“Teach Me To Trade” Instructors Indicted in a Multi-Million Dollar Stock Trading Seminar Scheme

March 11, 2008

People from all walks of life attended seminars nationwide to learn how to better invest their money. They attended “Teach Me To Trade” seminars – controlled by the Whitney Information Network, Inc. a nationwide seminar company. See their web site here.

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Seems that Linda Woolf, age 48, and David Gengler, age 34, both of Utah, were indicted on federal grand jury charges of wire fraud and conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud. In addition, the SEC also announced the filing of civil fraud charges against Woolf and Gengler.

According to the news release from the US Attorney’s office: Woolf and Gengler falsely represented themselves to be highly successful stock traders in order to sell “advanced” seminar courses costing from $3,000 to more than $40,000. Many of the attendees were senior citizens, who were encouraged by the Woolf and Gengler to take out large lines of credit and to show their retirement and investment portfolios to the seminar sales staff (known as “Success Coaches”), ostensibly to receive investment advice, but really to allow the staff to identify how much money an individual had available.

Woolf and Gengler worked for “Teach Me To Trade,” a brand name controlled by the Whitney Information Network, Inc., a nationwide seminar company that frequently targeted Northern Virginia.

While this might be one of the first indictments against “Teach Me To Trade” instructors, it is not the first time this organization has been accused of unethical business practices. Just searching for “Teach Me To Trade” – other than their nicely done website – turns up a more bad press than good. Here are some examples:

Trading is not as easy as they would make you believe and most people will loose their money. This company takes advantage of the most financially vulnerable and should be stopped. Denise – Glenview, Illinois – full article here.

My major complaint about TMTT is that they prey on the innocent. A bonafide organization would have advised us that this was beyond our means. Henk Belfast, New York – full article here.

I recently went to the free seminar in Arizona just to see how much trading information could be tought in a 2 hour class. What a joke that was! It was 2 hours of trying to be scammed into paying $200 for a 3 day workshop. After listening to basically a salesman in a cheap suit talk about the money you could make with their product I realized how much information he was leaving out on every chart he showed. It was just enough to get your attention but also confuse the hell out of you to make you feel stupid. Then he would explain how with more classes all of this would become clear and easy to understand. Its a scamming sales pitch…take my advice and save your money. Chad – Arizona – full report found here.

According to an article in Business Week, “Woolf and Gengler worked as independent contractors, according to the indictment, and received sales commissions of 10 percent to 15 percent from Teach Me to Trade, which is a part of the Whitney Information Network, a publicly traded company based in Cape Coral, Fla.

Whitney itself is not charged, though the indictment says Woolf and Gengler relied on the company’s “fradulent marketing efforts” to entice the public to their seminars.”

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. That said, every choice has a consequence. My guess – and it is only an educated guess – is that this is the beginning of the crumble of this organization. I suspect that “Teach Me To Trade” will try to distance themselves from those indicted, but with all the buzz out there on this organization, I would suspect that there will be more to come.

Today, I speak to groups nationwide about Choices and Consequences. Do your employees make the best choices for your company—or for themselves? Are you ready for some straight talk about success, choices, and ethics from a business executive who lost it all…and gained more than he could ever imagine?

In an unusually vulnerable style, Chuck Gallagher explores the decisions we make through the veil of honesty, integrity, and ethics. Your audience will be touched by his personal stories and poignant lessons.

For information about my presentations, visit my website – www.chuckgallagher.com