Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Montana politics, elections and legislative news

State auditor looks to crack down on possible pyramid schemes


Montana’s commissioner of insurance and securities is looking to crack down on possible pyramid schemes using a new incentive program. The state auditor is allowing unregistered multi-level marketing companies to pay a reduced fine if they put their businesses under state oversight.

State Auditor Troy Downing started the incentive program a month ago to bring companies into compliance and to “confirm that they are not running an illegal pyramid scheme.”

At least 19 companies have come forward to self-report their failure to register with the state. Combined, those businesses employ around 4,200 people in Montana.

Those that filed paperwork include Life Platform, Chalk Couture and Beautycounter.

The auditor’s office program has so far doubled the number of multi-level marketing companies under state oversight.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, multi-level marketing companies are different from pyramid schemes when they pay based on retail sales and not on how many additional sellers a participant recruits.

The Federal Trade Commission says most people make little to no money working for multi-level marketing companies.

The following companies filed with the CSI by the incentive program’s Dec. 15 deadline:

  • Life Platform
  • Auvoria Prime
  • Breathless Wines
  • Chalk Couture
  • Epicure
  • Faberlic Inc.
  • Farmasi
  • Hugh & Grace
  • Seint
  • Think Goodness, LLC
  • Topaganda Scents
  • It Works!
  • Zinzino, LLC
  • Healy World Co.
  • Beautycounter
  • Sisel International, LLC
  • Unicity USA, Inc
  • Monat

Applications postmarked on or before Dec. 15, 2021 will be accepted by CSI.

Shaylee covers state government and politics for Montana Public Radio. Please share tips, questions and concerns at 406-539-1677 or  
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information