Westminster Company Targeted By Federal Government

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – A Westminster company is being targeted by the federal government and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. They want infomercials for a program called “Winning in the Cash Flow Business” pulled from the air, saying promises of quick and easy money are deceptive.

Dalbey Education Institute in Westminster was created by Russ Dalbey. The Federal Trade Commission and the Colorado attorney general are suing Dalbey for violation of the Consumer Protection Act and asking in-part to stop running infomercials.

The lawsuit claims defendants “advertise inaccurate earnings claims” and constitutes a “deceptive practice.”
space Westminster Company Targeted By Federal Government

Online there are consumer complaints of false advertising and scam alerts on “:Winning in the Cash Flow Business.”

A CBS4 tipster claims he worked for the Dalbey Education Institute. In an e-mail he wrote he was “making $100,000 plus” a year. He said he was tired of trading his “soul for a high-dollar paycheck” and that the company was averaging “$2 million in sales a week” on little old ladies and retired widows.

CBS4 couldn’t reach Dalbey, but consumer investigator Jodi Brooks talked with his attorney. He says the company denies any allegations and that the government’s case is deeply flawed. He also said the infomercials will keep running.

  • Dave Fritzler

    It seems that in this economy, a guy can’t make an honest living, so they go off to the dark side.

    I can’t say just how tempting that is but the human part of me prevents that kind of thing. Honest, and broke.

  • kirk

    Ha! “In this economy”? This guy has been around well before the crash. People do make money on the system, and yes stupid people loose it all because they don’t put the time and effort in.

    No, I’ve never worked there, yes I’ve seen the system. I personally know people who buy and sell notes and make great money.

  • former employee

    As a former employee of Dalbey, I am outraged at the outright lies in the tipster’s claim. I know for a fact that the company has NEVER averaged 2 million per week — not even in their best year. Also, very few employees to my knowledge make over 100K a year. Most make a modest salary comparable to a normal office job. The company’s customer base is extremely varied, anyone from college students to retired professionals to doctors to attorneys to realtors. Not “little old ladies and retired widows.” Also, the supposedly “inaccurate earning claims” are subject to a strict review policy by the company. They can be verified with extensive paperwork including a copy of the customer’s check!

    This lawsuit seems like a lot of political grandstanding without much of a basis in fact. It’s ridiculous.

    • Just Another Former Employee

      I also disagree with “former employee #1”, I even recall job ads for sales reps for Dalbey stating that they could earn a six figure income and wanted people who already earning that type of money.

      The company did have a variety of customers, however, there did appear to be a large number of retiree aged individuals that were targeted for “additional educational tools”. The sales force was very aggressive and the customer service was at one time paid cash bonuses for recommending additional sales products and getting customers back to a sales representative. Customers were asked if they had savings or could borrow money to purchase additional products. Relatives of customers would have to send in POA to prove that a particular customer was unable to make financial decisions, which considering the amount of time the sales rep would spend with the customer, should have been glaringly obvious.

      Sales reps also used derogatory slang terms to describe customers in notes, that were either handicapped “one-legger” or “whale” someone who could be fleeced further.

      Despite Russ’ promise about a “no questions asked, money back guarantee”, customer service had retention goals and were instructed to probe the customer to try and “save” them. The higher-end customers were transferred to a retention team that would work hard and earn a commission to keep customers’ money.

      Quality Assurance listened to calls to prevent sales reps from making promises about earnings, but despite several violations, high-earning sales reps would often get a short suspension and then return to their old ways.

      Dalbey was so driven to make money that the company would sell additional educational programs that were not even completed, assuming that it could be created along the way and stay ahead of the customers.

      It was not just customers that were charmed and disillusioned by the company. There were several quality employees that started out enthusiastically believing in the company’s hype and their ability to help the customers and ended up discouraged and sickened by the deceit.

  • Another former employee

    I disagree with the previous former employee. There were MANY people in the office making over $100k/yr, most of them being the sales people. The “sell my soul” comment was a common one around people that were in the office. Almost every former employee I talk to now is glad to be out of that building, and thankful that they no longer play a part in the questionable sales tactics used there.

    The system can and does work for some people, it just is not as easy or accessible as the company claims it to be. THAT is were the dishonesty in sales comes in.

  • former "Coach" for DEI.

    Former “Coach” here– we were the instructors for the program– the Sales team essentially sold our ability to work with the customers (students.) We were paid comparable to teachers, but I routinely worked with people who purchased 15-45k worth of products and services from DEI, and if you spend less than 1500 hundred dollars, you didn’t spend enough to speak with me. One customer had near 75k attached to his account, and I am fairly certain that the majority of folks upward of 30k in products and services never made a note deal.

    Note deals are damn hard to complete all the way though and still turn a profit on. The program can work, but it is not cost effective for the vast majority of students who lack the skills and character traits to make the system effective. It is also not something that a person can do as a primary income, as Russ promotes. To really have success with it, it should be an ancillary information base while in a related industry such as home rehabbing or real estate. Simply “note finders” spend time and money and get little result.

    In addition, the coaching staff worked very hard to fulfill the lies of the sales team, but we really didn’t make a wage comparable to the amount of “soul selling” we had to go through on a daily basis due to the questionable ethics all around us in the company policy and behavior.

    All in all, I think a fool and his money are easily parted, but there is some valuable information to be had– for a very limited amount of money, not the levels that I frequently saw.

  • Former Employee

    I used to work for Russ Dalbey when the company was called America’s Note Network (the company has changed names mujltiple times, for reasons I’m not privy to). I rather not disclose my exact position in order to preserve my own anonymity, but a function of my position was to access and evaluate the recorded calls between the sales team and the customers to make sure nothing was ever said that could be legally used against ANN. A sales team member could IMPLY that there were riches to be had in the note-finding business, but never actually promise that the customer would see any. I finally quit when I could no longer morally justify to myself the flagrant fleecing of the uneducated and elderly. For every “student” who actually managed to flip a note, there were literally hundreds, if not thousands, that were bled dry of thousands of dollars for “additional coaching”. I see the name has changed again (they were talking about the Dalbey Wealth Institute when I left) but I would be surprised if the practices have.

  • Former employee #4

    The former employee that first posted must be still feeling the effects of the kool-aid.

    I agree 100% with the 2nd former employees’ post and the following post made by the former Coach. The anonymous letter sent to the CBS tipline was right on point. (If you freeze the screen during the flash of the letter during the video, you can read the whole thing.) Trust me, the FTC and AG dig deep – they don’t just bring a lawsuit on a company without FIRST doing a VERY thorough investigation of the company. This case has Nothing to do with political grandstanding – it has to do with the hundreds upon hundreds of complaints sent in writing to the AG and FTC and their resulting obligation to investigate those complaints.

    I sleep better at night knowing I don’t work there anymore, and I will just leave it at that.

  • jonathan ripepi

    I am also a former employee. Initially I was hired “off the street” as a “fronter”. A “fronter” is the sales person who first cold-calls on Dalbey’s “leads”. A sales lead is anyone who has purchased anything from the infomercials. The fronter’s job is to find the person’s “hot button” or motivation for purchasing any product. This information is passed on to the “closer” who exploits this hot button and up-sells to additional products or services (thousands of dollars). The sales tactic is used to exploit anyone that has fears (of the future, of the poor economy, of steady work, not enough income, providing for a family, paying for college education, etc). SO you see it is not limited to widows and old ladies but to anyone who is honest enough to reveal why they purchased or showed interest in Dalbey’s program. Not only are they scamming people who purchase the program, (because so few of their clients make any money at all), but they are also scamming the employees. Fronters are not told much about the program or what they were selling. In fact, during the years I spent there, Dalbey’s closers and management were proficient at keeping new hires in the dark about how the program worked, how “students” made money, or how realistic the “education” material prepared you for this industry. If you believe “let the buyer beware” then you will fit right in at this company. If you believe in “truth in advertising” then you will be happy to see Dalbey go out of business. As for me, once I became a “closer” and gained management’s confidence I began to better understand the skill set, the knowledge, and the connections one must have to put note a deal together. I began to understand that the general public had no chance at being successful at the “note business”. Equate it to the number of athletes that try to make it into pro-sports. Yes, a few make it, but the vast majority fail. It takes talent, coaching and the right breaks to make it. But in my experience, coaches are pretty honest about a person’s talent and ability to take it to the next level. However, no-one at Dalbey is going to explain the percentage of failures vs. the percentage of people that spent money on a industry that they cannot understand enough to succeed. No one at Dalbey is going to honestly reveal the big picture and what it takes to succeed. It’s like trying to become a heart surgeon by reading books. Maybe you can gain some knowledge but you will never become a successful heart surgeon. As for me, I would willing testify against a Dalbey “education”. (All you have to do is Google “Russ Dalbey” before you throw money at his program).

  • Gary Tisor

    I was not able to get into my courthouse to get any records because the staff there is working part time anymore. It is the economy. However, I definately believe that our banking industry is behind this attack on Dalbey. These damned bankers are squeezing our country to death.. No one can stop them. Our government is afraid of them, but they no longer care for us. The Attorney General should be taking our banking system to court instead of Dalbey

  • Larry

    I have invested over $15,000 in the hope of achieving a modest income in my old age (84 years). The Dalbey program is an “in home” business primarily contacting “leads” by phone. The predicted rate of positive responses is about 3 to 5%. In over 3 months and 600 lead calls, I have not had a positive response that led to a “note deal”. I consider the entire Dalbey promotional and educational program to be misleading. Much of the basic lessons are essentially “real estate 101” and contiinual motivational hype. I do think seniors such as myself are being specifically targeted by firms like Dalbey with the promise of income with little effort and time. I am still trying, but I no longer think my investment was a wise decision.

  • Paul Newman

    hOW DO i DO THAT?

    paul Newman

  • Paul Newman


  • Paul Newman

    How do i enter this lawsuit

  • Jack Jack


  • Another Victim

    I invested just under $1200, purchasing their “Protege” program. Jonathan was right when he said “The fronter’s job is to find the person’s “hot button” or motivation for purchasing any product. This information is passed on to the “closer” who exploits this hot button and up-sells to additional products or services (thousands of dollars). Once I disclosed that my mortgage ARM would be expiring in a year, they used that multiple times when calling me to upsell me. After purchasing the Protege program, I was called again for another upsell, and when I refused, the person was downright rude and condescending to me implying that I would never be successful and good luck trying! While attempting to implement the Protege program, I tried calling my “Protege Coach” and never could get anyone to answer the phone. Also emailed, and never received a response. I finally gave up and the materials have been collecting dust until I received notification of this lawsuit!

  • VICTIM of Many

    I invested 2000.00 and would like to know how to gey iy back. This happen 04/20/07 i talk to a Jeff Donelson at lest that what he told me his name was at the time.

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