Investigating BBX has been an interesting exercise in that I knew the founder and had inside knowledge of its operations by way of dealings with the company for many years before I started this investigation. I share here the personal side of exposing a struggling barter exchange and likely being a tangible conduit to its impending demise. In particular I deal with the personal issues surrounding the sad events where a much loved and respected man has serious medical adversity, dies and his empire is subsequently found to have ‘issues’.
[ORIGINALLY POSTED in February 2017 at http://www.dennis.co.nz/2017/02/7-reflections-on-investigating-bbx/index.html]
Over the last few years, particularly since I wrote and released The Ormita Report, I have gained a lot of respect in the alternative currency world. While many fear my prying eyes in case I could turn on them, they do watch and observe and take note. I have not been sued because I cannot be sued if I speak the truth. I work very hard to speak it as accurately as I can.
Founder of BBX Michael Touma was a friend – not a bosom buddy friend but we helped each other in little ways over the years. He tipped me off decades ago when I was first in business with a bit of fatherly advice. I never took it and regretted that as it cost me but I’ll never forget that – he was like that to many.
He hated IRTA with a passion and constantly refused to be part of what he considered to be a corrupt organisation only out for its own small circle of cronies. He saw the leadership at the time (still there as at Q1, 2017) as in it for themselves and let me know regularly how much he concurred with my diagnosis that things were wrong “up there”; that bad things were happening in IRTA and that there had to be a better way.
He also was Bartercard’s direct opposition. Both Australian operations with global intent, he knew as well as anybody what their leadership was really up to with their IPO under ASX:BPS and reading between the lines you can probably understand that my accurate diagnosis of the dodgy prospectus was in some part due to Michael’s ‘inside’ [competitor] industry knowledge.
I never met nor knew his wife or children but of course over the years you get to hear stories. Some will never be repeated. Others are just nonsense but some of the gossip did become central to understanding in an investigation.
This all puts a huge weight of responsibility upon a whistleblower AND upon the media outlet that takes it and runs with it – in this case, me.
I want to show you the dynamics at play when dealing with deceivers, whistleblowers and things that, shall we say, have gone wrong in a business. While dealing with both parties – the whistleblower Cameron McKean & ex-staff/franchisees and also their opponents the Touma & BBX families – I got two totally contradictory stories, and these stories were never adjusted by either party throughout my investigation. Except for the explanation given by the whistleblower about Question 10 (where he simply explained that he was told this by the affected Touma family member and he simply asked the question) no one ever retracted, apologised or acknowledged error on ANY factor.
My approach and issues in determining reality which would give me an accurate analysis of the situation is best understood by sharing with you a section of lengthy off-and-on communications with BBX CEO Carolin McDonald. It comes at the tail-end of a week of trying to establish decent communications dealing with facts. I’ll give further commentary on this extraordinary communication at the end.
On 8 February 2017 at 11:21, BBX INTERNATIONAL | Chief Executive Officer | Carolin MacDonald <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Thanks for responding again Carolin. As I said, I think it is in everyone’s best interest to deal with facts.
Cameron seems intent on doing as much brand damage to BBX, its directors, global partners and members by any means possible,
Yes this may very well be the case. It’s too early for me to judge that properly though because as I have said, I have struggled to get any real evidence, like I said, of your court case or legal things. I’ve asked Cameron before for evidence, particularly around dates because it seems to me a pretty straight forward thing. He says there is no legal stuff which sounds a bit odd, so either he was flicked and then went out there with all this stuff in spite, or as he says he resigned and then you hit him with whatever. I’ve yet to receive anything from either of you that is something legal and dated, so it’s hard for me to prove reality. Because he says that there is nothing I’m at a loose end on that one to be quite frank. As I said I will be publishing but what I can actually say that I know is fact is at present quite limited. I’m prepared though to go both ways depending on what shakes down over the next couple of days.
all with wild claims and ZERO proof submitted to BBX Int legal teams or partners that have challenged him.
You know, I am and have asked for simple proof from both of you. The dates for example. If I have the actual dates of legal action resignation/firing [or whatever] then it’s really simple for me to make a call – you’re defensive and keeping mum – that’s fine but it doesn’t look good at present. As I said there is nothing major that I can ping Cameron for – yet, and this is quite unusual in investigations from my experience. If it was ALL BS as more than one BBX insider has told me then surely I could and can get something from you to verify this? There are another thirteen questions aren’t there? I can’t go out there saying that either you or he is the liar until I actually prove it. I CAN in all honesty say that the answer to Q10 is NO but really Carolin, that’s not much in the face of the whole 14 questions he’s posed. Do you see where I am coming from? I’m starting to lean in his favour – certainly that looks more like it the longer I have nothing.
My role is to protect to the best of my ability, within the law, with honesty and integrity our brand, global partners and members.
Totally of course, but I would have thought that the credibility I bring to the table would be HUGE and that you should be using me and this opportunity to springboard your Pacific/global expansion plans!
Look, there are a few people around who really regretted trying to take me on. Daniel Evans missed it totally and it took me six months fulltime before I got the truth out there, but I did. I gave him a chance and he blew it. Then in regards to The Netherlands, OK sure, it took me three years to get the evidence relating to Tradeqoin and Qoin out there because of IRTA’s active obfuscation and cover-ups but I did eventually get to the bottom of things. I don’t know what’s happening exactly within BBX but with Cameron’s questions and grizzles along the same or similar lines from some of your ex-people I think, as I said, just telling me that this guy is a BS artist might not cut the mustard, really, certainly not in the long-term.
As an investigative reporter you know your rights and obligations regarding anything you chose to print/make comment on.
I’m not 100% sure what you mean by this Carolin but if you are worried that I am going to go out there and hammer you just because some vindictive ex-Agent of yours spilled some vent publicly, you can rest assured that this is not going to happen – over my dead body in fact. I ALWAYS shoot straight and I can assure you that I always work from facts and evidence. So far I have nothing from you to address this guy’s concerns. OK sure, we can easily grant you number 10, but what about the reason why Magali gave up control of NZ? Pretty simple thing for me. Did she jump or was she pushed? I still don’t know. And please, don’t talk to me about Dave! I haven’t got specific with you yet about this because you closed me off and I respect that right to protect your family and the brand, genuinely but if I find deception there then the gloves gotta come off, surely, for that’s my job! Then with this one about the dates of the legal thing, termination or whatever happened whenever, that’s two questions bypassed totally when I would have thought it was in your interest to prove this guy wrong ASAP and use me to do the dirty work for you.
You can see my attitude and responses to these ethical and journalism issues all laid out well on my website. Go to the footer and click DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. It’s all there in black and white. Ask me any question you like and I’ll always shoot straight if I haven’t addressed what you were talking about well.
During this process and since Dad’s passing I have been advised by a Board of Advisors and BBX International Legal Team.
My comments on record are clear,
Yes they are but they are simply your comments – yes a formal official reply to my questions – thank you. But you have a vested interest in protecting the BBX brand as you’ve already said which is self-evident. That doesn’t mean that you are lying BUT it does mean that you lack the credibility I need without evidence. This is NOTHING personal. It is just reality. Say you were lying and deceiving me – what would you say? The same thing as you have? Of course!
Cameron’s claims are fraudulent
Maybe so! But this is exactly the same thing with him. You say, he says. Of course he can ask the questions and then tell me that the reason he asked the questions is because he believes the answers are all YES but that means nothing because he too has a vested interest as you all in BBX know full well. He’s clearly got an agenda. He’s totally pissed off – with something in BBX. But just because he has an agenda, like you have doesn’t mean that I automatically ignore what he says. You could both be lying or have things wrong or are misconstruing things for a reason. In my experience there is NEVER a 100% to 0% blame in a conflict situation. We know that Cameron is down to 13/14 with Q10 reasonably so let’s get the evidence and prove it one way or the other for the rest, or at least SOME of the rest. Yes?
Let’s get specific Carolin with the only one question I’m happy with at this stage that I have answered – Q10. You can’t prove a negative – it’s impossible. I can grant you that Magali’s name is not on the Disqualified Director’s list because I’ve checked. The realistic probability is that there is no error in the NZ website; that there is the possibility that some ban exists; or that Magali thinks there is or thought there is but she was removed in January 2017. You won’t explain why. Cameron says he was informed of this banning from Magali herself. I know because I asked him how he knew it. How the h*ll does a guy know something that is not on the records and why would he insist on it being accurate until I challenge him. You won’t explain the situation so I just sit here and keep on asking questions until I either have to write the story best as I can, or until I know what happened. I don’t give two hoots what happened, I just want to know. I don’t care if you did whatever you did that this guy Cameron is insinuating and I don’t care if BBX is going up or down as a result, but I do care when people lie to me or try to deceive me – that’s just me being anal, I know but it’s real!
So again today I ask you straight for the legal documents with the date on. I haven’t memorised these dates and want to finish this email so the reason I asked for proof of these documents with the date was because you raised the matter specifically referring to them as a cause of Cameron’s actions. It’s pretty simple to me – if Cameron says that there are none (again he can’t prove a negative) then it’s incumbent upon you surely to simply give me a copy of the dates of service or hearing or notice or whatever they do up there in Thailand. If the dates are prior to when he claims he pulled out then bingo – he’s toast. Totally caught out. Equally if your documents are dated after and nothing before his claimed resignation date then you’re the one telling porkies.
I can’t just take people’s word for all this. I need proof, evidence. It’s nothing personal either to you or him. It’s just reality. I can tell you that he wasn’t the happiest when I started to challenge him on his credibility which for sure supports the BBX people in their claim that he has an agenda but I don’t actually know whether he’s a top con-artist, a straight shooter or something in between. I don’t think he’s a conman because I can usually suss them out pretty quickly so he’s either got the goss on BBX and it’s real, or there’s something in between. This last one doesn’t leave me satisfied, so I will keep pounding away until I finally ‘get it’.
and the more he is cornered legally the more he is beginning to de-rail.
Sure. I DO know that he has sent this out to your people, that’s a fact that I’ve verified. He is the author and he did send it and he admitted it. It’s also very clear in the communication so it is not fraudulent in the sense that someone is using his identity. But that though is again a two edged sword. It may mean that he knows that he has to go out personally because he will be found out for sure but it may mean that he is genuine and for real. Time will tell I’m sure of that! He told me that he did not send it to the UK – I think because John may have helped him for something in the past but I haven’t gone into that in any way. I know and respect John from years of interaction and he tells me that Cameron has some [what I gather is] pretty serious personal issues and it’s all BS but is there something else Cameron is doing/has done to undermine BBX? You allude to something more he’s done or doing. Am I missing something? On or off the record is fine by me, as you wish.
I really would though, try to get you to see things as I do at present – the guy has put forward a series of pretty jolly serious claims by way of his questions and you first bypassed direct questions, then cut me off, then reinstated a relationship and now refuse to answer with proof. This is seriously not a good look Carolin. It’s totally your call, I know that of course, but I reiterate though the key points – without facts I cannot write definitively. That is NOT what BBX wants I would have thought. I would have thought that you want to nail the b*gger on every question literally proving without any question in my mind that he’s off his tree, but you haven’t. I wonder, is it because you can’t? Savvy?
Now on the other side, and this is the reason that gives me pause and makes me sit down and write like this is that John has told me very firmly that Cameron has lost the plot and he’s more than once talked BBX up as one of the ethical ones out there. Sure John has got pissed off with me and cut me off – fair enough that’s his choice too, but I never give up. Others too within BBX have spoken well of you and the direction things are going (actually in glowing terms) and they have supported your testimony that the Touma family is great and wonderful and would never do anything wrong and that Cameron is just [whatever] but look Carolin I knew your dad well, really well. He wasn’t a bosom buddy but we communicated a bit and I was involved somewhat, mainly back in the early days when NZ was going well, but BBX has had some real issues and I know that VERY well – you know that. I’m always a top trader and I pulled out of BBX years ago for very good reasons. I have excellent sources within the industry, going right to the top with people who have been around longer than you and a few even longer than BBX but I really don’t give too hoots about whether somebody said this or did that or whatever happens in the bedroom, bathroom or boardroom except when they lie about it to me, and especially if it means that the little guys miss out. That’s why the thing from Cameron looks on the surface like something very serious. It has what we call internal consistencies – on the surface it stacks up. It’s not an obvious fraud is another way to put this – he’s either dead right on these things or he’s a lunatic. BBX says it’s the latter. He claims it’s the former but you won’t give me the proof I need to nail him to the wall once and for all.
The instant somebody can cough up proof for me one way or the other, the instant I will then know the direction my blogging must/will take. I’ll tell you this too, as a courtesy and a show of goodwill I will show you the post before it goes up there and will correct any errors of fact immediately if there are any and/or give you full right of reply BEFORE it goes out. Same thing with John too. The point is this – I want the facts out there, whatever they are. If you are clean and Cameron is nuts – so be it. I want that out there. Whether there are a few rough edges and you gotta suffer a little pain to get this guy off your back and get on with life – likewise, I’m up for it. Or whether you’re all as crooked as a dog’s hind leg and you cop a hammering as a result of my investigation I honestly don’t care. I just want people to know the facts, I’ll put my personal take on it all and then we can all get on with our lives, in whatever direction that leads us – and you owe me a beer because this has taken forever to write!
I’m tied up for most of the rest of the day but can read emails at times and can chat via Skype tomorrow if you want. Thanks for reading this, over to you now I guess.
A few points here. This communication with Carolin started the day I received the original letter with 14 Questions from the Tipline. She was the FIRST person I contacted after speaking with the whistleblower. That is simple natural justice. She was initially VERY happy to talk and gave the appearance of wanting to be open and honest.
BBX INTERNATIONAL | Chief Executive Officer | Carolin MacDonald
3 Feb (6 days ago)
Absolutely we can talk as all claims by Camron Mckean are false, he has conjured it all up in response to the legal action we have taken against him, clubbarter and safepayme in the terminiton of his Master Franchise Agreement in Thailand.
Im free 10am or 11am syd time today for skype
But, she was naive, unprepared and openly evasive from the first question I asked and did so in a formal company response to a potentially serious PR problem. She then cut off the relationship when the going got tough, totally misreading the situation:
BBX INTERNATIONAL | Chief Executive Officer | Carolin MacDonald
3 Feb (6 days ago)
Ive provided all info currently that I believe is required, . . .
This all indicates EITHER that she had not taken legal advice [contrary to her claims], because all lawyers I know advise their clients to STFU the instant they have a potential PR or legal situation. By all means issue a media statement to the effect that they acknowledge the concerns and that they will revert in due course, sort of thing. “No comment at this stage, but we will in due course!” That deals with it professionally and buys time.
The second thing to note is that immediately even before we get to the first call she is defending and calling the whistleblower wrong. This is potentially [actually I think it probably is actually] defamatory as she was speaking on the record to an investigating blogger and she knew this as you can see from her raising the subject. Very inexperienced in the ways of the business world. The initial communication was a list of QUESTIONS. She turned them into CLAIMS and then attacked the writer . . . he’s unstable, liar, has ulterior motives [enter list of reasons here]. Whew! This is the sort of stuff to line the pockets of lawyers and judges, not the sort of thing I’d be wanting to do, provoke a whistleblower and up the anti, when you’re young at the game, on the back foot and with a few things to hide! Mud sticks even if you are right.
Thirdly, and this is the key point of this post, I would note the internal anguish that I have seeing the daughter of a founder of a not insignificant-sized business make a meal of it, to put it mildly. Here I think you can see how I explained gently and politely hoping against hope that she would read between the lines . . . I’ve been on it a week Carolin; I knew BBX and your father very well before I even got the tip-off and started this whole investigation . . . perhaps we should get a little real about it all?
She ignored it – totally. Bugger off Dennis!
It’s not easy sometimes but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. I had some lovely exchanges with some . . .
A Positive Example
Good Morning Dennis
Thank you for email and I’m glad to hear that you also want to clear the BBX name
No I want the truth. It’s not that I actually want anything. As I said to Carolin yestoday, I genuinely don’t have any beef. I just follow the evidence where ever ti leads then put my take on it. Sometimes (like in Daniel Evan’s Ormita thing I changed once I knew how bad it was and took an advocacy role but he was pretty nasty and pretty extreme because of his psychological issues. I could have nailed IRTA big time a year or two ago but let it go, and Bartercard is the big bad one of course. I’ve made my point with them and there will be a time coming when I will turn my attention back on them but in the meantime they box on. It’s not really me wanting to clear BBX’s name more get to the bottom of it all understand it and then get it out there accurately with meaningful commentary. That’s my goal anyway.
I had a good giggle when you said that Michael was no angel . . . . well, I haven’t met a guy that is as yet in my lifetime lol
Well you have now, so that makes two of us doesn’t it? LOL
Michael was a no ‘bullshit’ no nonsense type of guy and you knew where you stood with him in business.
Yup- Labanese trained by the French – couldn’t get a better recipe for no nonsense eh?
However once you get to know him you realise how much he loves his family and puts his family first, this also included the BBX Family.
I know. The thing that people have to realise is that I’ve been in the industry for decades and while I’m no big shot, over the years you know how it goes, you hear the gossip – good and bad and you tuck it away. That’s like it with me and Michael a few meetings and chats and a truckload of gossip!
At our Christmas parties, Michael personally cooked everything for all the staff, he put so much love into his food and often brought in lunches for staff that he had made the night before.
I didn’t know that but I can certainly believe it. All the BBX people loved him and in some ways I did too – quite an easy guy to love he was. Sad to see him go.
I don’t know any person in that position in business that would ever do anything like that for their staff.
Oh I do, but that’s not to say the MT wasn’t worthy of respect at all.
However if you went against the BBX rules and regulations, you knew about it. But he would sit you down and explain why those rules are in place and how they protect the members and create fair trading by everyone. Michael was all about fair trading and looking after the members firstly. He was so passionate about Trade and wanted everyone to be apart of it.
Yeah and you can see that in the BBX families response to Cameron’s hit-piece. It seems to have gone down like a lead balloon.
I am off to [explanation of being incommunicado redacted], so in terms of proof you need to substantiate any claims you intend to publish, it’s best to send a formal request to Carolin and she will respond through BBX Legal Team.
Yeah nah! Won’t happen. I’ve tried and tried with her but she’s evading key issues and playing games, so I’m going to have to write it all up shortly without her side, unfortunately. I’ll put some of your words in if you don’t mind – I’m not naming you but they do show the clear passion and shock behind the BBX family and their response to this threat.
They would be the best people to deal with as I am [explanation redacted] and they would have all the proof you need in there.
Yeah that’s the key eh? Proof. At the moment it’s pretty much looking like Cameron has 13 out of 14 right and there is a strong sense to me that Carolin is hiding something, probably something big too from the way she’s talking and reacting. I’ll know more ion the next day or two and will probably have things tidied up in the weekend. To be quite frank if I could raise MT from the dead I’d do it so that I could kill him for dumping the family in it like he has. There’s no way that Carolin will be able to keep it going on a straight course if she can’t answer these simple 14 things.
The real bummer is that I think she needs dad around to guide her. I’d do it in a shot if I was just down the road from her but she’s in another country and I very much fear for your sake that she’s going to blow it. All the Thailand guy has to do is bring a few pieces of evidence to the fore to back his story and even if is only some of the claims that stack up this will easily spiral out of control, especially if he has gone to the authorities with real dirt. You can never get something that’s been hit like that back – never unless you’ve got a lot of experience and the credibility to do it. I’m pretty sure Carolin, or indeed none of the Toumas have that. Dr Lee might or maybe John Attridge at a pinch but it doesn’t look like a strong position for BBX to me at the moment.
Good Luck Dennis and enjoyed chatting to you
Yeah – a breath of fresh air for me too. This BBX thing has got really heavy recently! Full time on it now for almost a week! Thanks so much for chatting. Enjoy your big weeekend!
No thanks from me! [meaning, No I am the one who should be thanking her; the comma omitted in error – oops!]
Unfortunately for this poor person, cooking Lebanese and caring for your staff doesn’t always make an honest barter exchange, and the evidence and proof has shown this.
Trusting the Wrong People
There’s one thing that experience teaches all of us, and it is that we learn more and more as we get knocked around in life who we can trust. One of the really sad things that I found out was the extent to which Michael’s children, and here I’m primarily talking about CEO Carolin, trusted those that he didn’t.
In time I will be sharing more examples of this propensity to work with crims and crooks going back even into Michael’s time, but the first and most glaring example of this is their joining of IRTA very shortly after Dad went off the scene. Michael knew very well how the IRTA operation ran. He hated them for a specific reason and told me many times of his opinions of them. I’ve covered the details at length elsewhere but he saw them as many in the industry recognise as a small sector of the industry that scratch each others backs and cover for each other – the quintessential ‘old-boys’ network’.
Nothing stands out clearer to me as to Carolin’s true nature and attitude to her father than months after his incapacitation, BBX had signed up with IRTA. She may possibly be right that BBX got some benefit from associating with the industry association, but my take is that her actions lacked wisdom. Most of the ethical intelligent exchanges I know have either pulled out of the IRTA thing or they never joined. Personally, I think one’s credibility is increased by pulling out rather than joining and that her father was right to stay a million miles away from them. She’s also upped the stakes in a bluff that could backfire on her once IRTA finds out and evicts BBX, as they really should.
How do you deal with this sort of thing? Carolin’s fathering clearly wasn’t effective in sharing the skills needed to manage an international business strategically. As I said in the BBX Investigation posts, those who get one into a pickle can hardly ever get themselves out. When you care about the industry and know the people involved in the likely death of an exchange, what can you do when they seem hell-bent on destroying themselves and in this case what their father had set up?
Michael had huge respect from many across the globe even beyond his immediate family and the Australian BBX “family” as they call it. Love is not the right word as it was, like all his close relationships a love-hate thing. It was a mixture of his Lebanese background, his personality, his French wife and daughters that made for a ‘wild ride’ but in business, I think it is fair to say we respected him, enormously, but should never trust him. Likewise the family left behind to run it..
The founder of the UK Agency, John Attridge, like the whistleblower Cameron McKean in Thailand, seems to have got caught badly in all of this. Both of these guys entered the BBX family under the salesmanship of Michael and both of them appear to have been sucked into the vortex of BBX trouble. John’s agency in the UK is as far as I have heard a shining light in the BBX stable and (unless he extricates himself quickly and definitively with his own brand) is likely to go down with a sinking ship. You can’t continue to hug a corpse and expect to live long.
This knowledge hurts me as I know the efforts the he has put into an industry that he cares about, and the efforts that he has given to running a clean operation but if the founder of the brand he associated with left problems that have now been exacerbated with inept and sadly what I see as corrupt leadership, these are just hard lessons that life teaches us. They did the deal with Michael. Only them! Like all to whom this coming BBX meltdown will come as a shock to, he will need to go through a grieving process. It won’t be easy and John. like Cameron won’t be happy, but he ‘s one of the lucky ones because I think that he could make it given another opportunity. Most won’t.
I leave the final word here to my thoughts on the whistleblower himself. It is rare that I can find people that I can connect with and develop trust. Most don’t trust me and take a while to learn! Cameron McKean is one of those that I think I understand and understood right off the bat. I didn’t have all the pieces at the beginning of my investigation, and I got off to a tricky start as I had to build my own credibility as well as to assess his, but as I managed to extricate key pieces of evidence the picture started coming clearer. He was certainly smart. He was religiously accurate. He did the right thing in word and deed, just as I assessed that I would have done if I was in his position; and he listened as well as talked.
In the beginning he was a little tense and perhaps a bit uptight; maybe a little how shall I say it “precious” about some things but as we talked more, and in particular as he coughed up real evidence that I asked for, I saw that indeed he was playing with a straight bat.
Through all of this investigation I also had to deal with the things that were being thrown at him from those he was exposing. That was not easy as I had to work out in my mind how much of his activities were motivated by jealousy and how much validity the claims that he had lost the plot were, more specifically the words that Carolin used in her formal response to me quoted above, “the more he is beginning to de-rail”.
Not so at all, IMHO. Indeed the universal mark of a false accusation is usually always the reverse of the false accusation. In my assessment after more than twenty years of involvement with BBX, an excellent understanding of Carolin’s father, Michael Touma, the recently deceased founder of BBX, and now a fulltime investigation nigh on a week fulltime, in my book, nothing could be further from the truth. The whistleblower has excellent cause to do what he did; what he did was totally ethical and until proven otherwise I think probably all legal; that he has been extraordinarily patient, restrained himself well and deserves widespread recognition for this. It’s my take that instead it is BBX who have attempted to “de-rail” him. The reason why is obvious when you have the facts.
Easy to live with? or living a lifestyle I can identify with? Probably not for both Michael and myself, but someone to listen to and one you can trust – for sure!
I finish with sadness because the BBX Investigation has been sad for me. A family that fought when the old man was alive has indeed gone through the hoops with Michael’s medical struggles and subsequent passing. Nobody can deny that death is a hard part of living. I know this personally having buried two of my own children, but that the family continue to fight after their Dad’s (and husband’s) passing is incredibly saddening for me. I know that at the moment I am unlikely to be flavour of the month in the Touma and BBX households, but if any of them care to listen, my advice would be this:
BBX was your Dad’s baby. He’s gone. Let it all go with him and learn from this experience. Get yourselves together and support each other. Eat humble pie; say sorry; kiss and make up and do the right thing, for goodness sake. You’ll always get caught one day if you bend or break the rules.
If I took a guess at what Dad would be saying to all you girls now it would be, “Dennis is right! I’m gone and so too is BBX. Learn from my mistakes and appreciate what you have – each other – then go and do something useful and constructive with your lives.”
And if he were here, he’d do anything he could to help them.
BBX is toast, of that I am sure. When or how I don’t know for sure, but my investigation is very clear that it will happen sooner rather than later. Some have eggs on their face already. Some may pay a heavy price; others may get away with their reputation intact.
It has been an honour and a privilege, albeit rather tough on me, to have undertaken, completed this investigation into BBX and then report it as accurately as I could.
Thank you to all who have helped paint the picture and who have supported me throughout this rather challenging and tense time. There will be lots more, of that I am certain but I conclude here for now.
Thanks for swinging by.
The BBX Investigation Series
- PUBLIC WARNING: BBX Barter (2381 words)
- 2. War Erupts Within BBX Barter (4090 words)
- 3. BBX is Busted – Working it Out (2388 words)
- 4. BBX has big, Big, BIG Problems (1778 words)
- 5. The Demise of BBX (3489 words)
- 6. BBX – A Summary (1308 words)
- 7. Reflections on Investigating BBX (6394 words)
- 8. BBX – The First Criminal Charges (3625 words)
- 9. BBX Crimes – The Significance (2,710 words)
- 10. BBX Causes Problems for IRTA (2,251 words)
- 11. BBX: Rats Off a Sinking Ship (1,715 words)
- 12. BBX Data Security Breach (1,852 words)
- 13. BBX Threatens – Sue Me PLEASE! (1,511 words)
- 14 The BBX Knives Are Coming Out (1,791 words)
- 15. BBX Memberships – Names in a Database (2,774 words)
- 16. BBX UK & The Franchise Show (2,840 words)
- 17. OPEN LETTER 1 – BBX Members (162 words)
- 18. BBX Currency Analysis – 10c/$1.00 (1,527 words)
- 19. The BBX People Speak (11,726 words)
- 20. More Words from BBX People (15,206 words)
- 21. How BBX Did It – Lies & Theft (3,663 words)
- 22. BBX – Winding Down/Winding Up (3,217 words)
- 23. BBX New Zealand Analysis (828 words)
- 24. BBX UK Membership Analysis (1,143 words)
- 25. BBX NZ – Serious Fraud Office (1,261 words)
- 26. BBX – Thailand Member Analysis (1,165 words)
- 27. BBX Minor Countries Analysis (574 words)
- 28. The BBX People (2,290 words)
- 29. BBX International in a Nutshell (295 words)
- 30. The Raw BBX Data (4,463 words)
- 31. BBX Members React – It’s War (5,617 words)
- 32. BBX and Issues of Morality (1,363 words)
- 33. Warning to BBX Staff & Associates (1,944 words)
- 34. BBX Devaluation Helps With Tax Losses (1,269 words)
- 35. BBX Rips Open the Barter Industry (1,237 words)
- 36. MEDIA RELEASE: Barter Tax Avoidance Warning (516 words)
- 37. BBX Whistleblower: Cameron McKean (4,994 words)
- 38. The BBX Investigation Final Comments (1,504 words)