Give me a call today!

Jamell Fields
713-202-7545
www.jamellfields.com



The Facts Are Not Hard To Find!

NOW YTB HAS TO PASS OUT THEIR INCOME DISCLOSURE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY MEETING TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE AWARE THAT THEY WILL NOT MAKE MONEY!!!
Rank#of Reps
at this level
% of Active
Reps
Overall %
of Reps
Free
Reps
246837
0.0%
80.92%
Active
Reps
44926
20.95%
14.73%
Power Team
Leaders
12198
1.60%
4.00%
Coach's
Corner
931
.21%
.31%
Level 1
Director
122
.04%
.04%
Level 2
Director
22
.01%
.01%
Level 3
Director
8
.009%
.003%
Level 4
Director
5
.002%
.002%
Level 5
Director
1
.002%
.0003%
Level 6
Director
2
.003%
.0007%
Level 7
Director
3
.005%
.0010%






Wow Look at the Numbers starting with the first line The Free Rep Position! 80% of the reps in the company are in the free spots because they could not afford the $500 Start up Cost. That is proof the program is over priced for the Market place. Most of YTB Growth comes from Free Reps and not Agents. Huge Turn over as you see 80% of the Companies organization did not get a Single Check in 12 months.

Overal Active Reps is close to 15% that are not Directors and not making any real income at all. All the other directors positions that make up %5 of the company making any real commissions. These are the people in the success from home magazine and the top income earners but as you see the Vast Majority Make nothing.

You have less than a 1% chance of becoming a director in YTB. Because of the 6 up compensation plan and the $500 Start up plus the $150 training Fee. $650 to turn around and get 6 other people to do the same to and get $50 a piece. You don't get a $1000 bonus for your first six. Your upline does you don't get that till your next 6. and The Numbers Show that most of your TEAM will NEVER reach it and you set them up in a compensation plan and company where they will most likely fail than succeed. These are numbers from YTB.com own site http://www.ytb.com/downloads/YTB_IncomeDisclosure_2-8-08.pdf

Listen Position yourself with a Real Worldwide, License, Bonded and Certified Travel Company that has more average people making above average incomes more than any other company.

Give me a Call Today to get your position
Jamell Fields
713-202-7545

Sen. Burt Saunders linked to Controversial YTB

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA - State Senator Burt Saunders (R-Naples) is serving on the Board of Directors of a company that is being sued by the state of California, as well as some individuals.

Saunders serves on the Board of YTB International, which operates YourTravelBiz.com, commonly known as YTB. California's Attorney General calls YTB a pyramid scheme. Two federal class-action lawsuits have been filed against YTB, making the same claims. Each of those suits asks for $100 Million in damages. California wants damages, plus restitution to victims in that state.

YTB recruits people to its online travel booking site. They pay $500 dollars each to join and about $50 a month to access the website. They then can book travel from their own homes. But they're also encouraged to bring in new members, who would pay $500 to join the site.

Saunders, who is running for US Congress to represent Lee and Collier Counties, would not talk with WINK News about his involvement with YTB. Likewise the company, based in Illinois, would not reveal how much money Saunders gets for serving on the Board of Directors.

Prominent Attorney Quits YTB Board

EDWARDSVILLE - Prominent local attorney John Simmons has resigned from the board of YTB, the controversial travel sales firm, but Simmons and the company management are choosing their words carefully.

Simmons, who has a nationwide practice in toxic tort and other personal injury cases, resigned on Sept. 3. He returned a call from a reporter on Monday but declined to comment further than a formal statement filed by the company and posted on the Web site of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"The statement will have to speak for itself," he said. The statement read:

"Mr. Simmons' resignation was prompted by his belief that as a general matter he could not effectively influence the practices of the company's management.

"Mr. Simmons has not furnished the company with any written correspondence concerning the circumstances surrounding his resignation. Mr. Simmons was considered an independent director by the company and was a member of the company's Investment Committee.

"The company provided Mr. Simmons the opportunity to review the statements made in the above paragraph."

Company officials had little to add:

"As stated in our 8K filing on September 3, 2008, John D. Simmons, an independent board member, has resigned from the board of directors of YTB.

"While we do not comment on the activities and motivations of our board other than through our public filings, we do wish to clarify that our board has input into all major decisions of the company, including the right to dissent," company officials said in an e-mail in response to a reporter's question.

The YTB business, with executive offices in Edwardsville and operations in Wood River, is the target of a suit by the California Attorney General's Office and a two class action suits filed in federal court in East St. Louis. The Better Business Bureau has also reported many claims of unfair business practices against YTB.

Those suits claim YTB International and its affiliates are nothing more than a pyramid scheme.

A class action filed earlier this month by the Rex Carr firm of East St. Louis and others seeks $100 million.

A second class action suit is seeking more than $5 million in damages. That suit was filed by John J. Carey of the Carey and Danis law firm based in St. Louis.

The Carey suit claims that in 2007, consumers paid more than $103 million to defendants for Web sites advertising travel but make only $13 million in travel commissions.

YTB and its operators advertised the sites as the "easiest way to make money" and earn "serious income" without any selling.

"The typical annual travel commission earned was less than the cost of just one month for a consumer to maintain his or her Web site," Carey said in his federal complaint.

He claims only 14.5 percent of the defendants' net revenue was generated from the sale of travel. "In short, defendants sell an illegal pyramid scheme that uses the minor, incidental sale of travel as a front for their scheme," the suit claims.

The operators of YTB said they plan to defend themselves vigorously.

Simmons has an office based in East Alton and has built up a nationwide practice in asbestos personal injury and other cases. He is also on the board of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and has contributed millions of dollars for cancer research and other causes.

BAD NEWS FOR YTB REPS

YTB Considers switching to a Franchise Business Model

In a surprising and controversial move that could end the era of multilevel marketing, Scott Tomer, CEO of YTB International, Inc. said the company is “contemplating the replacement of its referring travel agent (RTA) business model with the implementation of a franchise operating system, potentially in 2009.” YTB has been at the center of travel agents' concerns with the proliferation of multilevel marketing.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Tomer said the company “expects that a franchising model, if adopted, would facilitate the company's expansion into additional markets by providing more comprehensive training and a new proprietary e-commerce platform.

“Details regarding price, product offerings and the conversion plan are all under consideration, but the company anticipates that its existing RTA base would be treated favorably under its forthcoming proposal," Tomer's statement continued. "If a franchising model is adopted, its distribution is expected to be managed by subsidiary and current marketing arm of the company, YourTravelBiz.com, also known as YTB.com.”

YTB International, Inc. is a publicly owned company. It provides Internet-based travel booking services for travel agencies and home-based independent representatives in the United States and Canada. It operates through three subsidiaries: YourTravelBiz.com, Inc., YTB Travel Network, Inc., and REZconnect Technologies.

YourTravelBiz.com, Inc. conducts business through the recruitment, enrollment, training, and support of its sales force.
YTB Travel Network, Inc.’s business is comprised of arrangements to sell airline tickets, cruise packages and other services, plus travel sales, from the approximately 138,814 (as of 3/31/08) RTAs’ websites which it hosts.

John Frenaye, president of the JVE Group and a critic of YTB, said the move should be watched carefully and may mean the end of the multilevel marketing approach in favor of the franchise model.

In a move that will be welcomed by many professional travel agents, California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. has sued YourTravelBiz.com for operating a gigantic pyramid scheme. The state alleges that YTB “recruited tens of thousands of members with deceptive claims that members could earn huge sums of money through its online travel agencies.” If found guilty, YTB could face fines and restitution as high as $25 million.

“YourTravelBiz.com operates a gigantic pyramid scheme that is immensely profitable to a few individuals on top and a complete rip-off for most everyone else,” Attorney General Brown charged. “Today's lawsuit seeks to shut down the company's unlawful operation before more people are exploited by the scam.”

Brown charges the company, its affiliates and the company's founders J. Lloyd Tomer , J. Scott Tomer , J. Kim Sorensen and Andrew Cauthen with operating an “endless chain scheme,” an unlawful pyramid in which a person pays money for the chance to receive money by recruiting new members to join the pyramid.

Brown also charges the company with unfair business practices and false advertising practices including deceptive claims that members can earn millions of dollars with the company, operating without filing legally mandated documents with the attorney general and the Department of Corporations and selling an illegal travel discount program.

John Frenaye , a veteran agent and critic of YTB, said the state's move was a “decisive win for travel agents and the travel industry” and could go a “long way to end the multilevel marketing challenge to the industry.” Last year, Frenaye collected more than 2,700 signatures from agents and suppliers opposing multilevel marketing.

In a statement, the attorney general said YourTravelBiz.com and its affiliates operate an illegal pyramid scheme that only benefits members if and when they find enough new members to join the scam. “Once enrolled, members who join the pyramid scheme earn compensation for each new person they enlist, regardless of whether they sell any travel. The company lures new members by offering huge income opportunities through online travel agencies, yet the typical person actually makes nothing selling travel.

“According to company records, there were over 200,000 members in 2007 who typically pay more than $1,000 per year—$449.95 to set up an 'online travel agency' with a monthly fee of $49.95. In 2007, only 38 percent of the company's members made any travel commissions. For the minority of members who made any travel commission in 2007, the median income was $39—less than one month's cost to keep the website. There are at least 139,000 of the company's travel websites, all virtually identical, on the Internet.”

YourTravelBiz's extensive marketing materials include videos of people driving Porsches and other luxury cars, holding $10,000 checks and claiming to be raking in millions of dollars in profits. The company advertises through its Website, www.ytb.com, and at conventions, workshops and nationwide sales meetings that have been held in California locations such as Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego.

Under California's unfair business practices statute, the company is liable for $2,500 per violation of law, the statement said. “Attorney General Brown is suing YourTravelBiz.com to get a court order that: Bars the company from making false or misleading statements and assesses a civil penalty of at least $15,000,000 and at least $10,000,000 in restitution for Californians who were ripped off by the company.”

The Attorney General's statement also noted that from August 6 through 10, “thousands of members are preparing to travel to St. Louis for a national convention to learn new techniques to recruit more victims into the illegal pyramid scheme. Last year at least 10,000 people attended a similar national conference.”

Fraud Cops Look at Furbert's Firm


Fraud cops look at Furbert's firm
But little chance of legal action because our laws lack teeth
Fraud cops have built a dossier on Wayne Furbert's controversial travel scheme, which continues to attract members here despite being dubbed a scam in the U.S.

Experts within the Bermuda Police Service are convinced YTB (YourTravelBiz) is a pyramid scheme and would like to shut it down to prevent people losing money. Fraud detectives went as far as asking Mr. Furbert to discuss the company with them, after which they warned him that it may breach investment laws, the Bermuda Sun understands.

However, detectives have not passed a file to the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) because Bermuda's antiquated laws are badly equipped to deal with companies of this type. In California - where laws have been sharpened over the years to deal with ever more sophisticated marketing scams - YTB is being sued for $25m. In his lawsuit, California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. said that he intends to prove YTB is "immensely profitable to a few individuals on top and a complete rip-off for almost everyone else."

Sources with links to the DPP told the Bermuda Sun that fraud experts on the island are in full agreement with the AG in California. However, past attempts at prosecuting pyramid schemes have stalled because Bermuda only has generic laws in relation to fraud. Former UBP leader Wayne Furbert believes that around 700 people - more than one per cent of the island's population - have paid at least $500 each to join YTB since February, when he imported the scheme from the U.S. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the total membership could be far higher, with existing members recruiting new investors by the day.

Several successful members have told this newspaper that they have made thousands of dollars from YTB, and Mr. Furbert himself is believed to be earning between $100,000 and $500,000 from the scheme per year. However, Mr. Furbert admits that a large proportion of members have never earned any of their investment back, largely because they have made no efforts to recruit new members.

One legal source, who has links to the DPP said: "A file has been on the fraud unit's desk twice. We know they've looked at it, and continue to look at it, but it's a question of getting a prosecution. There's no doubt that this is a pyramid scheme, but the chances of getting a prosecution here are close to nil. In California, and elsewhere in the States, they tailor legislation for exactly this kind of situation. In Bermuda, our laws are more broad-ranging, so not much can be done."

In a separate development, the Office of the Attorney General in California warned Bermudians not to get involved in YTB. A spokesman said: "This office does not undertake lawsuits lightly. Every action follows a thorough and complete investigation of the evidence. We hope that Bermudians will take note of what is happening here and will protect themselves from this kind of aggressive marketing."

Commission payments

People who join YTB pay $500 upfront and then $49.99 per month, for which they receive access to their own travel website. Members receive commission payments every time they book vacations through their site - either for themselves, or for family or other customers. They also receive commission for every new member they persuade to sign up, plus a cut of the commission earned by the new member underneath them. Critics claim it is a pyramid scheme because few members earn any money from travel bookings, and only a tiny fraction earn enough from travel bookings to cover their initial investment.

At glitzy recruitment conferences in Florida and elsewhere in the States, the firm's founders claim that anyone can take their place among the top earners so long as they work hard. Members in Bermuda have told the Bermuda Sun the same thing: that those who lose money have not put in enough effort.

In an official press statement last night, the police said: "The Bermuda Police Service is aware of YTB and at the request of the Fraud Unit, Mr. Furbert met with detectives in order to discuss the travel business.

"Based on the examination of the information available at the time, the fact that no member of the public had made a complaint and advice obtained, it was deemed that no further action would be taken by the Police."

The Bermuda Sun was in contact with Mr. Furbert yesterday but he declined to comment on developments.

August Was Not a Good Month


WOOD RIVER, Ill. (Legal Newsline)-August was not a good month for an Internet-based travel business that critics, including two state attorneys general, say is nothing more than a glorified pyramid scheme.

The troubles that began with a lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Jerry Brown have led to more legal problems and now, layoffs for the controversial travel company, YTB International Inc.

The home office of YourTravelBiz.com announced on Wednesday it would lay off 17 employees at its Wood River, Ill. Headquarters.

This follows the lawsuit filed by Brown in early August, which was quickly followed just four days later by a class action lawsuit filed by former YTB agents that basically echoed the same allegations of Brown's suit.

California's lawsuit against the company drew scrutiny from professionals throughout the travel industry. Many licensed travel agents hailed the move, claiming the YTB fueled its rapid growth with false claims and unrealized profits.

"YourTravelBiz.com operates a gigantic pyramid scheme that is immensely profitable to a few individuals on top and a complete rip-off for most everyone else," Brown said at the time he filed his suit. "(This) lawsuit seeks to shut down the company's unlawful operation before more people are exploited by the scam."

Brown said the company held recruiting seminars in major California cities to recruit members. Marketing techniques showed members of the business driving luxury cars and living extravagant lifestyles.

YourTravelBiz.com's company records claim more than 200,000 members who paid between $500 and $1,000 to set up their own online travel agency, according to the attorney general's office.

"In 2007, only 38 percent of the company's members made any travel commissions," Brown's office said in a statement. "For the minority of members who made any travel commission in 2007, the median income was $39.00--less than one month's cost to keep the Website. There are at least 139,000 of the company's travel Websites, all virtually identical, on the Internet."

YourTravelBiz.com's Chief Executive Officer Scott Tomer has said he will aggressively fight the California lawsuit. But since the lawsuit, more than 160 complaints have been filed against YTB with the Better Business Bureau and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Madigan has teamed with Brown, a fellow Democrat, to investigate YTB.

YTB stressed the latest layoffs by stressing it represented less than 5 percent of the company's total workforce, and is "a part of a reorganization to reduce operating expenses and curtail expenses," Tony Green, assistant to Tomer wrote in an email to press agencies.

"This move places the company in an even better position to realize is goals and effectively manage its growth," he wrote.

YTB is having Questions and Concerns

When YTB International held its annual convention in St. Louis earlier this month, the growing travel company wanted to make a big splash.

So it commissioned an Indiana design firm to build a nearly life-size foam replica of the Statue of Liberty, 130 feet tall and 50,000 pounds, to be erected in the Edward Jones Dome and unveiled to much fanfare at the opening ceremonies.

It's unclear how much YTB paid for the massive statue — published estimates of its cost range from $1.8 million to $8 million — but the company that YTB hired to make it, BerylMartin of Griffith, Ind., has received more than $7 million for printing and event work for YTB since 2004, according to regulatory filings.

And it's owned by YTB's trio of co-founders.

"The New Lady Liberty," as the foam colossus was called, is just the latest in a string of deals in recent years between Wood River-based YTB and companies owned or controlled by its top executives and board members. While it has been racking up big sales of online travel agencies to hundreds of thousands of people, it has been paying out millions of

dollars for office buildings, construction contracts and sales materials to companies controlled by a handful of insiders.

All of these deals were disclosed in the company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and approved by the independent members of YTB's board of directors. They're legal.

But these kinds of deals raise the eyebrows of corporate governance experts, and, in YTB's case, give fuel to critics who say the whole thing is little more than a pyramid scheme designed to enrich those at the top.

"There certainly isn't anything illegal about related-party transactions," said Chicago-based securities lawyer Andrew Stoltmann, using the SEC's term for deals between a company and its top officials. "But at a minimum, they tend to raise red flags."

The biggest concern, said Charles Elson, who teaches corporate governance at the University of Delaware, is that the company isn't getting the best of a deal, that insiders are lining their pockets at company expense. And they can be a magnet for lawsuits.

"Any transactions by a company and its insiders are viewed by investors suspiciously," Elson said. "They're fodder for all kinds of disputes."

These types of deals aren't unheard of — a 2004 study by New York research firm Rate Financials found that 40 percent of companies in the S&P 500 reported business deals with board members or executives. But since then they have become less common.

Following the string of corporate scandals such as Enron and WorldCom, many companies, Stoltmann says, now ban such deals entirely, to avoid "even the appearance of impropriety" and potential lawsuits from shareholders who may think their best interests are not being served.

WOW!!! See Why I Swithced

Legal Action

LEGAL ACTION

At the moment, YTB faces lawsuits of a different kind.

Earlier this month, the California attorney general's office sued YTB, accusing it of operating a "gigantic pyramid scheme," in which the vast majority of its 130,000-plus "referring travel agents" earn little money selling travel while paying $450 up-front and $50 a month. The next week, two similar class-action lawsuits were filed in Illinois.

YTB has repeatedly defended its business model and said it will "vigorously" fight the suits. Its supporters point to other multilevel marketing companies like Avon, Mary Kay and Amway that survived scrutiny and have thrived for decades.

In response to questions about dealings with board members, YTB issued a statement noting that the deals were properly disclosed and said disclosure would "allow the informed reader to make decisions and draw conclusions regarding" them.

The board members involved either declined comment or did not return messages from the Post-Dispatch.

Jamell Fields
713-202-7545
Why Did I Swithced

Insider Deals

INSIDE DEALS

YTB has a long history of doing business with its own leadership.

Two of the company's most frequent business partners are Clay Winfield and Dr. Timothy Kaiser, members of its board since 2005.

Winfield is a developer in Edwardsville and Florida. And Kaiser, an Alton ear, nose and throat specialist, was the lead plaintiff in a major class-action suit filed by doctors nationwide against Cigna Health Insurance earlier this decade.

Together, they are the principal owners of Meridian Bank, in Alton, and Meridian Land Corp., which owned two office buildings in Edwardsville where YTB began leasing space in 2004.

Then, in 2006, YTB bought an old Kmart and 12 acres for its headquarters in Wood River, and it turned to Meridian Bank for a loan, borrowing $2.5 million for the deal.

According to SEC filings, the deal called for YTB to make interest-only payments, at a rate of prime minus 0.5 percent, for the first two years. In January, however, it paid off $500,000.

In July, it was supposed to pay off the full sum. Instead, YTB refinanced last month and will now make higher payments for a year with the full balance due next July.

When it came to building the new headquarters, YTB turned to Clay Winfield, hiring his Winfield Development for the job. Through June, it had paid Winfield more than $2.9 million for the work.

All through this time, YTB — which has roughly 330 employees — rented space from Meridian in two Edwardsville office buildings, and held options to buy them. Last summer, even as construction heated up on its new $15 million headquarters complex, it decided to exercise those options. For one building, it paid Meridian $480,500 in cash and took on $1.3 million in debt. That deal closed last August. Four months later, it reached a deal to buy the second for $2.35 million, paying a $500,000 deposit with the rest due when the deal closes, according to SEC filings, by year's end.

YTB also rents space in a third Meridian building near the other two, paying $8,400 a month and various other costs for 5,500 square feet of space.

And then there's the plane.

In February, YTB bought a Learjet that was half-owned by Meridian, to fly its executives to events around the country. The cost? $1.3 million. That sum is less than comparably aged Learjets are listed for on several plane-sale websites and, in an SEC filing about the deal, YTB said it got "commercially available" terms that "were as favorable to the company as would be from an unaffiliated party."

YTB made similar statements in announcing each of the deals. It may well be the case that YTB gets favorable terms from its directors, said Elson, but that raises questions about why the board member would give them such a good deal. Typically, he said, there's just no good reason to buy from insiders.

"The public perception about it has become quite negative," he said. "You can buy an office building from anybody. Why buy it from your directors?"

Statue Builder

STATUE BUILDER

Another longtime business partner of YTB is BerylMartin. That's the company that built the giant Statue of Liberty, and which, according to filings with the Indiana secretary of state, is headed by J. Kim Sorensen, one of YTB's three co-founders and today the chief of its travel-sales division. Two other co-owners are YTB Chief Executive Scott Tomer and his father, Lloyd "Coach" Tomer, who bought BerylMartin for $100,000 in bankruptcy court in 2003.

According to BerylMartin's website, it designs brochures, websites and sales materials for YTB and one of its top salespeople, among other clients. It also has helped stage YTB's blow-out convention at America's Center each of the last three years.

From 2004 through June of this year, YTB paid BerylMartin nearly $7.2 million for these services, according to its SEC filings. Neither company would say how much BerylMartin received for its biggest job yet — the Statue of Liberty for the August convention — but one local newspaper quoted the total cost at $8 million, while another said $1.8 million.

YTB also has done business directly with Lloyd Tomer, paying a company he owns $128,000 for three cars last year, according to an SEC filing.

In a statement last year disclosing Sorensen's role as chief executive of BerylMartin, YTB said it negotiates terms with the company on an "arms-length basis." It also said it paid Tomer fair-market value for those cars.

Still, Elson said, these sorts of deals raise more questions than they're worth. Even when they are above board, related-party transactions raise the question that the company is not getting the better of the deal, and when, like YTB, the company is publicly traded, those questions carry a lot of risk.

"Prudence would tell you to avoid them," he said. "The easiest thing is just not to do it."

Agents sue YTB International

Former agents for YTB International have sued the company in a class-action lawsuit, alleging it's an illegal pyramid scheme.

The lawsuit seeks $100 million in damages.

The company said it intends to vigorously defend the case, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On Aug. 4, California Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr. sued YTB and the company's founders, Lloyd Tomer, Scott Tomer, Kim Sorensen and Andrew Cauthen, for allegedly operating an illegal pyramid scheme. The lawsuit seeks $15 million in fines and restitution.

More than 90 people over the past three years have complained about YourTravelBiz.com to the Better Business Bureau of eastern Missouri and southern Illinois.

More than 40 of those complaints were lodged this year, the BBB said Thursday.

Last week, thousands of agents attended a national convention in St. Louis, where they defended the company as legitimate.

YTB reports drop in number of agents

For the first time in years, perhaps ever, the number of people selling travel for fast-growing YTB International has shrunk.

The Wood River company, which sells flights, cruises and online travel agencies, saw its number of travel agents fall to 131,600 at the end of June, from 138,800 three months earlier, according to a filing made Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Still, revenue at the company grew 37 percent in the quarter, to $44.7 million, up from $32.8 million in the same period last year. YTB Blamed Expansion Costs for a small loss of $200,000, compared to profits of $1.7 million in the quarter last year.

The loss of agents bucks a long trend at the company, which has grown rapidly since 2004 and added 18,000 to its rolls in the same period last year. YTB earns three-fourths of its revenue from the fees agents pay to join and maintain their websites. It did, however, earn more on travel sales than in previous quarters: nearly 20 percent of its revenue.
The numbers cover a period ending June 30, before California Attorney General Jerry Brown sued the company for allegedly operating an illegal pyramid scheme.

YTB Lays Off 25, Workers

WOOD RIVER - YTB International Inc. reportedly terminated the employment of 25 people from its corporate headquarters on Wednesday.

A laid-off employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said that he and two dozen others were told their positions were being eliminated due to the "current economic environment in the United States," and that the company's management "regret this necessary decision."

The man said company officials knew Tuesday that positions would be eliminated, because they scheduled meetings with the employees Wednesday to inform them about the situation.

"I was told by my manager there would be a meeting, and I had no idea what it was about," he said. "I didn't know if I had done something wrong. I was stressing all night."

The man said that ever since the California Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit against YTB in early August that claimed the company was operating a "gigantic pyramid scheme," company officials have been telling employees that "everything is fine."

"I don't think it's fine," he said.

Legal action was taken against YourTravelBiz.com, a subsidiary of YTB International Inc., for allegedly recruiting tens of thousands of people with deceptive claims that they could earn huge sums of money through its online travel agencies.

So far, the lawsuit is the toughest one filed against the company since it started operations seven years ago. YTB runs Web sites for referring travel agents, online agencies that sell flights, cruises and vacation packages and earn a commission.

Since the filing of the California suit, a class action lawsuit has been filed in federal court in East St. Louis and a third in Madison County Circuit Court. A judge has scheduled a hearing for Sept. 2 in the circuit court case filed in Edwardsville by Terry and Teresa Braswell, in which the couple claim that YTB Chairman J. Lloyd "Coach" Tomer "repudiated" a contract with the couple that called for them to receive about $10,000 per month.

The company has defended itself against the legal actions.

"As a matter of policy, we do not comment on pending litigation. However, we can tell you that YTB believes the allegations we've heard are without merit, and we will vigorously defend ourselves," YTB Chief Executive Officer Scott Tomer said recently in a prepared statement.

Tomer said the company is proud of its business model and how the operations are conducted in an ethical and transparent way by management. Last month, the company announced that it was contemplating the replacement of its referring travel agent business model with a franchise operating system, to start in 2009. The model, if adopted, would be similar to other franchise businesses; however, details about the plan still are in the works.

YTB officials did not respond to an e-mail sent by The Telegraph, asking questions about its layoffs or whether any legal actions have had a financial impact on the company.

During the past several years, YTB has grown significantly; last year, it was ranked 26th in a survey conducted by Travel Weekly magazine, selling $414.5 million. Reports show that nearly three-quarters of its revenue came from selling new agencies rather than from actual travel sales.

YTB employs between 300 and 350 people at its headquarters at 1901 E. Edwardsville Road, where it is spending $25 million to expand the facility it purchased more than two years ago.

Wood River Mayor Fred Ufert said he hates to see employees lose their jobs. He said the layoffs would hurt the city economically, as well.

"Some of the employees live in the city," Ufert said. "It's a bad thing for everyone. We can only hope they will get through it."

The former YTB employee said the situation is upsetting, but he has come to the conclusion that he doesn't need to be working for a company that cannot be honest with its employees. He said it is likely that more positions will be terminated.

"We could clearly see something was going but were assured everything was OK," he said. "Does it seem OK if they are letting people go?"

Join YTB For FREE!!!

Listen many people are being told to dig into thier pockets and get in position for some big announcement. and YTB Franchise "considerations". Listen I got a Call Yesterday from someone who was not told by a family Member that they could Join YTB for Free.

Like I tell people if its so good then let me join for free and show me how to recruit people and and earn the $500 to get started as an RTA from profit. Fact is if you Sell 6 other people to get started in YTB That is only $300 in your Pocket you are Still Short $200 to get started.

Thats the reality of it now imagine your paying $50 a month still trying to make back your first $500 investment. In this Economy it is going to take you awhile to find 6 people to give you $500.

Join YTB for free and see the response you get when you show people the business and then tell them $500! If you are still friends after that.

Join Traverus and then Call them up and say hey you can get started now for under $200. Watch the difference. It's simple and that is how different it is working Traverus than it is YTB. More people are able to Join. That is Why 80% of the entire company in Traverus Got a Check Last Week!

It took YTB 3 years to get 3k people...Traverus did it in 6 months.

It took YTB 5 years to get 10k people...Traverus did 10k in a little over a Year.

The writting is on the wall as Traverus is the only Fully International Company in over 98 Countries that we will be the Largest Travel Network.

Traverus Travel

Traverus Travel

Traverus Travel is a 22 Year old Licensed and Bonded Brick and Mortar Debt Free, Fully International Travel Agency based out of Allen Texas. Traverus operates in 98 Countries and has Ministers of Tourism in many countries as Travel Agents with our Company.

Most Recently China along with 5ctv and China Clicks two have officially Launched Traverus China and Chose Traverus Travel as the Exclusive premier travel agency to bring China to the world and the world to China through this Historic Partnership.

Listen to this official Conference Call of the Partnership with Traverus China!

John Hurley & Dr Susan Pattis on Our Traverus Presidential Call.






Dr. Susan Pattis, Founder & Director

Dr. Susan Pattis is a Chinese American Living and working in Beijing, China since 1996. Dr. Pattis is the founder and Chairman of ChinaClicks2 International Consulting Company Ltd(CC2) one of the most reputable wholly-owned foreign consulting firms in China (http://www.51prc.com.cn/)

Susan aslo serves as the Deputy Charman of the United World Chinese Association (based in Hong Kong) with over 50 million overseas Chines Members, in over 100 countries. Because of her contributions to several national projects, Susan is considered one of the most successful businesswomen in China and a National ICON!

Dr Susan Pattis will be on the Traverus Converance Cruise in November along with other Chinese Delegates. Here what her vision is with Traverus Travel on the Link above.



Traverus Travel China will soon become a Global Household name as we will be the first Internationally advertised Travel Company on all 5 Continents and the First into China. Those who are on board before this momentum hits are in the million dollar seats of the largest travel company in History. From The Citizens of China alone booking thier Travel through a western company for the first time is Huge and will make us the most profitable Travel company in History.

Give me a call and Get yourself positioned. I have been doing this since March of 07 and in 11 Months I have already replaced my income and retired at the age of 38 from my management position at Wells Fargo Banks. Over 30 other people on our team have also been able to Retire. Traverus is REAL! Now I am able to focus on Full Time Minstry and NEVER have to ask for an offering again!
YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT IS ABOUT TO TAKE PLACE ON THE OUTSIDE


JAMELL FIELDS

REGIONAL EXECUTIVE (4th HIGHEST POSITION IN THE COMPANY)

TraVerus & China Partner's Up With 5 Continent Television (5CTV)

www.5ctv.tv/travel



Traverus Travel China

Here is the english translation of the press release

Traverus China announced! Traverus Travel Network, the fast-growing, world-wide on-line travel promoter, and ChinaClicks2, the exclusive marketing partner of 5CTV, have announced the forming of a new travel venture in the People's Republic of China .

The new company, Traverus China , will dedicate itself to building a strong traveler's network in Mainland China , Hong Kong and Taiwan , the so-called Greater China Region. David Manning, the CEO of Traverus and Susan Pattis, CEO of ChinaClicks2 International Consulting, signed the joint-venture paper on May 19th, 2008 in Beijing , China .

Kenneth Chou, one of the founders of the public-listed Internet travel company Star Travel in Taiwan , will sit on the advisory board of the new company. Both Susan and Kenneth will also join Traverus Travel Network as partners.

Traverus Travel Network is also the exclusive travel industry partner with the recently aired 5CTV which is dedicated in programming that brings the world to China and China to the world, as Billy Campell, the CEO of 5CTV and formal CEO of Discovery Channel explained in its opening ceremony.

For More information Contact:
Jamell Fields
713-202-7545

YTB vs Traverus... Why I Made the Switch

They say the "proof is in the pudding!"


The proof is in the pudding'' is actually a shortened version of a very old proverb, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating.'' It means that the real worth or success or effectiveness of something can only be determined by putting it to the test, appearances and promises aside - just as the best test of a pudding is to eat it.--

Editors of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition

I joined with YTB with the idea of starting a home-based business and generating passive revenue, PLUS I wanted to save on my own personal travel. Though YTB appears to offer a good compensation plan, there were flaws.

The three major problems with the marketing plan ...

#1 Cost! $500.00 + $149.95 and a 8 hour day for your CRTA training! total $650.00

#2 Aussie 6 up program, you need to give up your first 6 to get to your power team ( the average person only ever enrolls 2.3 people)

#3 95% of the people never get to the residual income, because they never get to their power team.


I was introduced to Traverus a couple of times but didn't look at it seriously the 1st time because I had just spent $500 to join YTB. Once I looked at it with an open mind, it was a no brainer and I had to make the switch over to TraVerus!


Just a couple of great examples when you compare the compensation plans and start-up costs:

YTB pays 60% travel commission,.... of the only 8 % to 10% booked through the site! Out side the site pays more.
Traverus pays 75% travel commission...of the only 8 % to 10% booked through the site! Out side the site pays more.

YTB pays $50.00 on a $449.00 start up cost
Traverus pays $50.00 on a $119.00 start up cost

YTB pays a 50% matching bonus after you enroll three people
Traverus pays 150% matching coded bonus on your first two enrollment's then 100% from your third on, and a 50% matching enroller bonus starting with your 1st enrollment

YTB pays $2.00 per month residual income per person from your 7th person on that are coded to you in your power team.
Traverus pays you $5.00 per month residual from your 3rd person and on all people coded to you from those enrollments.

YTB pays $2.00 per month residual in your dream team first generation then progressively less
Traverus pays pays in a forced bonus matrix in addition to the $5.00 coded residual bonus, they pay $6.00 per month 2nd generation $10.00 a month 3rd generation $5.00 month 4th generation $4.00 a month 5th & 6th generation and more on the same people!

YTB doesn't offer Member Trips that are way less than FAM trips,
This company does. Here are some examples:

Puerto Vallarta - ALL INCLUSIVE-- $556.99 INCLUDING AIRFARE
Playa Del - ALL INCLUSIVE-- $529.99 INCLUDING AIRFARE
Disneyworld No Air Includes meals and tickets and resort stay $345


YTB is only open in four Countries (US, Canada, Bermuda, Bahamas) ...
Traverus is Fully International... with RTC's in 98 Countries

YTB has a 40% retention rate...
Traverus has 85-90% retention rate...

YTB has 139,000 reps in US...
Traverus has 13,000 in 98 countries! Which means you can get in at an early stage and be a part of the huge growth! Traverus has the Record as the Fastest Growing Travel Network!

I can no longer ignore the "proof of the pudding" without sharing it with you and give you the opportunity to make a decision for yourself!

Contact Jamell Fields
713-202-7545
WHY I SWITCHED

Environmental Groups Call Statue "Ecological Disaster"

PAY THE REPS

HAMMOND -- Ready or not, a 130-foot, 26-ton replica of the Statue of Liberty is coming to town. And despite questions about its environmental safety, Mayor Thomas McDermott says that's a good thing.

"There's always somebody opposed to something," McDermott said Monday about safety issues being raised. "I'm looking at the positives. This is a gift we're happy to have."

Hammond beat out several other Northwest Indiana cities to earn the right to host the statue on Wolf Island, known also as Boy Scout Island, in Wolf Lake. McDermott said the statue will "draw people to Hammond" and could attract tourist dollars to the local economy.

"It will be a tourist attraction and a landmark that people can see coming off the Chicago Skyway," he said.

The $1.8 million, plastic-covered foam statue was created by Griffith-based Beryl Martin for YourTravelBiz, known as YTB, an online travel agency for its convention that ended Sunday in St. Louis. It will be hauled back to Northwest Indiana this week -- in more than 50 trucks, Irene Phillips of Beryl Martin's special projects department said.

Phillips said the foam is biodegradable and nontoxic. "It's the same kind used in home construction," she said.

But environmental groups say the statue is not biodegradable and could harm the environment whenever it breaks down.

"We hope it does not want it to stay in St. Louis because we would not want our communities to have to figure out how to landfill it when it finally falls apart," said Ginger Harris, of the Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club.

The environmental group Earth First also had called for a protest of last week's convention on the group's Web site, but no representatives could be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Valparaiso University meteorology professor Bart Wolf said the statue -- which has a metal skeleton -- could act as a lightning rod and should be properly grounded, especially given Northwest Indiana's propensity for storms, like a recent tornado that tore through Lake and Porter counties.

"I would be concerned about its structural integrity," Wolf said.

Michael Hagenberger, chairman of VU's civil engineering department, added: "It could certainly be made safe, but it would be prudent for someone to take a look at it and see what it was designed for."

McDermott said the city, which recently invested millions of dollars in environmental improvements to Wolf Lake, would not jeopardize that federally funded effort with the statue.

"It's weatherproof, with an ultraviolet last coat of paint that will last for years," McDermott said.

He said the city has consulted engineers regarding a proper base for the statue, which is slated to be unveiled July Fourth. He estimated anchoring the 26-ton structure will cost between $1 million and $2 million, which will be paid for with casino revenue.

Jamell Fields
WHY DID I SWITCH

Statue Donor Sued for $25 Million

The Internet travel agency donating a near life-size metal and foam replica of the Statue of Liberty to Hammond's Wolf Lake is being sued for $25 million by the California Attorney General's Office.

The lawsuit, filed last week, charges that YTB-YourTravelBiz.com operates a "gigantic pyramid scheme" that recruited tens of thousands of travel "agents," falsely claiming they can earn huge sums of money.

The lawsuit, filed last week, charges that YTB-YourTravelBiz.com operates a "gigantic pyramid scheme" that recruited tens of thousands of travel "agents," falsely claiming they can earn huge sums of money.

In reality, the suit claims, most make nothing. If you would like to change that give me a call...

Jamell Fields
713-202-7545
WHY I SWITCHED IN PERFECT TIMING

YTB Cuts Off 17 Positions

YTB International Inc. cut 17 positions at its Wood River, Ill, headquarters this week, according to a published report.

"YTB International Inc. eliminated 17 positions today (Wednesday), representing less than 5 percent of our work force, as part of a reorganization to reduce operating expenses and curtail redundancies," Tony Green, assistant to Chief Executive Scott Tomer, wrote in a statement e-mailed to The Telegraph. "This move places the company in an even better position to realize its goals and effectively manage its continued growth."

A request from the Business Journal requesting comment was not immediately returned.

On Aug. 4, California Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr. sued YTB and the company's founders, Lloyd Tomer, Scott Tomer, Kim Sorensen and Andrew Cauthen, for allegedly operating an illegal pyramid scheme.

On Aug. 8, former agents for YTB International filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, echoing the same allegations.

More than 160 complaints have been lodged against YTB, also known as YourTravelBiz.com, with the local Better Business Bureau and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who has partnered with the California attorney general in his probe.

In early August, thousands of agents attended a national convention in St. Louis, where they defended the company as legitimate.

Why I Would NEVER Join a Publically Traded MLM Company

YTB Stocks

The information I am about to share with you is not good but true. When you expose things about a company the owners and the representatives don't want you to know you are bound to be called every negative word imaginable. Some call it bashings a company....when you see the decisions that the owners are making they are really bashing thier own company.

This is one of the reason why I switched from YTB.

#1 When Coach Sold a Million Dollars in Stock in march and all the owners are now selling all of thier stocks as they vest each month while encourging the reps to buy. The stock is at an all time low yet they are still selling?
Insider Stock trade Reports

No Communication has been released to the stock holders or organization why the secretary and CFO are selling thier stocks with the owners?

YTB stocks in Forbes

With the WorldComs and Enrons of the world I hope YTB starts doing some press releases on why the owners are selling thier stock.

This information may be viewed to some again as bashing because they are not communicating the reason it leaves things open for speculation since it is being done silently.



IT IS WHAT IT IS.... Give me a call for more info

Jamell Fields
713-202-7545

PATH Applauds California's Actions Against YTB

The Professional Association of Travel Hosts (PATH) released a statement that applauded the recent legal action taken by the state of California against YourTravelBiz.com (YTB). The state accused the company of operating a “Gigantic Pyramid Scheme” that defrauded thousands of members with deceptive claims that they could earn huge sums of money by operating individual travel websites.

Andi Mysza, president of PATH, believes the decision is in the best interests of independent travel professionals who are serious about selling travel. "This is good news for the hosting industry and I only hope that other states and the federal government will follow suit," he said. "YTB and other card mills have been preying on unsuspecting consumers for too long. For those who really want to develop a travel business and actively sell travel, PATH provides agents with a means of locating reputable, legitimate host agencies which are not involved with multilevel marketing."

The host agency association, which currently includes 18 members, has established performance standards and a code of ethics that are required of all members. The association’s definition of a host agency clearly states that members cannot engage in multilevel marketing programs and that the primary source of income is from the sale of travel.

"It’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys sometimes with all the marketing hype," said Pam Miller, Magellan360 president. "PATH plays a critical role in screening so independent contractors can feel secure in their choice of host and simply select the host that meets their particular business needs to become successful.

"Today's travel professional should be focusing on knowledge, education and building a relationship with the customer while selling the experience. If your host is not encouraging this, you need to step back and reevaluate your choice in hosts."

Host agencies will play a major role in enabling the travel industry to generate new sellers of travel by recruiting “new blood” from outside of the industry and providing the training, marketing programs, technology and support to help these agents get off to a good start. It is in the best interest of the travel industry to attract professionals who have backgrounds in sales and marketing, and give them the resources to transition these skills into the travel business, PATH said.

“There are many different legitimate host agency programs out there to choose from," noted Nexion President and General Manager, Jackie Friedman. "Agents who are serious about building their travel businesses should feel comfortable approaching any of the PATH host agency members to find the program that best fits their needs. It is imperative the industry recognizes the difference between the legitimate host agencies and the multi-level marketing and card mill organizations since the right host agency can provide an ideal environment for these independent travel professionals to thrive and grow. If it sounds too good to be true— it probably is.”

Visit www.PATH4Hosts.com.

YTB swings to slight loss

YTB International, the online travel agency under fire from California's attorney general and consumer advocates, said Thursday it lost $199,500 in the quarter that ended June 30, compared to a profit of $1.67 million a year ago.

The Wood River, Ill.-based online travel agency, which faces two recent lawsuits alleging it's a pyramid scheme, had revenue increase to $44.8 million, up 37 percent from $32.8 million a year earlier, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company, also known as YourTravelBiz.com, said it invested $1 million in auction rate securities but can't access the funds because that market collapsed in February after banks stop supporting the auctions.

Last week, California Attorney General Jerry Brown sued the company, calling it a "gigantic pyramid scheme."

YTB dismisses that allegation.

"The complaint was filed after 18 months of dialogue, initiated by the company with the attorney general to discuss the implementation of a new California law's potential effect on the company's business model," YTB said in its filing. "Throughout these discussions, which broadened over time, the company has consistently cooperated with the state's information requests and provided detailed evidence in face-to-face meetings explaining how and why the company's business model is in full compliance with California law. The parties recently came to a standstill and the Aug. 4 complaint is a result of this standstill. The company believes it has meritorious defenses to the claims, intends to advocate its position aggressively and believes it will ultimately prevail in the case."

Also last week, former agents filed a class-action lawsuit against YTB echoing the same Pyramid Scheme complaints.

This month, thousands of YTB agents gathered in St. Louis for a national convention, where they defended the company.

UPDATED: BBB received 90 complaints about YTB, Ill. AG received 70

More than 90 people over the past three years have complained about YourTravelBiz.com to the Better Business Bureau of eastern Missouri and southern Illinois.

More than 40 of those complaints were lodged this year, the BBB said Thursday.

Since 2002, about 70 people have also complained about the Wood River, Ill., company to the Illinois attorney general's office, which is investigating the company and has partnered with the California attorney general in his probe, said Natalie Bauer, a spokeswoman for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Consumers said the company, also called YTB International, misled them with offers of inflated earnings, refused refunds when consumers complained and was difficult to contact, the BBB said.

The company, headquartered at 1901 E. Edwardsville Road, says its trains people on how to set up their own online travel agencies but was sued by the California attorney general this week for allegedly operating a pyramid schemed that's bilked $103 million out of 200,000 members nationwide.

For the first quarter of 2008, only 12.5 percent of YTB's revenue came from online travel sale commissions, while almost 80 percent came from recruitments of new members, the BBB said. Based on the number of members listed in regulatory filings, the average amount made by each RTA through the sale of travel through their Web sites for the first quarter was $27.75. That means the members are on pace for an average yearly income of $111, according to filings with the Security and Exchange Commission.

"We have not had sufficient time to fully review the complaint filed by the California attorney general's office and, as a matter of policy, do not comment on pending litigation," said YTB spokesman John Clagg in a statement. "However, we can tell you that YTB believes the allegations we've heard are without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves in court."

A Fallbrook, Calif., woman complained to the BBB that after a daylong seminar, she purchased a Web site from YTB for $499. She said she thought this would be a good way to make money from home and score discounts for personal travel. She said she needed to book $1,200 a month through her Web site in order to be eligible for discounts, but everyone she told about her site said they "did some research and found that they could book travel more cheaply elsewhere." She also said the International Air Transport Association Network revoked their affiliation with YTB and "that was the main way for us to obtain travel discounts." The network told the BBB it broke ties from YTB because of its "failure to maintain standards of accreditation."

Not everyone claims YTB duped them.

Some of the thousands of agents attending a national convention in St. Louis this week fervently defended the company.

On Monday, California Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr. sued YTB and the company's founders, Lloyd Tomer, Scott Tomer, Kim Sorensen and Andrew Cauthen, for allegedly operating an illegal pyramid scheme. The lawsuit seeks $15 million in fines and restitution. YTB has not yet filed a formal response in court.

Royal Caribbean terminates relationship with YTB Travel Network

Kim Sorensen, CEO of YTB Travel Network, says Royal Caribbean Cruises has ended its business relationship with YTB, a host agency and multilevel marketing firm. However, Sorensen said YTB is looking to meet with executives from Royal Caribbean to get reinstated. "It is our position that [the line's] senior management hasn't taken enough of a look at our business, and we want the opportunity to show them that," he said. Travel Weekly (free registration) (10/12)

ARTA applauds RCI policy to remove sales relationships from MLM Card Mill YTB

The Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) applauded the announcement by Royal Caribbean International (RCI) that it will terminate relationships with multi-level marketers (MLMs) which provide travel agency credentials and identity cards to consumers for the purpose of becoming would-be travel agents.

The travel agent MLM/Card Mill industry has proliferated exponentially over the years, allowing consumers to pay a small fee to MLMs to procure questionable travel agency credentials and attempt to portray themselves as legitimate travel sellers - even with little or no professional training, knowledge or protection for consumers. The end result is a growing group of individuals who are not travel agents at all, but rather travel consumers seeking to obtain discounts and benefits.

This announcement by the RCI family of cruise lines is welcome news from a respected supplier to curtail the growth of the MLM/Card Mill business, a scheme which denigrates the stature and role of the legitimate travel retailer. In much the same way as Marriott and other key suppliers have fined-tuned their travel agency recognition programs to filter out consumers posing as travel agents, RCI has taken a major step today to add teeth to its support for the legitimate travel retailer, said Barry Richcreek, ARTA Chairman.

RCI, along with Marriott and other major players in the travel industry, have been participants in focus groups held by ARTA in the development of the Travel Retailer Identification Program (TRIP). TRIP’s goal is to structure requirements for the designation of the Accredited Travel Retailer (ATR), an alternative to the TSI and TIDS programs managed by IATA today and ARC`s newly announced Verified Travel Consultant program. The ATR component of TRIP will become an industry-approved designation for travel agencies that do not chose to participate in airline ticketing through traditional ARC or BSP settlement plans. It includes robust business certification and insurance components, travel education and training requirements, and a point system to qualify for general acceptance into the program.

ARTA held its fourth and last TRIP focus group meeting with key industry suppliers in Las Vegas during TheTradeShow last month, and will announce plans for an industry-wide orientation and launch timetable for the ATR and the TRIP ID Card Program.

YTB Considers Franchise Operations

In a surprising and controversial move that could end the era of multilevel marketing, Scott Tomer, CEO of YTB International, Inc. said the company is “contemplating the replacement of its referring travel agent (RTA) business model with the implementation of a franchise operating system, potentially in 2009.” YTB has been at the center of travel agents' concerns with the proliferation of multilevel marketing.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Tomer said the company “expects that a franchising model, if adopted, would facilitate the company's expansion into additional markets by providing more comprehensive training and a new proprietary e-commerce platform.

“Details regarding price, product offerings and the conversion plan are all under consideration, but the company anticipates that its existing RTA base would be treated favorably under its forthcoming proposal," Tomer's statement continued. "If a franchising model is adopted, its distribution is expected to be managed by subsidiary and current marketing arm of the company, YourTravelBiz.com, also known as YTB.com.”


YTB International, Inc. is a publicly owned company. It provides Internet-based travel booking services for travel agencies and home-based independent representatives in the United States and Canada. It operates through three subsidiaries: YourTravelBiz.com, Inc., YTB Travel Network, Inc., and REZconnect Technologies.

YourTravelBiz.com, Inc. conducts business through the recruitment, enrollment, training, and support of its sales force.

YTB Travel Network, Inc.’s business is comprised of arrangements to sell airline tickets, cruise packages and other services, plus travel sales, from the approximately 138,814 (as of 3/31/08) RTAs’ websites which it hosts.

John Frenaye, president of the JVE Group and a critic of YTB, said the move should be watched carefully and may mean the end of the multilevel marketing approach in favor of the franchise model.

Visit www.ytb.com and www.notravelmlms.blogspot.com

YTB Faces Legal Action in California for Illegal Pyramid Scheme

In a move that will be welcomed by many professional travel agents, California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. has sued YourTravelBiz.com for operating a gigantic pyramid scheme. The state alleges that YTB “recruited tens of thousands of members with deceptive claims that members could earn huge sums of money through its online travel agencies.” If found guilty, YTB could face fines and restitution as high as $25 million.

YourTravelBiz.com operates a gigantic pyramid scheme that is immensely profitable to a few individuals on top and a complete rip-off for most everyone else,” Attorney General Brown charged. “Today’s lawsuit seeks to shut down the company’s unlawful operation before more people are exploited by the scam.”

Brown charges the company, its affiliates and the company’s founders J. Lloyd Tomer, J. Scott Tomer, J. Kim Sorensen and Andrew Cauthen with operating an “endless chain scheme,” an unlawful pyramid in which a person pays money for the chance to receive money by recruiting new members to join the pyramid.

Brown also charges the company with unfair business practices and false advertising practices including deceptive claims that members can earn millions of dollars with the company, operating without filing legally mandated documents with the attorney general and the Department of Corporations and selling an illegal travel discount program.

John Frenaye, a veteran agent and critic of YTB, said the state’s move was a “decisive win for travel agents and the travel industry” and could go a “long way to end the multilevel marketing challenge to the industry.” Last year, Frenaye collected more than 2,700 signatures from agents and suppliers opposing multilevel marketing.

In a statement, the attorney general said YourTravelBiz.com and its affiliates operate an illegal pyramid scheme that only benefits members if and when they find enough new members to join the scam. “Once enrolled, members who join the pyramid scheme earn compensation for each new person they enlist, regardless of whether they sell any travel. The company lures new members by offering huge income opportunities through online travel agencies, yet the typical person actually makes nothing selling travel.

“According to company records, there were over 200,000 members in 2007 who typically pay more than $1,000 per year—$449.95 to set up an 'online travel agency' with a monthly fee of $49.95. In 2007, only 38 percent of the company’s members made any travel commissions. For the minority of members who made any travel commission in 2007, the median income was $39—less than one month’s cost to keep the website. There are at least 139,000 of the company’s travel websites, all virtually identical, on the Internet.”

YourTravelBiz’s extensive marketing materials include videos of people driving Porsches and other luxury cars, holding $10,000 checks and claiming to be raking in millions of dollars in profits. The company advertises through its Website, www.ytb.com, and at conventions, workshops and nationwide sales meetings that have been held in California locations such as Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego.

Under California’s unfair business practices statute, the company is liable for $2,500 per violation of law, the statement said. “Attorney General Brown is suing YourTravelBiz.com to get a court order that: Bars the company from making false or misleading statements and assesses a civil penalty of at least $15,000,000 and at least $10,000,000 in restitution for Californians who were ripped off by the company.”

The Attorney General’s statement also noted that from August 6 through 10, “thousands of members are preparing to travel to St. Louis for a national convention to learn new techniques to recruit more victims into the illegal pyramid scheme. Last year at least 10,000 people attended a similar national conference.”

YTB Reports Net Loss for First Quarter

YTB International, Inc., the controversial provider of Internet-based travel booking services, reported a net loss of $3.5 million for the first quarter of 2008. This compares to a net loss of $2.2 million for the first quarter of 2007.

The company said the loss is primarily attributable to stock awards, and promotional and expansion expenses totaling approximately $3.1 million. As of March 31, 2008, the company had $1.3 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Total revenue for the quarter ending March 31, 2008 increased 76.7% to $42.7 million, compared to $24.2 million for the first quarter of last year. The company's property and equipment increased 22.7 percent from the December 31, 2007 balance of $15.4 million to $18.9 million as of March 31, 2008.

The number of RTAs (Referring Travel Agents) increased to 138,814 in the first quarter of 2008 from 82,932 in the comparable quarter of 2007. The company believes the significant increase in number of RTAs is attributable to the emerging market shift for travel services to the Internet.

"During this first quarter we continued to focus on the sale of travel by our RTAs, as well as the strengthening of our executive team," said Scott Tomer, CEO of YTB. "Looking forward, we plan on continuing to execute our stated mission to revolutionize the travel field by offering affordable travel and unique opportunities for motivated individuals to participate within this burgeoning industry.

"We see our recent move to the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board as a positive step forward for us, and welcome the new investors that are now able to participate in the growth of our company." For information: www.ytbi.com

100 MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT!!!

Former agents for YTB International have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, alleging it's an illegal pyramid scheme.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in Illinois, seeks $100 million in damages on behalf of plaintiffs Faye Morrison and Kwame Thompson and more than 1,000 other members.

The Wood River, Ill.-based company "purport(s) to sell travel services, but their business is primarily based upon the inducement of additional persons to serve as "travel agents," the lawsuit states.

"Our goal here is for those folks -- and there are many of them -- who shelled out their hard-earned cash with no prospect of seeing anything in return, that they are made whole," said Jay Kanzler, one of the lawyers representing the former YTB agents.

YTB "believes it has meritorious defenses and intends to vigorously defend the case," according to the company's filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On Aug. 4, California Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr. sued YTB and the company's founders, Lloyd Tomer, Scott Tomer, Kim Sorensen and Andrew Cauthen, for allegedly operating an illegal pyramid scheme. The lawsuit seeks $15 million in fines and restitution.

More than 160 complaints have been lodged against YourTravelBiz.com with the local Better Business Bureau and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who has partnered with the California attorney general in his probe.

Last week, thousands of agents attended a national convention in St. Louis, where they defended the company as legitimate.
California's attorney general sued YTB International, blasting it as a "gigantic pyramid scheme."

Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr. filed a lawsuit suit Monday seeking more than $25 million in fines and restitution from YTB International, also called YourTravelBiz.com, a Wood River, Ill.-based online travel business.

"YourTravelBiz.com operates a gigantic pyramid scheme that is immensely profitable to a few individuals on top and a complete rip-off for most everyone else," Brown said in a statement. "Today's lawsuit seeks to shut down the company's unlawful operation before more people are exploited by the scam."

YTB's president and chief executive Andy Cauthen did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

From Wednesday through Sunday, thousands of YTB members are preparing to travel to St. Louis for a national convention.

Last year, 10,000 people attended a similar conference.

The company lures new members with videos of people driving Porsches, holding ten-thousand dollar checks and claiming to be raking in millions of dollars, but the typical person actually makes nothing selling travel.

More than 200,000 members in 2007 paid more than $1,000 a year to set up online travel agencies, but only 38 percent of the company's members made any travel commissions.

Consumers paid more than $103 million to the company in 2007, but made $13 million in travel sales commissions, according to the lawsuit.

Members earn compensation for each new person they enlist, regardless of whether they sell any travel.

For the few members did make travel commission in 2007, the median income was $39 --less than one month's cost to keep the Web site.

Brown charges the company and its founders J. Lloyd Tomer, J. Scott Tomer, J. Kim Sorensen and Andrew Cauthen with operating an "endless chain scheme," an unlawful pyramid in which a person pays money for the chance to receive money by recruiting new members to join the pyramid. He also charges the company with unfair business and false advertising practices.

Under California's unfair business practices statue, the company is liable for $2,500 per violation of law.

Brown filed the suit Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

YTB, executives sued in federal court in Illinois

EAST ST. LOUIS - A group of area law firms has filed a $100 million class action lawsuit against YTB International of Wood River, claiming the firm "engaged in an illegal pyramid scheme."

"They purport to sell travel services, but their business is primarily based upon the inducement of additional persons to serve as ‘travel agents,'" the suit filed in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis claims.

The number of class members is more than 1,000, according to the suit, filed by attorneys Rex Carr, Michael B. Marker, Christian G. Montroy, Jay L. Kansler and Brian J. Massimino.

The only named plaintiffs are Faye Morrison of St. Louis and Kwame Thompson of Atlanta, Ga.

The suit follows on the heels of civil action filed last week by the California Attorney General's Office in an attempt to keep the Wood River-based company from operating in that state, and a report filed by the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois, alleging that there have been individual consumer complaints filed in at least 31 states against YTB, many of which already had been addressed by the company.

The company and four of its subsidiaries are named as defendants in the suit. The class action suit claims the company and its subsidiaries are a "legal fiction," and in fact, they acted as one.

Also named as defendants in the class action are company officers J. Lloyd "Coach" Tomer, chairman; J. Scott Tomer, a founder and chief executive officer; J. Kim Sorensen, a founder and chief executive officer of YTB Travel Network, a subsidiary; Andrew Cauthen, president and chief executive officer of YourTravelBiz.com Inc.; and Michael Brent, chief executive officer of REZconnect Technologies Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

All the individual defendants, except for Brent, live in Edwardsville, according to the complaint filed in federal court. All the Edwardsville defendants have listed telephone numbers, which have been disconnected.

Two of the numbers were assigned to other users at the end of June, according to women who answered the phones.

"We've had this number since late June. We've gotten a lot of calls for Tomer," one woman said.

The executives did not return telephone calls left at the business. All were unavailable, according to the voice mail system, and none returned phone calls Monday. Attorney Ray Stillwell of Godfrey, who is listed as registered agent for YTB Travel Network of Illinois, did not return a phone call Monday.

The suit claims the people taken in by the scheme wanted to earn money by becoming independent marketing representatives, known as IMRs, or referring travel agents, called RTAs. They paid $500 for a one-time license fee and a monthly fee of $50.

They were required to open travel Web sites, which directed customers to buy travel through YTB Travel Network of Illinois. RTAs were promised 60 percent of the commissions paid. IMRs, on the other hand, earned money by recruiting RTAs.

IMRs were paid at least $50 for each RTA enrolled. Once an IMR personally enrolled four RTAs, that IMR would qualify for "overrides," which were optional additional direct sales commissions for each RTA enrolled.

IMRs also would receive 50 percent of the travel commissions earned by RTAs they enrolled, the suit claims.

There also were other ways that the participants could earn extra money by recruiting more RTAs.

"Defendants represented that IMRs could earn up to $31,000 in a year, not including ‘overrides and matching bonuses, if an IMR and those IMRs he personally sponsored enrolled 100 RTAs,'" the suit claims.

The RTAs were required to use the services provided by REZconnect Technologies, including but not limited to their online services.

The California suit contends that YTB, which is set up to sell online travel agencies, is essentially nothing more than a pyramid scheme that centers more on recruitment of new members, who pay more than $1,000 per year for the opportunity to own and operate an online travel agency.

Those travel agencies are "essentially worthless," the suit says. Of more than 200,000 consumers who purchased or maintained the Web sites during 2007, 62 percent failed to earn a single travel commission - "not even on their own personal travel," the suit says.