Coordinators and participants of both MLMchange.org and The Consumer Protection Challenge 2022 would like to honor the memory and myriad accomplishments of their friend and colleague, Bruce A. Craig, Esq.
Bruce Craig was born in Chicago in 1938. After World War II ended, his family moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, which is where Bruce studied law and eventually served as Assistant Attorney General to the state of Wisconsin for many years. It was in this capacity that Bruce passionately litigated many cases surrounding pyramid schemes and unethical business practices such as those found in multilevel marketing companies.
From his author biography on The Robin Report’s online journal:
Bruce Craig encourages all retail executives to let the FTC know that they don’t appreciate losing sales to MLM businesses and would very much appreciate it if the FTC would set up a regulatory framework that would effectively deal with this problem. Bruce retired from the Wisconsin Department of Justice in 1997, after having served as Assistant Attorney General and litigated consumer cases over a 30-year period. He [volunteered] with a New York public interest firm, New York Legal Assistance Group.The Robin Report
Upon his retirement to New York, Bruce continued to fight for stronger consumer protections against fraud and scams through civil activism, writing letters to lawmakers and the FTC, and contributing to business journals like The Robin Report, Pyramid Scheme Alert, and Seeking Alpha. He was instrumental to the founding of the first-ever global Multilevel Marketing Conference, held virtually in May 2021.
This author did not become familiar with Bruce or his extensive foundational work in the anti-MLM space until 2022, but a few of his longtime colleagues wanted to share some thoughts upon his passing:
I just got the very sad news that Bruce Craig died on July 24. As many of you know, Bruce has been a forceful advocate for victims of MLM and pyramid schemes since the late 1960’s. As an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin he prosecuted many pyramid schemes and schemers, including Holiday Magic, Koscot Interplanetary and Amway. After his retirement he continued writing and speaking out against these “voracious businesses”.Douglas M. Brooks
The day he died Bob and I received an email from him with a link to yet another bogus “academic” article on MLM; so he was fighting the good fight until the very end. For decades he has been contacting journalists, regulators and academics, trying to bring attention to the devastating harm caused by MLM. He wrote many insightful articles on MLM that were published on Seeking Alpha that are well worth reading.
Bruce has been a loyal friend, a trusted colleague and a wise mentor to me for many years. I know I speak for many when I say that he will be deeply missed.
Attorney at Law
Bruce told me and has written that as a regulator, an attorney and a socially conscious citizen he was utterly dismayed and disheartened that the “endless chain” fraud could have been “legalized” in the Amway decision and adopted as official FTC policy. After that event in 1979 and following his own prosecution of Amway as Asst. AG in Wisconsin a few years later, he said he also began to wonder if was the only person on earth who saw the absurdity and harm of such an indefensible policy.Robert L. FitzPatrick,
Bruce saw MLM as illegitimate, based not only on legal principle and tragic consequences, but on math, sales and marketing realities, with which he also had real life experience, and common sense. He was mystified that others, especially in law and law enforcement were not also shocked and concerned. Then, he said, he found my book, False Profits, and was greatly encouraged to see other humans perceived the same reality and similarly recognized its extraordinary importance, enough to write a book on it. At that time, MLMs were rapidly duplicating and spreading and their financial trap was being treated in the media as “business.”
Bruce connected with me immediately and ever since, like Doug, I counted Bruce Craig as mentor, resource, colleague and friend, in whom I could confide and, often, the person to whom I could pour out my own frustrations and amazement. In Ponzinomics, I cited his work repeatedly and quoted him as a virtually lone and heroic voice from the ranks of regulators, active or retired, who maintained the clear-eyed view of MLM as inherently (a word Bruce used frequently) deceptive and harmful, and spoke out publicly about it.
Of course, my introduction with Bruce, was accompanied by our connecting with others some of whom are now still part of what is now called the “anti-MLM” movement.
As there are many approaches and views within the anti-MLM world and dis-information has become a modern skill-set, Bruce Craig was, for me, an anchor and a living connection to the era when all “endless chain” propositions were routinely recognized as frauds per se and regulators acted to stop them in the public interest. In the current brave new world of post-truth, Bruce Craig kept faith in objective reality and regulatory integrity. He had the courage to attest to it publicly and challenge other professionals and public officials to take a stand.
Ponzinomics, The Untold Story of Multi-Level Marketing
Pitifully Incomplete List of Links to Works by Bruce Craig
- RE: Proposed Business Opportunity Rule | Public Comment Submitted to the FTC, June 24, 2009
- An Investor’s Guide To Identifying Pyramid Schemes | Seeking Alpha, October 11, 2012
- The Case of the Missing $32 Billion | The Robin Report, April 6, 2015
- Herbalife, MLMs And The FTC: Some Questions And A Challenge For Market Analysts And The Financial Press | Seeking Alpha, July 28, 2015
- It May Well Be Time For State Attorneys General To Increase Enforcement Oversight In Respect To Multi-Level Marketing | Seeking Alpha, November 17, 2016
- What Is MLM? | MLM Conference, May 1, 2021
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