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Before the pandemic, Mark King worked in marketing for large companies, but the Los Angeles man dreamed of being self-employed.
Then a friend told him about a man from Maryland nicknamed “Mr. 50K per day ”which would have made a lot of money through online affiliate marketing. This man, Greg Davis, claimed he could also teach others how to make money by promoting other people’s products online.
King said he hired Davis in early 2020, expecting him to design an affiliate marketing campaign for him that could generate up to $ 10,000 a day within six months. The cost of his services was not cheap – nearly $ 70,000 – and came with a one-year money-back guarantee.
“He was the affiliate marketing guru,” King said, adding, “His assurances were,“ We’re going to start making money fast. “”
But after hiring Davis, whose company is called Legin Group, King said things went wrong.
He said not only did he not make a profit, but more than a year and a half later, Davis failed to repay his investment of nearly $ 70,000 as their contract required. .
“I feel like it shouldn’t have happened,” King said. “I didn’t make any money during this whole process. It was a total failure. “
The News4 I-Team discovered that King was not the only one who hired “Mr. 50K a day “to help launch a career in affiliate marketing only to come up empty-handed. Through court records, online reviews and interviews, the I-Team found several people who said they paid to Davis thousands of dollars for coaching and to help him start an affiliate marketing business, receiving little or nothing in return.
In an interview with the I-Team, the man behind the “Mr. 50K a day nickname” admitted owing money to King and “a lot” of other people, but insisted. that he planned to reimburse them.
“I feel bad. I don’t want, you know, people not to have their money… I just don’t feel good about it at all,” Davis said.
The Prince George County man blamed his financial woes on the pandemic, saying his business failed last year because his “main campaign” was focused on promoting auto insurance, which he said suffered when the Americans went into custody. He said he was still building up the backlog.
“If the pandemic hadn’t happened, none of this would have happened. We wouldn’t talk, ”he said.
But the I-Team has found several people who say they lost money to Davis before the pandemic, including Floyd Garner of Maryland, who hired Davis in late 2017.
When asked what he expected to learn from Davis’s coaching, Garner said: “What I was supposed to learn was the business, but instead I got the ‘business.”
Records show that Garner initially paid Davis $ 15,000 for a three-month online affiliate marketing training course and then paid over $ 6,000 in additional advertising campaign costs. But Garner said Davis never provided coaching services or proof of a marketing campaign.
“There were profits promised, and it was nothing but a loss,” Garner told News4.
Garner sued Davis for breach of contract, intentional misrepresentation and fraud in 2019 and won his case, but records show it took more legal deposits before he was repaid.
Jon Petreeko, from Florida, told the I-Team that he hired Davis for $ 20,000 in March 2019 to start an affiliate marketing business that Petreeko would eventually take over.
Instead, Petreeko said he was sold a “pipe dream”.
“It never got to the point where I can actually take it back,” Petreeko said. “He’s never had a physical product or even an electronic product that I could even see or say, ‘Okay, I can get on board with that.’ He just put excuses after excuses.
Petreeko said Davis paid back more than $ 15,000 of his investment, including in cryptocurrency, but he’s still waiting for the rest.
Although Davis admits he owes many people money, he said he has had “hundreds” of clients and many have benefited from his coaching.
He sent the I-Team a number of video testimonials from former customers who he said made up to six and seven figures. News4 tried to reach many of them.
Lamont Price, of Baltimore, wrote in a message to News4 that “Greg’s program was working great” for him and “was worth the investment.”
Contacted by the I-Team, John Gray said he spent around $ 2,000 several years ago to take one of Davis’ cost-per-acquisition marketing courses – something he said helped launch his current career in email marketing.
But when asked if he had won “seven figures,” as Davis told the I-Team, Gray laughed and replied, “No, no, no, and my tax returns. would prove. ”
Before entering into any type of coaching deal, consumer law attorney Michael Ostroff advised people to consider whether the service was a consumer, personal, or business transaction, as it stipulated the type of protections available if the ‘deal had to fail.
Ostroff, who represented Garner in his case against Davis, also said potential customers should ask a myriad of questions about what they’re buying and make sure they don’t pay for all services up front.
“The more questions you ask before you start, the more you have a written contract, the more you understand what is expected of not only you but the other party, the better off you will be,” he said. .
The Federal Trade Commission, which tracks online coaching programs gone wrong, declined to comment for this story.
But Andrew Smith, the former director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, told the I-Team he “isn’t surprised” at the level of losses people like King have reported.
Smith did not comment specifically on Davis’ affairs, but said, when it came to investigating wrongdoing, “From an FTC perspective or from a law enforcement perspective , what makes the difference are false or unfounded income or lifestyle claims. “
Although former clients, including King and Garner, have said Davis assured them that they would make a profit by hiring him as a coach, Davis refuted this and said he was revealing to his clients that everyone wouldn’t make a lot of money.
“I didn’t necessarily guarantee that they would make money. I just said if they didn’t get their money back within 12 months then I would pay them back, ”he said.
Asked about King’s claim that the marketing campaign Davis was creating for him could make up to $ 10,000 a day in six months, Davis said, “It wasn’t a promise. It was a target.
Yet an arbitrator overseeing the King v Davis case with the American Arbitration Association wrote that Davis “intentionally misrepresented that he was making $ 50,000.00 a day and millions in total from affiliate marketing” and that ‘”it would provide services that would immediately generate income.”
In September, a Prince George County judge also ordered Davis to repay King’s $ 70,000 investment, plus additional costs.
King said Davis had recently indicated he would pay him back, but has yet to do so.
Meanwhile, Davis told the I-Team that he is considering switching from coaching to affiliate marketing and is now teaching others how to invest in cryptocurrency.
Reported by Susan Hogan, produced by Katie Leslie, shot and edited by Lance Ing. NBCLA I-Team reporter Randy McIlwain contributed to this report.