From a friend who will remain anonymous:
"First of all, I think it’s important to note that there’s a whole lot of misinformation out there regarding what happened during MMA Millionaires seminars, private meetings, and phone calls. Some of it is true, some of it isn’t, but the MMA Millionaires “experience” was fairly straight-forward most of the time… a combination of information and sales pitches. You can argue whether certain lines of ethics were crossed, but it’s hardly an elaborate con. That stated, it does not mean there wasn’t some real shady stuff going on nor that Lloyd Irvin is a super classy guy.
Because of this, I sat down with a very experienced consumer protection attorney for a couple hours to discuss actual facts and any possible recourse. His opinion might differ from other professionals in this field, but keep in mind he has experience with similar cases.
So are there grounds for lawsuits (individual and class action)? The answer is yes and no. It really depends on your circumstance- namely whether there were any damages incurred.
For those who purchased DVDs and never received them or received defective goods, there is recourse. Talk to an attorney if you have requested reimbursement and haven’t received it.
People who attended seminars where 20% of the advertised topics were never covered really have no claim, especially if you found value in other material presented.
For Mastermind members who feel like they were roped into paying for over-priced services or felt like they were stuck paying for a service which they no longer wanted, the answer is maybe.
The agreements used to enroll you into any level of the Mastermind group are not legally binding. You should be able to cancel if you wish to cease payment. So if you want out, simply request cancellation- I’ve personally heard from several former Masterminders that cancellation process was relatively hassle-free. If you paid fully in advance, you are entitled to a partial refund. If they don’t release you from an obligation (monthly or paid in full), then talk to a lawyer.
(random image just to break up blocks of text)
If your business improved financially during your membership (and nearly all members feel this way), you do not have much of a chance of getting any money back. Paying too much for something when you are making more money doesn’t do much in civil court regardless of what promised services were or weren’t delivered. Now, if your business went broke during this time, then you should go talk to a lawyer – but even then Emery Marketing’s exposure is limited. Also keep in mind cases can take anywhere from 1-5 years to be resolved so be aware that Lloyd Irvin is going to be a part of your world for awhile.
None of this means Mastermind members have no legal recourse and there’s nothing to be done by the BJJ/MMA community at large. To paraphrase advice that was given to the Mastermind members whenever a certain classification of business tactics was discussed, “I’m not telling you should do any of this, but someone who wanted to take care of a situation might want to consider it (wink wink)”.
1) Dissatisfied customers can and should file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission, Better Business Bureau, review sites, and other businesses that have relationships with Emery Marketing Systems such as James Malinchak, Jack Canfield, JW Dicks, Nick Nanton, Andrea Adams-Miller, GKIC, and Thad Winston. For this last group- let them know about sites like LloydIrvinRapeTruth.com and the articles on BloodyElbow.com.
In the case of the FTC, they will proceed with investigations into unethical business practices if they receive enough complaints. But people need to actually follow through in large numbers and stick to facts of questionable practices, not emotion. They get overwhelmed with complaints and really only have time to pursue the more egregious offenders.
Make your report via:
And use the following business info to make sure the staff realizes all of these complaints are about the same business:
Emory Marketing Systems
6333 Old Branch Avenue Suite 302
Camp Springs, Maryland 20748
United States (301) 449-5425
2) Request to have any testimonial (written or recorded) to be removed immediately from any marketing materials or websites. In many cases, Emory Marketing made no attempt to gather a specific written release of permission so there is virtually no true ownership of the materials regardless of any other paperwork you may have signed. Send a letter or email to get started, if they do not oblige (as required by US copyright law), then you do have legal recourse.
3) Report examples of Emory Marketing’s unauthorized use of third party materials such as music by major recording artists or images taken from MMA events such as the UFC. Lloyd has cooled off on this in recent years but he’ll still use images in web banners, sites, and videos that he likely hasn’t paid for.
A great contact is Lewis and Roca (lawyers for UFC/Zuffa) via http://www.lrlaw.com. They love suing over any perceived copyright infringement and have been known to even sue MMA fans over even minor issues just to prove a point.
4) Lloyd Irvin has acknowledged using “black hat” SEO tactics in Mastermind meetings on his schools' sites and other businesses he’s involved in. Find as many of these sites as you can, review for anything questionable and then any obvious candidates should be reported to Google and Bing. The sites will be de-listed, PPC campaigns rejected, and lots more stuff that’s destructive to a person who makes their living from interment marketing.
5) Report Lloyd Irvin and Emory Marketing on internet marketing forums. WarriorForum.com is the big one. As shady as the IM world is, they have standards and blackball people regularly.
As Lloyd teaches at his seminars, none of this knowledge means anything without ACTION. Of course, you also need to consider how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go. Remember that if you spend too much time focusing on the negative, it has a way of consuming your life."