Prepaid Legal Exposed:
Let me preface this document by stating that this writing serves to expose only one particular aspect of, and one particular “hierarchy” of, people within the Prepaid Legal Services organization. This “Expose” should not be used to formulate an overall opinion of what Prepaid Legal Service’s business practices or standards actually are, but rather it should be used to take a closer look at some of the conduct that is currently taking place within the ranks of “Independent Marketing Organizations” within Prepaid Legal Services. In this document no judgment is being made with regard to the actual product value or the actual legal services that Prepaid Legal Services offers to consumers, but rather it questions the amount of supervision, oversight and regulatory compliance that this company maintains with regard to their “Independent Field Associates.”
While I must admit that this author shares and supports many of the views publically stated by the Fraud Discovery Institute and other credible critics of Prepaid Legal Services, I wish to limit the scope of my discussion and “Expose” to one specific marketing group within the Prepaid Legal Services organization. This group in question is a “down line affiliate” of one of the main Prepaid Legal Services marketing hierarchies known as “Team Pinnacle.” Team Pinnacle appears to be one of the largest and most successful “Independent Marketing Organizations” within Prepaid Legal Services as a whole. It is my understanding that a gentleman, (who is very successful I might add), named Brian Caruthers, is the one currently responsible for Team Pinnacle’s overall success. I by no means wish to attack, detract from, or question, the professional accomplishments of this individual; I simply wish to question and understand why he would allow several highly questionable “Independent Field Associates” to function and enjoy major recognition throughout the Team Pinnacle and Prepaid Legal Services organization. I additionally wish to stress that I personally have never met Mr. Caruthers, nor do I have any specific opinion regarding him as a businessman or person beyond what I have read. In fact, based upon such reading and research, it would appear to me that he is clearly a person deserving of the respect and recognition that he has received within the business community. I would certainly hope for his sake, that such admirable accomplishments are not diminished by the conduct of those referenced in this article.
Notwithstanding, I would still ask the following questions in light of the fact that more than one of his senior managers, as well as other individuals well positioned within the Team Pinnacle management structure, have repeatedly been made aware of the egregious and unlawful business conduct and background of several people operating as a part of Team Pinnacle in California. It would additionally be my understanding that the specific people in question are a part of even another smaller “sub hierarchy” within Team Pinnacle. This smaller “Independent Marketing Organization” is known as “Team Synergy” or “The Worksite Group, ” located in Granite Bay California. It would appear that both “Team Synergy” and “The Worksite Group” are owned and operated by a gentleman named Steve Houston of Granite Bay California. To date, I have been unable to locate any records through the Secretary of State, California Department of Corporations, or the Placer County Clerk’s office, indicating who and what these two business entities actually are, or who is actually behind either business entity from an ownership standpoint.
While I personally find Mr. Houston to be a most charming and knowledgeable sales and business person, I am frankly at a complete loss as to why he would allow people like Henry W. Enns, Grace Enns, Nicole Enns and Duane Enns to work directly for what we believe to be Mr. Steve Houston’s business entities, Team Synergy and The Worksite Group. Even more troubling is the fact that Mr. Steve Houston and his close business associate, Ms. Angela Najjar, seem to actually idolize, support, condone, tout and respect the highly questionable business conduct of the Henry W. Enns family members promoting Prepaid Legal Services. I have spent a good deal of time personally watching and listening to both Mr. Houston and Ms. Najjar, in the course of them promoting their Prepaid Legal Services agenda. Clearly, both individuals are bright, talented and motivated people; trying to promote something that they personally believe in. Yet, even when presented with overwhelming and irrefutable evidence regarding the recent and ongoing unethical, egregious and unlawful business conduct of several members of the Henry Enns family, both Mr. Houston and Ms. Najjar appear to look the other way, rather than confronting and addressing the allegations facing their new found business associates. Then again, I’m sure that in tough economic times, many people would rather look the other way when long standing sales records begin to fall, even if those records are the direct result of the unethical business conduct of people like Henry Enns and his family. After all, everyone knows that it’s not how the sale was made, but rather it’s the fact that the sale was made!
Let me elaborate further on the business conduct that greatly concerns me. Once again, Prepaid Legal Services essentially sells “legal insurance.” In most states they don’t call it “insurance, ” but that’s really what it is. They sell several different forms of this “legal insurance, ” depending upon a consumer’s needs and budget. After marketing their “standard” legal plans for nearly thirty years, Prepaid Legal Services has recently jumped into the rapidly growing Identity Theft Protection marketplace. We all have seen those ads for Lifelock, Equifax, Truecreditreport.com, etc., etc., etc. In fact, if we believe what we read and hear on television, by 2012 each of us will likely have a dozen or so people, running around the country sporting our name, social security number and medical history; all trying to use our identity to buy $80, 000.00 motor homes or new homes. Well, not to worry; Prepaid Legal Services has come to the American consumer’s rescue with a new “Identity Theft” product. Just like their long established and more traditional “Life Events” legal insurance plans, they have packaged all of the whistles, buzzers and bells needed to protect us from those identity theft criminals lurking in the shadows of cyberspace, or even in our own banks or doctor’s offices.
Granted, identity theft is a real problem, and I truly don’t mean to diminish the valid threat that is actually out there. However, I do not want my personal identity, financial and medical information, placed in the hands of a group of unprofessional multi level marketers, like those who represent Prepaid Legal Services. Specifically I reference people representing Prepaid Legal Services who have the business ethics similar to those of Henry Enns, Grace Enns, Nicole Enns and Duane Enns. Prepaid Legal Services is clearly a multi level marketing company, and multi level marketing companies will essentially recruit anyone and everyone who will sign up for their program. Most new recruits also seem to have the misguided underlying belief, that this “business opportunity” is their one and only “E-ticket” to ultimate financial freedom.
America as a nation, has drafted and enacted multiple Titles and Codes dealing with our privacy, not to mention the protection of our personal records and information; heck my own wife can’t even get my personal medical records under our Federal HIPAA regulations, even if I’m dying in the hospital. Presently, we are sending record numbers of white collar criminals to prison for “Mortgage Fraud.” Most of the “Mortgage Fraud” revolves around the theft of people’s financial data or the manipulation of that data in order to secure loans that normally would be unattainable without submitting the fraudulent loan documents. Clearly, it is a problem.
Now, let’s think about what I just stated in the above paragraph for a brief moment. If we do, we might then realize that our confidential personal information is essentially the gateway to identity theft and various forms of financial fraud. If my above assumption is accurate, as I and others in the legal and law enforcement community believes that it is, why on earth would you want to entrust the security of your financial, medical, tax and other sensitive personal information; to a company that essentially hires or recruits anyone and everyone they can? Once again, Prepaid Legal Services is a multi level marketing organization just like Amway, Herbalife, NSA and others; they have been built on RECRUITING NEW ASSOCIATES, day after day, after day. That person selling you your very own “identity theft plan, ” may have just been recruited by someone in the local coffee shop the night before, or even at the local AA meeting. Perhaps they are a pillar of the community, or perhaps they are next week’s main character on America’s Most Wanted. My point being is that there is virtually NO oversight at Prepaid Legal Services with regard to who is marketing their data sensitive products, and even more specifically their identity theft products.
Even more alarming is the fact that these sales associates are trained to go into YOUR business, set up a group meeting with YOUR employees and then “educate” them on how to avoid identity theft in the workplace. Oddly enough, after holding such an “educational” session for YOUR Company, Prepaid Legal Services will then do their best to sell their products and services to YOUR employees at YOUR “educational” meeting. Now let’s face the fact, everyone is selling something to someone. Unfortunately, Prepaid Legal Services doesn’t stop at just “selling” YOUR EMPLOYEES; they also then want a list of YOUR vendors, YOUR clients and other “referrals.” Not only are they going to contact them about their products, they are going to try and recruit them to leave YOUR firm and go to work for Prepaid Legal Services.
Many of you might be thinking that I have ended up going WAY off topic; please just give me a moment in order to bring this back full circle to where it began. Now, remember earlier I discussed Team Pinnacle, Team Synergy, The Worksite Group, Steve Houston, Angela Najjar and the Henry W. Enns family? Well here is a current situation; a situation that I believe bears further scrutiny on behalf of Prepaid Legal and federal regulators. On May 2, 2009, Mr. Henry W. Enns tendered his resignation as President and Chief Executive Officer of Resource One Financial Group, LLC. Here is that company’s web link for anyone interested in gaining a little more insight into where I am going with this discussion: http://www.resourceonefinancialgroup.prowebstore.com/creditors.html
Clearly, if you take just a few moments to read the information on that web link, you might be left with some concerns regarding just what Mr. Henry W. Enns is actually all about. Now, I must admit that I know from several years of experience working with Mr. Enns, exactly what he and his family members, Grace Enns, Nicole Enns and Duane Enns are all about. You see, I was the Chief Legal & Compliance Officer for that company, as well as a major shareholder of the company for over ten years. Sadly, I watched Mr. Henry Enns and his spouse, Grace Enns; destroy a small, profitable, private company; that was the financial foundation for a number of good, hard working California families for quite a number of years.
Mr. Enns and his family were approached by members of Prepaid Legal Services, (Mr. Steve Houston’s team), in early 2009. In fact, it was members of Team Synergy and The Worksite Group, that “worked their magic” on the Henry W. Enns family. Within just a couple of months from the time that the “Prepaid Legal Opportunity” was presented to Mr. Enns and his family, Henry W. Enns went from being what most people believed to be a “person beyond reproach, ” to a Prepaid Legal Services, multi level marketing cult member. Then Mr. Enns, over a two or three month period beginning in early 2009, sold out his very soul, reputation, integrity, family and their future, for the “Prepaid Legal Business Opportunity.” In particular, the opportunity touted by Team Pinnacle, Team Synergy and The Worksite Group. Had Mr. Enns simply left his prior firm for a “new opportunity, ” I wouldn’t be writing this “Expose” and you wouldn’t be reading it. Instead, Mr. Enns left his old firm in financial devastation and himself in a position that now finds him as a defendant in several major lawsuits from former clients and associates. Those legal actions are asking for several million dollars in damages as a result of his egregious conduct and actions.
Let me elaborate even further on this point. Prior to Mr. Enns leaving his former firm, of which he was a partner and partial owner, he moved his 40 year old son and similar aged daughter in law, down to Folsom California from Canada. I won’t disclose all of the details prompting that move, nor will I discuss the emotional and financial status of his family prior to their move stateside, but I will state that this was a family with serious personal and financial issues. Rather than his son and daughter in law pursuing work in their respective fields of expertise, Henry Enns helped direct their efforts to Prepaid Legal Services and in particular, Team Synergy and The Worksite Group. What transpired from there has severely impacted and damaged the lives of multiple other innocent people and their families.
Mr. Enn’s actions and the business tactics that he has utilized in his effort to separate himself from his prior professional position and business commitments, all for the “Prepaid Legal Business Opportunity, ” have left the following business, financial and personal devastation in his wake:
1. His prior company can no longer honor their financial obligations to clients and creditors and therefore the company has failed. It didn’t fail because of losing Mr. Enns or his alleged talent, (or lack thereof); but rather the fact that prior to his departure to Prepaid Legal Services, Mr. Enns converted around 50 lucrative business contracts from his former company, into his own personal name and for his own personal benefit. This was done so he and other Enns family members would have a very substantial income and adequate venture capital to utilize while “building” their new Prepaid Legal Services dynasty. Presently, he is being legally pursued by creditors, former investors, clients and former business partners, in an effort to regain control of the assets and contracts that he has embezzled and stolen from his former company, clients and associates.
2. His former staff, partners and business associates have now lost their health insurance and cannot convert to Federal COBRA coverage because the group plan terminated due to the company’s failure. Mr. Enns made sure that he and his wife had health insurance coverage through another source before leaving. His son and his family are Canadian citizens and therefore entitled to free health care through Canada’s national health plan. As long as the Enns clan is covered it should be alright, right?
3. One former staff member was in the middle of treatment for advanced cancer and now has no health insurance and is being forced to apply for governmental benefits. Another former business partner and his spouse have other serious medical problems and now have no health coverage. The spouse of his former partner just had extensive back surgery in October of 2008 and will now be without any coverage as of September 1, 2009 and still needs more follow up care. Another former partner who has also lost health coverage has major seizure disorders and has been hospitalized repeatedly during the past year for care. Mr. Enns and family clearly could care less about how his actions impacted these innocent people. Even worse, Team Synergy, The Worksite Group and Prepaid Legal Services simply ignore the reality of what was done by the Enns family to other innocent people.
4. One key manager is now left with her home in foreclosure due to her job loss and Enn’s failure to allow the release of her prior company contracts in order to pursue other business opportunities so she can support herself. He seems to want to make her “pay a dear price” for not following him over to Prepaid Legal Services. She breaks down into tears almost daily and will be moving in with her daughter soon, left with no other choices thanks to Henry Enns.
5. Mr. Enns former firm is now being sued for several million dollars due to the fact that Henry Enns took what income was left coming into the company and converted it over to funding his new Prepaid Legal Services venture. Enns and his family also took the former company’s client and vendor files and are now using them to solicit new business for Prepaid Legal Services. This conduct is in violation of multiple state and federal laws, yet Prepaid Legal, Team Synergy and The Worksite Group simply look the other way as the Enns crew puts new Prepaid Legal clients on the books and sets new sales records in the process with stolen client and vendor lists.
6. Henry Enns and his family are now the defendants in multiple legal actions as the direct result of their egregious business conduct. One of the clients suing Mr. Enns and his wife, Grace Enns, is an 86 year old widow in Los Angeles, who invested $70, 000.00 in Enn’s former company and with the belief that Enns was trustworthy and would utilize the funds as promised and ultimately repay her note. Now, Enns refuses to pay her anything and hangs up on her daughter when she calls asking for payment arrangements. This poor elderly woman even gave Enns and his company a 30 day extension to pay at least part of what is owed. Enns ignored her attempt to resolve the issue and is now in complete default of this obligation. She is now forced at 86 years old and in failing health to pursue justice through the legal and criminal justice system. Fortunately, California has tough Elder Financial Abuse criminal statutes and Enns will most likely become quite familiar with those laws in the very near future.
7. Another creditor that the Enns family has left in dire straits is a Los Angeles religious charity that contracted Enns and his former company to provide outreach services to disabled veterans. Enns and company gladly took receipt of the $30, 000.00 payment from the LA church group and Enns now refuses to do anything for disabled veterans in return. Not only will Henry Enns not perform the services that he and his former firm contracted for, he refuses to return any part of the $30, 000.00 that was taken under false pretense from the charity. Unbelievably, Enns and his wife have the audacity to fly an American flag in front of their Roseville home after turning their financial backs on our disabled veterans. Clearly a case of affinity fraud, yet Prepaid Legal just looks the other way and supports the entire Enns clan. I am sure that neither the California Attorney General nor Governor will not be ignoring Enn’s conduct regarding our veterans for too long.
What I have outlined above should be quite troubling to most responsible business people and any legitimate company. Unfortunately, Prepaid Legal Services, Team Pinnacle, Team Synergy and The Worksite Group don’t seem to be the least bit concerned about how the Henry W. Enns family conducts business on a regular basis. In fact, in the month of May 2009, Nicole Enns was the number one producer of new Prepaid Legal memberships for Team Pinnacle, Team Synergy and The Worksite Group. Please understand that this woman was an over the road truck driver, (among other equally impressive career paths that she has gone down), and a construction worker prior to her father in law, Henry W. Enns, bringing her to California from Canada. Clearly, the only way she could generate this volume of memberships for Prepaid Legal Services was by utilizing the confidential and federally protected client and vendor lists stolen from her father in law’s prior company Resource One Financial. Can you believe the fact that she is selling a product and service to purportedly protect consumers against “identity theft” from a stolen client and vendor list? Even further beyond belief is the fact that she and her spouse, Duane Enns, holds himself out publically to be “Group Security Specialist” and Prepaid Legal Services allows him to do so, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/duane-enns/11/84a/5a2 . Duane Enns had been a construction worker his entire life until being contracted by Prepaid Legal Services and The Worksite Group.
Now, let me ask everyone reading this “Expose” the following questions:
1. Would you want any member of the Enns family to be given access to your sensitive personal information when purchasing any type of Prepaid Legal Services product or service?
Information such as, name, address, employer, birth date, social security or tax id number, etc., etc.
2. Would you want to even do business with a company like Prepaid Legal Services in light of the fact that they allow people of such poor integrity levels to represent their products and services?
3. If you were the Human Resources Director of any major firm, would you allow someone with such a questionable history to gain employment with your firm?
I doubt seriously that anyone reading this would answer “yes” to any of the above questions. Notwithstanding, Prepaid Legal Services, Team Pinnacle, Team Synergy and The Worksite Group are all very much aware of the prior history and current legal problems of the Henry Enns family. If these are the types of people that Prepaid Legal Services as a whole attracts, supports, condones and allows in their midst, what does that say about the integrity of this company and the validity of their product claims.
When you go online and search the vast number of complaint boards on the internet simply try to “google” Henry W. Enns, or even Prepaid Legal, or specifically try these following links: /link removed/ https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/henry-w-enns-and-family-c222388.html
. There seems to be page after page of complaints about Prepaid Legal Services and their products. After knowing what I now know about Prepaid Legal Services and their relationship with the Henry W. Enns family in Roseville and Folsom California, I would tend to believe that the reports contained at The Fraud Discovery Institute and other similar sites, are most likely quite accurate. Where are the Federal Trade Commission and our other government watchdog groups at the moment, this company needs to be looked at far more closely.
In closing, I simply wish to state the following; I am certain that Prepaid Legal Services has products and services that can bring value and security to people’s lives in the appropriate setting. I am also certain that there are many honest, trustworthy and skilled Prepaid Legal Associates and Independent Marketing Organizations out there. Notwithstanding, any company or organization that would allow people of such questionable moral fiber to represent their firm, particularly in light of such verifiable knowledge of the situation, defies credulity in my mind. I truly invite and look forward to comments and responses.