"The Suze Orman Problem: Scams, Shams
A New Documentary Film Exposé
An honest and in depth look at the problematic effects of Suze Orman's behavior, ideas, and insatiable greed for personal profits on society and the economy.
A labor of service for the public good.
America, you've been conned!
Play the full documentary film here, or you can click here to play on YouTube.
Welcome to individuals, journalists, and government agencies. In this film and article, you will find clear and abundant evidence of Suze Orman fooling and conning the world, with ghostwriters and behind-the-scenes experts who have actually taken college courses in finance-related topics creating and supporting the "Suze Orman financial expert" facade. You will see Orman and her partners in crime committing blatant fraud throughout the media landscape, and stealing millions of dollars directly from the pockets of poor and middle class United States citizens who have fallen for Orman's scams, including her "Approved" card scam, Money Navigator Newsletter scam, Gold Rush scam, and the ultimate sham of Orman portraying herself as an expert in areas in which she has neither personal nor professional expertise.
Orman is a con artist gangster wannabe with South Chicago street smarts (who often brags about having more "hood" in her than most). During her rise from bakery waitress to "financial expert of the world," Orman has harmed and scammed many individuals personally and publicly with impunity, protected by some of the most powerful media and political figures (including Oprah Winfrey and Hilary Rosen), whose protection will allow Orman to even commit blatant fraud across the media landscape, as she did with sociopathic flair in 2012 and 2013, when fooling the poor and middle class into pouring their hard earned money into her pockets through her "Approved" prepaid debit card scam (watch the fraud for yourself in this video clip assembly).
And don't say Orman didn't warn everyone:
"I'm not in this for charity. This is a business, and anybody who thinks that it’s not a business is an idiot... I'll tell you the sources of my income -- everything I do is a source of income to me."
-- Suze Orman, from Chicago Tribune: "Ad puts adviser's advice in question
In this film, you will hear Orman bragging about her almost complete lack of finance education and far from illustrious ascent to power and fortune. You will see evidence of Suze Orman Inc. being a public puppet-for-pay mouthpiece for the same banks, corporations and billionaires who have supported and covered up her long strings of scams, shams, and shenanigans, through which Suze Orman has plundered the public and distorted the economy to fill her own pockets for the past fifteen years. In this film, you will watch Oprah Winfrey's entire producer team try to convince Oprah not to let Orman treat their guests in a "bloody" and "brutal" way, and much more.
The reason I feel responsible for making this information available:
In the early 1990s, I made the mistake of allowing a manipulative thief, liar, and con artist named Suze Orman to convince me to use my skills and Hollywood contacts to get her booked on her first television shows and to produce, film, script, and edit a video that misrepresented Orman's almost complete lack of media experience and financial expertise. This was not the first, and certainly not the last time Orman has conned good people into compromising their integrity to fill her pockets, before she'd try to ruin their good names and harm their lives. In this film and article, you will see several examples of Orman doing the same abuse and damage to her more recent partners and associates who knowingly or unknowingly helped her to fool and plunder the public even more.
I feel regret and personal responsibility for the damage Suze Orman has caused to individuals, the economy, and the fabric of society, because that deceptive video I produced with my award-winning film skills, along with a great deal of other assistance I contributed to sparking Suze Orman's public speaking and writing career, helped Orman get her first book deal with a quality publisher after her proposal had already been turned down by over thirty publishers. It is my hope that this documentary film and article will finally help to stop the damage. I invite individuals to share the links with friends and associates, and I welcome journalists to use any of this gathered research freely in your own efforts to reveal and remove this particularly destructive log from today's political, corporate, and economic log jams.
If you think Orman is a caring and honest financial expert, just watch even the first ten minutes of this documentary film and skim through this article, and you will find an abundance of evidence of many facets of the Suze Orman problem. If you are a journalist or government official entrusted with protecting the public from fraud and theft, this documentation should provide plenty of evidence to produce a proper investigative report or file a case to bring this "Bernie Madoff for the poor and middle class" to justice so the world can move on to non-sociopathic advisors moving forward.
This film and article show Orman going far beyond what many hucksters have already received lengthy prison sentences for doing, apparently feeling protected from due justice by her behind the scenes webs of support and protection, including Oprah Winfrey -- who you will see in the film irrationally defending Suze when her entire "Oprah Show" producer team brings up concerns about Orman's "brutal" and "bloody" attacks on guests -- with Orman vehemently protected by the same PR and political lobbyist damage control firm that is also representing the BP Oil Spill and other troubling clients.
You will hear clear evidence of Orman committing blatant fraud throughout 2012 and 2013 in a devious prepaid card scam designed to fool and steal millions of dollars directly from the pockets of the poor and middle class into her own. You will hear blatantly fraudulent FICO frenzied pitches on many CNN shows, The View, Oprah Winfrey Network, Wendy Williams, Nate Berkus, and a long list of local and national shows and media venues. Orman's misinformation campaign fooled many financially uneducated victims into pouring their hard earned dollars into her shoddily run prepaid card that stole far more than the twenty admitted fees from card customer's accounts before abruptly closing in July 2014, without a peep about the card closing from Orman, but with many customers unable to access whatever of their own money was left after paying all the fees.
Watch Video Clip Examples of Orman's Prepaid Card Fraud Here or on YouTube
Orman's bigger vision for her prepaid card scheme, as you will hear her describe during CNN interviews in the film, was to fool millions of people into moving their money from the banking system onto her shoddy and shady card. Orman's sociopathic quest for even more millions of dollars off the backs of the poor and middle class was derailed to some degree because enough finance journalists finally felt obliged to speak up through Orman's webs of protection. Still, even with more than one hundred articles from finance journalists warning their readers not to be fooled, Orman's "Approved" card still stole massive amounts of money from poor and middle class citizens, who had also been fooled into using social media to spread Orman's parasitic misinformation con to their friends, family and followers, before her card went under without a single word from Orman, even when many users found themselves unable to access any of their own money that they had paid big fees to move to her card.
- Click here to see Orman's victims spreading her fraud to their friends and loved ones.
- Click here to read some of the heart-wrenching complaints from "Approved" card customers who were defrauded of large sums of their hard-earned money by Orman's devious prepaid card scam.
Although I am an author and filmmaker, this isn't my usual kind of topic. I've created this initial documentary film and presentation while also focusing on other more positive works, so please excuse any repetitions or other editing imperfections. I would have preferred for proper investigative and financial journalists and government agencies to have done the needful, but also feel obliged to help clean up a mess I contributed to creating many years ago.
Some journalists have delivered plenty of alarming information in their articles, including these:
- The Daily Beast: Can Suze Orman Save America? -- The title is a riff on the narcissistic sociopathy and delusions of grandeur Orman displays in this article, including, "I don’t question myself anymore. If I think it, I know it is true, and I don’t care what you say to me. I know my thoughts are true." In this article, Orman also claims that she deserves to win a Nobel Prize. (Do they give Nobel Prizes for most successful scams?)
- New York Times: Suze Orman is Having a Moment -- filled with examples of Orman's bad behavior and deceptive nature.
- Reuters: The Troubling Fine Print of Suze Orman's Prepaid Card -- "If Orman 'hates extra fees,' as she says in the advertising, then why promote a card that's loaded with them?" Note that even with over one hundred articles from journalists top to bottom warning their readers about Orman's prepaid card's thirty fees from $1 to $30 a pop, none of them properly addressed the fact that Orman's shoddily run card lost users' accounts left and right and charged many undisclosed and mistaken fees, forcing users to spend big bucks on many $2 phone calls to Orman's incompetent card management and call center in the Philippines to try to get their money back. That problem continued when the card abruptly closed in 2014, keeping many users' saved funds and leaving them unable to access their own money to buy basic necessities for their families.
Read some examples of complaints from "Approved" card users who lost a lot of money that went into Orman's pockets.
- Forbes: Sizzling Suze -- Details some of Orman's shenanigans from early in her deceptive career, before Steve Forbes became one of Orman's protectors.
- Fredd Blog: Suze Orman: If you take her advice, you're an idiot -- Fredd blog warned readers about Orman's shams a year before more than one hundred finance journalists, top to bottom, wrote articles to warn their readers about Orman's even more brazen "Approved" prepaid debit card fraud scheme.
- Suze Orman and Lil Wayne: A Match Made in Heaven Forbes
"Celebrity prepaid debit cards are both hilarious and horrifying. Hilarious because they are an excruciatingly obvious ploy to feed the greed of money-bloated fame-mongers. Horrifying because they prey on the poor and financially illiterate...In their eagerness to capitalize on a trendy and morally dubious market, Suze Orman and Lil Wayne will only deepen the financial woes of the unbanked. Spread the word. If enough truth proliferates, these prepaid atrocities will succumb to the same embarrassing fate as the Kardashian catastrophe."
- Eric Tyson, author of many finance-related "For Dummies" books has also been warning readers for years about Orman's deceptive career in his books and in this article.
Even with many articles warning the public about Orman's scams, shams, and shenanigans, the plundering and distortion of America and the world by Suze Orman and what CNN’s Chris Cuomo called “The Orman Cabal” continues unabated, so I've done my best to present what should be more than enough information for any thinking person to realize that there is a serious problem with Suze Orman having any, much less extreme influence in today’s world. (Orman protector Forbes named Suze Orman as the ninth most influential celebrity of 2013, at the same time her "Approved" card scheme was raking in millions from the middle class and poor.)
Someone asked if I had a bone to pick with Suze Orman. My response: "I do have a bone to pick with anyone who is harming the country and people's lives, but am especially moved to act on it when I bear some personal responsibility for helping the person onto the public stage, in spite of clear indications of her severe personality issues that I mistakenly overlooked at that time."
Some quick links:
- Suze's “Approved" Prepaid Debit Card Scam
- Video Clips of Suze’s Prepaid Debit Card Fraud in Action Throughout the Mainstream Media
- Suze Orman: Fooling and Targeting the Poor and African Americans
- Suze's Attempts to Fool and Plunder the Occupy Movement
- The Suze Orman Money Navigator Newsletter Scandal
- A Warning About Suze's Almost Complete Lack of Financial Education and Credentials (by the author of Personal Finance For Dummies)
- Suze’s Early History of Shams and Shenanigans That Took Her From a Waitress with Zero Financial Education to Self-Proclaimed "Financial Expert of the World"
- Suze's Disturbing Exploitation of Disasters and QVC Hard Sells
- Suze's FICO Shenanigans
- Suze's Continuing Shenanigans in 2013
- Suze's 2014 "Approved" card cover-up "Change.org petition scam"
- Suze's Personal Gold Rush that Made Her Richer While Those Who Took Her Advice Became Poorer (just the way she likes it)
Most of my works are spirituality based, including Spirituality For Dummies, Secrets of Spiritual Happiness, A Modern Quest for Eternal Truth, and the Peace Pilgrim documentary film. I'm sure some spiritual folks would judge me for spending my precious time and focus on such an unsavory topic. I might have done the same if not for learning that when you contribute to creating a problem that has caused serious damage to individuals, the economy, and the fabric of society – especially when your personal goal is to help bring light to the world – staying silent is not really an option that brings peace of mind or heart. The least I can do to try and alleviate the damage caused by my mistaken actions in helping Suze Orman on to the public stage is to use my writing and filmmaking skills to present a mountain of evidence that is still the tip of the Suze Orman iceberg, but nevertheless shows that this empress not only has no clothes, but she’s been picking pockets all along the way and messing up the streets, people’s homes, and the economy. CNBC got it more right than they probably know with this alarming October 2014 headline:
Oh yes, and with all that damage comes some general, basic financial advice from someone who never took a single finance related college course, but whose books, articles, and other information are often the product of behind the scenes experts and ghostwriters, with a whole lot of banks and corporations paying a steep price to fill Suze Orman's pockets and be recommended with her emphatic, over the top theatrics. Click here to see one example of Orman's theatrics for pay.
Come on, government agencies. I know you've been coming to this page numerous times. How about taking steps to protect the public, our country, and the world from the continuing damage from what CNN's Chris Cuomo recently called, "The Orman Cabal?"
How about you, Orman supporter Senator Elizabeth Warren, former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who claims to want to protect the public, while you continue to protect and enable this scoundrel who is ripping off the poor and middle class, and harming the U.S. economy. Don't you think it is time to clean this up?
One of Orman's recent business partners shared with me tales of being one of Orman's behind-the-scenes experts, because even though she has picked up many facts along the way about Roth IRAs and things, she barely got a BA in social work after many years of struggling to even get a grade "C" in any course. You'll also see other documentation in this presentation that indicates a latticework of behind the scenes experts and ghostwriters who have worked for many years to keep the "financial expert" facade going. This recent partner told me that Orman would call to ask what she should say in interviews and social media, after which she would repeat his words and knowledge as though they were her own. This expert, like me and many others was used, abused, ripped off, and defamed by Orman after she used our skills and good names to run her scams and fill her endless hole of desires. He is currently writing a book that will include emails and other evidence he claims will prove the outrageous extent of Orman's fraud even beyond all the evidence I've presented here.
People who are basing their most important life decisions on trusting the financial and personal relationship advice that Orman has given very liberally, assuming she has some kind of education or degree in any subject relevant to either finance or psychology – with Orman emphatically and confidently telling mothers not to help their children, telling wives to divorce husbands who are not good with money, demanding that people get rid of their beloved pets who would likely be euthanized, and many other harmful doozies – deserve to know more about who they are trusting, rather than just assuming that because Oprah and others have given their stamp of approval, they don’t need to be vigilant when it comes to Suze Orman.
In the documentary film, you will see how Suze used her undeserved trust and extreme influence to derail the 2008 economic stimulus and intentionally distort and damage the United States economy, resulting in more millions of dollars in her own pockets and headlines such as the Wall Street Journal's, "Crisis Makes Suze Orman a Star," and Time Magazine's, "Suze Orman: Queen of the Crisis." You will watch Orman lie through her teeth throughout the media landscape with a media wide fraud campaign that fooled mostly the poor and middle class to throw away their hard earned money on a predatory piece of plastic, filled with fee-laden land mines and many instances of losing people's entire accounts of money.
Suze Orman is a scam upon a scam, within a scam
Orman's harmful actions were bad enough before she began her biggest con game of all, the "Approved" prepaid debit card scam, which was clearly intended fool millions of poor and middle class citizens into moving their money from banks and credit unions onto her shoddily run card that lost people's accounts right and left, stealing user's money with improper fees for the card's own rampant incompetence. Orman bragged that she had earned back her millions of dollars of investment in the card within just over one year from its launch, in part from an untold number of $2 calls to Orman's incompetently run call center in the Philippines by frantic card users who were unable to buy food for their children, all because Suze Orman's widespread media fraud and outright lies had convinced them that using the "Approved" card would improve their FICO scores. Then Orman gave those fooled by her fraud one more big kick in the but when her card went bust in 2014 without a single word from Orman, leaving many users unable to access their hard earned money at all, while Orman posted photos of her luxury yacht vacation in the Cayman Islands.
You will watch as Orman created a huge fervor to buy gold in 2011 -- with Orman bragging about how she reaped big profits and left all those who took her advice to watch their investments disappear, after which she bragged to a Reuters journalist, regarding her scam-riddled newsletter that she soon after denounced, "That newsletter is fabulous...It has been been beating the market by a lot... We issued a buy for an ETF for gold, we are up 5% in that ETF in a week and a half." (Click here to read the whole Reuters article with more interesting info about Orman defending her prepaid debit card scheme.)
You will watch as Orman distracts from the deadline of her prepaid debit card scam with a Change.org petition scam directed toward Senator Elizabeth Warren, who certainly knows better than to think the government should step in and tell a private company that they have to use completely irrelevant information to determine someone's credit history. Soon after, Orman lavished public praise on Warren and her book, declaring to great media fanfare that Warren should be the next president, to which CNN's Chris Cuomo decried the "Orman Cabal."
Click here for more on "Hilary Rosen, Elizabeth Warren, and the Suze Orman Cabal."
One of the many business partners and behind-the-scenes experts Orman has used and abused in recent years told me he is currently writing a book that will contain emails that prove Orman is a fraud, and worse, saying that all the information I've gathered in this film and article are not even close to the tip of the iceberg of what she is really doing. Nevertheless, even in the tip of the iceberg that is covered in this film, you will see why Suze Orman’s name should go down in history right next to Bernie Madoff's, except that while Madoff plundered the wealthy, Orman has slopped up and stolen a fortune directly from the pockets of the middle class and the poor, while causing damage to the economy of the United States of America.
With Suze now starting to perpetrate her financial scams on other countries, it is time for us to clean up these shenanigans and turn toward more trustworthy financial experts who, unlike Suze, have actual financial educations. It is time to choose non-sociopathic financial experts who don't sell the content of their advice to the highest bidder, but have helpful intentions to guide the most important decisions of people's lives at this important time in human history.
Update: One more Suze Scam goes bust after plundering the public
The Suze Orman "Approved" card closed all accounts as of July 1, 2014, leaving many who fell for her debit card fraud unable to access their own money. But don't worry about Orman's overly stuffed coffers. "Suze Madoff" let The Daily Beast know that she had already made back the millions of dollars she invested in the card and then some, money she stole from the pockets of poor and middle class victims who were fooled by Orman's media wide fraud campaign into thinking that moving money from their banks onto Orman's prepaid card would improve their FICO scores.
Nearly three months later, Rev. Pagan still hasn't received any response from Orman, telling me, "This is the only communication I received from anyone even remotely connected with the approved card. There was no information of any kind on the official website for the Approved Card or Ms. Orman."
Click here to read the confusing mess of the letter from Bancorp that was the only notification Approved card users have ever received that the card holding their hard earned money was closing.
Beginning on July 1st, 2014, a whole lot of people who trusted Orman's fraud found themselves unable to access their own money to pay rent, buy food, medicine, gas, and other necessities, not to mention the stress of wondering if they will ever see the money they saved on the card again.
Go Banking Rates: "Why Suze Orman’s Approved Card Will Soon Be Denied"
If card users set up direct deposit from their employers, as the card encouraged users to do in order to avoid a few of the many fees, Orman's "Approved" card has been keeping some additional paychecks sent to them after they abruptly closed users' accounts in too short of a time for people to change their deposit choices. This woman's plight is just one example of the damage this card closing is surely causing to many lives who have already been victimized by the overall high fees and shoddy management of Orman's "Approved" card that they thought was going to improve their FICO scores:
This disabled vet is asking Senator Elizabeth Warren to help get his money back from the "Approved" Card, which already stole a lot of unnecessary fees from his limited income, due to Orman's successful media widespread fraud that convinced many that using her card were going to improve their FICO scores:
Unfortunately for that disabled vet who is asking Senator Warren for help in getting his stolen money back from Orman's card, Warren seems to be entangled in what Chris Cuomo recently called "The Orman Cabal," More on the Senator Warren/Orman Cabal part of the "Suze Orman Problem" here.
More than a month after Orman's card closed, users still have no idea if or when they'll get their money back, and Orman's strategy for dealing with the corrupt mess she created to steal from the poor and middle class has been to disappear without saying a word other than what her representatives are posting on social media on her behalf to pitch her show.
Not a peep from Orman to all the users who were fooled into buying and pouring their hard earned money into the fees and planned obsolescence mistakes of the card that generated a whole lot of those $2 customer service calls to Orman's incompetent call center in the Philippines, and who were just told by US Bank to spend all the money they'd placed on the card by July 1st. As of August, still no word from Orman, who instead posted photos of herself and her partner in crime enjoying those fees and improper charges stolen from the poor and middle class on her luxury yacht vacation.
In September 2014, two months after the card closed, with still no mention of the card closing by Orman or on the Approved Card website (which in October finally went dark) and with card users unable to access their own money for basic necessities, Orman posted this video of herself and her partner in crime laughing all the way to the bank.
August 2014: A letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (click to read)
While Orman was pitching her fraudulent frenzy throughout the media landscape in 2012, TransUnion also gave a cagey answer to one of the few Orman-friendly journalists about their little "experiment" with Orman's Approved card -- the very "experiment" she used to give a false impression that using her "Approved" card would improve users' FICO scores.
"TransUnion is committed to supporting Suze's efforts to understand the impact of pre-paid card use on an individual's credit health. Our goal is to help Suze understand whether including this data in a consumer's credit report would impact access to credit products." It doesn't say a word about being interested in the research themselves or about any interest in this information from FICO, rather TransUnion is "supporting Suze's efforts," and "helping Suze understand." That is a far cry from Orman's mediawide fraudulent claims that TransUnion and FICO were looking to see if her debit card can create a FICO score. See the scam?
The unhappy "Approved" card user who wrote this iCNN article also shared with me this mess of a letter he received from US Bancorp informing him that his fee-laden "Approved" card was about to abruptly close. The letter began with what sounded like a legal requirement to tell people that prepaid cards do not improve anyone's FICO scores, except maybe Orman's with the millions she raked in from the pockets of the middle class and poor who fell for her scheme. The letter gave card users two months to spend all of the long and short term money they'd stored on the card.
The single Bancorp letter is the only notification card users received about the card, so all the card users who missed this one letter found themselves unexpectedly unable to access any of their money on July 1st. Even months later, while parading around photos of her around the world luxury vacation with her partner in crime and going on major news shows to yell at the Microsoft CEO about karma, Orman has never once been asked about the closed card or said a single word about it. Pretty much the only journalist who even asked Orman about her card claims was Adam Aurianna from The Daily Beast, who received personal access to Orman and wrote quite a telling article, in which Orman says the card is doing great and that she and her partners had already earned back their millions of dollars in investments.
Here's what Orman said to The Daily Beast in an article from November, 2013, less than six months before US Bank informed customers that the card was going to close:
Months after the card closed, there has not been a word from Orman, two and a half years after she appeared on over one hundred television, radio, and print outlets pushing her "Approved" card scam. Orman and her protectors know that the best way to make her strings of scams disappear is to ignore them and cover them up with new headline blasts. Hopefully my efforts will help stop these scams.
The US Bancorp letter, dated May 1st, begins: "Our records indicate that you hold The Approved Prepaid MasterCard issued by The Bancorp Bank. This is a prepaid card and thereby not reported to any credit reporting agency (which is the main reason most card members got the card after being fooled by Orman's fraudulent mediawide scam)...This letter is to notify you that The Bancorp Bank will discontinue all services in connection with these Cards, effective July 1, 2014...Use remaining balances before July 1, 2014...we encourage you to bring your available balance to $0.00 prior to your expiration date. If you have any balances in your Goal Funds you will need to transfer the balances to your primary account..." How many people will not understand or open the single letter from US Bank about the card closing and will simply find themselves unable to access any of their money, including whatever they had moved into the card's sections for long term savings as recommended by Orman herself? Sounds like there is a whole lot of room for those already victimized by Orman's high fee card to get fleeced a little more on the way out.
Here is an example from social media of how Orman's media blitz fraud fooled many viewers into believing that using her card was going to increase their FICO scores -- completely false information that these victims then spread to their family, friends, and followers, who then got onto the train to Approved card hell.
In stark contrast to Orman's wild headline blast through the mainstream media that fooled poor and middle class people into falling for her "Approved" card fraud, this card closure was done so quietly that there was not even a peep in any press about the closure, until I sent a Twitter message to New York Times finance journalist Ron Lieber, who wrote an article about it. Even if the closure has not been publicly announced, the "Approved" card is clearly closed; the links no longer work on its website, and customers have been complaining about their accounts being closed.
Now that the Senate's Consumer Protection panel has questioned Dr. Oz about his overly enthusiastic recommendations for some questionable weight loss products, it is time to clean up a much bigger Oprah protégé problem. If you think Senator Claire McCaskill, chair of the Senate's Consumer Protection panel, should be asking Orman, her "cabal," and those who are blocked from speaking up by Orman's ironclad confidentiality agreements, about all the millions of people who have been ripped off by her prepaid card and other scams, please send a message to Senator Claire McCaskill here:
Let's get one thing straight here. In spite of Orman's widespread media hype and outright lies, there was never a chance that her "Approved" card was going to do a single thing to help anyone's FICO score, certainly not in the first two years, and certainly never with the very limited information TransUnion was looking through about where card users spent their money, with no access to any other individual facts about users, since the information was anonymous. When asked about Orman's claims, FICO's spokesperson, obviously trying to be honest but gentle so as not to upset their biggest proponent (although Orman still took revenge on FICO a few months later), nevertheless told the Baltimore Sun, "In our (FICO's) experience, spending is not actually a great indicator of the thing that the FICO score tries to measure, which is the likelihood you're going to default on a credit bill."
It was all a big Suze Scam that fooled people into paying big fees and money from every transaction they conducted with the card, into Orman's pockets, with victims of her fraud actually paying to give their spending information to a corporation. Even usually savvy people were fooled into moving money from their banks onto Orman's card, certain that they had just heard her say that the card was going to increase their credit scores. You'll see "Suze Madoff's" latticework of claims and disclaimers about her "Approved" card that she repeated throughout the media landscape in both the full documentary film and the debit card fraud clips video.
The Fees on Orman's "Approved" Card
Beyond the Fees
As bad as these twenty fees listed in the card's fine print are, "Approved" card holders spent a whole lot more than that due to the gross sloppiness of Orman's card that charged improper fees at every turn.
The big bucks especially flowed into Orman's pockets from those $2 per call customer service calls, coupled with extremely incompetent card management that lost many users' accounts and charged a whole lot of inappropriate fees.
I found all those complaints from a few web searches, so you can imagine how many more examples of Approved card theft took place in the past 2 1/2 years, with a massive scam that was publicized by some of the world's favorite television shows. Where is a lawyer to file a class action lawsuit to question those involved and get these financially victimized people their hard earned money back?
Personally, I'm not as concerned about Orman receiving long overdue justice for her schemes as I am in stopping the continuing damage she causes on so many levels of society, due to her extreme, Oprah-bestowed influence. If Orman receiving proper justice for her fraudulent schemes would help to erase some of her previous damage, then I hope for that. Many have gone to prison for doing far less damage than "Suze Madoff" has done. I do think that the opportunity for a government agency to question the “Orman Cabal” and others who may currently be bound by confidentiality agreements would yield abundant facets that should also be cleaned up, for the good of the world.
Here is the response from Suze's spokeswoman, Jill Zuckman, managing director specializing in strategic communications for Hilary Rosen's SKDKnickerbocker, to questions by a finance journalist from Bloomberg about Orman's prepaid card scam, with not a shred of accurate information to refute their claims, because the whole "Approved" prepaid card is a case of greed-fueled smoke and mirrors:
As for what TransUnion might be getting from this deal, aside from free access to a whole lot of personal spending data, "Mr. Consumer," Ed Dworsky points out, "If you only read the headlines about the free TransUnion credit score, report and credit monitoring benefit, you may miss the fact that the service is only free for the first year. After that, if you want to keep it, it is $143.40 a year."
Again, this $143.40 per year charge is for credit score information that can easily be accessed for free on sites such as Credit Karma, which also gives access to the other two main bureau scores, along with TransUnion, all 100% free. It won't take too many uneducated users of Suze's card trusting her enough to pay this ridiculous, completely unnecessary annual fee of $143.40 for Suze to plunder more big profits from the poor and uneducated for herself, US Bank, and TransUnion. It's a "scamducken": scams within scams, covered with scams.
In November 2013, Orman told The Daily Beast that her card broke even within a year and a half of launching, which means it has taken in millions of dollars of fees, lost paychecks and accounts, and a whole lot of those $2/call customer service calls -- fees that Orman stole directly from the pockets of the poor and middle class who were fooled by her media-wide fraud campaign. TransUnion also continued to obfuscate. Someone needs to question Orman, TransUnion, and FICO under oath!
The "Orman Cabal" Spin Begins!
US Bank, who is closing Orman's card, has refused to give journalists any information about why it is closing, just as TransUnion has refused to give any details about their little pseudo "experiment" with Orman that fooled so many into pouring their hard earned dollars into the pit of her card that goes into Orman's gluttonous pockets.
The spin on this card has continuously come from Orman's damage control PR experts, the same team -- SKDKnickerbocker and Hilary Rosen -- who have been covering up the BP oil spill, who are credited with making millions of dollars from destroying Napster ("Hilary Rosen banked millions destroying Napster"), and who represent companies that are moving from the United States to take advantage of tax loopholes.
Here is more on Orman's protectors, Hilary Rosen and SKDK from "The Real Hilary Rosen Scandal" at The Nation:
"We’ve compiled a partial list of SKDKnickerbocker’s clients. Since the firm refuses to register as an ordinary lobbying firm, we don’t know their full roster of clients:
— SKDKnickerbocker was hired by Kaplan Education to block Obama’s reforms on for-profit college companies, an industry plagued by by low quality education, false promises to students, and fraudulent business practices.
— SKDKnickerbocker was hired to push for billions in tax breaks for already profitable corporations. As Bloomberg reported, SKDKnickerbocker manages a lobbying campaign called “Win America,” an effort by companies like Google and Pfizer to receive hundreds of billions in tax breaks on profits made overseas.
— SKDKnickerbocker was hired by a coalition of food manufacturers to fight the Obama administration’s proposals on food nutrition standards. As the Washington Post reported, the firms paying Dunn include General Mills and PepsiCo.
The PR coverup excuse for the messy demise of Orman's shoddy card, which was first suggested in the New York Times and then requoted in other articles, is that the "Approved" card fees were so low, and that Orman was being so generous, that the card couldn't sustain itself. This is a load of baloney, especially when you see all the complaints from people who lost a whole lot more than those twenty listed fees from using Orman's card.
New York Times journalist Ron Lieber said, “Ms. Orman’s consumer-friendly tactics may have undermined the profitability of the venture, according to experts. At first, Ms. Orman had hoped to offer the card with no monthly fee at all, and it is possible that her customer-friendly $3 fee proved too low, given all the associated costs." Note that the only expert he is quoting was the manager of another prepaid card that had even larger monthly fees and is also considered to be predatory by many financial experts, although at least that card didn't charge those scandalous $2 fees to call customer service when Orman's shoddy card lost users' entire accounts over and over again.
Maybe Mr. Lieber is afraid to take on "the Orman Cabal." After all, his wife writes books about the same political circles Rosen frequents.
Click here to watch a May 2014 clip of CNN journalist Chris Cuomo bravely bringing up a need to take on the "Orman Cabal."
In his New York Times article about the card closing, Lieber -- who was also the first journalist Orman went to when she launched the "Approved" card -- added many overly generous assumptions about all the good Orman wished she could have done, hoped to do, or was proud of wanting to do, using a supportive quote from the same "expert" Lieber quoted in his first article that introduced the card, that manager of another exploitative prepaid card. Since Orman did not respond to Lieber's or anyone else's requests for comment, he must have been assuming good faith to an extreme degree, especially since Lieber has seen this webpage and likely watched at least some of the documentary film -- he follows me on Twitter, where we have shared some direct messages. Even with his overly positive view of Orman's motives regarding her "Approved" card scam, the facts in Lieber's article point to some of the problems beneath the surface, including this: "It is unclear exactly why Ms. Orman’s venture is ending. A spokesman for Bancorp Bank, which ran the back-end systems for Approved, declined to comment, citing a policy of not making statements about its partners. Ms. Orman could not be reached for comment. The website for the card does not appear to have been updated recently, and as of Monday night, had no mention of the card’s status." Notice how similar US Bank's response is to the noncommittal response by her other partner in this scam, TransUnion:
Although I appreciated him giving me a tip of the hat, Mr. Lieber left off a mountain of facts that you can see quite clearly in this article and in the video above, where Lieber also has an interesting cameo, in which Orman insults him by mistake, forgetting that he is one of the"friendly" journalists whom she doesn't consider to be one of those "Suze haters" who "yap, yap, yap, right at my little feet" -- something you'll hear Orman say in this clip with sociopathic relish:
Click here to play the clip of Orman's interview with Arianna Huffington that Lieber is referring to, with other telling information that helps to explain why her card is such a mess.
That exchange was from January 2012, when Orman was rolling out her prepaid debit card scam. While overly generous to Orman, Lieber's recent article about the "Approved" card closing did bring some facts to light:
"Suze Orman is quietly getting out of the payments business. Starting July 1, Ms. Orman’s Approved card, a prepaid debit card aimed at budget-challenged consumers, will no longer work, according to a letter from Bancorp Bank, her partner on the product. Bancorp is encouraging cardholders to spend all the money on their cards before that date. After that, it will send checks to people for any remaining balances. It is unclear exactly why Ms. Orman’s venture is ending. A spokesman for Bancorp Bank, which ran the back-end systems for Approved, declined to comment, citing a policy of not making statements about its partners. Ms. Orman could not be reached for comment. The website for the card does not appear to have been updated recently, and as of Monday night, had no mention of the card’s status."
One inaccuracy in his opening sentences is where Lieber calls the Approved card, "a prepaid debit card aimed at budget-challenged consumers." As you'll see repeatedly in the film, Orman was asking people from all walks of life to "join my People First Movement," and to leave their banks and move their money to the Approved card. You will see her tell John King that she envisions a world where all transactions take place on prepaid card -- i.e. hers. Obviously Orman thinks the American public is easy to fool into anything, and her assumptions would likely have once again proved accurate if not for well over one hundred articles by finance journalists top to bottom, warning the public about Orman's prepaid card scam in 2012. Note that these warnings about Orman's fee-laden card and the FICO scam that went with it didn't take into account that Orman's card was going to be run in a completely slipshod and incompetent manner, losing people's accounts, charging extra fees, locking many people out of their accounts, and costing users a whole lot of those $2 phone calls to customer service.
But don't worry about Orman, she made her money back, plus more, and is enjoying spending all those fees on her luxury vacation, strategically taken just as the card closure was going to inevitably be discovered, with no way for any journalists or card users to contact her for an explanation.
Huffington Post, in which Arianna herself did a video interview that allowed Orman to fool and scam her readers (you'll see clips of this in the documentary, or you can view longer clips here) once again hosted space for damage control now that the card has stolen what it could from customers and is closing without giving anyone the credit score boost they were expecting. This Huffington Post article is written by someone who runs a website that recommends prepaid debit cards, which most financial experts describe as one of the worst financial products available, due to the unavoidable fees, even aside from the complete incompetence of Orman's card and the exploitative $2 fees to call customer service. The title of this ridiculous article is: "Suze Orman Nixes Her Prepaid Debit Card; It Appears Her Dream of Helping Millions to Establish and Build Credit Is Dead." A more accurate subtitle would have been, "Although Orman earned back all of her investment and more in fees plundered and outright stolen from 'Approved' card users, it appears her dream of breaking the banking system and fooling millions more into moving their money to her fee-laden card is dead." This Huffington Post article is an example of how PR spin can turn a fraudulent money grab that stole millions of dollars from the poor and middle class and should have landed the perpetrator in prison into an altruistic disappointment.
Upstart Business Journal also joined the obfuscation spin, by actually writing an article titled, "Suze Orman prepaid debit card too good a deal?" that has already been republished and retweeted by other media outlets. This homage to Orman's good heart starts by saying, "You can't fault Suze Orman for trying to help people..." The same publication, Upstart Business Journal, also appears in our larger presentation page section that shows how a negative article about Orman in Portfolio Conde Nast was rewritten three years later to appear to be positive, after Portfolio was bought by none other than Upstart Business Journal. Oh the shenanigans! See the original and rewritten Portfolio and Upstart articles here.
Remember that "Saint Orman" didn't just endorse this card as most celebrities have with their prepaid cards; she created and owns it, and told the Daily Beast that the card broke even a year before it was closed -- making back Orman's millions of dollars of investments off the backs of the poor and middle class who were fooled into thinking using Orman's shoddily run card would improve their FICO scores.
During the past two and a half years, every time her employees made a mistake, the result was more money in Suze Orman's bank; a con artist's dream come true, $2 for each call to straighten out problems when the card loses people's money. The card would also hold people's money for a long time and hold an additional 20% when people use the card at restaurants, and oh so many other "Approved" card twists and turns, after Orman repeated throughout the media landscape, "This card will only cost you $3 a month if you use it how I tell you to." Most people ripped off by Orman's card were just quietly victimized, without posting about it online or knowing about other steps to take to get justice.
Orman and her partner in crime KT were probably hoping this fiasco would go under the radar as most of their other busted scams have, but if this "Bonnie and Clyde" team ends up being called to justice for their crimes, we just might see them disappear at sea. If you knew Suze, you'd know that is not outside the realm of possibility, especially given her repeated claims that by the end of 2014, she's going to close down her website and "go fishing." Well, who knows. Here they are boating around the Cayman Islands while the card was being closed -- the very place that some criminals go to hide their money from things like monetary judgments for fraud. Click here for some info about Orman's partner and PR representative Hilary Rosen's other dealings in the Cayman Islands.
As one of Orman's recent business partners told me, all the information I've shared in this film and article is not even the tip of the iceberg of the Suze Orman problem, nevertheless it is a big chunk. This public service effort is not about whether Orman's advice about investing in stocks is good or bad, but about something more important and insidious that needs to be addressed for the good of humanity, not to mention the economy and the pocketbooks of the poor and middle class.
A journalist recently asked if I had a "bone to pick" with Suze Orman. My response: "I do have a bone to pick with anyone who is harming the country and people's lives, but am especially moved to act on it when I bear some personal responsibility for helping the person onto the public stage, in spite of clear indications of her severe personality issues that I mistakenly overlooked at that time."
As one of many who have been personally scammed and ripped off by Orman and her deceptive and depraved ways as she clawed her way to the top, it is easier for me to see her scams in progress when she fools and plunders the public. Therefore, I have been moved by personal responsibility to use my skills as an author and filmmaker to make this information available as best I can. What started as a blog post some years ago in hopes of assuaging my deep regrets for having helped such a destructive person onto the public stage has ballooned with a constant stream of Orman's scams and shenanigans into several webpage articles with hundreds of links and a full two-hour documentary film with plenty of evidence for individuals, journalists, and government agencies who have been entrusted with protecting the public. I've done my best to organize this information while working on many other projects, so please excuse any duplicated information or "rambling." At some point, I may be able to offer a more streamlined version, although I prefer to focus on more positive topics, and welcome journalists, government officials, and individuals to use the research I've offered to help stop the damage from Orman's scams, shams, and shenanigans.
September 2014 Update: Watch Orman lie during an event with Senator Warren
Just a short time after Orman and her political lobbyist protector Hilary Rosen made big headlines about how Orman wants Elizabeth Warren as the next president instead of Hillary Clinton, Senator Warren gave Orman undeserved credibility by appearing with her in a public forum. Orman was asked an obviously unexpected but obvious question about working for University of Phoenix, a predatory for-profit college that many financial advisors who are not being paid by the "University of Phoenix" consider to be the worst financial mistake anyone can make, as explained in this article and video clip:
"Suze Orman not only was hired by the University of Phoenix to teach an online personal finance course, but also last year she appeared at a Capitol Hill event where she promoted the school. It's difficult to understand how a person who proclaims herself 'undeniably America's most recognized expert on personal finance' could accept such a role when, for many people, enrolling at a for-profit college can be the worst financial decision they make in their entire lives."
Watch the clip as Orman lies, then admits this one of a long string of lies and misinformation she has been well paid to feed to American citizens during a major economic downturn that she contributed to creating.
Note that Senator Warren, who is supposedly intent on protecting the same poor and middle class citizens that Orman has plundered time and time again, including through her association with the University of Phoenix, just sits there smiling:
Orman appears to be upset that Politico's reporter may have violated their agreement not to mention the Approved card or her involvement with University of Phoenix:
I was a friend to Suze and helped to start her career at a time when she was unpublished, unknown, and deeply in debt. Since then, I've seen how she pretends to be friends with people, only to use their skills and contacts to further her career, before often leaving those "friends" in seriously worse condition than she found them, including Orman's infamous reputation slander campaigns.
We had hundreds of hours of conversation during our two years of association, which ended right as Orman's first book was at the printer, with double thanks to me in the acknowledgments. The fact that Suze stole a lot of money from me and caused significant harm to my life, as she has done to many of her other associates, is not my motivation for creating this documentary and presentation. I want the best for everyone, however it is not possible for me to stand back and watch silently as Suze Orman rips damaging holes through the economy, through many people's lives, and through the fabric of society.
A wisdom quote that is generally attributed to the Sufi path says, "Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: At the first gate, ask yourself, 'Is it true?' At the second, ask, 'is it necessary?' At the third gate, ask, 'Is it kind?'" What I am sharing in this film and article is truthful, is necessary, and of course it is kind for people who may avoid being fooled, conned, and harmed by Orman's scams and shenanigans. Speaking necessary truth can also be kind toward the person who is causing serious harm to the world, giving them a chance to repent and choose a better way.
I have many positive projects to work on, however this one has become important to address at this time. No matter how many times I've resisted speaking up about this matter, there would always be another Suze scam to remind me of the very real damage being caused by a serious problem I mistakenly helped to create, damage that I could possibly help curtail or stop by speaking up, regardless of how others might view me or the presentation. This exposé is also intended to be a gathering of evidence for journalists or government agencies who might like to take it from here.
Imagine helping someone get invited to a party, in spite of the person showing troubling behaviors from the day you met, and then having to watch as she steals money from the pockets of everyone at the party, including the house owners, guests, and wait staff. Imagine knowing she is a fraud as she fools them with flattery and extravagant false promises, and charms them with uber-confidence and the techniques learned from many years of fooling and plundering people as a con artist from the South Side Chicago hood, as you'll hear Orman intriguingly brag in the film, "where all the murders take place, that's where I grew up, everybody."
Imagine watching this scoundrel you helped gain entry to the party as she denigrates and brings down the level of discourse, watching as she bullies people, shouting and proclaiming what they must do, even though she has neither the personal nor professional credentials to be giving such advice. That is the regretful predicament I and others have been in for the past fifteen years, while watching Suze Orman use the public platform we helped her achieve to cause serious harm to individuals, the economy, and the fabric of society.
Although Suze stole a lot of money and caused a lot of troubles for me after I spent two years helping her on to the public stage, this film and presentation are not a matter of revenge or unforgiveness. I forgive and surely would have all but forgotten, if not for seeing Orman cause continuous damage and feeling a sense of personal responsibility to speak up and share my experiences and observations.
Many have additional information and insights to bring to light regarding the Orman phenomenon; if the requirements of Suze's ironclad confidentiality agreements were to be released, more would be able to tell what they know. One of Suze's recent partners did not sign an agreement in spite of daily pressure from her lawyers, and will hopefully be sharing his information in an upcoming book. Even an astrologer who saw this new documentary had some insights to share in a forum about how being deceitful to the public can be seen in Orman's chart, although the astrologer is wrong about Suze not caring about astrology; when I knew Suze, she was hopping from one astrologer and psychic to the next, and had quite the occult flair.
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