USA Today: The Federal Trade Commission and three state attorneys general shut down Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing for being a global pyramid scheme that rewards people for recruiting others.
"Today's actions are the beginning of the end for one of the most prolific pyramid schemes operating in North America," said Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway.
Multilevel or "network" marketers pay commissions to salespeople for the products they sell, on products sold by others they recruit and often bonuses when their teams reach a certain level of sales. The Direct Selling Association, which represents companies that have multilevel compensation plans, estimates there were 15.6 million "direct" salespeople in 2011.
According to the lawsuit against FHTM, its "complicated and convoluted compensation plan" ensures most people make little or no money.