Author Topic: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog  (Read 115380 times)

arebelspy

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #50 on: March 11, 2014, 09:03:09 PM »
Yeah, but when the story blows up and press come to cite this thread, it'll be better to have it "clean."  ;)

I doubt it would blow up.  Unless MMM told his story to one of the many reporters who have interviewed him

Probably not, but you never know.
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odput

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2014, 06:14:26 AM »
A Google search this morning shows that results 1-3 are the kiss trust website and various sections of their site, #4 is the kiss trust wikipedia site (probably managed by their folks) and #5 is this MMM thread....nice work mustachians....we are now the top non-kiss managed search result and oh yeah, did I mention that the Google headline is the title of this thread?  So now anyone who looks at the first page of Google knows what kind of practices this company engages in


Nothlit

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #52 on: March 12, 2014, 06:52:39 AM »
Google search results are often "personalized" such that they automatically rank pages higher that they think might be more relevant to you. So if Google knows you regularly visit the MMM forum, they are more likely to rank a search hit on the MMM forum higher for you than for someone who doesn't regularly visit MMM. One way to get a truly generic Google search results page is to use "incognito" or "private" mode in your browser when performing the search.

When I searched for "kiss trust" just now, this thread was #4 while I was logged in to Google, and #5 when I was in incognito mode. A similar Bogleheads thread was #5 while logged in, and #9 while in incognito mode.

odput

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2014, 06:59:44 AM »
Oh Google...you know me so well

However, using incognito mode, result is the same...#5 on the list

Since I don't want to derail this thread with a discussion about Google, perhaps we should all bombard our local news outlets with these ongoings and see if any of them pick up the story?

Maybe the local Maryland station would send out their call for action team or whatever investigation people they may have

Fireman

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #54 on: March 12, 2014, 07:49:55 AM »
Third.

Barbara Streisand, eat your heart out.

EngGirl

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #55 on: March 12, 2014, 08:04:53 AM »
IMO, good decision to aggravate a whole bunch of outspoken, tech savvy, financially literate people KISS Trust! Brilliant PR move!

tomsang

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #56 on: March 12, 2014, 08:21:02 AM »
Did you read their wiki page?  They have a section on criticism that mentions their legal action to suppress negative legal actions. Do we have any Wiki editors who can beef up all the various suppression that has occurred? That could be educational as people look to wiki for information

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiss_Trust

If this thing goes further it will be interesting to see what pops out of discovery.

Please provide a list of all cease and desist orders that you have sent since inception

Please provide an explanation for each of these on why you were suppressing the discussion

Please provide support for all of your claims made 

Please provide a list of all aliases that were used on all social media websites

Please provide a list of all comments made your agents on said social media sites

Please provide all financial statements and audits

I guess it would be discovery so you can drop the please. What other information will come out during discovery?

All comments and questions are my opinion


workathomedad

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #57 on: March 12, 2014, 08:44:18 AM »
Their attorney appears to specialize in Criminal Defense and not this kind of work - I'm confused?

http://www.markbwilliams.com

Lentils5eva

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #58 on: March 12, 2014, 08:45:36 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratton_Oakmont,_Inc._v._Prodigy_Services_Co.

This is a pretty interesting and similar case.  Stratton Oakmont, which people will recognize as Jordan Belfort's firm in the Wolf of Wall St., had a similar practice of suing ISPs for things posted by community members.  The NY courts ruled that Prodigy could be held responsible for what its posters said because it exercised editorial control over the boards.  Section 230 of the CDA was enacted specifically to overrule the Stratton case, and to immunize forum providers/managers from precisely this type of liability.

Just noting that there's a long and storied history of shady financial companies trying to use the legal system to shut down people trying to expose them.

arebelspy

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #59 on: March 12, 2014, 08:46:04 AM »
Did you read their wiki page?  They have a section on criticism that mentions their legal action to suppress negative legal actions. Do we have any Wiki editors who can beef up all the various suppression that has occurred? That could be educational as people look to wiki for information

That is new, as of today, but definitely a good idea.  I'm sure they monitor that, and will start an editing war over it through.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
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Lentils5eva

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #60 on: March 12, 2014, 08:51:09 AM »
Also, I laughed out loud at the point in the letter where we got to the "RICO claims."  That old MMM, such a Racketeer Influenced, Corrupt Organization.

Runge

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #61 on: March 12, 2014, 09:29:24 AM »
Did you read their wiki page?  They have a section on criticism that mentions their legal action to suppress negative legal actions. Do we have any Wiki editors who can beef up all the various suppression that has occurred? That could be educational as people look to wiki for information

That is new, as of today, but definitely a good idea.  I'm sure they monitor that, and will start an editing war over it through.

I just checked the wikipage, and someone has already removed the criticism section.

arebelspy

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We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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arebelspy

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #63 on: March 12, 2014, 09:45:19 AM »
Did you read their wiki page?  They have a section on criticism that mentions their legal action to suppress negative legal actions. Do we have any Wiki editors who can beef up all the various suppression that has occurred? That could be educational as people look to wiki for information

That is new, as of today, but definitely a good idea.  I'm sure they monitor that, and will start an editing war over it through.

I just checked the wikipage, and someone has already removed the criticism section.

Hah.  Of course.  Maybe someone can restore it. 

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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odput

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #64 on: March 12, 2014, 10:15:44 AM »
Did you read their wiki page?  They have a section on criticism that mentions their legal action to suppress negative legal actions.

I assume whoever put that on there is an MMM forum user and is following this thread, so, whoever you are: please, please, pleeeeeaase add this scenario to the Streisand Effect wikipedia page

Spork

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #65 on: March 12, 2014, 10:26:44 AM »
Did you read their wiki page?  They have a section on criticism that mentions their legal action to suppress negative legal actions. Do we have any Wiki editors who can beef up all the various suppression that has occurred? That could be educational as people look to wiki for information

That is new, as of today, but definitely a good idea.  I'm sure they monitor that, and will start an editing war over it through.

I just checked the wikipage, and someone has already removed the criticism section.

and the removal has been removed...
 (Undid revision 599295171 by x.x.x.x (talk) If you think the section needs deletion please justify that and/or use talk page.)

dragoncar

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #66 on: March 12, 2014, 11:32:11 AM »
Did you read their wiki page?  They have a section on criticism that mentions their legal action to suppress negative legal actions. Do we have any Wiki editors who can beef up all the various suppression that has occurred? That could be educational as people look to wiki for information

That is new, as of today, but definitely a good idea.  I'm sure they monitor that, and will start an editing war over it through.

I just checked the wikipage, and someone has already removed the criticism section.

and the removal has been removed...
 (Undid revision 599295171 by x.x.x.x (talk) If you think the section needs deletion please justify that and/or use talk page.)

If it hasn't been covered by actual journalists yet, it will probably stay removed.

Mt Tahoe

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #67 on: March 12, 2014, 11:44:07 AM »
I am all for sticking it to the "kiss trust" company. If they really do offer a bad product, then the people should be able to voice their opinions. I can't stand bullying and especially when a law firm does it.

I seriously don't think they have much ground to sue....

lsm

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #68 on: March 12, 2014, 11:49:42 AM »
Longtime reader, first-time poster.

I'm an occasional Wikipedia editor, and I'd be glad to add KISS TRUST as an example on the Streisand Effect page if appropriate once the dust has settled.

arebelspy

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #69 on: March 12, 2014, 12:07:43 PM »
Longtime reader, first-time poster.

I'm an occasional Wikipedia editor, and I'd be glad to add KISS TRUST as an example on the Streisand Effect page if appropriate once the dust has settled.

Welcome!  The way they're handling this, I wouldn't be surprised.  If they're smart they'll realize letting it die out is their best case scenario.  I'm skeptical they're that smart though.  ;)
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jbmatth

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #70 on: March 12, 2014, 01:34:21 PM »
It will be interesting to see how this all pans out, in my opinion.  I'll follow along for the ride.

LanceBurkhart

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #71 on: March 12, 2014, 05:15:43 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratton_Oakmont,_Inc._v._Prodigy_Services_Co.

This is a pretty interesting and similar case.  Stratton Oakmont, which people will recognize as Jordan Belfort's firm in the Wolf of Wall St., had a similar practice of suing ISPs for things posted by community members.  The NY courts ruled that Prodigy could be held responsible for what its posters said because it exercised editorial control over the boards.  Section 230 of the CDA was enacted specifically to overrule the Stratton case, and to immunize forum providers/managers from precisely this type of liability.

Just noting that there's a long and storied history of shady financial companies trying to use the legal system to shut down people trying to expose them.

LMAO. Kiss trust is in good company*

*This post contains no statements of fact, only the opinion of LanceBurkhart. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. For external use only.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 05:19:09 PM by LanceBurkhart »

Paul der Krake

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #72 on: March 12, 2014, 05:21:02 PM »
Well, it even made Hacker News a few hours ago, which is probably why the forum was down earlier. I would pay good money to sit in the same room with a bucket of popcorn in my hands at their next board meeting.

arebelspy

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #73 on: March 12, 2014, 05:36:57 PM »
Well, it even made Hacker News a few hours ago, which is probably why the forum was down earlier. I would pay good money to sit in the same room with a bucket of popcorn in my hands at their next board meeting.

Forum was down due to a database error, not traffic.  Bummer that it was down while on HN.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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Joggernot

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #74 on: March 12, 2014, 05:49:35 PM »
IMO KISS Trust has done enough to make themselves noticeable.  IMO I'm helping MMM out by posting this note.

sol

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #75 on: March 12, 2014, 06:01:54 PM »
Forum was down due to a database error, not traffic.  Bummer that it was down while on HN.

The Kiss Trust site, meanwhile, is still dark.  Either they've closed up shop to hide out for a while, or the increasing distribution of this story has flooded their servers.

Fireman

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #76 on: March 12, 2014, 06:32:50 PM »
LMAO. Kiss trust is in good company*

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Batteries not included.

hybrid

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #77 on: March 12, 2014, 08:17:02 PM »
Well, you guys can do what you want but I'm not investing with folks who look like this, not even if I have a fistful of dollars and I'm back in a New York groove.

 

foobar

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #78 on: March 12, 2014, 09:21:54 PM »
They have grounds to sue. But the suits should be directed at the poster not MMM.  S/He is the one responsible for the comments. At least until some court overturns the past couple of cases on these type of issues.

I am all for sticking it to the "kiss trust" company. If they really do offer a bad product, then the people should be able to voice their opinions. I can't stand bullying and especially when a law firm does it.

I seriously don't think they have much ground to sue....

NickNam

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #79 on: March 12, 2014, 09:55:08 PM »
Just wanted to chime in my support MMM ! Don't let them bully you into submission. Willing to support financially as well to a fund.

sol

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #80 on: March 12, 2014, 10:08:17 PM »
They have grounds to sue. But the suits should be directed at the poster not MMM. 

That's me!  I've already volunteered to receive any and all cease and desist letters.  If I lose the case, I'll redact my review of their product and say I'm very sorry.  You really think I'm legally barred from saying I think their product sucks? 

Go check out publicshaming.tublr.com sometime and then come back and explain to me why I'm legally liable for making disparaging comments on the internet.  If we're going to use our judicial system to enforce politeness from here on out, I'm pretty sure I'm a loooong way down the list of potential offenders.  First up, anyone who's ever posted a bad review on yelp or amazon or ebay. 

The problem that the KISS Trust people (aka Eastern Point Trust Company, website also dark atm) have has nothing to do with some random people on an early-retirement forum who may or may not think their product is a predatory financial scam designed to fleece financially naive people out of their hard earned money.  The forum discussions of their product would have stayed an obscure corner of the interwebs forever if their PR person had been a little less overzealous about trying to whitewash all discussions of the company, or had been a little more skilled when attempting to "anonymously" astroturf the forum discussions.

But since MMM put the legal threat up on the front page of the blog, suddenly the audience for this matter has exploded.   Now it's on hacker news, soon popehat, then reddit if they keep this up.  The KISS Trust and Eastern Point Trust Company websites are already vanished from the internet, maybe a deliberate attempt to lay low for a while (would be my vote in their place) or maybe a result of a bigger audience flooding their servers.  Hard to say.


dragoncar

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #81 on: March 12, 2014, 10:47:45 PM »
They have grounds to sue. But the suits should be directed at the poster not MMM. 

That's me!  I've already volunteered to receive any and all cease and desist letters.  If I lose the case, I'll redact my review of their product and say I'm very sorry.  You really think I'm legally barred from saying I think their product sucks? 

Go check out publicshaming.tublr.com sometime and then come back and explain to me why I'm legally liable for making disparaging comments on the internet.  If we're going to use our judicial system to enforce politeness from here on out, I'm pretty sure I'm a loooong way down the list of potential offenders.  First up, anyone who's ever posted a bad review on yelp or amazon or ebay. 

The problem that the KISS Trust people (aka Eastern Point Trust Company, website also dark atm) have has nothing to do with some random people on an early-retirement forum who may or may not think their product is a predatory financial scam designed to fleece financially naive people out of their hard earned money.  The forum discussions of their product would have stayed an obscure corner of the interwebs forever if their PR person had been a little less overzealous about trying to whitewash all discussions of the company, or had been a little more skilled when attempting to "anonymously" astroturf the forum discussions.

But since MMM put the legal threat up on the front page of the blog, suddenly the audience for this matter has exploded.   Now it's on hacker news, soon popehat, then reddit if they keep this up.  The KISS Trust and Eastern Point Trust Company websites are already vanished from the internet, maybe a deliberate attempt to lay low for a while (would be my vote in their place) or maybe a result of a bigger audience flooding their servers.  Hard to say.

The question is whether this press constitutes bad press.  For all we know, it will raise awareness and get them customers.

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #82 on: March 13, 2014, 02:57:38 AM »
Did you read their wiki page?  They have a section on criticism that mentions their legal action to suppress negative legal actions. Do we have any Wiki editors who can beef up all the various suppression that has occurred? That could be educational as people look to wiki for information

That is new, as of today, but definitely a good idea.  I'm sure they monitor that, and will start an editing war over it through.

I just checked the wikipage, and someone has already removed the criticism section.

Hah.  Of course.  Maybe someone can restore it. 


The KissTrust wikipedia page is super weak (by Wikipedia standards) and will likely be taken down as it has been Nominated for deletion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Kiss_Trust). They don't even cover their tracks well or do reputation management right. First source: http://www.crunchbase.com/company/kiss-trust/revisions a Crunchbase wiki page created entirely by their own company. The third and fourth sources are for straight up Kiss Trust press releases published on other sites. At this rate, the only notable/verifiable element in the article is their legal pursuit of MMM!

And for an added bit of irony, scroll down and check out the edit history of the account that created this wikipedia page! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Bart.the.bard
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 03:04:28 AM by cowstash »

BPA

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #83 on: March 13, 2014, 07:23:12 AM »
Did you read their wiki page?  They have a section on criticism that mentions their legal action to suppress negative legal actions. Do we have any Wiki editors who can beef up all the various suppression that has occurred? That could be educational as people look to wiki for information

That is new, as of today, but definitely a good idea.  I'm sure they monitor that, and will start an editing war over it through.

I just checked the wikipage, and someone has already removed the criticism section.

Hah.  Of course.  Maybe someone can restore it. 


The KissTrust wikipedia page is super weak (by Wikipedia standards) and will likely be taken down as it has been Nominated for deletion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Kiss_Trust). They don't even cover their tracks well or do reputation management right. First source: http://www.crunchbase.com/company/kiss-trust/revisions a Crunchbase wiki page created entirely by their own company. The third and fourth sources are for straight up Kiss Trust press releases published on other sites. At this rate, the only notable/verifiable element in the article is their legal pursuit of MMM!

And for an added bit of irony, scroll down and check out the edit history of the account that created this wikipedia page! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Bart.the.bard

They couldn't "get us" if we published bad press for KISS Trust as Facebook statuses?  If most of us have good reputations as far as money management goes amongst our friends, it wouldn't make as big of a statement as a high google ranking, but it might have some impact.  Or is there something similar we could do?  I'm not saying that MMM should remove this thread...far from it.  It would just be another avenue for expressing our opinions about this company.

arebelspy

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #84 on: March 13, 2014, 07:24:58 AM »
And for an added bit of irony, scroll down and check out the edit history of the account that created this wikipedia page! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Bart.the.bard

Bahahha

Also hilarious: They changed the criticism section to read "Kiss Trust is currently involved legal action defending its rights against false and defamatory comments."

Not only is that sentence an incoherent mess, it's not criticism.  Hopefully someone will edit it back (until the page is deleted, as all discussion seems to be heading that way.)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 07:28:25 AM by arebelspy »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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odput

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #85 on: March 13, 2014, 08:18:14 AM »
Not only is that sentence an incoherent mess, it's not criticism.  Hopefully someone will edit it back (until the page is deleted, as

It now reads: Kiss Trust has been accused of making frivolous legal takedown requests and legal threats against web site owners for users commenting negatively about their business.

Seems like we will have a Wikipedia editing war until it is deleted, although I do find it funny that one of the people on the deletion discussion calls out that "Note that 50.204.172.183 resolves to a Comcast Business connection in Warrenton, VA, which matches kisstrust.com's WHOIS record"

arebelspy

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #86 on: March 13, 2014, 08:57:43 AM »
Whoever is doing the Wikipedia editing, posted on the "talk" and "deletion" pages: thank you.

Maybe Kiss Trust will learn from their mistakes, but the only way to have that happen is for there to be consequences.  Having their sham Wikipedia page corrected is a simple, but effective one.

Thanks.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

totoro

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #87 on: March 13, 2014, 09:09:26 AM »
I agree. Thanks to those who have edited the Wikipedia page. 

Boss Frog

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #88 on: March 13, 2014, 09:59:48 AM »
Hello, first-time poster.

I became curious about this KISS Trust, and decided to do a little digging.  What I have found confuses me.  Can someone explain it to me?

I will try to stick to cited facts only here, and I'll just go through it step by step, then summarize my confusion at the end.

Source: http://www.news9.com/story/24945303/kiss-trust-and-eastern-point-trust-company-announces-merger-acquisition-of-presidio-securities-inc

From this source we learn the following:

Quote
Kiss Trust is a service of Eastern Point Trust Company


Quote
Eastern Point Trust Company is a non-depository trust company with multiple regional offices. Eastern Point Trust Company provides fiduciary and trust administration services for clients located in all 50 U.S. states, the U.S. Territories, across North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

Quote
Floyd Simeon [is] Chairman of Eastern Point Trust Company


OK.  If we take it from wikipedia just to cross-check, we see similar information:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiss_Trust

Quote
Eastern Point Trust Company is a non-depository, multi-state trust company providing services across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Eastern Point Trust Company’s brokerage subsidiaries are also regulated by FINRA and the SEC.

So on one hand, EPTC does business internationally and in all 50 US States.

On the other hand, I got confused when I reviewed their IRS filings, available here:

Source:   http://citizenaudit.org/208327672/

Note that these filings are explicitly marked "Open to Public Inspection" - I believe because of the tax-exempt status they have claimed.

The signature on the latest of these filings is Floyd Simeon, so I have to believe this is the same Eastern Point Trust Company, and not some other entity with the same name.

From these filings we learn that EPTC is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization, currently with zero liabilities and total assets of $860.

Taking it chronologically it goes like this:

In 2007, the first filing, we see that the entity was initially called the "Financial Literacy Union" and Edward Armand is signing the documents.  The entity was funded by $500 of "contributions, grants, and similar."  Another $500 of the same is added in 2008.

Because the entity is funded by grants etc, it is "publicly supported" which is how it qualifies as 501c3 tax-exempt.

Their website from the filing seems to be gone or down right now, but the front page of it can be found in the wayback archive here:  http://web.archive.org/web/20110707074948/http://flunion.org/

There you will see that:

Quote
The mission of the Financial Literacy Union is: ·

- Increase the wealth-creating assets of Americans through research, education, service and alliances; and
- Advocate for the public policy in areas that affect the financial and tax burden of Americans.


By Jan 3 of 2014 that website seems to redirect to KissTrust.

In the 2010 filing (received in Aug 2012 tho) it starts to be signed by Floyd Simeon, and is still branded as Financial Literacy Union.

In 2011 we still have the FLUnion name, and there have been no further movements of money - the assets of $1,000 remain, and there are no contributions or expenditures yet.

The 2012 return brings a name change to "Eastern Point Trust, Inc." and some small amounts of money begin to move.

The form declares $1,250 of "contributions, gifts, grants, and similar" which constitutes the total revenue.  And then there are $1,390 of total expenses, although although I don't quite understand the itemization.

Also of note in this form:

The purpose of the tax-exempt status is "education and financial literacy."

In this year, the entity's accomplishments were "school financial scholarship program - 5 persons" with expenses of $600.

The officers receive zero compensation of any kind for their efforts.

At the end of the story we have Eastern Point Trust Company, a tax-exempt entity with total assets of $860.

My Confusion:

OK so the "pure facts" part is over from here.

I am very ignorant in these matters of corporate structure and tax filings.  Please do not construe my question as accusation, it is not meant that way.

But can someone explain to me how it is that EPTC is both a multi-national business with subsidiaries and services doing business all over the place, and also a tax-exempt charity with $860 in assets and almost no movement of money?

One final note...  The name mentioned in the threat letter, "National Trust and Fiduciary Services Company" if I google it...  well, let's overlook what the top result is, but the Terms and Conditions of Kiss Trust result (down now, but visibile in the google search result as www.kisstrust.com/terms.htm‎) says "Eastern Point Trust Company is an affiliate of National Trust and Fiduciary Services Company, Inc."

But I can't find much documentation about that entity, beyond some trademarks and patents that it owns.

Thanks for any insight.

Trirod

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #89 on: March 13, 2014, 10:34:55 AM »

But can someone explain to me how it is that EPTC is both a multi-national business with subsidiaries and services doing business all over the place, and also a tax-exempt charity with $860 in assets and almost no movement of money?


Most likely they are two separate legal entities with the same name.  I see the non-profit entity is registered in Maryland.  I searched a bit for the for-profit trust company, but couldn't immediately find anything on that.  Note that one is "Eastern Point Trust, Inc" and the other is "Eastern Point Trust Company"

skyrefuge

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #90 on: March 13, 2014, 11:20:46 AM »
But can someone explain to me how it is that EPTC is both a multi-national business with subsidiaries and services doing business all over the place, and also a tax-exempt charity with $860 in assets and almost no movement of money?

Ha, I was just going to come here and make a post noting how easy it is on the Internet for a company to seem much larger and more "serious" than it actually is. My policy these days is to assume that any "company" on the web is really just one dude, until I learn otherwise.

But hey, then you went and did even more research than me! Nice work!

It looks like there is more than one dude behind Eastern Point/Kiss Trust. On LinkedIn I was able to uncover 6 people associated with the operation. That doesn't mean there aren't more, they just might not be very LinkedIn-active. Half of them have the same last name (Armand), and one of the others, chairman Floyd Simeon is primarily a builder in New Orleans (and one of the Armands formerly worked with him in construction). One of them is an office manager, so they do presumably have one actual office at least.

From that perspective, I can actually sort of sympathize with them here. Rather than some Big Financial Company coming down on MMM, MMM is actually the Goliath (in terms of Internet presence and reach), and I see how comments on his forum *could* contribute disproportionally to the overall impression of the company. And also how all this attention could take down a website that isn't used to anywhere near the volume of traffic it's now getting.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 12:44:17 PM by skyrefuge »

DeepEllumStache

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #91 on: March 13, 2014, 12:07:56 PM »
Interesting...

Hold on, I need to pop some popcorn for this...

Ashyukun

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #92 on: March 13, 2014, 12:46:43 PM »
From that perspective, I can actually sort of sympathize with them here. Rather than some Big Financial Company coming down on MMM, in terms of Internet presence and reach, MMM is actually the Goliath, and I see how comments on his forum *could* contribute disproportionally to the overall impression of the company. And also how all this attention could take down a website that isn't used to anywhere near the volume of traffic it's now getting.
Except for the fact that unless you were expressly looking for negative comments about them- and looking HARD since it seems like the original post wouldn't have shown up particularly high on the Google search for them (at least originally)- most people not already reading these forums would not have seen anything sol said about them. And when they were searching hard to find and deal with any potential negative comments, they reached a junction in their path with three possible routes:

1). Do nothing. You're never going to satisfy everyone, so a few complaints or negative comments isn't going to break them
2). Start a civil, open dialog on said forum with full disclosure of working for the company and try and address the complaint.
3). Threaten legal action for a forum post

The chose poorly and chose #3. If your product ISN'T kind of shady or questionable and you can make a reasonable defense of it, #2 is usually the best approach to take- if you can explain/defend your product and practices and are solid and you're not a dick, you can probably garner some new customers. I've seen this countless times on other specialty boards (usually auto enthusiast boards where vendors will address and resolve issues and basically prove they stand behind their products).

This was essentially David walking up to Golliath and throwing pebbles at him for something one of Golliath's buddies said about David and keeping it up until Golliath got annoyed and yelled at him to knock it off, attracting the attention of everyone else around and noting how foolish David's actions are.

annann

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #93 on: March 13, 2014, 01:00:04 PM »
Are you aware that anyone can post to recommend the Kiss Trust entry be deleted from Wiki?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 01:03:14 PM by annann »

Alfred J Quack

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #94 on: March 13, 2014, 01:43:18 PM »
Are you aware that anyone can post to recommend the Kiss Trust entry be deleted from Wiki?

Are you aware that anyone with a valid e-mail address can create an account to do the action described?

*Note, this is not an invitation to do so, just noting specific possibilities on current technological facilitating functions.

ohyonghao

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #95 on: March 13, 2014, 06:03:15 PM »
I've also added this story to my blog, which gets about 2 visitors a day. :-)

Woodreaux

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #96 on: March 13, 2014, 06:30:48 PM »
I've also added this story to my blog, which gets about 2 visitors a day. :-)

I visited it today. Hopefully that bumps your numbers up.

foobar

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #97 on: March 13, 2014, 08:57:04 PM »
You can google any of the zillion angie list or yelp lawsuits about this in the past 3 years to learn that you are liable for your posts in a lot of cases. The argument that everyone else is doing it also tends to be a pretty weak defense.  I have no clue if you post meets the standard for libel (haven't seen it and definitely don't know all the case law. In general opinions are fine "i.e. it is overpriced product" are fine. Lies "They are a bunch of criminals" aren't. Unless of course some of them do have criminal records that you know about:)) You can redact your product but in theory they can sue you for damages (i.e. your post caused them to lose 500k). And the sucky part is that even if you win, you have to waste your time and money defending yourself.

Most of these cases are still pending so it isn't very clear how far you can go. If I had to guess you would be in the clear (court would probably rule that a reasonable person would take your post as an opinion) but you never know.





They have grounds to sue. But the suits should be directed at the poster not MMM. 

That's me!  I've already volunteered to receive any and all cease and desist letters.  If I lose the case, I'll redact my review of their product and say I'm very sorry.  You really think I'm legally barred from saying I think their product sucks? 

Go check out publicshaming.tublr.com sometime and then come back and explain to me why I'm legally liable for making disparaging comments on the internet.  If we're going to use our judicial system to enforce politeness from here on out, I'm pretty sure I'm a loooong way down the list of potential offenders.  First up, anyone who's ever posted a bad review on yelp or amazon or ebay. 

The problem that the KISS Trust people (aka Eastern Point Trust Company, website also dark atm) have has nothing to do with some random people on an early-retirement forum who may or may not think their product is a predatory financial scam designed to fleece financially naive people out of their hard earned money.  The forum discussions of their product would have stayed an obscure corner of the interwebs forever if their PR person had been a little less overzealous about trying to whitewash all discussions of the company, or had been a little more skilled when attempting to "anonymously" astroturf the forum discussions.

But since MMM put the legal threat up on the front page of the blog, suddenly the audience for this matter has exploded.   Now it's on hacker news, soon popehat, then reddit if they keep this up.  The KISS Trust and Eastern Point Trust Company websites are already vanished from the internet, maybe a deliberate attempt to lay low for a while (would be my vote in their place) or maybe a result of a bigger audience flooding their servers.  Hard to say.

mikefixac

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #98 on: March 13, 2014, 08:57:33 PM »
Kiss Trust appears to do more than simply sending threatening letters to MMM.

Possible evidence of astroturfing, the legalities of how the its business was created are just a few questions that need to be answered.

I would hope an investigative reporter look into the actions of this company and an IRS audit.

Since Kisstrust must surely be about trust and handling money, they would be open to have their books and business practices put under a microscope.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 09:10:11 PM by mikefixac »

burly

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Re: KISS Trust has sent a legal threat to this blog
« Reply #99 on: March 13, 2014, 09:15:28 PM »
Makes you wonder.... If they would've had a Trust officer / PR person call MMM and say they wanted to set the record straight and get an interview post on the blog, this would have been beneficial for both parties (if indeed they are not a SCAM - referencing one's opinion on this site - not mine, someone else's - hence not making this a libelous post)... but nope, had to take the 'high road' and send threatening letters....