Remembering Bruce A. Craig, Esq.

Coordinators and participants of both 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”. 

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.

Douglas M. Brooks
Attorney at Law
Click “Watch on Vimeo”
MLM Conference 2021 | Panel 5: What Is MLM?

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.

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.

Robert L. FitzPatrick, 
Ponzinomics, The Untold Story of Multi-Level Marketing

Pitifully Incomplete List of Links to Works by Bruce Craig

Public Memoriam

Contributors, colleagues, and collaborators in the consumer protection space (or anyone else in any other space) who would like to share thoughts, memories, prayers, or anything else, should please feel welcome to use the form below to comment publicly on this page. Comments will be approved at least once per day, and by default display the name that you enter, so to remain anonymous please use an alias.

8 thoughts on “Remembering Bruce A. Craig, Esq.”

  1. Bruce’s work on Amway in Wisconsin was much better than that of the FTC at the time because he actually went after the data. As far as I know, no one did as much work early on in documenting Amway’s distributors earnings, and Bruce made that data public. He and his wife welcomed many of us into their home after the showing of Betting on Zero at the Tribeca Film Festival, just one of a few collegial and fun meetings. I have enjoyed talking with and hearing from Bruce and have great respect for his work. He will be missed.

      1. I have never met you or heard your name, let alone declined to have a conversation with you, but thank you for saving me the trouble by making sure I knew exactly how professional and pleasant you’d be to work with.

        This is a memorial page, and a wildly inappropriate place for… whatever that was.

          1. Craig dodged me his entire life, there was nowhere else to comment. I believe he was involved in the 2015 website, which started a blog section then was abruptly shut down. Everybody who dodges me is directly responsible for millions of new people being scammed, what could be more significant than that? Making a factual comment several months after the guy died isn’t the end of the world and it’s tiring people are made to be heros when they were abject failures.

            1. Scott, it took me less than 5 minutes on Google to find more than a handful of examples of you treating people who disagree with you like trash and lashing out with ad hominem attacks. That energy isn’t welcome in my life personally or professionally. Best of luck in your crusade, please apologize to the “millions of new people being scammed” I will be “directly” responsible for by dodging this bullet.

              P.S. Remind me–how many pyramid schemes have you successfully litigated before?

          2. Elizabeth Villagomez

            i haave known about Bruce´s work wotking alongside many of the lawyers, activists, writers, and reasearchers on the great fraud that MLMs have been pepetrating for many decades in the US and now worldwide. it is a great loss to this community, but his work and his spirit live on in our collective commitment.

            My deepest sympathies for his family and closest firends and associates,

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