Some have wondered whatever happened to notorious “get-rich-quick” guru Bill Gouldd?
He ran something-called Equinox; a multi-level marketing (MLM) business that once pulled $194 million dollars in annual sales.
However, a judge ruled that Equinox was a “pyramid scheme” and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut it down.
A receiver was appointed and Gouldd’s financial empire was quite literally liquidated.
Once the high-profile MLM guru sought status and attention through his mansion, luxury cars and a yacht, but when his business crumbled it seemed Bill vanished from sight.
A Gouldd victim called Equinox, “One of the best planned and rehearsed scams I have ever seen!”
The mantra often recited by Bill’s seemingly brainwashed distributors was “Fake it till you make it.”
But Gouldd found out you can’t fake the books to the FTC.
Two of the MLM guru’s disciples, Kale Flagg and Rich Von (previously known as Richard Vonalvensleben) cooked up there own scheme essentially copying the master. That effort was called Trek Alliance. And the FTC shut them down too.
So whatever happened to the master planner, or “scammer”?
It seems that it’s hard for MLM gurus like Bill Gouldd to move on to a normal life. More often they appear to prefer working a crowd, rather than really working.
So the aging Gouldd is back on the road again, this time with a new weekend seminar called “Peak Performance,” designed “exclusively” for a yet another venture called “Avant-garde Marketing Solutions.”
Bill will be holding forth tomorrow morning through Sunday evening at the Los Angeles International Airport Marriott Hotel, it’s all day and all Gouldd (10:00 AM till 6:00 PM).
And for those on the East Coast Bill is bound for Philadelphia.
Next weekend Gouldd is scheduled to perform his traveling show at the Loews Hotel on Market St. in the city known for “brotherly love.”
It should be noted that Pennsylvania’s Attorney General once said that Gouldd’s “illegal business practices deceived consumers into spending thousands of dollars when it knew the vast majority of participants would never recover their money.”
If you call the LAX Marriott there is still room at Bill’s seminar. According to the events manager at the hotel registration has been slow.
Can it be that Bill is past his “Peak Performance”?
But could the coming seminars still be an opportunity anyway?
That is, for Equinox victims to confront Bill Gouldd face-to-face.
Bill probably won’t appreciate this, though some of those attending his seminars might benefit from a few Equinox testimonials.
After all, there was a time when Gouldd encouraged Equinox participants to speak out at his meetings.
MLM schemes are so often little more than smoke and mirrors.
Applying basic business and marketing principles to an MLM proposition is an invaluable tool to discern its worth and/or risk. Such due diligence is also a means of avoiding the heartache, financial losses and humiliation that so many former Equinox distributors have endured.
But it seems that no matter how many people are victimized by “get-rich-quick” schemes, there will still be someone like Bill Gouldd selling “dreams.”
FYI—Bill says he wants seminar participants to “come prepared with pencils, paper and a calculator.”
Hopefully they will be “prepared” by researching the facts about Bill’s last business plan before becoming involved in his new enterprise.
BTW—Meals will not be included, but there is likely to be bologna delivered.