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August 20, 2004
Charlotte, North Carolina

Pyramid Scheme Alert, a Charlotte, NC-based consumer advocacy group has formally asked Roy Cooper, the North Carolina Attorney General, to investigate the business practices of the North Carolina-based company, Britt World Wide, owned by the Amway/Quixtar kingpin, Mr. Bill Britt, a resident of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The request is partly based on revelations in a nationally televised news documentary on NBC Dateline of deception involving hundreds of thousands of consumers, many from North Carolina. (DVD copy of this May 7, 2004 NBC report is available upon request)

A similar request was earlier made by Pyramid Scheme Alert to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has replied that it is considering the request and that it did monitor the NBC Dateline documentary.  

Pyramid Scheme Alert wrote to Attorney General Cooper that business practices revealed in the televised report appear to violate  N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-291.2, covering pyramid distribution plans. The letter to Attorney General Cooper states:

"As described by NBC Dateline, it was reported that the recruitment programs involved huge rallies where Mr. Britt and others in his organization, as a recruitment ploy, claim that the Amway/Quixtar sales business is the source of their wealth. In fact, the report revealed, the recruitment program itself is actually the source of the majority of their income, derived from the sales of books, tapes and seminar registrations to the recruits. A multi-tiered rewards system scheme is tied directly to ever-expanding recruitment. The recruitment-reward scheme was referred to by the victims as a 'secret business' unknown to those being solicited to join Amway/Quixtar. "

Last year, it was reported that Bill Britt was involved in what authorities consider perhaps the largest single financial fraud case in North Carolina history in terms of the amount of money that disappeared. The August 8, 2003 edition of The Triangle Business Journal reported that in spring, 2001 Bill Britt invested $5 million in a fraudulent investment scheme perpetrated by Cornerstone Management, a company under investigation and prosecution by the SEC since 1999. This firm was aligned with Phoenix, Arizona-based Dennel Finance Limited and its leader, Benjamin Franklin Cook. Cook, the Triangle Business Journal reported, is now serving 17 years in prison for allegedly masterminding a nationwide Ponzi scheme that bilked some 300 investors, mostly elderly citizens and religious groups, of $46 million. (

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This page last updated on 10/11/2004