Consumer News

FTC Launches Investigation into IML’s Business Opportunity

Agency seeks documents from former instructor and salesperson.

Consumer News

FTC Launches Investigation into IML’s Business Opportunity

The FTC has launched an investigation into International Markets Live (IML), a Las Vegas-based MLM also known as IM Mastery Academy that was the subject of a 2019 complaint to a different regulatory body, according to documents recently published on the federal agency’s website.

In an entry for IM Mastery Academy dated May 23 in the cases and proceedings section of its website, the FTC has published three documents relating to a civil investigative demand (CID) it issued a former instructor and salesperson for IML, which markets and sells forex and cryptocurrency trading software and educational products.

The documents provide a timeline of recent events. They show that on March 20 the FTC served Matthew Thayer the CID requesting that he produce several documents — including all marketing materials he used to promote IML, its products or its business opportunity — as part of an investigation to determine whether the company or its distributors “are engaged in deceptive or unfair acts or practices in connection with the marketing of goods or services on the Internet or in connection with the advertising, marketing or sale of business opportunities,” in violation of FTC law; that on April 4 Thayer filed a petition to quash or limit the CID; and that on June 5 the FTC denied the petition and gave Thayer until June 15 to “comply in full” with the CID.

Despite the focus on Thayer (at least in documents that the FTC has made publicly available), the FTC order denying his petition notes that the “CID seeks information from him as a third-party; he is not presently a target of this investigation.”

The FTC’s inquiry into IML comes four years after alerted the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council to the company’s deceptive income claims, which resulted in the DSSRC issuing a decision finding that IML and its distributors were making inappropriate income claims to promote the company’s business opportunity. Since then, has continued to collect deceptive income claims made by the company and its top distributors, amassing more than 250 examples of such claims.

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Of course, just because the FTC is investigating IML (after a slew of other regulators, as well as consumers and competitors, have raised the alarm) doesn’t mean the agency will necessarily take enforcement action. Stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, if you’ve been deceived by the company or its distributors, let the FTC – and us – know.

Find more of our coverage on IML here.

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