To become a financial guru you'd think you'd need a strong history of success in business and Marc Frank Montoya (MFM) is not afraid to claim that he's the dog's bollocks. This is how he describes his business background on his website:
How I went from "HOOD TO GREAT"
Discover How I Went From A Struggling "Hustler", To A World-Class Professional Athlete Building Several Million Dollar Businesses As A Serial Entrepreneur!
And on his Linkedin profile, complete with resplendent smugshot, he's claiming near Jedi-level business skills
Let's take a look at those claims by taking a trip through the rest of his Linkedin profile...
was arrested for owing $200,000 in taxes. MFM was only really an investor rather than the person who ran the joint, but he lost a whole load of money on that bet.
On top of those three there's been a series of other business attempts that he's chosen not to include on his Linkedin profile including:
- Federal Skateboards - Dead
- Sound Outerwear - Unsound
- Biltrite Snowboards - Biltnotsorite
- DumbFounded PerduKshinz, a DJ business - Dumbfounded
A bunch of failed investments, failed businesses and one zombie website is not the definition of being a serial entrepreneur. It's like a guy with a record-breaking premature ejaculation problem claiming he's a legendary swordsman.
With no sign of any actual business successes, this guy is surely in no position to be handing out financial advice, unless that advice is on how to lose money prolifically.
At this point MFM realised that he was about as good at business as he was at lip-synching hip-hop, so he looked for another way to make money, which leads us on to the most recent part of his career - scamming people.
and the zombie site) are the same turd polished in slightly different ways. There's a good article on Whitelines which takes a look at his most recent reinvention "Financial Freedom Specialist", but what they don't get quite right is how he makes his money. He doesn't make money just by flogging DVDs, the really sinister money behind this site is in the 'Mandatory Trainings' [sic] section. That section, and the whole focus of the other site, is on a scheme called multi-level marketing.
Multi-level marketing (MLM) sounds pretty innocent, but what it is in this case is one tiny grey step away from a good old-fashioned pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes, where the whole charade is based on the collection and redistribution of joining fees from new people to people further up the hierarchy, are of course illegal. To avoid the whole awkward jail bit, companies need to offer some sort of product or service to be involved and pretty often that product can be as nominal as 'wealth advice'.
You pay in about $5,000 to join/get trained (you won't get that back) and for that you get some spurious advice on how to make money from blogging and a site of your own (which is build on Wordpress, a product you can get hold of without these guys for the very reasonable price of no money). Approximately $4,000 of that fee goes to the person that gets you to buy in and $1,000 goes up the chain to the guys at the top. You can then hope to make about $100 a month form blogging and for the volume of work involved $100 is a shitty amount of money and it would take years just to break even. But for most people it's even worse, as around 90% of the people who sign-up to this scheme stand to make no money at all.
The real way to make money in this scheme is not to blog, but to sell the idea to more people. Instead of the minimal $1,200 a year you could make from blogging about something like snowboarding, if you blog and talk about Empower Network and you managed to sign-up one person a month you'll make $48,000. That's a huge incentive for the people in the network to behave exactly like they would in a pyramid scheme and it all operates on the basis of exploiting a lot of people who lose money.
TL;DR You have to pay to join, and if you have to pay a company to work for them, it's a scam.
Also another warning sign is that if someone has to spend any time explaining how their business is not a pyramid scheme, it's a pyramid scheme. Here's MFM doing just that.
Sure buddy, it's not a pyramid scheme, and this isn't one of the most worst examples of misogyny in snowboarding history...
So MFM is spending a lot of time and making a lot of money from signing people up to Empower Networks and the first group of people he's been targeting are sadly the people who supported him when he was a snowboarder. Interesting way to thank them. Here's a couple of relevant comments from the EasyLounging forum.
Distric - One of my friends is selling that shit for MFM. imo, he lures shred kids in with the vision of being one of his "friends" having meetings at his house and going to bars with him. Friend has tried to get me to go. I want nothing to do with it.
He's basically a financial Jimmy Saville
MFM claims that juice healed his knee. whatever
Good point. I forgot to mention that he used to also front up another multi-level marketing company that hucks miracle drinks called Monavie. There's another thing he didn't mention on his Linkedin profile.
drjcv - I've got a buddy that constantly gets hooked by the latest mlm thing, it doesn't matter how many he gets involved in he never seems to learn.
The fundamental thing about any mlm scheme is that its not about selling the product, its about signing people up. usually there is a couple hundred dollar sign up fee. The idea is you sell "financial freedom" to people. you hook people in by saying all they have to do is sign people up (and the people you sign up supposedly start making money from the people they sign up who makes money from....)
So you have a guy like MFM, who is successful and charismatic at the top of the pyramid (which has multi levels btw, that's where the name comes from) actually making some money, but no one else does, you're just a brick in the pyramid and the point at the top is embedded in MFM's sphincter.
The thing is that by getting involved with Empower Network Marc Frank Montoya is falling for the same bullshit. He's not at the top of these pyramids, he's a making money, but he's also being taken advantage of. It's a mugs game and he's a bit part player.
To up the irony, remember the guy that took large sums of his money and lost in on the Block Hotel? Liko Smith "The World's Most Extreme CEO", is involved in these schemes too and more than likely he's the one that got MFM involved. It takes some kind of special sucker to fall for that shit twice.
[Edit: It seems that Liko Smith's site has just been pulled down for legal reasons. Here's the archived version]
As good as Marc Frank Montoya was at snowboarding, what he's been doing off the mountains has really tarnished whatever credit he had instead of building something on it. By embracing these exploitative get-rich-quick schemes and targeting the people who used to be his supporters MFM is rapidly turning into a rotten legacy for snowboarding.
You Might Also Like...
The 20 Most Notorious Snowboarding Criminals