Fortune Hi-Tech / FHTM Facts, News and Reviews

by louabbott on November 5, 2009

Closed down by FTC February, 2013 – see: Federal, State Regulators Shut Down Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing

“Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Inc. (FHTM™), based in Lexington, Kentucky, began its operations in January 2001. Founder, President and CEO, Paul Orberson, is one of the most successful individuals ever to have participated in the network marketing industry. Paul’s efforts were instrumental in turning a small start up company into one of the fastest growing telecommunications companies during the 1990s and a multi-billion dollar, publicly traded company (Excel Telecommunications).

When he left that company, he had earned more money as a representative, in a shorter period of time, than anyone before in the industry. His matter-of-fact, down to earth approach to networking has enabled him to encourage well over a million individuals to work toward improving their financial futures through what he considers to be the best method, networkmarketing.   ….contracts have been negotiated with major companies to supply long distance services, internet services, paging, virtual office services and more. Several other high-tech products are being evaluated for addition to the Marketing Plan. Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM™) will be on the cutting edge of the technology revolution with very competitive products and pricing for its customers.”  —FHTM web site

FHTM Company Site

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Skapegoat May 28, 2013 at 8:34 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
Joseph Isaacs February 9, 2013 at 7:42 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Looks like the FTC and 3 more Attorneys General had been listening to Joseph Isaacs back in 2010. They have been silently investigating FHTM since then. The KY AG calls FHTM, “One of the most prolific pyramid schemes ever in North America”. The FTC called then, “a rigged game where everyone loses”


Arthur Matta January 29, 2013 at 10:46 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Wow I really do not wish to anybody !!! The good news is that there is many business opportunitys out there for us to succeed , good luck to all you !


Scumbusters March 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

They just keep making the news. One scam after another. Read all about it at fhtm scam news.


leann December 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

6 months with no further chatter?! Could it be the company is successfully evolving to be better and better? Has anyone been locked up for illegal activity?


Scumbusters May 3, 2011 at 3:21 am Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

Looks like Orberson and FHTM might be getting the Bin Laden lube job soon. I always thought he was a bit anal anyway.


chris March 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

My brother is getting into this and trying to get the family involved. After researching this company, I will definitily tell people to stay away just like a lot of people that have learned their lesson. When Attorney Generals start getting involved, you know that its not good. What I am afraid right now is the fact that this could split my family in half when the storm hits.


Business Builder March 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

When will you make your move away from FHTM, because right now you have the option to move your team, in a few months you may not have a team to move. Loyalty is a honorable trait to have, but you need to have loyalty to the people who really made you successful … your team.

Without arguing the legitimacy of the law suits and the FTC probe, they are in fact happening and there is significant press and many groups (like the person posting below) who are pushing to see FHTM fall. Even the most enthusiastic business opportunity seeker will shy away from so much bad press. This business take hard work and determination to be successful and starting out having to answer “scam” allegations does not make it any easier. Given these facts, do you really see FHTM as the opportunity it was a few years ago when the current day leaders were getting involved.

You (or your team) will be making a move, the question is will you control the move or will outside forces.


Luis Valasquez December 6, 2010 at 7:40 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

Fortune, or misfortune? State looking into possible pyramid scheme

State Attorney General investigating consumer complaints against Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing
By Brian Freskos

A company that says its goal is “achieving success with integrity” is being investigated by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper after consumers charged that it operates a pyramid scheme with approximately 11,000 members across the state, including some in the Cape Fear region.

N.C. Attorney General spokeswoman Noelle Talley said investigators are asking that anyone who has dealt with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing to file a consumer complaint, either by calling 1-877-NO-SCAM or by filling out the complaint form at

A spokeswoman for the attorney general, Noelle Talley, said investigators with the consumer protection division are concerned about Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing’s operations in North Carolina. Investigators are reviewing more than a dozen consumer complaints to determine if the company’s activities violate state laws, and the office was contacting other attorney generals to exchange information and review what kinds of complaints they had received, Talley said. The investigation began earlier this fall.

In a written response to questions, a Fortune spokeswoman, Brittney Mills, said the company would not comment about ongoing investigations. But in interviews, court documents and news reports, company officials and members have repeatedly disputed charges that Fortune is a pyramid scheme …


Brad November 4, 2010 at 3:31 pm Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

I am so sick and tired of the constant negativity spread on the internet, and irregardless of anything good that happens or good news, the only thing that ever gets written about on the internet is negative trash! I’m going to tell each and every one of you something that i highly suggest you not forget, the reason the country is in the mess it is in today, is the scam that every school, college, and mainstream media teaches. Go to school get in debt, get a job, buy a house to get in more debt, work for 40 years, be completely enslaved, and retire at 70 maybe, and hope to be able to live on 40% of that income.
Think about who has profited from those teachings? It is NOT an accident that that has been put into place, our entire education system was built by the elite 1% to enslave the middle class. Make us into good worker bees. The sad truth is we have all completely bought into this nonsense. And it’s dishonest to do anything besides that. This is why Direct Sales companies that use a Multi level compensation plan are always under so much scrutiny from the government. It’s because when you give the average person the power to go out and build something like this for themselves, it bucks the system, if enough of us go out and become financially independent, the whole system is turned completely upside down!
Let me ask those of you that have a job, why do you stay at your job?
I’m guessing your answer is to pay the bills…
Why do you have so many bills?
Because you are enslaved to debt,
And it’s the enslavement to debt that chains us to our jobs, and as long as that system goes, we are all the perfect little worker bees.
Also this world, has turned into an evil and negative place, where the only thing that gets any ratings or attention is something negative about someone else! And those that want something for nothing, and are willing to lie, and spread negativity to get it, are often the ones that get the best media attention.
Enough rambling, on to answering your question. You have to understand FHTM’s distribution model theory to understand why the pay structure has been put together the way it is. (( Just as a side note, i just read that the only posts that are allowed are constructive ones about MLM, Joseph Isaacs post, was filled with subjective opinions and frankly insulting comments about FHTM leaders and representatives, and i am OFFENDED!))
FHTM is NOT a cult. You know, i am close friends with many top leaders at FHTM, and they are some of the BEST christian people on the planet, and it’s a true shame to see people try to bring that down! It just reminds me why i want to distance myself from so many people out there in the world!
But back to FHTM’s comp plan, the idea behind our model, is simple, yes it very much about creating distribution points. But there is nothing illegal about that, if you understand how the company pays out it only pays upfront money for customers gathered, and if you have a head on your shoulders you would realize that the more distributors you have moving product the more product will be moved. It is no secret in Network Marketing, that a fairly high percentage of customers gathered by reps, are gathered from those that know and trust them, not from selling stuff on a street corner. That’s what word of mouth, referral based business is all about. Referring to those you know and trust.
So just by default, wouldn’t it make the most sense to have 1000 people selling 10 customers rather than relying on 10 people selling to a 1000 customers? It has to be attainable, and workable. and most people can’t gather hundreds of customers, it’s just not likely to happen, have you ever heard of ” i’d rather have 1% effort of 100 people than 100% effort of 1?
So the reason that there’s a huge payout for building the network of customers on the front end is to build that base as large as possible, the larger our distributor base the more powerful it is at bringing customers to the companies we represent. So you build a distributor base of 1 million or 5 or 10 million strong, what happens when a deal is negotiated for a new service or product? FHTM’s leverage in that situation will be strong enough to demand the highest pay per customer possible. It’s just simple economics!
And 2 more things. 1 Our residuals in our pay plan have been increased between 200% and 800% across the board with pay raises that have happened in the past 6 months, paul orberson, who is truly a giving christian man, has give IRs 34 payraises in 9 1/2 years. That doesn’t sound very selfish to me!
The other is, that is a FALSE statement that we have no relationship with any of the companies partnered with, Top Dish execs , in fact the #3 guy at dish spefically told me that we have a strong relationship with dish, and we are their #! customer gatherer. And i listened to a senior VP of dupont speak about our relationship with DuPont, and how they chased our company around for 17months to be on the menu screen .
Come on guys, stop with the lies about FHTM. It’s just not morally right or necessary.

I’m writing this last portion to whoever it is that reviews these messages and decided whether or not they are allowed to be posted. 1, i understand if you don’t want to post my message, i am obviously very pro FHTM. but 2, please remove Joseph Isaacs message, it is NOT factual and frankly is full of lies. If you guys truly want constructive things on your site written about this industry, don’t keep up information that is incorrect, and so full of slander. It’s so unprofessional. And i hope you are better than that! BY THE WAY. Joseph Isaacs is in a lawsuit with fortune, and is a crook! He has gone after 5 other companies, he is the classic case of wanting something for nothing! Please Remove! In fact when Paul Orberson didn’t do a business deal with Joe Isaacs, he promised Paul that he would single handedly bring down FHTM. How is that fair or constructive. Please visit this site


Luis Valesquez November 13, 2010 at 7:33 am Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

The last message is so full of inconsistencies.

1. FHTM is NOT licensed or approved to do business anywhere in the USA. No state or AG has ever approved the FHTM marketing plan – they simply never do that anyway.
2. FHTM has no “direct partnerships” with any of the companies they represent. They do have a distant relationship with them as am affiliate of a 3rd party marketing company.
3. Nobody from DuPont ever chased FHTM to do business. It is the other way around. Dish attorneys wrote in a letter to Montana that they ARE NOT partnered with FHTM. I guess their general counsel lied too…..hahaha
4. Stop telling everyone how lazy they are if they dont succeed in FHTM. The business model is designed for the top 1% and that’s it.
5. The NSM’s all know that most of the money is earned from recruiting and not product sales.

Just like Amway had to change their business practices after a class-action lawsuit was filed in 2007 – FHTM has done the same but not enough. If Fortune was so legal up until 2010 then why have they changed their model, policies and procedures, etc. 3 times just this year?

The pro FHTM guys hate fail to see the truth because it is the only hope for them to make money. Others who have seen the light realize that FHTM is not their savior.

I have read the class action (which Mr. Isaacs is NOT part of) and it is valid in everything it states. Guess we will all have to wait and see what the judge thinks in the next few months. If that case is certified as a class action, I can guarantee you that FHTM will run to the table with their proverbial checkbook in hand and do everything they can to settle so they don’t have to admit guilt and can continue to pass on the false statements to the newbies that continue to feed their cash cow,


Byron October 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

It is my understanding that the difference between a Legitimate MLM and a Pyramid Scheme is the Value that is returned to the participant (rep), as it is related to the Cost to get involved. Therefore, being that FHTM gives it’s reps the opportunity to receive a commission on practically everything that they already use (cell phone, television, internet, nuitritional products, travel, etc…), and allows them to save money & make a percentage back on the products that they have been purchasing for years, from the same places they have been shopping for years… There is obviously value in that… Correct?

So I do not understand where the Pyramid questions are coming from… Someone please explain? FHTM offers the same features and benifits as ACN & 5Linx, plus a more advanced savings and refund percentage than Protect America… I dont understand why those companies are not in question, and they charge more to be a rep than FHTM does…

Someone please explain???


Boogie Bob September 3, 2010 at 11:36 am Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

CLASS ACTION RICO lawsuit filed against FHTM, Paul Orberson, its officers and directors as well as all of their National Sales Managers. What a shock this is!!


Joseph Isaacs May 21, 2010 at 7:17 am Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

WHAS11 news in Lexington just did a 2 part investigative report of FHTM.
Info here:


Joseph Isaacs April 11, 2010 at 6:44 am Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

I am sure many of you have noticed a huge change in the attitude that is here on Fortune Social in the past few weeks. It appears as if all of the NSM’s and Paul Orberson are trying diligently to hide the real truth from everyone about the real structure of the business as well as how and who really makes money.

When Fortune Social was originally conceived it was to be an umbrella for everything positive about FHTM. God only knows there was enough negativity in Google and the other search engines. Our primary objective was to help everyone build a profitable FHTM business. There is so much negativity in the search engines from the latest state actions that it will take years and a team of 1000’s to combat this. We refuse to expend the resources, as we are 100% unappreciated by FHTM owners.

The attitude of the administrators of Fortune Social changed when the Montana Securities Commission issued a cease a desist order not only against FHTM, Paul Orberson and Thomas Mills – but also all of the reps and managers in Montana and specifically Mike Misenheimer. When this happened, FHTM feverishly tried to sweep it under the carpet and merely asked all Montana reps to temporarily stop doing business there. We could not! I personally don’t intend to make Paul any wealthier at the expense of my family. I am also sick in tired of hearing that we are pissed because we FAILED. That is so far from the truth as you can get.

What happened to the dreams and financial freedom of all of those 1,600 somewhat reps that counted on Misenheimer and Orberson to eliminate their jobs and become debt free? Seems to me like all of those dreams have been crushed and all of those reps are forbidden from engaging in any FHTM business. Do they still get their residuals or have they been hung out to dry?

Our staff immediately began an in depth investigation into FHTM and discovered so many irregularities from what they tell you to what is reality. I know this is going to piss off so many of the cult like believers in FHTM and Orberson but if you are going to hang your family’s future and financial freedom on this entity – shouldn’t you all know the REAL truth?

First – they DO not have a single direct relationship with any of the products they represent (except the companies Paul owns or controls) *see attached analysis ~

Secondly – NONE of the CEO’s of any of the companies that FHTM represents ever went to Lexington to visit Paul or cut a deal. S0 many times prospects hear the phrase, “If GE, Verizon and DuPont can align with us – we must not be an illegal pyramid scheme – we must be real”. THIS IS SO BOGUS! Those companies are not DIRECTLY aligned with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing and most have never heard of FHTM

Thirdly – Paul did not come out of retirement to help anyone other than himself. The pay plan is top heavy and if you read below you might understand why so many Stat Attorney Generals are going after FHTM with both barrels loaded for bear. Our research indicates that Montana was a cease and desist for not only FHTM but its officers and managers. What happens when they decide to issue a financial penalty against all of the ESM’s or NSM’s who purported this Fraud against Montanans’? Who pays this? I guarantee it won’t be Orberson!

Additionally other states have FHTM in their radar and are investigating them for the same things. Unfortunately, like addicts, most of the NSM’s are in total denial. They have to be or their business would disintegrate tomorrow. Have they created a huge nest egg from all of the revenues, or spent it on their new found lavish lifestyle?

There is a fine line between illegal scam and a real network marketing company. All of the administrators of Fortune Social are very pro legal network marketing – but we cannot seem to find any real data that supports the fact that Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing is NOT a scam and illegal!

Open your eyes folks. So many of you around the US and Canada got into the FHTM business to build a future for your families and get away from the JOB. The administrators of Fortune Social understand that more than most as they have been entrepreneurs and self sufficient for over 30 years. We hate to see so many hang their hats on a system that benefits 100 or so people and 99% of the rest invest, suffer, quit or get shut down.

Fortune Social will be adding some new tools over the summer and will try and keep all of its users fully informed as to the latest legal woes of the company so many refuse to quit. Just remember – when you get named in a state cease and desist or lawsuit – YOU ARE OUT OF BUSINESS IMMEDIATELY AND ALL REVENUES STOP! Additionally it may cost you more to defend the fines than you ever made.

It is also inconceivable that Fortune Hi-Tech management would even begin to blame fortune social and its creators for the issues they have in Montana and other jurisdictions around the country. We stopped drinking the kool-aid when we realized that fortune is nothing more than a recruiting machine. You make killer money as an RSM if you recruit-recruit-recruit. The residuals are a JOKE!



If you are still not convinced that this is not a legitimate business, the North Dakota attorney general issued a cease and desist order against FHTM in December (it has since been lifted).

How to Identify a Product-Based Pyramid Scheme (“Recruiting MLM”)

© 2003, Jon M. Taylor, PhD

Multilevel companies that are based on profits from recruiting rather than retailing should be regarded as pyramid schemes or “recruiting MLMs.” This article describes five ways to distinguish them from “retail MLMs” in which the company pays generously for retailing products without recruiting a large downline. “Recruiting MLMs” typically display five features:

1. Recruiting of participants is unlimited in an endless chain of recruiters recruiting recruiters.

Ask whether unlimited recruiting is allowed. When a given market is saturated, and the program must move on to another location or introduce new products or divisions to continue, the opportunity for each new person to make money becomes less and less as the programs expands.

2. Advancement in a hierarchy of multiple levels of “distributors” is achieved by recruitment, rather than by appointment.

Ask whether participating “distributors” advance their position (and potential income) in a hierarchy of multiple levels of “distributors” by recruiting other “distributors” who in turn advance by recruiting distributors under them, etc.? If so, the result is self-appointment through recruitment to ascending payout levels in the distributor hierarchy. If the only way a person can profit significantly in the scheme is through recruiting to advance to higher payout levels (or to buy another’s downline), this strongly indicates a pyramid scheme.

3.”Pay to play” requirements are satisfied by ongoing “incentivized purchases.”

These are purchases of goods and services that are required to participate in commissions or to ascend in the distributor hierarchy. If they are required to participate in the “business opportunity,” then whether they are used, sold, given away, or stored is irrelevant. They should be considered a cost of doing business.

Ask whether prospective “distributors” are encouraged to make sizable investments (“front loading”) in “incentivized purchases” in order to take advantage of the “business opportunity” and later to continue qualifying for advancement or higher payout in overrides (commissions and bonuses). This practice, can result in large losses if the products cannot be resold. Also be wary of plans that require minimum periodic purchases (“pay to play”) to qualify for commissions or advancement. Do not sign up for continuing product purchases on auto-ship through an automatic bank draft or credit card, rather than making occasional purchases as needed. Such purchase requirements may be disguised investments in a product-based pyramid scheme or a clever attempt to disguise pyramid investments as product purchases.

4. The company offers commissions and/or bonuses to more than five levels of “distributors.”

Ask whether the company pay overrides to distributors in a hierarchy of more levels than are functionally justifiable. Even in major corporations, the entire world marketplace can be covered in five levels of sales management ­- branch, district, regional, national, and international sales managers. Paying commissions and bonuses on more than five levels in an MLM program primarily enriches those at the top at the expense of those at the bottom. You would be wise to avoid any program that pays overrides on more than five levels. Breakaway compensation systems are particularly exploitive, as payments are on a hierarchy of “breakaway” organizations of whole groups of participants, not just individuals — creating an extraordinarily high loss rate, except for those at the top of a “mega-pyramid of pyramids.”

5. Company payout per sale for each upline participant equals or exceeds that for the person selling the product, creating inadequate incentive to retail and excessive incentive to recruit — and an extreme concentration of income at the top.

Ask whether a “distributor” purchasing products “for resale” would receive about the same total payout (in commissions, bonuses, etc.) from the MLM company as participants several levels above who had nothing to do with the sale. If so, the company’s payments to the person retailing the product would be pitifully small, while those at the top of the upline can compound the small commission per sale by the sales of hundreds or even thousands of downline distributors. This is great for the upline leaders but lousy for those attempting retail sales. Avoid any MLM company that pays less than half of all distributor payout to the person actually selling the products to outside customers.

Never accept income projections of retail sales at full retail prices, especially for products that are overpriced and not competitive in the marketplace. Also be wary if you are asked to choose between two options or “tracks” — one for those who want to “retail” the products and another track for those who are serious about “building the business.” This sales pitch usually indicates that the incentives are heavily weighted towards recruiting

Where valid data are available, recent research has demonstrated that when all five of these red flags are found in an MLM, the percentage of participants who lose money is 99.9% — even worse than the loss rates for typical no-product pyramid schemes and for games of chance in Las Vegas.



louabbott February 1, 2010 at 9:17 pm Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

From Karen Blaisdell, WV, an FHTM rep:

I really enjoy getting your email updates. I’m new to MLM and find it helpful. You posted information a few weeks ago about Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing having issues with attorney general in the state of North Dakota. Just wanted you to know those issues have been resolved. Hopefully you share information like that too.

The website is: with the statement from FHTM.

Thanks so much!


Leave a Comment

Thoughtful and constructive comments that benefit network marketing professionals and the industry will be accepted and published after review.
We will not publish rude or insulting comments, plugs for your company or product, or generally non-helpful or self-promoting content.

Previous post:

Next post: