In this post I not only share the latest moves by IRTA to cover up their deception with the shonky Bartercard deal, I also talk about how I get to the bottom of deception and how I divine truth. I explain how I deal with the various criticisms – personally and strategically. Hopefully it will help people understand the unique circumstances that have come together to create a blogging force able to reveal the corruption and nepotism that exists within the IRTAcard complex.
IRTA lives in a dreamland to some extent but they will now be in damage control mode with their lawyer Steinbrenner intimately involved on multiple fronts and the first signs of the cover-up underway. I find it ‘kinda cute’ that people in power are now worried enough about exposure to change their conduct as a blogger just blogs away, day after day! It’s actually a bit like the power to the head stuff that Tyler ranted on about a while back!
In some ways sitting in Samoa at the moment and blogging about IRTA and Bartercard is a little like whacking moles . Something crazy pops its head up and I whack it!
The tipline is of course the only thing that keeps me going. When or if the industry, UC or IRTA Members stop caring and turn off their information and support, I’ll be pretty much out of business* in this investigation stage. But they don’t so I keep getting the information that I need to make good calls.
Some of my sources want to remain confidential – that’s OK. I respect that because it’s only the right thing to do AND we all know that there are people out there who play dirty. Politics are alive and well up there in IRTAcard-land. Others however are very happy to put their names to their information sharing. I’m ready to bring them into any court hearings in the future but for the moment I don’t share their details so as not to bring them into any unnecessary trauma.
Getting to the bottom of a messy situation like the IRTA/Bartercard relationship is not just a single piece of investigation, nor does it rely on any one piece of information. It’s more like peeling back onion-skins as a hint of deception turns into a bigger unanswered question and then into an unanswerable question. I generally just ‘go-with-the-flow’ and ask questions as things come up, rather than scheme a way to get a message out there and chase leads to prove a point, or score a point, or achieve a specific goal.
To give you an idea of how this works in practice, I’ll use just one subject – that of the fraud within UC. While there are minor details missed out in this explanation, the essence of things went like this:
- I picked up on a thread in a LinkedIn forum where a UC Member alluded to the possibility of hidden information in UC
- I asked questions and got a copy of the raw data
- I asked other UC Members for other copies of data including graphs and so on for verification and they all pretty much aligned (except for a bit of minor trading in between the times of the different data sets)
- I found a serious imbalance in the accounts which indicated visible deception of around $200k
- I analysed the data (about 2 days working pretty much fulltime) and then
- I blogged about it, highlighting eight or so areas of concern
From that exercise I had a truckload of questions, some clearly unanswerable as things were hidden from the members.
I then went out to the people who had previously contacted me to discuss my findings and just asked basic questions about what they knew, could remember and so on. Some like Richard Logie knew the industry really well and helped me put things into perspective. Others knew certain things about other members and their skulduggery in the past. Some knew some of the Board members but not others. Some had confidential data that they couldn’t release. Others had confidential data that they DID choose to release. It is a big smorgasbord of information, ideas and thoughts that answers some questions but
Sometimes I prewrite a story knowing that I’ve got the gist of it right but I am awaiting actual confirmation before I can let it go. Other times I write pretty much on the go as information comes in. I have to be mindful of the fact that most people don’t read a lot online and that not everybody wants the same ‘stuff’ – some are in for the gory details, others want the deeper thoughts, others just want to be kept up with the play, others are only in to find a way through the mess, others of course monitor what I say daily so that they can protect their arses!
Dealing with Opposition
Not everybody appreciates what I do. Some pick holes in my words and lift what they want for their own agendas. Some come out and say it straight that I’m a liar. Others write me off when they don’t like something I say then come back in when I touch one of their hot buttons. Others take it personally and some even to ridiculous extremes like claiming that I’m a ex-jilted homosexual lover and so on. Some of it hurts, like when people who play the player and not the ball mouth-off about me being a Holocaust Denier to the Jewish barter exchange owners or twisting reality to claim that I have ulterior motives, for whatever reason it doesn’t matter.
I listen to everyone. I try to take it all in and then in a calm, reasoned manner I respond professionally. People who think that they can attack me and get away with it generally live to regret it. Annette Riggs got IRTA into a defamation lawsuit as a result of her peanut-brain and big mouth. Anyone could see that I had the data and had set myself up as a truthseeker with the Ormita fraud investigation. She didn’t even know where to find the data I was given in her own system when she attacked me online, FFS!
I say to everyone time and again that I’m only one month into an 18 month project and the truth has no need for violence, nor is it in a hurry! People can vent and mouth off at the drop of a hat but eventually as long as I keep on at it, my opposition will have to face the facts. They can try to hide things too but that doesn’t always work as in the case of the recent Bartercard cover-up.
The Bartercard Cover-Up
I asked a few of my informants to tip me off if they saw anything suspicious happening in the UC accounts. Things like IRTA Board Members account balances changing, new accounts, deleted accounts, large transactions, any changes that may indicate skulduggery . . . and you know the $200k that was missing on the accounts? The key indicator that deception was occuring within UC’s accounts?
Well, guess what?
It has miraculously reduced! Sometime in the last few days, someone, most likely Ron Whitney has undeleted or restored one missing account. (There’s actually one new account too BTW and what is visibl eot the members is only the tip of the iceberg).
Oh the power of blogging to affect meaningful change! Please keep going Ron and unhide all the secret accounts!
So who was that entity that they hid a balance for coincidentally just at the very time that BPS Technology was doing their IPO?
You guessed it . . . Bartercard!
OMG!! These guys are soooo stupid! Talk about legal exposure! When the UC Members decide to take legal action over this conspiracy to defraud, the Executive will be T-O-A-S-T!
IRTAcard, while I blogged about it as a joke at the time, is looking more and more like the real thing!
So I did some more digging into what this account is or was, the one that was so important that someone risked jailtime to hide . . . it’s called the “BC/USA Recovery Program Account” which lined up with what I remembered from way back when. I asked a few people in the know what that account is likely to be. It took a while but I think I found pay-dirt when someone suggested that it could be the account that Bartercard used to repay the industry members in the USA after their Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Announced with great fanfare as a deal to restore the integrity of Bartercard in the USA market, this sorry saga of a cynical joke raises heaps more questions for me, something that I was pretty sure about but now had another piece of evidence on – UC Members were funding Bartercard’s bailout! The debt is still there to the tune of only $-52,693.75. Juding by the conduct of these critters thus far, I believe that Bartercard probably never paid out a cent! You can tell that by looking at the graph (above) which is the visuals for the last 18 months balance. Flat-lining. NO SALES!!! So what these guys are doing is colluding to put out fluffy stories that are half true, then robbing some UC Members to pay others without coughing up a penny themselves. IRTA’s Executive seems to be bewitched and is right in on the dirty stuff as far as I can see!
Listen here to IRTA’s President Annette Riggs spouting off in this cynical con-job:
IRTA’s President, Annette Riggs notes, “This is a remarkable program that is rarely seen in the business world, where the owners of the new Bartercard International Group have stepped-up and agreed to address past issues of the previous licensee even though they have no legal obligation whatsoever to do so. IRTA applauds Bartercard for their noble actions with the BCUSA Program and we are delighted that IRTA could play such a critical role in making it all happen.”
Now my understanding also is that Bartercard went belly-up to the tune of many MILLIONS. The tipline has told me that this debt resulted from only a 20% installment some 18 months ago, thus not only have Universal Currency Members have funded this PR fabrication, there is a contingent liability on the UC currency for the remaining 80%!!!! Remember this . . . according to the above graph (which is clearly flatlining) Bartercard has not paid one cent in repayment. This makes amockery of Trevor Dietz’s words:
BIG’s Chief Operating Officer, Trevor Dietz added, “As the new owners now in control of the Bartercard International Group, we felt it was important to show good faith to those who trusted the Bartercard name. We are very proud of our business and we are driven by our business values. We felt strongly that this was something that needed to be done not just for us but for the message it sends to the whole industry. We are strongly supportive of IRTA and we thank them for responding to this initiative in such a positive and creative way.
OMG!! This is all such a rabbit-warren of deception the more you get into it. Paul Bolte . . . my eyes are now firmly on you and your conduct [past, present and future] up there in IRTAcard-land. This is looking like a very messy relationship with “Deception” and “Self-interest” written ALL OVER it!
A cover-up of Bartercard’s US settlement account, right during the period of their IPO, that indicates only a partial settlement with no repayments ever, then revealed oinly after seeking legal advice in the face of a ‘prickly rooster’ of a blogger on the other side of the world . . . not good!
VERY NOT GOOD!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this whole sorry saga is that THERE IS ALWAYS MORE with the corruption at IRTA!
ALWAYS! I’d wager a lot that the audit that GETS did before threatening to disable their system will find a bunch more skulduggery along the same or similar lines.
I will of course update my blog as more information comes in via the tipline. I look forward to the day that IRTA Members wake up, speak to their Board Members, ask for copies of the Board Meetings (they are entitled to them BTW**) and start exposing the extent of the corruption for what it really is . . . SERIOUS. I’ll be sharing a lot more about the whole Bartercard, IRTAcard thing as the information comes in.
* That’s just a phrase of course because I don’t run a commercial blog
** IRTA Board Meeting minutes are dealt with in the IRTA consitution http://www.irta.com/index.php/member-directory:
Section 14. Duties of the Secretary
“The Secretary of the ASSOCIATION shall be responsible for the proper and legal mailing of notices to members. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping proper minutes of the meetings of the ASSOCIATION, and for filing minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors and all committees. He shall also see that accurate records are kept of all members. All books and records of the ASSOCIATION shall be kept at the principal office of the ASSOCIATION and may be inspected by any member or his attorney”
The Barter Series
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