August 3, 2010 Contact:Jackie Boyle
Montana Securities Commissioner Lindeen takes action against ACN, Inc for
alleged pyramid scheme
Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica J. Lindeen
announced the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order and Notice of Proposed
Agency Action against ACN, Inc. for allegedly operating a "pyramid scheme."
The actions allege ACN lured hundreds of Montanans to join with deceptive
claims that members could earn large sums of money through the recruitment of
new participants and through the sale of phone services. Also named in the
actions are Gregory Provenzano, Robert Stevanovski, Anthony Cupisz and
Michael Cupisz, all officers and founders of ACN. ACN is located in North
"Pyramid schemes are immensely profitable to a few individuals at the top
and a complete loss for almost everyone else," Commissioner Lindeen said. "The
actions against ACN and its officers seek to shut down the company's alleged
unlawful operation before more people lose their hard-earned money."
The actions allege ACN operates an illegal pyramid scheme that only
benefits members if and when they find enough new members to join the
scheme. Once enrolled, members who join the program earn compensation for
each new person they enlist. The Company attracts new members by claiming
“the bottom line in building your ACN business is that you are acquiring
customers and sponsoring ‘customer getters’ in order to build a residual income
The actions also allege that the only way an ACN participant can earn
compensation is the recruitment of new participants to sell a phone service that
is largely not available for use in Montana. Participants are told that if they
recruit two qualified team trainers who also then recruit two additional qualified
team trainers and each participant acquires 20 customers to purchase a phone
service, their income can be as much as $11,000 per month.
The Commissioner’s Office found an overwhelming portion of revenues
earned by ACN representatives was derived from participants who must
personally buy a telephone service that does not work in many parts of Montana
to become managers or recruit new participants into the program. In 2008, ACN
recruited 91 Montana participants who paid approximately $61,741.69 to be a
part of the program. Only two of the participants made any money, with one
participant making $696 and the other making $700. In 2009, ACN recruited
over 300 Montana participants who paid approximately $234,813.02 to be a part
of the program. ACN’s records indicate a mere $896.86 was paid out in
compensation to these participants. ACN’s records indicate participants are
located throughout Montana.
Individuals and companies promoting a pyramid promotional scheme in
Montana can be fined as much as $10,000 per violation.
Individuals and participants who believe they have been victimized by ACN
should contact the Securities Division of the Office of the Commissioner of
Securities and Insurance at 1-800- 332-6148.
Montana State Auditor's Office http://www.sao.mt.gov/news/20100803ACN.html
Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance,
Montana State Auditor's Office
840 Helena Avenue
Helena, MT 59601