Can you make money by doing nothing?

11 June 2009

“How would you like to discover how to rake in $5,000 to $25,000 monthly, from the most lucrative market on the planet, without working and just by sitting at home watching TV?”

It’s hard not to be interested in an offer like this, particularly when it comes from a website with the attractive name of It offers “a revolutionary concept which blends the lucrative property foreclosure market with the very latest wealth creation techniques, to produce an exceptionally potent hybrid business model”.

Er, right. But what does this actually mean? Well, the claim is that you could easily earn more in the next 12 months than you have earned in the past 12 years. But how?

Mention of the property foreclosure market might prompt you to assume that you buy homes at knock-down prices from sellers who can no longer afford their mortgage repayments. Wrong. It seems you can make a fortune without buying a single property.

The real aim appears to be to join the scheme and then recruit others, taking a slice of the fee they pay on signing up. This way, the website says, you can make about £1,000 from everyone you recruit.

In fact, this is exactly what Megawealthmillionaire itself seems to be doing – you don’t actually join Megawealthmillionaire; it’s a recruiter for something called the Advanced Cashflow VIP Academy. This company, true enough, does offer information on property deals, but also emphasises the money to be made by recruiting others.

Megawealthmillionaire is run by Simon Johansson – but this has not always been his name. He was previously Simon John Hill, from Barnsley.

Under his original name, Hill ran a scheme called Armchair Tycoon. He invited investors to stump up £3,330 for websites that in theory could be used to sell various goods and services, but in practice were used to sell yet more websites, with Hill taking a slice of the proceeds each time.

He also marketed membership of AGM International. This promised to set you up with an internet business, including a computer. When the computers failed to arrive, Hill heaped all the blame onto an Israeli associate, but kept his commission.

He also worked for New Millennium Group. Investors bought a small bar of silver for about £50 on the promise that over a period of time they would receive commission totalling £10,000. This was nonsense, of course, and the company’s American boss, Richard J. Dompier, was jailed for 10 years for fraud. His victims lost $4 million, of which no less than $1.5 million was due to the recruiting efforts of Hill.

After changing his name to Johansson, Hill set up Lord & Thomas Publishing, with an address in Chelsea in London. In its advertising, Hill – sorry, Johansson – claimed: “I have consistently banked over £40,000 a month from this business for the past 10 years.” And in return for a £3,995 fee, he offered “an iron-clad profit guarantee of £150,000 in your first year”.

The scheme involved trading in books about business opportunities, with titles such as The Ultimate Insider Guide to Immense Tax-free Property Profits. But what Johansson failed to say was whether his £40,000 a month came from selling books or from selling membership of his various failed schemes.

The only thing you can be certain of is that while others have lost out in his supposedly money-making ventures, Hill himself has been a consistent winner. For him, at least, the Megawealthmillionaire slogan of ‘Wealthy Without Working’ rings true.

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