Cir. 1992) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4422761570490989315&q=koscot+interplanetary+inc&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

Webster v. Omnitrition International, Inc., 79 F.3d 776 (9th Cir. 1996) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=9330742805548267221&q=related:XaG5Jc6D1zQJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006&as_vis=1

United States v. Gold Unlimited, Inc., 177 F.3d 472 (6th Cir. 1999) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=4080822969586909246&q=united+states+v.+gold+unlimited&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

Whole Living v. Tolman, 344 F.Supp.2d 739 (D.Utah 2004) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=5555760914209508102&q=koscot+interplanetary+inc&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

Day v. Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Inc. (6th Cir. 2013) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=1191512327509954312&q=fortune+hi+tech+marketing+inc&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

Federal Trade Commission v. Burnlounge, Inc., 753 F.3d 878 (9th Cir. 2014) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3807656931384467805&q=ftc+v.+burnlounge&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006&as_vis=1

Torres v. S.G.E Management, L.L.C., 838 F.3d 629 (5th Cir. 2016) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3348669603385123799&q=ignite+stream&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

Griggs v. S.G.E. Management, L.L.C., 905 F.3d 835 (5th Cir. 2018) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=2983753497952041948&q=ignite+stream&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

Bell v. Brockett, 922 F.3d 502 (4th Cir. 2019) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=13833224698027613955&q=zeekrewards&hl=en&as_sdt=40000006

Lavigne v. Herbalife, Ltd., 967 F.3d 1110 (11th Cir. 2020) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3412687213188389929&q=herbalife&hl=en&scisbd=2&as_sdt=40000006