A recently written internal USANA document reveals a secret policy that only insiders and several top distributors are aware of. This hidden policy allows over 15 active associates to use the same home address as well as using the same credit card. I cannot find this sort of policy mentioned anywhere on the web or through distributor literature. This policy essentially allows USANA distributors to sign people up into their MLM downlines within any country in this world including unauthorized markets such as mainland China, which has laws preventing their citizens from participating in MLM schemes.
Internal USANA document regarding address and creditcard enhancements states the following:
Address and Credit Card System Enhancements
- System enhancements took effect starting as of January 26, 2013.UNQUOTE
- As each of you are aware, in order to enroll as an associate in any market where USANA does business an associate must provide their correct address in country to show residency and to allow us to contact them.
- In addition, downline purchasing is strictly forbidden, meaning an associate must pay for his or her own orders.
- These policies are difficult to enforce at times because an associate may “lend” the use of his or her address to downline members allowing enrollments that do not meet residency requirements. Likewise, an upline may use the same credit card to pay for all orders in an organization, thus causing compensation plan manipulation.
- The compliance team has been charged with enforcing these rules but has found it difficult.
- With project upgrade complete IT has been able to help this situation with two new enhancements.
- First, as of January 26th the online enrollment system will not accept any address as a home address if that address has already been used by more than 15 other active associates.
- Limited to main addresses only
- however will not catch spelling or abreaviation differences
- example: 123 Jon Boulevard vs. 123 Jon Blv.
- The example would read as two different addressses
- This will need to be evaluated and reported to compliance when noticed
- This prohibition can be manually over-ruled by a DSR so that in the extremely rare circumstance that more than 15 associates truly do share the same address they simply need to enroll by phone.
- A DSR will then verify that the address is really their address and can complete the enrollment.
- Second, as of January 26th our online product order system will not accept as payment for product any credit card that is already in use on more than 15 active distributorships.
- This rule will not apply for the time being in Mexico or the Philippines until we are comfortable that we have a working solution in those markets for distributors who do not have a credit card.
- In addition, this prohibition will not apply to an associate’s first order as it is common for a sponsor to lend his or her credit card to a new associate and take cash as payment for the first order.
- As with the first system enhancement, this prohibition can also be manually over-ruled by a DSR where the DSR speaks to the associate and the upline and verifies that the associate has paid cash to the upline and the upline authorizes use of the card.
- Note that these enhancements do not represent a change in policy. The policy remains that each associate must pay for his or her own orders and provide a legitimate address to enroll. These enhancements simply will allow us to better enforce rules that were previously more difficult to enforce.
- Kevin Guest and Deborah Woo informed each of the IDCs about this new enhancement in November and there were no complaints.
- Brent Neidig will be writing a compliance corner article to remind associates of these policies.
- In addition associates who have previously had a practice of signing many people up at one address or with one credit card will notice the restriction.
- Please make sure you are prepared to respond to these associates and help them understand the restrictions and that your DSRs, compliance and field development staff
DSR stands for Distributor Services Representative
IDC stands for Independent Distributor Council
USANA's 2012-2013 Independent Distributor Council (IDC) is made up of the following distributors:
Zak Ross – 10 Star Diamond Director
Simon Chan – 3 Star Diamond Director
Tony and Tammy Daum – 2 Star Diamond Director
Daniel and Paige Hunter – 2 Star Diamond Director
Jordan Kemper – Diamond Director
Tom and Lorie Mulhern – Diamond Director
Jared Creds – Ruby Director
Soomin Kim – Ruby Director
USANA is only talking about restricting their ONLINE ENROLLMENT SYSTEM from allowing associates to sign up more distributors under the same address if they already have 15 active associates sharing that address. Obviously distributors have been doing this or else USANA would not have to put in place a limit on the online enrollment. Does it really matter though since all the associate has to do is call USANA's customer service to get an override.
This policy outlined in the internal memo about allowing over 15 associates sharing the same address contradicts USANA's published policies and procedures which states the following:
UNQUOTE3.13 One Distributorship
An Associate may operate, receive compensation from, or have an ownership interest, legal or equitable, as a sole proprietorship, shareholder, trustee, or beneficiary in only one USANA Distributorship. However, notwithstanding this rule, your spouse may become an Associate and operate a second distributorship as long your spouse’s distributorship is placed below one of your business centers and not in a cross line sales organization. The second business must be a bona fide independent business that is operated by the person listed on the agreement and not by the owner of the first business.
Now unless USANA executives have been watching too much "Sister Wives" on The Learning Channel, there is no way somebody has 4 spouses let alone over 15! So aside from polygamy, USANA's policies and procedures limits a household to only two distributor accounts. The policies and procedures USANA publicly publishes serves as nothing more than lip service to federal regulators. USANA's unpublished set of policies shown in these internal memos are the real policies that the federal regulators should be interested in.
A couple years ago there was another internal USANA document regarding compliance and training for their employees that makes the following contradictory statements:
QUOTE (my emphasis in red)
VII. Questions from DSR
II. When can we get the computer to list accounts with same address, phone, ssn, etc.
i. We already have access to most of that information, it just doesn’t automatically show us it. We have spoken with IT and the more actions we place on the system, the more burdensome it becomes and the slower it operates. So for now, we have to run our own little reports to try and find multiples.UNQUOTE
At the time why would USANA be interested in finding distributor accounts that share the same address? USANA admits they have access to the information and is fully capable finding these "multiples". Obviously there was a problem back then with associates using the same home address.
Lets look at another quote regarding credit card fraud and usage.
QUOTE (my emphasis in red)
iii. Credit card usage
1. If someone is trying to use a card other than their own, do not let them. There have been several instances of fraud lately where people’s cards have been stolen and used to purchased product.
2. A good response would be: “I noticed that the name on this card is different than your own. You may not be aware of this, but recently there have been several instances where credit card fraud has taken place. Because of this, we are trying to increase our associates protection by only allowing the account holders credit card to be used on their account. So unfortunately I can’t let you use this credit card. I know it may be a bit inconvenient, but I’m sure you would be glad if we
stopped someone else from using your card on their account without your authorization.”
VII. Questions from DSR
III. How rampant is credit card fraud in the system?
i. Lately we have had several issues with Fraud. I don’t have an exact number on how many issues we have, but it is a growing concern. As a result, we are currently working on changing our credit card policy to ensure an added level of protection for our associates.
According to USANA's 2010 internal document, credit cards can only be used on the card holder's own distributor account. Here USANA discusses trying to tackle credit card fraud. Yet, in their latest internal document just recently written they allow over 15 active associates to all use the same credit card.
So why does any of this matter at all? For starters, it allows a distributor to recruit anyone from anywhere into their downline. All they have to do is use the sponsoring distributor's address and credit card. The sponsoring distributor is simply reimbursed by those in his or her downline who reside in countries that are not authorized to participate in MLM companies. This leads me to China.
For several years now I have been writing on my blog about mounting evidence that USANA has been signing up Chinese Nationals into their MLM compensation plan. It is against the law for Chinese Nationals to own or operate a MLM distributorship. USANA is not authorized to conduct MLM activities within mainland China.
So one possible way USANA can circumvent China's laws is to sign up Chinese Nationals in other countries such as Hong Kong and use the sponsoring distributor's Hong Kong address. By doing so, it removes any paper trails within USANA's computer system and from auditors eyes. The shareholders simply see USANA's Hong Kong market rise sharply while the rest of USANA's markets hold steady or even decline. This sharp rise in sales and distributorships in Hong Kong sends USANA's stock price soaring. When the price is right, insiders dump millions of dollars worth of stock (Myron Wentz sold over $30,000,000 in November and December).
In November, Citron Research released evidence of Chinese Nationals being recruited in USANA's MLM compensation plan by a distributor from Hong Kong. Each of the Chinese Nationals used the address of the distributor from Hong Kong. They were also instructed to open up bank accounts in Hong Kong as well. This internal memo is strong evidence that USANA has in place a policy that allows for such questionable recruiting activities. USANA filed a response with the SEC regarding the Citron report and simply stated that they operate BabyCare Ltd. in mainland China and do it legally. USANA's response diverges from the actual issue, which is the recruitment of Chinese Nationals into USANA's MultiLevel Marketing plan through Hong Kong, not the BabyCare SingleLevel Marketing plan already established in mainland China.
With unethical hidden policies like these it's no wonder USANA executives are leaving like rats on a sinking ship. Someone should ask USANA during their financial conference call next week "how many associates share the same address with three or more other associates and what percentage of net sales did they account for."
I'll finish with one of my favorite non-disclosures by USANA revealed in the older internal USANA document:
IV. What is the biggest market that buys our products that we are not eligible to operate in?UNQUOTE
i. Once again I couldn’t give you an exact answer on this. Since I work with our Asian markets, I know that a large sum of product ends up in China, but I’m sure product somehow gets shipped to other unauthorized markets as well…
A Large Sum sounds like a lot to me.
Now that the FTC has shut down MLM company Fortune Hi Tech (FHTM), could USANA be next in their sights? I will discuss this in my next article.
Disclosure: I have no stock position in USANA or any of their competitors. I have never and will never hold a stock position with USANA. I am not paid to write this article. I make no money from this blog. I have never and will never be a USANA distributor or a distributor of any other MLM company.