Anonymous
map-marker Corona, California

MLM/Pyramid Scheme and Client Misrepresentations

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I am complaining about Tenacity Financial Services at 1200 N. San Dimas Canyon Rd., San Dimas, CA 91773. Tenacity Financial is a branch office of World Financial Group (WFG) as I found out later. The owners of Tenacity are Jay Gauthier, Jr., and Veronica ("Ronnie") Gauthier. I joined Tenacity Financial in 2018. We had been invited to a Money Seminar, which turned out to be a recruiting event. Some Tenacity agents refer to the event as Money Seminar; others just call it Business Presentation Meeting (BPM). We arrived at about 9:00 AM. I was guided to a room to mingle with Tenacity agents. The pre-event is called Mo-Zone. After Mo-Zone, someone gave a scripted introduction, whereupon I was led to the presentation room. The presentation didn't cover much about how money works but more about how much money you can make at Tenacity Financial. I then paid $100 for a background check which never happened. I received my agent code. What follows is a bullet-point summary of what is going on there: 1. Agents are asked over and over again to recruit, recruit, recruit. During weekly meetings and at events, we were told that recruiting is the name of the game. We received scripts, and were asked to recruit at malls, restaurants, on the street, at church, on Social Media and wherever else. 2. Mr. Gauthier told us numerous times to jump into our cars, all leaving at the same time, to pick up phone numbers within 10 minutes. If we don't come back with a number, we won't be allowed in the building. Tenacity agents jumped into their cars, disregarding and violating every traffic law there is. 3. Mr. Gauthier expects his agents to sign up for what he calls Elite Circle. Elite Circle is an 8-week boot camp to learn the ins and outs of the business. The boot camp is just a collection of PowerPoint slides, maybe a guest speaker here and there, and the topic is mostly about recruiting, selling the dream etc. 4. Everything at Tenacity costs money. The Elite Circle in #3 costs about $300 per person. With 80-90 participants, that's $24K to $27K. Mr. Gauthier claims he's still in the negative. The question is, where does the money go since the PowerPoint doesn't change from year to year. ALL money is paid in cash. Mr. Gauthier expects advancing agents to rent office space in the Tenacity building. Tenacity is a lease space, and Mr. Gauthier sublets for $400-$800 per office. We pay our rent in ALL cash. Mr. Gauthier pressures his agents to sign up for quarterly and annual events. Quarterly events are about $100; the annual convention is about $300 (not including hotel etc). Fees are paid in ALL cash, 5. The business is not really a business. Agents give a scripted presentation to clients. Mr. Gauthier tells his agents what the words of the business are, and how to get little Yes answers from clients. The entire presentation appeals to people's dreams for the purpose of selling them an IUL. Tenacity agents don't even understand how the IUL works. Mr. Gauthier's wife, Veronica Gauthier, is Series 6&63 licensed. She does not even interject when people push for the IUL or make misrepresentations like, "Cash value accumulation is all tax free. You'll get a big fat retirement at 65." Tenacity agents, per Mr. Gauthier's instructions, over-fund IUL policies by 15-25%. Agents tell clients to pay higher premiums to keep the policy in place even during hard times (e.g. loss of job). The real reason is to earn more commission. Uplines (and ultimately Mr. Gauthier) gets an overwrite (i.e. the spread). Tenacity agents tell people they cannot touch their money for 15 years. Tenacity agents tell people they won't let them touch their money even after 15 years. They instruct the agents on their teams to ignore client requests for withdrawals and policy cancellations. Tenacity agents claim to set up a financial plan for their clients. That's false. The financial plan is not a plan, but an illustration of how the IUL supposedly works for them. No one explains anything about fees, costs, and/or potential risks. No one does a risk analysis. No one follows the needs of the client. For example, if a client wants to retire at age 55, the Tenacity agent still builds an IUL with premiums paid to age 65. No one does what the client wants and/or needs. 6. Tenacity does not provide any legal updates. Mr. Gauthier, as he himself says over and over again, does not believe in education. In his words, education is for dumb people. Thus, Tenacity agents have outdated information (e.g. no one cares about IRA law changes). 7. Mr. Gauthier does not follow Compliance regulations, DOL regulations, or other relevant laws. He tells agents to hire an assistant for as little as $100 a week. He doesn't seem to understand that doing so creates an employment relationship. He instructs them not to report anything. Mr. Gauthier has an assistant himself. I don't see any required DOL posters in his office. There's no accurate time keeping, job description, or anything that a regular business has in place. 8. How do you make money at Tenacity? The focus isn't so much on servicing clients. The focus is on recruiting and internal consumption. All agents are expected to set up a Transamerica, Nationwide, or Pacific Life IUL. All agents are expected to set up what Mr. Gauthier refers to as the Legacy Plan: An IUL, an Everest Policy, and an LTC rider. This is what every recruit goes through: BPM, $100 "background fee," a 2-hour Orientation where the recruiting agents explain the Top 25 list (a list of phone numbers from family/friends for field training -- the real purpose is to sell to friends/family), and a "needs analysis" for the recruit to open his/her own IUL. Commission ladder: Training associates get 30%, Associates get 45%, Marketing Directors get 62%, and Senior Marketing Directors get 80%. From Training Associate to Associate: 3 recruits and 3 policy sales (i.e. IULs) within 30 days. From Associate to Marketing Director: 40,000 points and 5 licensed agents on your team within a rolling 3 months. From Marketing Director to Senior Marketing Director: Mr. Gauthier has a list of 10 requirements (WFG itself only has 3 requirements). It all boils down to this: Recruit, recruit, recruit and internal consumption.
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User's recommendation: Stay Away from Tenacity Financial, Jay Gauthier Jr., and WFG

13 comments
Elchonon Jed

Jay manipulates women because he is a "man in power" and likes to show off his "top girl" as his favorite and have inappropriate relationships with them even if he and they are married. He also does some really shady things to get a commission once one of his agents or clients actually kicks the bucket making whoever gets the money from the policy put it right back into his fund.

Mikhayla Mty

This is 100% a pyramid scheme. This company is the literal definition of “multi-level marketing”.

Clear as day.

DO NOT FALL FOR THIS OR ANY OF THEIR BS. Thank your posting.

Guest

THANK YOU FOR THE WARNING!!! A guy contacted me on Linkedin and tried to sell me on this.

Guest

...

Guest

Things like this are frighteningly deceptive, and at their base, miserably illegal.

Guest

Tenacity Financial has changed to 100% online through Zoom since this review was written. I was able to confirm that most of this is true by comparing the documents provided to new recruits. Thanks for posting this, it'll help more people realize Tenacity is just a pyramid scheme before they get brainwashed like the other commenter.

Guest
reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-2129475

Jay is a cheater. He cheats on his wife veronica all the time.

I would not trust my daughter, or grandma or any women around this guy. Stay way!

Guest

This is false information. People always just want to hate on others instead of looking in the mirror and realizing they’re the problem.

I’ve been with Tenacity for over 3 years, and I’ve never heard a complaint from someone winning. It’s always the ones who have zero work ethic. We are the most highly regulated industry.

Never take advice from people who quit on themselves. Misery loves company!

Guest
reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-2046351

Is it true that you have to invite your friends and family in order to do this.

Guest
reply icon Replying to comment of Guest-2187570

If you just got your license to be a realtor, who are the very first people you want to make sure they buy/sell their house with you? If you just opened up an online boutique, who are the first people you’re going to ask, for their business and to tell their friends where they got it…? If you know you have the solution to someone’s problems, but know one knows you have the solution, how can you help solve anyones problems?

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