This ex-‘Apprentice’ star is accused of running a $15 million Amazon scam

If you tend to be a tad skeptical when it comes to new business opportunities listed online, you’re probably smart to be. Certainly, along with the legitimate offerings, there are a lot of scams out there. And scam artists are outed daily, or so it seems. Well, two more, a husband and wife team, have just been outed for leaching more than 15 million from hopefuls that bought into the couple’s tips on how to make millions selling on Amazon. The couple called their product, “The Seller’s Playbook.” Half the couple, Jessie Conners Tievas was an “Apprentice” contestant in the show’s launch season, 2004. The expensive “Playbook” system lured hopefuls with false claims that they could hope to make as much as 20,000 per month as third party sellers on Amazon. The system was supposed to help users get good reviews and reach the top of the Amazon search results. Regardless, most customer users lost rather than made money, who bought the system. Charges have been filed by the FTC. The Federal Trade Commission alleges that between Spring of 2017 and 2018 the couple offered expensive business courses and seminars that were no better than cheaper variants and offered wildly misleading claims. Tievas had apparently tried this scheme before through a company called “Exposure Marketing,” earning several hundred thousand dollars by teaching hopefuls selling techniques also under misleading pretexts.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Federal Trade Commission filed charges in July, citing Jessie Connors Tieva with running a large business opportunity scheme.
  • The husband and wife team called their expensive lesson plan for Amazon-seller hopefuls “Sellers Playbook.”
  • Among the misleading claims of the system was the assertion that the “Playbook” could help hopefuls get up to 20,000 a month as a third-party seller on Amazon.

“Federal authorities have accused a former contestant on NBC’s “The Apprentice” and her husband of scamming people out of more than $15 million by claiming to teach them how to make millions of dollars selling products on Amazon.”

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