Wednesday, February 18, 2015

TELKOM SCUPPERS ANOTHER KEVIN PEARMAN GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEME

Dear Readers,

         Hundreds of people promised lucrative jobs in another of Kevin Pearman’s get-rich-quick businesses have been left without them.
         And what happened to the money South African investors might have given him is anyone’s guess. 
         HIS INVESTORS ARE TIRED OF HIS EMPTY PROMISES.
         A Facebook page has recently been set up headed “Kevin Pearman Scams Ntyre Itmakescents.” It has nothing to do with me but claims to have been founded by “a social group dedicated to getting all the people together that Kevin Pearman has taken money off.”
  


         Last month in a Sunday Times advertisement he was telling would be investors that he could turn their R50 000 into R200 000 in a year. It was “the best passive income opportunity ever,” he claimed.


         He has given similar undertakings before.
         It was dependent on the success of the contract to market mobile airtime that his The World Loves a Winner company trading as It Makes Cents (IMC) had with Telkom.
         The only problem was that after IMC signed up 4 532 agents in only three months up to December last year, if the website is to be believed, and “created 6 288 jobs since 1 September 2014” Telkom terminated the agreement. This was confirmed to me by a Telkom spokesman.
         Had Kevin’s “tarnished image” caught up with him once again?
         Telkom was the second mobile phone provider to sign a marketing agreement with Pearman only to cancel it. He had a another one with Cell C which was revoked three days after I asked the then Chief Executive Alan Knott - Craig if the scheme had Cell C’s blessing.


         At the time Pearman was told that Cell C believed his marketing plan was a “get-rich-quick pyramid scheme” which he denied. 
         Pearman maintained that by selling Cell C sim cards his agents could “easily make R800 000 per annum or get there quicker.” Agents had to pay R600 to get started and Pearman had recruited 140 of them before Cell C reneged on the agreement.       
         Many of those recruited for Telkom were poor people lured by Kevin’s pie in the sky predictions that his firm would sponsor and train agents to start their own businesses in which they could earn “at least R300 000 per annum.”
         The firm’s website, which was effectively taken down soon after I began making inquiries, stated that the business had two sides: the Passive Income-Opportunity Participants (PI) and the agents who were responsible for bringing in the money by selling Telkom airtime.
         For every PI there were to be five agents contracted to meet an “easily obtainable, minimum performance.” After IMC took its cut the money earned would be split between the agents and paying the investors.
         He also undertook to pay the agents and his PI investors monthly, something that hasn’t happened.
        
        Keith Buncombe, who became an agent in August last year and who has 60 subagents under him told me, “Nobody has got paid any money yet.”
         Buncombe, a pastor at a small Port Elizabeth church, was trying to boost his income. He said that in September last year he received 3 000 Telkom sim cards after he and other agents had been on a two day Telkom training course. These went quickly and in December he got another 3 000.
         When I spoke to him on 11 February this year Pearman had not yet let him know that IMC was no longer an authorised Telkom vendor.
         Buncombe was one of the praise singers in a video competition on the IMC website extolling the virtues of the business and Pearman’s expertise. He described Pearman as an “absolute genius.” But I don’t think he is so convinced of this now. He won second prize of R2 500.
FIKISWA MABANDLA

         First prize of R5 000 went to Fikiswa Mabandla from Port Elizabeth. She said It Makes Cents would change so many people’s lives “especially in the Eastern Cape where there’s so much unemployment.”
         The third prize winner was Wally Scholtz who told of how he had signed up 41 distributors in just nine days. “I have a goal to become financially free,” he added.  
         The IMC January 2015 news letter revealed that Xybanetx, a leading management advisory firm had become a “shareholder/partner.” Its impressive pedigree doesn’t fit with the Kevin Pearman image. It has done consultancy work for firms like Absa bank, Nedbank, Standard Bank as well as Daimler Chrysler, Ster Kinekor Theatres and various other blue chip companies.
                
Craig Lutwyche

In an effort to verify the News Letter’s claim I sent emails to both Craig Lutwyche and Carlo Mariani, Xybanetx’s founding directors. They never replied although their PA Jennifer Sagnelli assured me she had alerted them to my inquiry.
         Pearman was just as elusive.
Carlo Mariani
         The News Letter disclosed that IMC would be applying for a license as a Financial Services Provider (FSP) and would be adding life insurance and funeral policies as well as medical aid schemes to the portfolios of its agents.
         The PI will cease with the inclusion of the new partners and will be replaced with an Investment Opportunity that will provide a fixed, guaranteed return for a year. This will form part of the financial services offered when the company gets its FSP license. But it will provide nowhere near the income available from the current PI model.
          If Pearman or any of his companies gets an FSP license it will be a disgrace.


FROM THE FACEBOOK PAGE

         Kevin specialises in get-rich-quick offers through advertisements in the Sunday Times and possibly other papers. It is doubtful however whether anybody who has invested with him has got the returns promised or even had their money back.
         The first one I came across was for a shareholding in his N-tyre Solutions that owns his a tyre monitoring invention for trucks. This was said to have an enormous tyre saving potential. So much so that Pearman told me that one of the world’s largest tyre manufacturers offered him $10-million for the rights so they could prevent it coming on the market.  Inexplicably he turned this down to market his baby himself.
         That was 12 years ago shortly after he won three design awards for his invention. Ever since then he has been struggling to get what was described as a “brilliant concept” on the road to make him and his shareholders the millions he believes it is worth.
         In the Sunday Times he promised that an investment of R100 000 in N-Tyre would be worth R2-million in four years.  



         I once told him that although he believed his schemes were great investments he still resorted to very dubious advertisements in the Sunday Times. He replied, “The ST is rudely expensive and I simply must do whatever I can to get to talk to people.”
         Pearman’s next advertisement enticed people to doubled R50 000 in a year. This was in his Heat in a Click venture that sold reusable gel heating pads for muscle pain relief.
         He told me he went into this towards the end of 2012 to raise sufficient money to “finalise my N-Tyre business and to rectify my already tarnished name.”
         His The World Loves a Winner company was offering licensing agreements at R300 000 (a favourite number of his) a time.
         Not long afterwards he said he had cut ties with Heat in a Click because of a disagreement with the other partners.
        
         The Blue Bulls rugby club was persuaded to allow its logo to be used on the pads. But the club never made a cent out of this.
         Darryl Kroll the club’s brand promoter told me that they cancelled the contract and although they were owed a lot of money they could never get in touch with the people involved despite “months and months of trying.”
         Last year Pearman said he started as a Cell C reseller “out of necessity to raise the R2-million I need to launch N-tyre myself as the potential is now better than ever with the strong possibility of the insurance industry embracing it.”
         His efforts to find a large company to back his tyre invention had proved fruitless.



         At this stage he stated he had 450 N-tyre shareholders, although none of them appeared to have had any return for their money.
          The world does love a winner but so far Kevin Pearman has proved he is not one of them. And it’s extremely doubtful if anybody who believed in any of his get-rich-quick promises ever became one either.
         If any of you put money in Kevin’s latest project don’t say I didn’t warn you.
         Yours faithfully,
         Jon, the Consumer Watchdog that tells you about people like Pearman when the main stream Media doesn’t bother and happily takes his advertisements.

P.S. See:
Blog that nobody reads
Cell C's strange dealings
Big Business turns on little man


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