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Thread: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

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    Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    Wonderful news for those folllowing the legal developments on these MLM cases. The district court has been reversed and the case against Ignite / Stream remanded back for further proceedings! Bless these reps for having the courage to go forward and see justice done!

    http://www.clearmanlaw.com/uploads/5th_Torres.pdf

    Soapboxmom

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court


    The Clearman Law Firm PLLC




    Recent and Prior Cases



    Recent events

    Stream and Ignite RICO Litigation: October 5, 2010: The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held Ignites's "arbitration provision is illusory and unenforceable.” The Court observed “Ignite essentially could renege on its promise to arbitrate by merely posting an amendment to the agreement on its website.” The Fifth Circuit returned the case to the district court for further proceedings. Here is the Court's opinion.

    For those who want to know more, we have a page devoted to the Stream Energy and Ignite RICO Litiagation. Here is the link.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Congratulations Mr. Clearman. This will definitely be one to watch!

    Soapboxmom

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court


    Suit against Stream Energy reignited

    Dallas Business Journal

    Date: Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 3:35pm CDT
    Related:




    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court’s ruling to dismiss a lawsuit filed against Stream Energy.
    The original lawsuit accused the Dallas-based energy retailer of running a marketing arm that operates as a pyramid scheme.
    In November last year, a U.S. District judge dismissed the plaintiffs' lawsuit.
    At the time, U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt said the plaintiffs had to honor arbitration agreements they originally signed with the Dallas-based electricity retailer.
    The original suit filed by attorney Scott Clearman in Houston alleged that Stream Energy and its Ignite marketing arm operated a pyramid scheme that allowed a few on the top to get rich on the returns of investors who were asked to pay close to $400 for their own “Ignite Homesite” Web page.
    Clearman appealed to the Fifth Circuit and received a favorable ruling from a panel of judges this week. The panel agreed the arbitration clause in the contract may be “illusory,” prompting the court to reverse the dismissal, sending the case back to a lower court for review.






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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    Here’s the full release from Clearman:

    The Clearman Law Firm Announces Federal Lawsuit Against Stream Energy, Executives, Alleging Unlawful Pyramid Scheme

    HOUSTON — Attorneys from Houston’s The Clearman Law Firm are announcing a federal class action lawsuit filed yesterday under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act against Dallas-based Stream Gas & Electric, Ltd., Ignite Holdings, Ltd., their related companies and several affiliated individuals.
    A retail electricity and gas provider in Texas and Georgia, Stream has grown in only three years to become the 29th largest private company in the Dallas/Fort Worth area based on revenues of more than $800 million in 2008. Stream’s marketing division, Ignite, has fueled Stream’s growth through what the company calls a “multilevel marketing program.”

    The 89-page federal complaint alleges that Stream and Ignite’s multilevel marketing program is actually an unlawful pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are inherently doomed programs in which investors recruit people to pay money to those above them in a first-come-first-served hierarchy with the expectation that they will get payments from other investors who enter the program later. When the number of newly recruited investors eventually dwindles, the payment structure collapses.

    Specifically, the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston alleges that Stream and Ignite induced the plaintiffs and others to invest in the “Ignite Services Program” at a cost of $329 and purchase an “Ignite Homesite” web page for a charge of $29 per month. The lawsuit claims that a large portion of the $329 is paid to those higher in the pyramid.

    “Some of the individuals at the top of the Stream and Ignite pyramid earn millions of dollar a year, while most of those that are now joining the scheme will likely never recover their investment,” says Scott Clearman of The Clearman Law Firm, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “Stream promises recruits that they can make vast sums of money, but the fact is that most will lose their money.”
    In addition to Stream and Ignite, individual defendants named in the complaint include Ignite founders Chris Domhoff, Rob Snyder and Pierre Koshakj [sic], as well as several Stream employees. Additional defendants include Donny Anderson, Steve Fisher, Randy Hedge, Logan Stout and Presley Swagerty, all of whom are near the top of the alleged pyramid.

    In addition to Mr. Clearman, the plaintiffs are represented by Brian D. Walsh of The Clearman Law Firm.

    A copy of the lawsuit and more information about The Clearman Law Firm is available at Home Page.

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court



    Case Query

    14-20128 Juan Torres, et al v. S.G.E. Management, L.L.C., et al
    Associated Case Short Title Type Start End Status

    Originating Case Lead Case Filed Execution Date Judgment NOA Originating Judge Court Reporter
    4:09-CV-2056 06/30/2009 03/05/2014 Hoyt, Kenneth M.

    Party Party Type Terminated from Case Attorney
    Torres, Juan Ramon Plaintiff-Appellee Caldwell,Brent Taylor
    Clearman,Scott M.
    Goldstein,Thomas C.
    Kochanowski,Andrew Jack
    Prebeg,Matthew J. M.
    Robison, Eugene Plaintiff-Appellee Caldwell,Brent Taylor
    Clearman,Scott M.
    Goldstein,Thomas C.
    Kochanowski,Andrew Jack
    Prebeg,Matthew J. M.
    S.G.E. Management, L.L.C. Defendant-Appellant Ho,James C.
    Shah,Prerak
    Stream Gas & Electric, Limited Defendant-Appellant Ho,James C.
    Shah,Prerak
    Stream S.P.E. G.P. L.L.C Defendant-Appellant Ho,James C.
    Shah,Prerak
    Stream S.P.E., Limited Defendant-Appellant Ho,James C.
    Shah,Prerak
    Ignite Holdings, Limited Defendant-Appellant Ho,James C.
    Shah,Prerak
    Et Al Defendant-Appellant Shah,Prerak
    Ho,James C.

    Attorney Party Type(s) Represented Representation End
    Clearman, Scott M. Plaintiff-Appellee
    Goldstein, Thomas C. Plaintiff-Appellee
    Ho, James C. Defendant-Appellant
    Caldwell, Brent Taylor Plaintiff-Appellee
    Shah, Prerak Defendant-Appellant
    Kochanowski, Andrew Jack Plaintiff-Appellee
    Prebeg, Matthew J. M. Plaintiff-Appellee

    PACER Service Center
    Transaction Receipt
    5th Circuit - Appellate - 05/14/2014 08:27:48
    PACER Login: Client Code:
    Description: Case Query Search Criteria: 14-20128
    Billable Pages: 1 Cost: 0.10

    Last edited by Soapboxmom; 05-14-2014 at 08:53 AM.

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    This has been a very bloody battle and surprisingly the district court judge sealed many filings:

    Ignite Stream Lawsuit Docket.pdf

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    Check out one of the many talented lawyers working to help the reps defrauded by Ignite Stream:

    Attorney Profiles


    Thomas C. Goldstein, Partner
    Download my Contact Information

    Tom Goldstein is an appellate advocate, best known as one of the nation’s most experienced Supreme Court practitioners. He has served as counsel to the petitioner or respondent in roughly 10% of all of the Court’s merits cases for the past 15 years (approximately 100 in total), personally arguing 31.

    Perhaps more than any other advocate in practice, Tom represents the complete spectrum of litigants before the Court; his work is not associated with any particular perspective or ideology. For example, as arguing counsel, Tom has prevailed on behalf of corporate defendants (twice), a corporate plaintiff, individual plaintiffs (twice), an individual defendant, an immigrant, a bankruptcy debtor, a capital defendant, criminal defendants (three times), employees, persons with disabilities, a class action objector, and a local government.

    Tom’s representations span virtually all of federal law. For example, as arguing counsel, he has prevailed in cases involving age discrimination, arbitration, bankruptcy, class actions, disability law, free speech (three times), habeas corpus (three times), immigration, labor law, privacy, securities law, and trademark law.

    Tom also serves as counsel in particularly significant cases in the courts of appeals. For example, he presently serves as lead counsel for most of the nation’s principal retailers in a Second Circuit appeal of the second-largest class action settlement in history; for a major cellphone manufacturer in a Seventh Circuit appeal that will determine the application of the federal antitrust laws to worldwide cartels; and a major food producer in a D.C. Circuit appeal of an FTC ruling setting standards for health claims in food advertising.

    In addition to practicing law, Tom has taught Supreme Court Litigation at Harvard Law School since 2004, and previously taught the same subject at Stanford Law School for nearly a decade. Tom is also the co-founder and publisher of SCOTUSblog – a web-site devoted to comprehensive coverage of the Court – which is the only weblog ever to receive the Peabody Award.

    Tom has received a variety of recognitions for his practice before the Supreme Court and for his appellate advocacy generally. For example, in 2010, the National Law Journal named him one of the nation’s 40 most influential lawyers of the decade. The same publication included him in both of its most recent lists (2006 and 2013) of the nation’s 100 most influential attorneys. Legal Times named him one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years.” GQ named him one of the 50 most powerful people in Washington, D.C.

    Tom is involved in a variety of professional organizations. Among other things, he is a member of the American Law Institute and an elected Fellow of the Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

    Tom previously practiced at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where for a time he served as the principal co-chair of the firmwide litigation practice. Early in his career he was an associate at both Boies Schiller and Jones Day Reavis & Pogue. He clerked for Judge Patricia Wald of the D.C. Circuit.
    I notice from the court docket that Ignite Stream has gone through legions of attorneys. Clearman is a total bulldog and this will be a case to watch!

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    There is a pending appeal to the class action suit against Stream Energy on the basis of violating RICO.

    The first RICO case/complaint was dismissed in 2010:
    Federal Judge Gives Scott Clearman a Smack Down in Stream Energy Lawsuit | FrontBurner | D Magazine

    The RICO complaint was amended and refiled by the complainants:
    2011 09 23 Amended Complaint Torres vs SGE Managment, LLC et al

    Here is the document, for the class action suit to continue, based on the amended complaint:
    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURT...cv-02056-0.pdf

    Stream et al have appealed:
    Here is the docket information showing that the case is continuing. It is being sent to the US Court of Appeals:
    https://www.docketalarm.com/cases/Te...#show_parties=

    An amicus brief was filed OCTOBER 17, 2014 by AARP in the US Court of Appeals (USCA) Case No. 14-20128 (as stated in the docket link above):

    “BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE AARP SUPPORTING PLAINTIFFS/APPELLEES URGING AFFIRMANCE….”
    AARP Concludes its brief and argument by stating:

    “AARP respectfully urges this Court to uphold the district court’s decision to
    certify the class and to remand the case for further proceedings on the merits.”

    http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp...Management.pdf
    (AARP’s amicus brief makes for deliciously compelling reading, if one understands the issues and what is at stake)

    Here is the appellant’s (Strream’s) amicus brief, filed with the Court of Appeals by the National Direct Marketing Association on behalf of Stream Energy:
    http://www.chamberlitigation.com/sites/default/files/cases/files/2014/U.S.%20Chamber%20Amicus%20Brief%20arguing%20for%20 Reversal%20--%20Torres%20v.%20SGE%20Management%20(Fifth%20Circu it).pdf


    Stream Energy’s case is on the US Court of Appeals Docket for 3 February 2015:

    http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/clerk/ca.../1502%5C23.htm


    "...TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2015 – COURT CONVENES AT 9:00 A.M.
    *No. 14-20128. Juan Ramon Torres, Et Al. vs. S.G.E. Management, LLC, Et Al., Appellants.... "


    It will be VERY INTERESTING if the appeals court remands the case back to the district court for trial on the merits of the case against Stream Energy. If they do and Stream Energy loses, it could spell big trouble for the business and others similar to it. Hopefully the outcome will be good news for those of us who would like to see reform in the MLM and Direct Marketing industry.

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    Is Ignite/Stream Energy a Scam?

    Wonderful analysis of the Ignite pyramid scheme pay plan.

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    The battle in court rages on. An excellent brief by the AARP about the evils of pyramid schemes was submitted to the court:

    http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp...Management.pdf

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    https://www.truthinadvertising.org/w...icus-brief.pdf

    Another fabulous brief authored by Truth in Advertising. These crap pyramid schemes are facing mounting and very savvy opposition!

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    Re: Reps Suing Ignite / Stream Have Won in Appeals Court

    Stream, Ignite Class Action Lawsuit Certified by the Fifth Circuit

    by Scott Clearman in Case Examples, Commercial Litigation, Current Litigation
    On September 30, 2016, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt) decision certifying a plaintiffs’ class against Steam Energy, Ignite, it’s executives and top salespersons. The Fifth Circuit’s decision vacated a prior ruling by a three-judge panel and entered it’s decision in a rare en banc decision. Eleven of the judges favored the decision, while only five opposed. So, the class action against Stream, Ignite and the others continues.
    Scott M. Clearman and The Clearman Law Firm sued Stream and the others back in 2009.
    The class certification now affirmed is for:
    all [Ignite Independent Associates or IAs] who joined Ignite on or after January 1, 2005, through April 2, 2011, excluding the IAs subject to the Eleventh Circuit opinion in Betts.
    The Fifth Circuit correctly identified that the class includes only those IAs who “lost money.”
    The Texas district court’s exclusion of those IAs in the Eleventh Circuit deserves mention. It stated that “[in] Betts v. SGE Management, the Eleventh Circuit found Ignite’s original arbitration agreement (the one the Fifth Circuit found illusory and void) to be valid and enforceable.” As a result, the one plaintiff, Betts, had to pursue arbitration.
    The Texas District Court also found that the Georgia IAs are bound by the decision in Betts, and therefore could not include them in it’s certified class. Scott Clearman disagrees and will seek to bring those IAs excluded by the Eleventh Circuit decision (Georgia, Alabama and Florida) into a class.
    Download a copy of the ruling (PDF)

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