The FTC and Colorado Attorney General have filed a complaint against Russ Dalbey for allegedly defrauding consumers with his “Winning in the Cash Flow Business” system. You may have seen the TV infomercials with Dalbey claiming people could make big sums of money as a note broker in three easy steps… Find ‘Em, List ‘Em, and Make Money… in just minutes a day.
The claims were backed by testimonials from students that are also being questioned. The courts are seeking an order to stop any misleading claims and obtain money for refunds.
The Truth About the Cash Flow Note Business
The cash flow business is like any other business. It takes hard work, commitment, time, knowledge and a strong marketing plan to make money buying or referring notes. For real answers and straight talk about the note business check out these articles:
Note Brokers: Guru Rhymes With Screw You
Note Brokers: How Much Money Will I Make in the Cash Flow Business?
Reading the recent FTC filings will likely make one think…“If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!”
Excerpt from FTC Press Release on May 31, 2011 entitled:
FTC Charges Promissory Note Pitchman with Deceiving Consumers
…“‘Winning in the Cash Flow Business’ was a real loser for hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “When someone is selling a program designed to help people make money, they have to accurately describe how much consumers can expect to make and be truthful about how quickly they will be able to do so. None of that happened in this case, and people who bought the program paid the price.”
Millions of consumers nationwide saw infomercials for the “Winning in the Cash Flow Business” program, which were hosted by TV personality Gary Collins. The program supposedly teaches consumers how to find, broker, and earn commissions on seller-financed promissory notes – privately held mortgages or notes that are often secured by the home or land that is the subject of the loan.
The FTC complaint alleges that consumers spent approximately $40 to $160 on the initial program, and were later encouraged to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars more on additional products or services, such as multi-day seminars, coaching sessions, and promissory note holder lead lists. Few of these consumers made the money that Dalbey promised them. The FTC and the State of Colorado seek a court order to stop Dalbey, his wife, and the corporate entities they control from making the allegedly misleading claims, and to obtain money for consumer refunds.
According to the complaint, since at least 1996, Dalbey has used various corporate entities to market his program. Beginning as early as 2002, he has done so mainly through a 30-minute infomercial. Along with pitches on the Internet and through direct mail, the infomercial claimed that consumers could successfully earn substantial income brokering promissory notes in three easy steps – “Find ‘Em,” “List ‘Em,” and “Make Money.”
“You’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to generate a stream of extra income every month. Build financial freedom and a better quality of life in just minutes a day. Or even retire earlier than you ever dreamed possible. Order now and you’ll be ready to profit in minutes,” an infomercial allegedly claimed.
These claims allegedly were supported by “testimonials” from consumers who claimed to have made “$1.2 million in 30 days,” “$79,000 in a few hours,” and “$262,216 part time,” for example. “In less than 30 days, I closed two transactions and I netted 1 point – a little bit over $1.2 million,” a testimonial by “Don B.” from New York stated.
Unfortunately, according to the FTC and Colorado Attorney General, this was far from the typical consumer experience. The complaint charges that Dalbey and the other defendants violated the FTC Act and Colorado law by making false and unsubstantiated claims that consumers are likely to quickly and easily find, list, and broker promissory notes and earn substantial amounts of money; and that defendants’ additional products and services, such as coaching programs, workshops, seminars, note holder leads, and other resources, will meaningfully increase the likelihood that consumers will succeed in the note business.
The complaint also alleges that while Dalbey claimed he has earned substantial money finding, listing, and brokering promissory notes himself, most of his note-related income for the past two decades has come from marketing and selling products and services supposedly to teach consumers how to find and broker such notes. In addition, the complaint alleges that consumer testimonials in the defendants’ advertising are inaccurate and do not reflect the results that customers are likely to achieve if they buy the program. For example, some testimonialists, the complaint charges, stated earnings claims that were total earnings figures accumulated over several years, rather than in one year.
The complaint also charges the defendants with violating the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule by making similar misrepresentations to consumers during sales calls.
Finally, the FTC and Colorado Attorney General charged Marsha Kellogg – one of the consumers who provided a testimonial in an infomercial – with falsely claiming that she earned $79,975.01 from one promissory note transaction using Dalbey’s program, and that her total earnings were more than $134,000. The complaint alleges that Kellogg made this statement even though she earned $50,000 less than what she claimed.
Source: FTC News at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/05/dalbey.shtm
To read the complete press release with links to the court filings and to get information on how to spot “get-rich-quick” schemes visit the FTC website.
Douglas Rink says
Tracy Z and others that’s been in this business a long time are not charging $1,000’s of dollars for their programs. But, education, no matter how how you get it is expensive. While I feel sorry for the public for investing in Russ’s program, I feel more sorry for the millions of students in the US being ripped off by our colleges and institutions with no real “financial” education being taught …because if they taught real financial education, 50% of the college professors would be like Russ here, worthless and most students wouldn’t have hundreds of millions of student loans.
I got this program about 7 years ago and it baffles me that so many people got scammed I guess I was fortunate enough to not get scammed I also made 5000 off my first sell I was extremely happy and this is very surprising
Eddie Helms says
I called to check on the results of this lawsuit i was told they can’t find him they do not know where he is at. They say the courts were awarded 330 million dollars of our money but they can’t find no money some one is covering this scam up . How can a person get in touch with American Greed they will find that Low Life Bastard . He is probably right where is always been and everybody has been paid off that is suppose to be looking out for us I myself would like to find him He screwed to many honest hard working American people , and took advantage of the elderly folks he should have to pay back every bit of the money that everybody spent on his B S programs ;;;;;;
Bilal A says
How do I join this lawsuit? I have lost 1500 bucks back in 2006 on some “earn while I learn coaching program” which turned out to be crap!! The web site that they give u also is crap I want a REFUND PLEASE HELP
Tracy Z says
It hurts to lose hard earned dollars. Unfortunately, it’s going to be tough to get anything back. Here is the last update posted by the FTC on their website: Defendants in Wealth-Building Scheme Banned from Telemarketing, Selling Business Opportunities, and Producing or Distributing Infomercials. According to the press release “Under the settlement, the Dalbeys must disclose their assets in sworn financial statements, repatriate all foreign assets, and cooperate fully as the FTC and the Colorado Attorney General’s office determine how much of an agreed-upon $330 million judgment they can pay. The judgment will be suspended when the defendants surrender those assets.”
Angela M says
My question is how does this affect those of us who invested with the Dalbeys, and is there a statue or time limit for trying to get a refund of what we invested? Secondly, who would one contact with inquiries into this scam. I never heard anything about this and my sister and I were talking and Russ Dalbey’s name came up. Upon a Google search, all of the information about fraud came up. Why is there not a search for people that purchased his programs so they can be notified? Lastly is there any contact information that can be given out so that consumers can call to ask our questions?
Tracy Z says
Hello Angela, We are not in any way associated with the Dalbey group. We’ve been in the note business personally since the late 1980’s. As a service to the industry we have tried to keep people up to date on happenings in the note business. Most of the time it’s good news but in this case it was negative. The two groups that were investigating and handling the case were the Colorado Attorney General’s office and the FTC. There are links in the above article and comments with contact information if you would like to reach them with your concerns. Unfortunately I think the case has closed and settled. Here is the last information I have been able to find: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2013/07/defendants-wealth-building-scheme-banned-telemarketing-selling
The bastard is Indonesia. He can’t be extradited because there is no law with the US to do so. His wife came back and has been charged by the FTC for the lump sum and took away her passport. She now has it back and has gone back to visit him. Their children? Oh the wealthy in Boulder feel so sorry for her that the children were given $30k scholarships each to go to a private school. I guess luxury never stops for these people!! Poor lady…claims to not have really been in the business but certainly didn’t mind the millions a month she and her pathetic husband lived on!
Ray B. Denver says
I went for the $39 start offer with Dalby. I have over 20 years experience in real estate and finance and had a license for both. I found his coaches to be high pressure and demeaning over the phone. They were pushy and I could tell that they didn’t do the business themselves…they were inside sales employees trained to extract larger amounts of funds from the buying public. Interestingly, at the time I happened to have a note/real estate client/seller inquiring to me for a source of buying funds for his notes. I sent them in to Dalby to procure a buyer…never heard a word. Crazy as I thought that was I discovered they really weren’t interested in the performing notes that I sent in to sell, they really just wanted to sell me their expensive program. They wouldn’t call me back to discuss my deal worth over $250,000 ’cause I wasn’t a $3,900 sudent! Glad I only spent $39 rather that $3,900!! Selling notes is not rocket science, but you have to have some real estate background to evaluate the properties ( the collateral) and some lending background to evaluate the credit or performance side of the notes. I.E. what you don’t know can hurt you! Buyer Beware.
Rick Miksell says
I sent out thousands of postcards trying to get people to call me. I had 6 people call me and no deals went through. It wasn’t just the money but all the time involved and I did not make a dime. I followed all his steps exactly and even put smiley faces on all the post cards and signed everyone. So I wasted over $5000. I even took the extra coaching course.
Michael Perry says
I went through the first step program, $1,500 coaching course, and had to pay $2,500 for web site (PerrysPrime Investments) if you dig for the Web site it’s still there but it looks like someone is using it and I don’t know what to do with it. I flew to colorado from Massachusetts for the three day seminar. While at the three day seminar they wanted people to pay $4,000 in a program where they give you a office space with a list of note holders to get them to sell there note for a lump sum.
I still have all my papers and the notaries stamp!!
Anna Freeman says
Yes, I was a fool when I bought into Russ Dalbey and he and his minions were able to fleece me and others out of thousands in educational programs that didn’t work.
At least they didn’t work for me. Just now I learned of this, as I finally told the constant stream of emails to stop talking to me as they were only trying to sell me one more “program”. One more smart way to “help me get more notes”. Well I even went to one of their classes and when I knew that these staff people were students of guru gumballs like Tony Robbins then I had a clue that I shouldn’t quit my day job. I am so thankful that this finally came back on Mr. Dalbey. He made more money from the fleecing of the students than from actual deals of his own.
And the next big rip off to investigate would be the tax lien certificate hoopla.
I still owe to the credit card and may have to declare bankcruptcy, for sure I dont trust anyone on the net now…
marilyn bryant says
I spent over $2500.00 dollars after being told over the phone that the money i spent on the system the more i would make Turns out i never made a dime.in ado not call list world they put you on blocked phone so that they people you are calling can not see where the call is coming from. Russ Dalbey one day has to stand in front of God one day.
I bought the cd’s and boods for the 39.00 back in April of 2011. I never really got into it, but then in Feb 2012 I decided to look into it further. What I got was disconnected phone numbers and a reply back about the email address for support[@]dalbeyeducation.com as being not accessible. So these guys tried to get me to invest in $2000 – $4000 to get the coaching and I did not buy their scheme. Good thing I did not because now there is no way to contact them.
People have to watch out for these schemes these days as there are many of them out there and when they promise to make all this money be wary. Also this is their way of making money by selling you the product cheap and then calling you to upcharge for their accelerated product. Some of those thieves get away with it because some people fall for it.
Hopefully some of these people that lost thousands can get their money back on the lawsuit. Good thing I only put in $39.00. I guess I will find a good trashcan for the program contents I received.
Charlie Goodman says
You could not reach them because they were SHUT DOWN by lawsuits and the FTC!!!!
It is quite clear that some of you who posted on here once worked for Dalbey, don’t even try and tell me otherwise. Dalbey was a scammer and now he is done. It was about time that an example be made out of someone. Now, that being said, I do agree that money can be made in the note business, BUT NOT with Dalbey’s inept program. He was in the business of selling crap. His “course” was a sham. To make money in the note business, you need to go into it with an actual investor and REAL courses that actually TEACH you something. There are cash flow note courses out there that are VERY reasonably priced and don’t make “pie in the sky” promises. So, bottom line, the note business is legit (although it is not for everyone) but Russ Dalbey was a scammer, no matter how much some of you clowns try and defend him!
Charlie Goodman says
People who got scammed by Dalbey have nobody to blame but themselves (mostly). And yes Dalbey was a “scammer” in the sense that he tried to mass market this business to the general public – not everyone is suitable for this business just like not everyone can be a real estate agent, wheeler dealer, car salesman, etc. Imagine if someone came to you and said you can be a brain surgeon for $39 – all you do is 3 simple steps – “cut ’em, take some brain out, and sew ’em up.” That is the equivalent what Dalbey was trying to do with “find em, list em and make money”. Yes, the steps were SIMPLE, but NOT EASY…there is the difference. Yes, Dalbey I am sure knew this but he was trying to make this a mass market business – it is NOT! You have to be resourceful when starting any business – always try to get your information from at least THREE sources. There is a lot of value to Dalbey’s course (especially the original one from 2003) but it should only be used as one of several resources. I first learned about the cash flow business several years before I even heard of Dalbey – a book by Lawrence Pino (an attorney). Some other good resources – the Noteworthy Newsletter and Wes-State mortgage are two good resources (google them), Yes, after I bought the $39 course in 2003 this clown from his office called me at home and tried to get me into this $5000 program which included the website. I knew better. You have to be resourceful and educated – this is now easier than ever before – we now have “Google University” if you know what I mean….remember that when considering any biz opp or offer.
ULYSESS WOODFORD says
Is their a license required to do this ?
Tracy Z says
That depends on your state. Some states just require a general business license while a few have specific laws relating to being a note broker or consultant. While we can’t give legal advise you may find this article helpful pertaining to licensing for Note Brokers in California: https://noteinvestor.com/note-brokers/note-broker-license-ca/ We encourage you to research the laws of your state and consult with competent legal counsel.
I hope that they rot in hell. They got $2900 of my money and I believed them because they have been on the air for years. I do not live in Colorado, but I hope that you all get your money back.
Samuel Shekanena says
It is about time to have our voices heard now. I bought this program from Russ Dalbey back in 2006. What I got was my money taken with no website and my money gone, My wife was and still is angry at me about that investment. They lied that they would refund if their documents are returned but nothing has been refunded to me and I did not make a dime in this scheme. Thanks for the lawsuit. Maybe it is time for a payback.
Brian Pastor says
I spent a quite a bit of money a few years back on this. Do you know if any one has received a refund from the lawsuit?
Jane Cunningham says
I trained for the note business July of 2010 and have not done well. I don’t blame
Dalby for that; I have had very bad luck. …And Dalby is still there for me. I get
refresher courses all the time and have access to all the coaches for any
questions I might have. Some of my problem was bad health, and Dalby had no control over that at all. My health is better now and I intend to keep working
the note business and becoming better and better. Today I am traveling about
45 minutes to personally deliver newsletters to professional people, lawyers,
economic advisors, etc. hoping when their clients need help selling a note, the
professionals will send it my way. Life is not supposed to be easy; you have to
work hard. Yes, some people just seem to fall into success but they are few and
far between. I am one of the workers!
franklin newton says
How do I get refresher course? where is the best place to list the notes i find? Where are the note buyers?
Charlie Goodman says
I bought WITCFB package TWICE in the last seven years and also I have been in the cash flow business for several years. First of all I don’t think Dalbey should be advertising this to the masses on late night infomercials – this is not a business for everyone. It is not simple bang-bang-bang make money. First of all you have to locate a note holder and contact them to get the details of the note. Then you have to calcultate the offer amount which is discounted from the balance owed. The next part is the HARDEST part – getting the note holder to accept your offer. Some noteholders think you should give them the balance due on the note – that would only work if you are the actual note investor with cash – most note investors would not do that anyway. As a “broker” you need to make $2000-10,000+ for yourself depending on the size of the note. By the way, the HUGE amounts quoted on the infomercials are for COMMERCIAL deals which can take months to find and fund. Overall I don’t think Russ Dalbeys operation is a scam, but perhaps slightly misrepresented as far as the EASE aspect. It is a real business that does require time, effort and some capital as a broker and even more capital as a note investor. You have to estimate about 10 deals to get 1 or 2 accepted.
Come on you get what you pay for,,, noone promised you a million only a possible way of getting it, I have made good money in notes but only when I worked them, Russ has some good ideas and a better way of teaching them to you than if you went out as I did and figured it out yourself,,, it is like anything else you get back what you put into it,, so take his teachings andexpound on them ,, but dont expect a train car load of money, you can make a good living doing notes and it is much easier than a lot of other jobs ,,,so start taking some responsibility for your own problems and quit trying to get something for nothing….Leave Russ alone there are much bigger problems out there you fed and state guys should be paying attention to!!!
Jim Dahl says
I think it safe to say that Russ Dalbey makes the big bucks on his anemic seminars and upsells. Of course money can be made on notes, but not to the tune that he sings. He has all the earnings disclaimers in place, but I can say it is the most worthless course I ever bought.
My husband and I bought the Russ Dolby course over 3 years ago and it is not accurate what he portrays in the infomercial find em list em sell em! I hope that at least we will be entitled to a refund not to mention that we have spent thousands of dollars in advertisements and lead sheets. This business works but not because of his preaching, the only reason why we are able to continue and not give up is because my husband is very knowledgeable in the real estate market, and good with numbers, so if a person buys into this product with zero knowledge is in the dark and on his/her own. Not even when they go these “boot camps” that also cost thousands and you do not get any closer to closing deals. It’s a lie to say that it only takes a few minutes or even in a day! that’s total you know what! we have come close to selling notes but because we now have our own sources with hard work and commitment. Hope to see as all the other people what the outcome will be and to get some money back.And then the FTC should shut them down!
good luck to all
Treathyl FOX says
So … as of June 9, 2011 … only a complaint has been filed alleging fraud. Is that correct? Will you be monitoring the case and report on the results as soon as they become known? I purchased the Russ Dalbey course and I have the free website. The WITCFB course materials provided did not seem inadequate or misleading. But your statement that the notes business is like any other business and requires commitment and hard work is true. It is also true that once I was on the mailing list, I received several products offers from the Russ Dalbey marketing machine. But I wasn’t compelled to buy anything in addition to my initial purchase. Between my own efforts in trying to build my note business and the housing market crash, I can’t really say that the Russ Dalbey gave a bum deal. I keep the website up and running because it’s free and I don’t pay to maintain it – no hosting costs, etc. I purchased my own domain name and pay for that. That’s about it. I would be interested in knowing the outcome of the case just for my own peace of mind. As for that lady Ms. Kellogg? I don’t see why she had to lie. $29K for one transaction is a lot of money. It’s not $79K but it’s still a nice check! Some people don’t make that in a year!
Spencer Ferrey says
Well it is about time something was done. The only thing I got out of the Dalby courses was a distrust of his method and motive. Oh yes I did get a “free” web site but it is rinky dink at best.