MonaVie Suffers Setback In Lawsuit Against Ex-distributor Joe Licciardi

by Ted Nuyten on August 7, 2012

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 A federal judge on Wednesday turned down Utah-based MonaVie’s request for an emergency order prohibiting a former top distributor from posting information on Facebook about the new multilevel marketing company he has joined.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled at the end of a 4½ hour hearing that MonaVie of South Jordan had failed to show that Joseph Licciardi had likely violated policies of the company, which markets a nutritional fruit juice and weight-loss products to a network of independent distributors. Distributors earn commissions according to the number of others they bring into the company.

Licciardi of Corona, Calif., had been a “black diamond,” one of 30 very top distributors, earning commissions of more than $4.4 million in his five years with the company, according to testimony in a lawsuit filed by MonaVie.

But the company terminated Licciardi’s position in MonaVie after he informed executives that he was going to become a distributor for another multilevel-marketing company called Momentis.

MonaVie allows its distributors to join other multilevel marketing companies while remaining at MonaVie. But in an April 30 letter, MonaVie accused Licciardi of violating policies by using his Facebook page to entice distributors to go over to Momentis.

After hearing hours of testimony and arguments, Waddoups ruled that he would not grant the company’s request to order Licciardi to take down his Facebook posting and make no further postings on his page, which he started after joining MonaVie in 2007.

The judge said he was concerned that the language of company policies that prohibit solicitation of distributors for another multilevel marketing company was too broad to the point it might not be enforceable. It also was not clear Licciardi’s postings on Facebook were specifically targeting some of MonaVie’s current distributors, he said.

“There is no indication this was an attempt to contact distributors of MonaVie and convince them to join Momentis,” Waddoups said in ruling from the bench.

Licciardi said in a court filing that he left MonaVie because the company has modified its compensation plan numerous times since he joined in 2007, “significantly” reducing his commissions. He said he intends to file claims against the company for breach of contract and over other issues. The same day MonaVie sued Licciardi, it also filed suit in federal court against Todd and Stephanie Smith of Middleburg, Fla., MonaVie Black Diamond Executive distributors.

That suit alleges the Smith violated policies by trying to recruit some MonaVie distributors to another multilevel marketer called EvolvHealth.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune

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8 comments… read them below or add one

Tyler Ford August 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm
Good for the judge! MLM companies don't own people.

Peter Dean Bouloukos August 7, 2012 at 7:30 pm
This type of thing kills me and hurts the greater industry. First, people should be able to represent two completely different organizations, it does not hurt anyone and only helps to share knowledge and information about great opportunities and products that often do not exist in storefronts or in any help wanted ad. Health and Wellness matched by what functionally is a Utility company doing what phone cards were doing a dozen years ago is not a conflict of interest only offering distributors with multiple streams of income and more to share. In fact, I would personally recommend products from multiple companies if it made fiscal sense. Currently I do provide my experience and input on product lines I do not represent but like. Organizations like Mona Vie should champion each distributor and make it easier to qualify and to earn a reasonable income even if said income only pay's for product usage with a little left over cash. In-fact, the only changes any organizations should make to comp plans are the type of changes that make the opportunity more attractive for the novice network marketer. Here is the problem, too many organizations are Corporate heavy with individuals that have never built a business on Main Street U.S.A. They fail to understand psychology of performance nor do they teach business ownership, but instead focus on selling a dream with fancy cars and poster board sized checks. They sell distributors somewhat useful websites or often fail to provide any directional avenue that simplifies sharing the products and information. They should not be profiting off of website sales to distributors, nor should they ever stop expanding the usefulness and accessibility of online tools. I have met Danny maybe two times in passing down in Orange County. Incredible human being who only deserves the best from any Corporate Team. When these same Corporate Teams preach "integrity" and cite the teachings of a Stephen Covey or Kiyosaki, they should take some time to learn the same materials. Personally, if I had the opportunity to help run an MLM at the Corporate level, I would spend all of my time meeting all distributors where they stand. I would also make sure great leaders like Danny had input on how to develop team concepts, and how to support them from the top with a servant leaderships mentality across the Boardroom. Yours in Success, Peter Dean Bouloukos Top100mentor@gmail.com

Mike Collins August 8, 2012 at 8:50 am
Peter: the story is about Joe not his little brother danny

Mike Collins August 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm
Hooray for Judge Waddoups is all I can say. It’s nice to see that the law does prevail sometimes and that there is someone to pump the brakes on some of these so called corporate “leaders” in the MLM industry that act like nothing more than common thugs. I am very pleased that Joe received a favorable ruling in this case and I look forward to the rest of the lawsuit involving Joe and Monavie. It’s time somebody shut these clowns down. I can’t wait to hear what nuggets of wisdom the Great randy schroeder has to share with all of us.

Johna888 August 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm
Incredible that a company should take legal action against a distributor for doing exactly what that same company did, entice others from other companies to join them. Pleased to see common sense prevailed, itself a pretty unique event where the law is concerned :-)

Cosmos Nike N. August 9, 2012 at 12:31 am
Wao! I am so much impressed with the intellectual manifestation of Judge Waddoups! I hail you Waddoups! Your ruling actually demonstrated your ability as a judge without any fear of biased mind! Very sounding and reasoned judgement. I wish I would be one of your kind after my Law School Training! You shall live long Waddoups!

Calvin Yzerman August 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm
We are ever so glad to have Joe as part of the Momentis family: http://yzerman.mymomentis.biz/ Momentis reps now market The EnergyMizer® Residential Energy Reduction System with Enhanced EMF Filter Technology. This product offers a guaranteed 8% electricity savings and the customer has no need to change their energy provider. The product also substantially reduces the Electromagnetic Fields generated by electical appliances and wiring. The commercial version has been available for some time. http://yzerman.mymomentis.biz/products-ems-residential.asp?co_la=US_EN Regards from Canada

Sessalie August 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm
It is good to see that the law is on his side. Going from a million a year to 100k is a huge hit in the pockets. I dont blame him for leaving. I wish him much success with his new venture! :)