Income Store: SEC Verified Ponzi Scheme
What if you could just hand your money over to some people and get a guaranteed rate of return written up in a contract?
Sounds like something you’d want to join in on right?
Although Income Store had a very compelling, and seemingly logical, offer…it has turned into nothing more than another internet Ponzi Scheme as verified by the SEC.
But was it always bad? Were there intentions ever just?
We dive deep into all the nitty gritty of Income Store and what you need to know.
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Kenneth D Courtright
Ken Courtright founded Today’s Growth Consultant back in 1992. It has been designated at a Inc 5000 two times now and their revenue doubled each year for 5 years. The company was international and working with over 3,300 companies in 49 states!
Ken is the author of Guerrilla Marketing Today, part of his best selling series “Online Income”. His co-author was Brian Tracy. Ironically he also has a book called “Trust Trumps Everything”. If only he would have been careful with his digital foot print.
Ken Courtright Today
He had a successful company “Income Store” which helped people earn recurring income off websites for a little while…however after mismanagement it turned into a Ponzi scheme.
In early 2020 he was indicted on wire fraud.
What Is The Income Store?
Well for one, the actual company is called “Todays Growth Consultant Inc.” they are simply just doing business as this thing called “The Income Store”.
The company was started in 2008 by Ken and Kerri Courtright in Illinois.
Essentially the deal was pretty simple. Income Store would go out and find income producing websites for sale and go pitch to investors (a quite easy pitch really) and go into it splitting profits 50/50.
The investor was just responsible for the upfront money and Income store would contact who they needed to contact for the deal and maintain the sites themselves.
Now that might not sound terrible or anything…but the issue lies in offering a guaranteed rate of return like they did.
But all that money stops if the sites stop performing.
Here’s some research on some of those sites:
This all would have ran smoothly in theory. Simply put, it’s just people buying passive income…but where this went south was in management….
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How Does Income Store Work?
It was pretty simple. Ken and his crew would offer investors a chance to invest in digital properties that were already bringing in money.
All the investor would have to do is foot the bill, in return Income Store would manage it and they’d split the profit 50/50.
The business model is solid.
The issue is that they grew way too fast and quickly burned to the ground.
What Happened To The Income Store
Starting in 2012 and lasting until 2019, the company went through a significant amount of growth. Frankly, they had the type of growth that any company would have dreamt of.
They would go out and buy sites from different brokerages and then look for investors to make it happen.
However, in late 2019 rumors began to circulate that Income Store was going down the tube. They were not able to pay employees and shortly thereafter when the securities and exchange commission (SEC) got involved and declared them a Ponzi Scheme.
In Early 2020 the SEC shut them down after their investigation was complete. At the conclusion Kenneth D Courtright had criminal charges and claims brought against himself and Income Store.
Due to overwhelming evidence and proof, Ken had no chance. He was indicted and no attorney would have been able to save him.
It is unfortunate, Ken and the Income Store may have defrauded more than $100 Million from individuals who wanted nothing more than a chance to earn a fraction of the money todays growth consultant inc was making.
On top of that, there is now yet another black stain on the internet with making money through web sites that the industry as a whole has to overcome.
Was The Income Store Really A Ponzi?
We don’t have anyone on the inside to give us special information regarding the matter, but if what the securities and exchange commission is alleging is true…then that’s what it look like.
Due to all the mismanagement of assets touched on earlier, the SEC (in the country of the U.S.) alleges that new investor money was used to pay off older investors…you can see how that might be an issue.
That’s not a stretch either…get this:
The bank that Ken was using said he admitted to using investor payments outside the contracted agreement. For that reason alone they cut ties with Income Store.
This complaint was alleged in a court filing:
But was Income Store really intended as a scheme from the beginning? Or did uneven distribution of resources and management cause the businesses ultimate demise?
The proper authorities have shared some information, but every claim one way or another is still murky at this point.
To a certain degree, it really doesn’t matter what intentions were. At the end of the day, individuals were still scammed out of their money.
The issue in our opinion is that at a certain point in time, Ken and TGC crossed a line. He broke his contractual obligation with individuals and used their money in any way he saw fit for his business.
But, if it really was supposed to be a Ponzi from the beginning, why spend large sums of money on actual websites? Why not just throw up a website with a eye catching name accessible through a throw away email account instead?
Further, why get involved with a bank? And why admit to them that you’re using investor funds in such a way that makes the bank want to cut off the relationship?
Our honest opinion is that they started off meaning well, but were victims of their own success.
The business model they had devised was brilliant, however they didn’t have the systems in place to scale and grow at the rate they were.
Over time this lead to them burning out and making choices they really shouldn’t have made with money that wasn’t theirs.
That is all speculation though, we may never know what really happened. All we know is that a lot of innocent people had lost their investor funds.
Other Issues With The Income Store
There were some other issues we noticed with Income Store too.
Income Store had major communication issues. They would go days or even weeks without responding to the deal broker. That’s odd because as a receiver, you want access to the web sites asap.
They would have also wanted all the information of the site as soon as possible like an earnings review and such, but we never found evidence documenting any urgency from them as a buyer.
Still, we don’t think they had any ill intent behind that, we just think they were growing too fast for their own good. They didn’t have the capability to respond to everyone at the speed of which that was needed.
What Has Happened Since The Income Store Was Shut Down?
Since Income Store has been shut down, the company has had a transfer of power and now the assets are under new management.
However one might argue that the management is not the best considering one of her first moves was to sue Empire Flippers.
Grounds for it are still unclear, so we will refrain from speaking more on that direct subject.
But investors who are hoping that this company might come back to what it once was may be disappointed. We recommend putting an investment like that elsewhere.
In fact, we actually recommend that you build your own websites that you can be the owner of and control all the profit.
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