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Paul Orberson, Head of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Dies at Age 57

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Paul Orberson, Head of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Dies at Age 57
[ Business]

Paul Orberson, the founder of infamous multi-level marketing company Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM), has died at age 57. According to a report from the Lexington Herald-Leader, Orberson died of kidney cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2003. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Born in 1956, Orberson grew up in Danville, KY and later attended Western Kentucky University on a basketball scholarship. Following college, Orberson began working as a teacher and basketball coach at a Casey County High School, Kentucky School for the Deaf, and Boyle County High School. During that time, Orberson began working with multi-level marketing company Excel Communications, eventually making millions by recruiting new salespeople to work underneath him.

After retiring briefly in 1996, Orberson moved to Lexington, KY and founded FHTM. The business quickly grew and soon became one of the most recognizable multi-level marketing schemes throughout North America.

For a time the company was able to dodge charges of being a pyramid scheme by paying fines in states such as Texas and Montana. In January 2013, however, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the states of Kentucky, Illinois, and North Carolina cracked down on FHTM, with Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway calling it a “classic pyramid scheme.”

The company’s headquarters and warehouse were raided and shut down, and charges were filed against Orberson and other top FHTM executives. The charges included operating an illegal pyramid scheme, making false earnings claims, and providing customers with “false and misleading materials for recruiting more participants.” FHTM is also in the midst of a class-action lawsuit, and is currently negotiating a settlement agreement in that case.

(Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Mreno11)

Paul Orberson, Head of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, Dies at Age 57
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  • Joseph Isaacs

    Paul the crook will be remembered for screwing 100′s of thousands of good people out of 100′s of millions of dollars. The duodenal got what he deserved. Enjoy he’ll paul.

    • kp

      By your comment i can tell you have no idea who Paul is and how good of a person he was. And when someone followed the system they made good money. Most people who didn’t just suck at business and should go work a 9-5. There are a lot of businesses that are less generous and no one has shut them down because of the funds they have to prevent that from happening. Paul was a very generous man and it sucks to see people make false articles and rude comments about him. May he test in peace and you can go …. yourself

      • Jason Shoots

        I started Fortune Hi-tech Marketing. If I had the money before it launched, I would have been in before. But, I believe it was in March of 2001? Friends of mine was good friends with Paul. Gary and Diane Adams.

    • April

      Joseph Isaacs, you are a ruthless individual. Untruthful, arrogant people like yourself should rot in hell. I do believe in Karma!!!

      Paul, you were and will always be remembered as a very giving, caring, respectful man and it was an honor to know you for so many years. Thank you for such wonderful memories. Rest in peace, my friend! :-)

  • kp

    By your comment i can tell you have no idea who Paul is and how good of a person he was. And when someone followed the system they made good money. Most people who didn’t just suck at business and should go work a 9-5. There are a lot of businesses that are less generous and no one has shut them down because of the funds they have to prevent that from happening. Paul was a very generous man and it sucks to see people make false articles and rude comments about him. May he test in peace and you can go …. yourself

  • kp

    By your comment i can tell you have no idea who Paul is and how good of a person he was. And when someone followed the system they made good money. Most people who didn’t just suck at business and should go work a 9-5. There are a lot of businesses that are less generous and no one has shut them down because of the funds they have to prevent that from happening. Paul was a very generous man and it sucks to see people make false articles and rude comments about him. May he test in peace and you can go …. yourself

  • slw

    Anyone who knows you Joseph Isaacs…know you are the scum of the earth. All they have to do is look at your history. Paul was a great man …and I’ll bet you cannot name one person or charity you have helped. Paul was a giver…you are a taker..when God pulls your card you will answer for all you have taken from so many good people. Everyone had the same opportunity with Paul’s company..you show your true colors…you can’t even let him rest in peace. I would not waste on cent on your book of lies.

  • slw

    This world has lost a great man and a wonderful person.

  • Dee

    Joseph Isaacs you are really a spoiled child who could not get his way when you were in the company. You need to grow up and be removed from your own throne. You need to get saved or you will face what you will ultimately and eternally regret.

  • j

    Family:
    We were ALL once walking in darkness as this Issacs person is. For we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness in high places. Mr. Issacs can say what he will, but unforgiveness ALWAYS comes back on us. He will surely find this out. As for Paul, whether he was without sin or not………..we are not to judge, but I suspect he is having alot of fun right now and is certainly without pain! I send healing prayers to his family.

  • Joey Matta

    The naivete of people who believed in this guy is astounding. I looked into FHTM and found that Mr Orbeson was not truthful on so many levels while hiding behind a church going do gooder facade. He claimed to have partnerships with a number of major companies such as Verizon. None of these companies had a clue who he was and when they realized what he was doing got cease and desist orders against him. He claimed to own the building FHTM was housed in…he was a tenant. The business presentations he approved and promoted were terribly misleading. In the end FHTM was exposed for the ponzi scheme it was. Perhaps he was nice to those in his inner circle, but so was his contemporary, Bernie Madoff. And like Bernie, his legacy is that he made off with people’s money, ILLEGALLY. Wake up people, he was a snake oil salesman

  • PAUL S

    We joined FHTM in 2008 or so. I am a good businessman, but what I was sold on soon changed. For instance, got very suspicious when originally they marketed very nice hair care and makeup products from a legit outside company — then suddenly replaced it with another company’s products. When I looked into the ‘new’ company, I found that it was registered at the same address in Kentucky as FHTM, and later that it was owned by Paul — and that fact was revealed nowhere to us. So he was making money on both sides. We got out, after investing a decent amount of money in the website, signup, and materials for a year. I hope I can join a class-action suit. Yes, I believe Paul was a decent man, but got suckered in by the easy money.

  • kc

    As nice a Paul might have been, and there are many stories of his generosity, it is a fact that he was generous with other peoples money. For those who were in FHTM and those who support and stand up for this company, it is the facts that you are not looking at. Hundreds of thousands of people lost money, and did try and did believe in the “residual” income. I have been to the meetings and not one representative can deny that they try to sell you on signing up for things, getting people to sign up for things and some day counting on residual money but the fact is, it is recruiting that gets you the money. If 99% of the people lost there money, and only the “Few” top people made money, including a really rich Paul, then maybe you should rethink your position on this a just look at the facts. Nice people rip people off all the time.

  • Trish

    I went about $2,000.00 in debt to FHTM in a little over a year, trying to live *their dream of financial security for life*, as they said. I joined & worked at getting enough people to sign up. It was a hard task. When I talked to people they would say…. * Oh! That’s one of those pyramid scheme*. Something that FHTM dodged, by using a different term. I finally had to freeze my memebership, as each month FHTM was getting $113.00 a month from me, for membership & products, I HAD to buy to stay in the company, & I was going deeper in debt. I will not defame Paul’s name, as I can’t say one way or another, who he really was. I am sorry to hear of his passing.

  • Marcus

    My wife and I had joined FHTM from a friend. I went to the meetings and the conventions all they wanted was more people to join. I received my money only when I got other people to join. I wanted to sell the products and it was told to us the money is in to the recruiting not the product. The amount of time you spent doing this program was overwhelming. We gave up vacations family functions to be in this company. Yes my wife and I meet Paul several times. He is a nice person on the outside. When I found out about all the products he had owned then we were out. The Presidential Ambassadors made all the money. I saw it. When people started jumping ship they found other companies to invest their money into. I know Dish network was part of the lie and so was other companies. So for the people that get made at people commenting on Paul you are still brainwashed at least most of us woke up.

  • Monika

    I knew Paul and he was a good, kind man.

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