In this post I give details of the way that for years IRTA has actively covered up the Qoin Con. I take a stab at explaining their likely motives and suggest that IRTA’s Executive (specifically Annette Riggs & Ron Whitney) have to put it politely, serious egg-on-face now that Qoin is in the process of self-destruction and the truth is coming out. I give a history of their misconduct and end with a damning condemnation of the ethics of the organisation’s top leadership concluding that conman Daniel Evans was indeed dead-right when he claimed that they were little more than an old-boys network [and more].
IRTA is an association established for supposedly the professionals in the industry. In the last decade it has done well in some areas but slid badly in others. On Ron Whitney’s watch the organisation has gravitated into an overt club with self-interest (both his personally and the Board’s) over-riding ethical conduct.
One of the primary stresses on the organisation is the huge cash salary that Ron has been extracting for himself, a cost that has basically bankrupted the organisation, and forcing it into raping, pillaging and debasing their Universal Currency. Secondly the industry as a whole has suffered seriously in the last decade with frauds, failures and a general move away from commercial barter. Thirdly and most significantly for the purposes of analysing this cover-up, they have fostered an environment of gross personalisation with as far as I can see it, endemic nepotism. This has turned off the smarter more ethical operators and turned IRTA into more of a sham than it ever has been.
HISTORY OF INVESTIGATIONS
I’ve undertaken several investigations appropriate to IRTA’s involvement:
- Daniel Evan’s Ormita fraud, exposed for what it was in The Ormita Report;
- Bartercard’s dodgy IPO in which IRTA was a major endorser;
- The Bartercard/IRTA deal in which IRTA’s Ron Whitney did a backroom deal [the Board didn’t even know about it] with Bartercard’s Trevor Dietz to promote their (at the time) undeveloped software as the “best in the industry” with IRTA’s exclusive endorsement used by the new iteration BPS Technology;
- IRTA’s handling of Universal Currency in which the Executive Director (Ron Whitney) was receiving performance bonuses illegally on deliberately ‘jacked-up’ figures (bad and ultra-long aged debt) amongst other embarrassing management conduct;
- Tradeqoin, proven to be a fraudulent operation owned and operated by an IRTA Board Member Rob van Hilten; and now
- Qoin. A Dutch foundation operating as a front for the personal enrichment of the two Directors, Rob van Hilten and Edgar Kampers.
When they (IRTA) were outside of my direct focus and attention, IRTA were delighted with my research and the resultant report, for it achieved something that neither they nor the legal team did – ridding the industry of a crook. IRTA in fact couldn’t even FIND Daniel Evans, let alone deal with him, yet I not only found him and tracked him in realtime (he was in South Africa) I managed to close the entire operations down.
IRTA bought The Ormita Report in bulk and distributed them industry-wide. IRTA (quite rightly) waxed lyrical about the quality of my investigative work revealing the intimate details of a very talented conman who had traveled the globe on false pretences. I guess it would be fair to say he terrorised some parts of the industry, including ‘Ronnette’ (Ron and Annette who work so closely especially in defence they can really be viewed as a team).
Interestingly IRTA Board Member, and principal of Tradeqoin Rob van Hilten was one of the few IRTA members outside of the ‘Ronnette’ team who actually went public at the time with a public endorsement of my work in The Netherlands.
This all changed however when ‘Ronnette’ found out that they too were being investigated by the same inquisitive blogger in Samoa. While speaking with informants from the industry over Daniel Evans, I was picking up strong hints that things were not always kosher within the IRTA ranks. The widespread sentiment was that Daniel Evans was indeed right, that IRTA, particularly under ‘Ronnette’s’ leadership was an old-boys network and covered for their cobbers. Knowledge of Bartercard’s MASSIVE trade deficit for example was widespread in the industry yet IRTA accepted them as members; provided them massive special interest-free loans from Universal Currency (still not even repaid and which will inevitably default!); totally covered their spectacular failure in the USA at the expense of other UC Members and later even partnered with them! A whole raft of niggles and complaints made for a pretty sorry reputation.
With my blogging starting to expose examples of this nepotism, corruption, misconduct and things ‘Ronnette’ wanted kept hidden, the blogger who was a gift from heaven suddenly became the blogger from hell. This culminated in a written communication from Ron Whitney to Jacob Musschenga relating to my exposure of Tradeqoin as a fraud, in which the Executive Director of IRTA made very clear “IRTA and Universal Currencies” official position that my blogging lacked credibility . . . i.e. Tradeqoin was NOT a fraud and that I was totally wrong [no reason given of course].
What else could they do? They had taken a stance that Dennis was credible with The Ormita Report and changed it to say that he was not credible when he exposed them. Rob van Hilten was an IRTA Board Member and they couldn’t accept my blogging as credible without exposing a fellow Board Member (and personal friend of ‘Ronnette’ BTW) as a fraudster. They COULDN’T turn on one of their own without admitting that they too had been conned. So they had trapped themselves in their own web of deceit. For those that viewed the facts on my investigative blogging and believed me, it was a slam dunk . . . 6% actual members . . . unrealistic projections . . . Tradeqoin was a clear fraud!
Those with agendas then were exposed. The other IRTA Board members were either in the dark (through total disinterest or self-interest matters not) or they were in on the coverup. This is the way it is with IRTA – politics and power; egos and agendas; integrity and ethics are a mere front. As many in the industry told me at the time, Daniel Evans was right, but they didn’t approve of how he dealt with the matter, and were thus themselves in a quandry. The smart ones, and the good ones, shut up, quietly left IRTA or didn’t join.
The book The Qoin Con and the demise of Qoin that is currently in progress presents ‘Ronnette’ with a further and deepening set of challenges. First the attention of the industry will now turn back onto Rob van Hilten’s IRTA Board Membership. He should never have been appointed in the first place. He did not meet IRTA’s own rules for Directorship – he was simply a self-proclaimed expert in the Complementary Currency space who talked the talk and had done a deal with ‘Ronnette’ with some services rendered in The Netherlands. His sweet-talking got him the appointment, something that gave him perceived credibility to perpetuate the Qoin (and later Tradeqoin) frauds. His commercial trade exchange was established long after his appointment to the IRTA Board and then didn’t meet criteria; broke the rules of honest reporting and was a blatant insult to the intelligence of the industry. I revealed this in extraordinary detail in Q4, 2014.
My revelations that Qoin is going down and particularly my book The Qoin Con will be a hard pill to swallow for IRTA, and particularly ‘Ronnette’. It is though an opportunity to rectify the matter, to evict Rob van Hilten from the IRTA Board and get on with life, one crook less in the IRTA ranks.
THE CHIEF IRTA CRITIC
Putting aside Daniel Evans’ short splurge of aggression. Jacob Musschenga, one of the principals of Dutch Barter company Trade Xchange is arguably IRTA’s most long-standing and vocal critic. He, along with his partner Therecia Venema were involved with the aborted European branch of IRTA and saw firsthand what really happens within the IRTA ranks. Fingers burned and a lot wiser, they pulled out, disillusioned with IRTA, like many, hurt at corruption, politics and skulduggery – their hurt was mainly due to their passion for the industry.
While Therecia has run their operations out the front, Jacob has been active behind the scenes and nothing gets past him in the industry. He is a veritable treasure-trove of barter history and has a stunning recollection of past events and documents, a little similar to what Richard Logie from Scotland has with his [verbal] stories. He has built a reputation as a bulldog and is not widely liked in the industry as a result of years of sniping at the crooks in the industry, particularly the shenanigans at IRTA.
IRTA’s Executive find him a pain in the posterior and view his words and conduct as divisive. He on the other hand nails their hypocrisy and nepotism regularly, sometimes directly engaging with IRTA, sometimes posting his thoughts on online forums. He’s active on Ian Jones’ Think Barter LinkedIn forum and the primary Dutch forum as well. His serious investigations and evidence collection over 5 years on the corruption within Universal Currency for example enabled him to retrieve critical documents to my expose. In contrast, Rob van Hilten’s casual, “Oh, I’ve had a look at it and nothing’s out of order!” is a mockery of decency or fact-finding!
Some of the industry condemnation that Jacob receives is cultural in that the Dutch people often come across as overly assertive (even aggressive); some of it is political and some represents just plain simple self-interest.
Jacob has pinged IRTA for years specifically scrapping with ‘Ronnette’. Apparently, IRTA’s ‘Ronnette’ told Jacob a while back to essentially “bugger off and shut up”, specifically it appears by saying to him:
Unfortunately, those who rely on erroneous information do so at their own risk.
Yesterday I received a CC of an email that Jacob had sent to ‘Ronnette’. It pulls no punches and you can see the level of emotion involved between these people when Jacob hammers them with sarcasm and with glee almost visibly dripping from their own words, Which of course he delights to quote back at them:
Van: Jeroen [mailto:email@example.com]
Verzonden: zaterdag 23 januari 2016 11:35
Onderwerp: Unfortunately, those who rely on erroneous information do so at their own risk.
Ron and Annettte,
You told me: Unfortunately, those who rely on erroneous information do so at their own risk.
God forbid that this information is erroneous…
Jacob L. Musschenga
If there’s one thing that you can be VERY sure of it is that they guy who sent this email, and CC’d me, one Jacob L. Musschenga knows VERY well that everything in my post – everything down to the last little claim or statement of fact – is 100% correct, because if it wasn’t then he would be letting me know about it real pronto!
Jacob will be probably laughing his head off as he thinks of ‘Ronnette’ squirming in their seats, desperate to find ways to spin this now that I’m showing Qoin for what it is and try to wriggle out of their sticky situation of their own making.
That IRTA not only didn’t act in the face of bulk quality evidence on the Tradeqoin revelations, but instead covered it all up with an Ostrich-like response speaks volumes – corruption; nepotism; self-interest; covering for your mates; callous disregard for IRTA’s own rules – call it what you will – ‘Ronnette’ actively covered up the Qoin con.
STOP PRESS! IRTA’s got a credibility problem! [sarcasm]
If the Board of IRTA has any integrity, ‘Ronnette’ should go. Add in a string of other nonsense, some that I’ve blogged about and some that I haven’t, then there is ample justification for their terminations forthwith. Continued status quo, silence and/or trying to bury the matter will simply show the world, yet again, the true nature of the IRTA leadership, a shame for those that care about the industry.
There is one thing I can tell you, there will come a time, probably quite soon, that Rob van Hilten will no longer be on the Board of IRTA, for it will be hard to present yourself as a credible leader of the industry when you are bankrupt, exposed as a conman of the first order and staring at jailtime.
“Ronnette’ will have no choice but to act . . . the timing and circumstances of Rob’s eviction though is their prerogative. My take is that the sooner it happens the better. Of course a man of integrity would tender his resignation so as to make it easy on his mates who scored his appointment and covered for him during the good times. Rob van Hilten though is not one of those kind of people . . . my take . . . the phone lines will already be running hot and behind the scenes he’ll be getting the flick – no matter what the spinmeisters at IRTA eventually come up with!
Oh, and don’t expect any announcement or increased exposure of me or my role in the exposure from the IRTA lot. It will happen quietly, so as not to embarrass ‘Ronnette’, and certainly not give any possibility of credibility to the blogger from
Such is the way of life eh?
It’s hilarious . . . when you know the real score and have the evidence!