James Miles is being tried to bring as acting CEO of the government-funded Open Technology Fund linked to two multilevel marketing companies who have drawn legal scrutiny from the Attorney General. This is being tried by Trump Administration.
The Federal Trade Commission has shut down one of the company, calling it “an allegedly illegal pyramid scheme.” A 2010 government legal filing describes Miles as a “participant” in that company, Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, which he admitted was a “pyramid” but argued was legal.
Excel communication was also publicly testified by Miles being the top South Carolina Official and his wife was paid by the firm. Now in present, Miles refuses to have any formal involvement with either company.
How these companies operated?
These companies operate as multilevel marketing plans. The working plan works as they motivate people to add more participants in exchange for incentives and often a percentage of their people’s sales. Additional incentives are given to those who add even more participants.
Miles says he and his wife were never accused of wrongdoing, in a statement he says the two companies’ legal woes began after his wife’s involvement was ceased with them. During the 1990s when the number of state attorneys general were investigating it his wife was affiliated with the companies.
The choices made by Miles draw attention for his lack of specialized expertise in the technologies bankrolled by the digital rights nonprofit, which funds encryption software tools like Signal for citizens of authoritarian regimes, he acknowledged in an interview, though he emphasized his management experience.
In July, Miles was recorded for the job by Michael Pack. He is the new CEO of U.S. Agency for Global Media. This happened in early July and in late July, Pack was said to appear to lack the statutory authority to control the funds likewise the other federally funded International news organizations.
When Miles was asked about his experience to run OTF, he said that he doesn’t know about it but he is an internet user for a quite long time now. He also marks that he is not a preeminent expert on Chinese Firewall deterring. Later he said that he was eligible for the job since he has a experience of being a successful business manager and also South Carolina’s secretary of state for 12 years. There he regulated non-profits. He has also served twice as chief of staff to Andre Bauer. Bauer was the lieutenant governor of South Carolina.
Miles had also spoken positive things about Excel Communications which was investigated in 1990s for violating anti-pyramid laws. Attorneys general from Michigan, Texas, Arkanas, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
Mile’s wife was mentioned in a company newsletter as a successful distributor who made $17,000 every month and was also mentioned on the former direct sales website ChangeMakerEvents.com as the “#9 All-time money earner” at Excel.
But most sales representatives for the company didn’t do nearly as well, with Forbes finding in 1997 that the average participant at the bottom of the company received just $20 per year in commissions. While Excel had made a $144 million profit in 1996, the company would have lost money that year without the $195 fee each recruit had to pay to become a sales representative, Forbes found.
In 1998, the company incorporated with telecom company TeleGlobe and then was eventually taken over by Bell Canada, which went bankrupt in 2002. During the years of its existence, Excel drew a number of complaints from people who felt that they had been a cheat.
Miles says he was never involved in any multi[-level] marketing plan. His wife was involved but quit before any legal trouble faced either [of] them. At the time his wife was involved the plans were perfectly legal. Later in their operations they ran into legal difficulties but my wife had long quit at the time of the legal difficulties.
In a statement, USAGM CEO Pack says he is confident about Mile. He also quoted that this is yet another character assassination of an American who simply wishes to serve the country.
The Open Technology Fund, where Pack wants to put Miles as acting CEO, is at the center of a pitched battle that has pitted OTF’s existing leadership against Pack, who tried to fire that leadership and board of directors and put his own people on it. In late July, a federal appeals court temporarily blocked Pack’s actions, saying he likely didn’t have authority to replace the board, but a final ruling has not been made.
But such court battles haven’t stopped Pack from changing some of USAGM’s personnel that deal with similar issues that OTF works on. Last Friday, USAGM also removed its director of the office of internet freedom, Chad Hurley, according to two people familiar with the matter, and moved him to the agency’s technology services and innovation group. Hurley was informed about the move, which was effective immediately, in a phone call with USAGM’s new chief operating officer, André Mendes, and no reason was given, according to one person.