In a class action complaint filed by a doctor and his associate, on behalf of others similarly situated, are seeking relief from any legal liability for obligations relating to a Ponzi scheme allegedly perpetrated on the plaintiffs by America’s MHT, Scott Postle, Ascentium Capital and Cliff McKenzie.
According to a class action complaint filed by a doctor and his associate, on behalf of others similarly situated, against America’s MHT, Scott Postle, Ascentium Capital and Cliff McKenzie (defendants) , the plaintiffs allege the defendants have effectively engaged in a Ponzi scheme that has been perpetrated on the Plaintiffs. The business of MHT is to offer physicians the opportunity to expand their practice with minimal investment and minimal time commitment based on the premise that the physicians would supervise nurse practitioners making house calls to patients in their region. MHT represents to physicians that it sells a medical Home Team Services Program through which physicians can supervise, in the physicians region, a practice that is handled solely by MHT, from marketing to patient care to billing to administrative management.
According to the complaint, MHT was said to often fail to provide the patient –recruitment coordinators, administrative staff, nurse practitioners or software necessary for the out-patient practices to even begin operating. MHT’s failures in that regard not only establish their breaches of the agreements with the physicians, but also establish that MHT’s revenue stream is not based on income derived by patient care. Instead it is solely based on the sale of software “licenses” to the physicians, i.e., the “license” sales were in fact a guise for a sale of a worthless franchise. Further, MHT offers to simplify the process for the physicians by coercing them to permit MHT to create legal entities in the names of the physicians and to open bank accounts in the names of those entities . MHT represented to the Plaintiffs that this is part of MHT’s management services. MHT maintains absolute control over the “Artificial LLCs” through a related entity Accountable Practice Management (APM). And in the name of the “Artificial LLCs, MHT incurs substantial indebtedness through a financial vehicle custom-created by Ascentium that enables and assist HMT in defrauding these physicians.
The Installment Payment Agreement
MHT causes the physicians to sign or without any informed consent of the physician signs on behalf of the Artificial LLC, an “installment payment agreement” (IPA) with Ascentium. The plaintiffs allege that in no case are the physicians informed of essential elements of the agreement much less have physicians been offered informed consent to any such arrangements. The IPA purports to obligate the Artificial LLCs, created by MHT, to make 66 payments to the financial institution for the software that MHT claimed it would provide – but often failed to provide – to the physicians. MHT was said to have further coerced or misled the physicians by representing that MHT would make all payments for the software on behalf of the physician’s LLC with a bank account set up for the Artificial LLC by MHT. Further, MHT represented to the physicians that payments to Ascentium would be fully funded by MHT. As an aside, according to the complaint, the interest rate on the “installments” was characterized as “outrageous” and “exorbitant” and were said to be 24%.
The cash transfers for each Artificial LLC totaled $300,000, representing four “licenses” per Artificial LLC. Ascentium is claiming the Plantiffs and similarly situated persons are somehow liable as guarantors for monies Ascenitum sent directly to MHT, ostensibly on the account of the various artificial LLCs. For the period between 2014 through 2016 MHT continued to pay the monthly notes to Ascentium and expanded the scheme dramatically. Essentially, MHT used funds received from the sales of licenses to pay the monthly debt for earlier loans from Ascentium, for which MHT was the sole initial recipient of the funds from Ascentium. When a certain few individual doctors complained, MHT would resell the “licenses” to unsuspecting class members. When MHT did so, the scheme was perpetuated, and additional victims were duped.
The plaintiffs also allege that sometime in 2016, MHT began to pay defendant Cliff McKenzie $20,000 per month directly as well as an “exorbitant finder’s fees” for placing new loans with lenders other than Ascentium. Asentium either knew or reasonably should have known of the financial relationship between McKenzie and MHT. In or around August 2016 MHT began to fall behind on the payments it been making to Ascentium. The Plaintiffs began receiving demand letters and phone calls from Ascentium urging them to disregard MHT’s instructions to ignore demands from Ascentium and to pay the amounts currently due under the Instalment Purchase Agreement. MHT was besieged with requests from the doctors to be released from alleged obligations. They were told they would be released on a first come, first serve basis on the condition that MHT or the physician could find another physician to purchase that physician’s software licenses, thus perpetuating and furthering the scheme and possible duping those unwitting physicians to participate in the scheme and victimize yet additional doctors.
According to the complaint, Plaintiffs are indebted to Ascentium for hundreds of thousands of dollars, cumulatively, tens of millions of dollars. Plaintiffs are allegedly guarantors of loans for funds that Ascentium sent directly to MHT, allegedly for the benefit to the Artificial LLCs.
The Class is defined as all U.S. Physicians who have entered into any management service agreement, licensing, or business associate agreements with America’s MHT or related entities and for whom Ascentium Capital claims that the Physician is obligated as a guarantor of any loan funded by Ascentim and made to an LLC in which the Physician is allegedly a member. Bases on the past annual sales of the MHT Programs, it is apparent that the number of consumers in both the Class and subclass is so large as to make a joinder impractical, if not impossible, and certainly exceed one hundred (100) in number.
The plaintiffs seek relief from any legal liability, obligation, responsibility or accountability for obligations, indebtedness, acts or omissions of or by the Artificial LLCs. And whether Ascentium should be ordered to cease and desist efforts to enforce the purported loan agreements against either the Artificial LLCs or the plaintiffs.
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