A young Texas couple featured on Oprah’s OWN network reality show “Family or Fiance” took millions of dollars from black Americans suffering during the pandemic, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Marlon Moore, also known as DJ ASAP, and his wife LaShonda are alleged to have been operating a pyramid scheme, Blessings In No Time (BINT), promising to “bless” those who gave an initial investment of $1,400 with returns as high as 800% in a week’s time. With so many people falling behind their bills and loans during the nation’s shutdown in 2020, the Moore’s saw an opportunity to capitalize on the most vulnerable and came away with millions.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a federal lawsuit against the couple, who advertised their investment scheme as all-Black, socially conscious, and faith-based, however the reality is it was nothing more than a pyramid scheme aimed to benefit those at the top. The state of Arkansas and the FTC have since filed their own lawsuits against the Moores, as well.
“In general, these schemes falsely promise a big return — or as BINT termed it, being ‘blessed out’ — following a modest initial payment,” the FTC says in their complaint. “In reality, however, very few consumers make any money. And the few consumers that do make money sometimes lose their profits by reinvesting in the scheme.”
Coretta Vanterpool of Florida is one of the numerous people who lost money in the scheme, sinking $13,000 of her own money into BINT, along with $30,000 of her other family members’ cash.
“A lot of people came in because they had been furloughed or they had lost their jobs,” she said. “Their companies had closed. A couple of ladies were about to lose their homes. I met one lady through the group who was trying to get the money so she could pay for chemotherapy.”
Vanterpool, like many people, fell victim to the scheme by way of her own family. After being “blessed out” by the group, Coretta’s nephew recruited her to join the group. “Since he received his first payment, he thought it was legit,” she told the Washington Post. “They just made it sound so real, so nice.”
DJ ASAP Marlon Moore and his Wife Lashonda Moore Went to Court Tuesday…….. I should have a update for you guys by this Weekend on them and the whole BINT SCAM PYRAMID SCHEME they was running guys pic.twitter.com/Bxh5iFIYvX
— TRIPLE D DAT!!!!!! (@TRIPLED4LIFE) June 25, 2021
“It hurts because I brought someone else into a situation that they didn’t have to be in when they were already suffering,” she said. “I’ve put in money that I really don’t have that I should have just used for what it was for and that was for my loans. Now I’m starting back at square one and hoping and praying that I’ll get this money back.”
A group of people who have since left BINT created a website, BINTscam.com, where they share their horror stories from their time with the Moores. One post details how if anyone in the pyramid scheme were to talk negatively about BINT, they would be removed, and they may or may not be refunded their initial investment.
“As of October 2020, if a refund was requested, you were immediately put out of the group, and the return of your money was unknown if at all considered,” one person writes. “Individuals were fearful of expressing concern or speaking up not only because they didn’t want to lose the money they had invested but, more importantly, losing family and friends’ money.”
This follows a trend of people who are deemed “woke” turning out to be frauds. A few weeks ago it was reported that a Black Lives Matter organizer is calling it quits after raking in millions of dollars from people who were swindled by BLM. Whenever there is a group of people deemed “vulnerable”, there will always be vultures lurking to take advantage of them under the guise of “helping”.
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