According to Mr. Raniere’s website http://www.keithraniere.com the company had incredible success.
“As an entrepreneur, Keith Raniere transformed a five-person organization into a corporation of nearly 400,000 in a mere two years. His company, Consumers’ Buyline, Inc., was responsible for an estimated one billion dollars in product and service sales in its second full year of business and was featured on the American Spotlight. A millionaire at the age of thirty, Keith Raniere was worth $50 million only two years later.”
Mr. Raniere’s bio neglects to mention that in 1992, Arkansas sued Consumers Buyline for ‘fraud, deception and false pretenses,’ allegedly operating an illegal pyramid scheme.
1992 Consumer Buyline Agreed Final Judgment and Order in Arkansas
In 1993, the New York State attorney general filed a civil suit alleging Consumers’ Buyline engaged in ‘fraudulent, deceptive and illegal acts’.
The attorney general’s conclusion was “CBI is a classic pyramid scheme. The emphasis in CBI is clearly not on the sale of a product but on recruiting . . . to boost membership. Like all pyramids, CBI’s matrix is destined to collapse.”
A settlement was reached with the attorney general where Mr. Raniere, Miss Unterreiner and the late Pamela Cafritz were “permanently enjoined from promoting, offering or granting participation in a chain distributor scheme in the State of New York” and Mr. Raniere was required to pay $40,000.
1993 04 20 Times Union Consumers Buyline a pyramid scheme, Abrams alleges
Here is a story about Consumers’ Buyline published in the Albany Times Union.
1997 08 24 tu Consumers Buyline of Clifton Park was forced to close after 25 separate investigations