He [Raymond Gebauer] became an associate in 1994 and his sales network, operating through companies he owned, was still signing up associates this year, said Karyn Johnson, assistant U.S. attorney in Seattle. He was a featured speaker in March at the annual national sales conference, MannaFest. In his book, “How to Cure and Prevent Any Disease,” Mr. Gebauer said that he owned a million-dollar home, a ski boat and drove a Lexus RX 300.
Kind of reminds me of, “My name is Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire – I own a mansion and a yacht.”
But, sorry, things are not all fun and games for the company:
His indictment represents a potential blow to the supplement seller. Last month, the Texas Attorney General’s office asked a state court to bar the company from making what it said were false claims that its products — many made from aloe-vera — can cure, treat or heal diseases. The company is also facing shareholder lawsuits with similar allegations.
The lack of tax payments does not appear to be a simple oversight or a failure to file an extension:
The jury found that Mr. Gebauer failed to file taxes from 1998 through 2001. During that period, his gross income exceeded $3.5 million, most of which was earned through his network’s sales of Mannatech products, Ms. Johnson said. Mr. Gebauer owes at least $316,000 in taxes for those four years, she says, and last filed a tax return in 1996. He could face 20 years in prison when he is scheduled for sentencing in November…
…During his trial, Mr. Gebauer argued that paying taxes is voluntary.
But 20 years in prison seems pretty stiff for $316K in back taxes. There must be more to the case.
Anyway, we wrote about Mannatech’s problems with the law a few months ago as pointed out by the WSJ, again by writer Suzanne Sataline. I assume she’ll be keeping close tabs on developments in this case.