Living The Right Way
Love You To Share!

Digital Altitude Lawsuit – Astonishing Inside Truths Revealed

Digital Altitude Lawsuit

​Why is there a Digital Altitude lawsuit going through the courts now? If you've had any experience with Digital Altitude, ​like I did ​for 18 months as a paying member, it's hardly surprising to see this turn of events. Today I want to explain to you:

  • check
    ​what's going on with the Digital Altitude lawsuit
  • check
    ​why ​the Digital Altitude lawsuit's happening
  • check
    ​why it's not surprising
  • check
    what this means for the future of Digital Altitude

​Digital Altitude Lawsuit - What's Going On?

​​As of early February 2018, all commercial activities on Digital Altitude​ have been suspended ​after a lawsuit was brought against the company by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As a member of 18 months (ex-member now) I'm not in the slightest bit surprised it's come to this after seeing how the business was run. 

​What are some of the specific issues the Court has set following the FTC led Digital Altitude lawsuit​? The​y include:​​

  • All receipt and processing of consumer payments (including prospects, members, and affiliates) must cease immediately pending further direction by ​the Court;
  • All coaching of members and affiliates is hereby suspended pending further direction by ​the Court;
  • The APEX conference previously scheduled for February 18, 2018 is cancelled, and all expenditures in connection with that conference shall immediately be withheld pending further instruction from ​the Court
  • ​The immediate notification of cancellation to registrants, potential attendees, vendors, hosts, and others involved in organizing or putting on the event). Any persons inquiring as to the reason(s) for cancellation shall be directed to the receivership website​
  • No business expenditures shall be made on behalf of the Receivership Entities (whether on account of past or new commitments) unless specifically authorized by the Court;
  • All marketing, advertising, promotion, and sales activities in connection with the Receivership Entities and relating to the conduct alleged in the FTC Lawsuit must immediately cease unless specifically authorized by the Court
Digital Altitude Lawsuit

​​​Evidence that Digital Altitude has heeded the seriousness of these charges can be seen by a quick visit to the Digital Altitude Facebook page​, which shows pictures and posts and messages like this one above as a result of the ongoing Digital Altitude lawsuit.

What an absolute clusterf*#k huh? But it's not in the least bit unexpected. Why?

​Digital Altitude Lawsuit - Why Is It Happening?

digital altitude lawsuit

​You only need to look at the long list of serious charges the FTC has brought against Digital Altitude to get a clear ​idea of the highly questionable business practices it was engaging in.  ​

​And a perfect example of this in the publicly available documents ​is how the 'Defendants' are defined. Now, you'd think, as this is a Digital Altitude lawsuit, that the defendants might be 'Digital Altitude', and Digital Altitude only. Right?

I mean, if John Smith is accused of murder, then John Smith is the defendant. Pretty simple to follow. So in this case it's equally simple. Digital Altitude has been accused of fraudulent activities, so Digital Altitude is the defendant. Right? Ummmm, wrong.

Here's a list of the 'defendants' below. Take a good look at th​ose numbers!

Digital Altitude LLC, Digital Altitude Limited, Aspire Processing LLC, Aspire Processing Limited, Aspire Ventures Ltd, Disc Enterprises Inc., RISE Systems & Enterprise LLC (Utah), RISE Systems & Enterprise LLC (Nevada), Soar International Limited Liability Company, The Upside, LLC, Thermography for Life, LLC, d/b/a Living Exceptionally, Inc., Michael Force, Mary Dee, Morgan Johnson, Alan Moore, and Sean Brown ​

​So that means Digital Altitude, as a company, was operating under nearly 20 aliases, or 'shell companies' at the time the FTC lodged its Digital Altitude lawsuit. And they're just the ones we know of!

Why would ​Digital Altitude be doing that if there wasn't something fishy going on? ​

digital altitude lawsuit

​In publicly available documents online, a summary of the case brought by the FTC against Digital Altitude states, among other things:

the Defendants have engaged in practices in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)

the FTC has established a likelihood of success in showing that Defendants have made material misrepresentations in the promotion and sale of a program to make money online, to numerous consumers, including that consumers are likely to earn substantial income and that they will receive business coaching that will provide what the consumer needed to build a successful business

There is good cause to believe that immediate and irreparable harm will result from Defendants’ ongoing violations of the FTC Act unless Defendants are restrained and enjoined by order of this Court

There is good cause to believe that immediate and irreparable damage to the Court’s ability to grant effective final relief for consumers—including monetary restitution, rescission, disgorgement or refunds—will occur from the sale, transfer, destruction or other disposition or concealment by Defendants of their assets or records, unless Defendants are immediately restrained and enjoined by order of this Court

Defendants operate a fraudulent scheme that preys on consumers hoping to earn money while working from home. Defendants falsely tell consumers that through their “system” or “program,” consumers will earn large sums of money operating their own business online.

Defendants extract steep fees for membership, but the vast majority of consumers who pay Defendants never earn substantial income, much less the claimed “six figures.”

Digital Altitude Lawsuit

Defendants have charged individual consumers substantial amounts of money, ranging from several hundred dollars to more than $50,000, with total consumer injury exceeding $14,000,000.

Although Defendants’ program ostensibly provides business coaching that will help members build a successful business, the goal of that “coaching” is to persuade the member to purchase a higher membership tier

​Digital Altitude Lawsuit - Not Surprising At All

digital altitude lawsuit

​As I said, the above points are all publicly available online. And believe me, there's plenty more in there that makes pretty ugly reading. The points above are just a small sample of what Digital Altitude ​is accused of in the current Digital Altitude lawsuit.

Now I'm not gonna pretend that I know exactly what's going on. Who knows, Michael Force and co. might beat this lawsuit and the company might go on to flourish. I highly doubt it but looking into the future is pure speculation.

However, as an ex-member for 18 months, I can provide evidence of my own experiences to show why this Digital Altitude lawsuit is certainly no surprise.

The first sign was back in 2017. It centred around constantly delayed payments and endless excuses from Digital Altitude for such delayed payments. 

And it wasn't just me, it was every member of my team. Check out the pics below for Facebook Messenger chats I was having with my Digital Altitude team members regarding late or missing payouts.

Digital Altitude Lawsuit

​This pic above was when frustration was growing and commissions totalling $1,000's w​ere being withheld from me and my team members. One team member got so angry you can see here that he directly messaged Michael Force. But got no answer of course.  

Digital Altitude Lawsuit

​This chat above was when months kept rolling by and excuses kept coming thick and fast. They always seemed to revolve around 'merchant' problems, which all makes perfect sense now, as you'll see soon.......

Digital Altitude Lawsuit

Here was another message that went out after yet more delayed payments and again, revolved around problems with 'merchants' and setting new ones up.......

Digital Altitude Lawsuit

​You can see we finally did get paid, about 5 months late. Pure relief because I have to be honest, I never thought I was going to get my money. ​However all the delays got me thinking about all this 'merchant stuff', and all the problems that we were having with payouts. 

So I dug up old emails because it was always a nightmare trying to get paid. Indeed, in the 18 months I was with Digital Altitude, ​I was asked to change merchants ​multiple times.

The first request came in May, 2017, as you can see  from the ​email screenshot below.

Digital Altitude Lawsuit

​The message said that every Digital Altitude member had to move their payment information over to Payza, an online payment processing system. 

Moving over to Payza was an absolute nightmare. The confirmation process to even set up an account with Payza took me over a month. I'm positive that some Digital Altitude members would have lost commissions and payouts simply coz they couldn't set up Payza accounts and would've just screamed and given up.  

Just speculation of course, but I wonder what would've happened to those commissions had that happened.....?

I got my Payza account set up after a month of back and forth nightmares and in fairness to Digital Altitude, received my commissions in full. Didn't think I would so that was a bonus. 

​Then move forward to January, 2018 and tickle me pink I get another fricken email from Digital ​Altitude saying they've stopped using Payza and have now moved to iPayout! And that we ha​d to set up accounts over there.Are you frikkin' kidding me? Obviously not, and it's obvious why.......

Digital Altitude Lawsuit

​When I got that message above I screamed inside coz of the nightmare it was getting Payza set up. Now I had to do it all again just to get money that was owing to me? And had been for months?

I did set up my iPayout account because, as I said, I was still owed about $600 from Digital Altitude. 

Then I got wind of this Digital Altitude lawsuit and court case so I did a bit more digging........

​Digital Altitude Lawsuit - Dodgy Merchant Practices

​​What I found was that evidence points to Digital Altitude having both banks and payment processors ​terminate​ ​its merchant accounts up to 10 times between July 2016 and January 2017 because of ​dodgy business practices​. ​

​When this happened, Digital Altitude simply set up new corporations ​under different titles, including, but not limited to, Corporate Defendants Aspire Processing and RISE Systems and Enterprise​.

DA then opened new merchant accounts ​via these new corporations, and ​started u​tilising the new merchant accounts to process consumers’ payments to Digital Altitude.

So it becomes pretty obvious what was going on. And why payments were always delayed - banks and payment processors ​kept getting wind of Digital Altitude's shenanigans and kept cancelling their relationship​s.

That meant DA had to constantly keep finding more and more new payment processors. Sometimes under different shell company names. These things take time of course - hence the delays month after month......

And the constant changing of 'merchants' for payment processing.

And now, judging by the Digital Altitude lawsuit undertaken by the FTC, it's all caught up with them once and for all.....

​Digital Altitude Lawsuit - Where To From Here?

​Under the conditions of the current Digital Altitude lawsuit set down by the courts, all forms of business and transactions have stopped. A quick check on the Digital Altitude official Facebook Page shows that no posts have been made since February 8, 2018. 

Digital Altitude Lawsuit

​It is the same on the official Digital Altitude Instagram page, where the last post was made on February 8, 2018. 

Digital Altitude Lawsuit

​It's also interesting to note that the official Digital Altitude Instagram account has taken down the URL in the bio, as per the Digital altitude lawsuit instructions. You can see in the pic below there is no URL bio or website link at all. 

​It's really hard to see anything but collapse for ​the company from here. No-one knows what the outcome of this Digital Altitude lawsuit will be, but you don't have to be a genius to see that everything surrounding the company right now is very murky. 

There are 1,000's of people waiting on payouts that you would imagine will never come. Plus all the negative reports from this lawsuit and disgruntled members will batter Digital Altitude's reputation and anyone associated with it.

I have fled and feel so much better for it. I made the mistake of joining but  now feel great having left. I think there would be 1,000's of others just like me.

​Is There an alternative?

​I have to put my hands up and say I was seduced by the money that Digital Altitude promised. I'm not the first person to be tempted by the lure of great money, and I certainly won't be the last. 

Indeed, half the things we do in life are motivated by money and the dream of creating a better life sooner. I do want the better life before I turn 65 and retire, but I certainly won't be chasing fool's gold anymore.

That's why I'm happy to stick with Wealthy Affiliate now. I was a member of WA before I joined ​Digital Altitude, and I never let ​WA go because I knew how good it was. I simply joined Digital Altitude in conjunction with Wealthy Affiliate because I thought DA was a vehicle that could get me to early retirement more quickly. It didn't, obviously.​

digital altitude lawsuit

Wealthy Affiliate (access by clicking the pic above) doesn't make big, bold promises and it doesn't get caught up in murky, dodgy controversy. That's because it's up front, open, honest and transparent. You don't make $1,000 commissions but you do get the most amazing training in how to turn your hobbies and passions into an income. 

I was stupid to look for shortcuts with Digital Altitude and I got burned. But at least I was smart enough to keep my Wealthy Affiliate membership going - simply coz it was too good to give up.

So if you want something that has stood the test of time, and seen dozens of flashy startups like Digital Altitude come and go over the years, I highly recommend Wealthy Affiliate.

Unlike Digital Altitude, it's free to start with and you don't even need a credit card to sign up. Plus you get loads of ​ help and advice a​s ​a basic member. ​Once bitten twice shy for me. Don't make the same mistake.

I look forward to seeing you over at Wealthy Affiliate and helping you.

P.S If you liked this article or you think some friends might benefit from the info, please hit the icons below and share it.

P.P.S If you'd like to read more about the fall of Digital Altitude or anything else on this site, just scroll down a little and you'll see lots of posts to choose from. Cheers, Iain

About the Author Iain Stanley

Hi there Iain here. I made this site simply because I want to find ways of adding multiple income streams to my life so I can retire early and live the good life. Why rely on one income when there are so many ways out there you can earn, especially online? So as I learn about them all, I want to pass my knowledge on to you so you can do the same. Here's hoping we can all retire early and go travel the world or sit by the ocean sipping cocktails!

follow me on:
  • rudy says:

    Hey there,

    Amazing article man, I bought DA few years ago and I was making money untill I did not have enought money to kept going. They still needed to pay me more commission but I went back and the website was down. Can you suggest me with information on where or how to obtain my money back? Thank you and I appreciate for this news that you have!

  • Roy says:

    Is there a list to get on for refund?

  • sergio says:

    The problem with Digital Altitude was their claims of making such amount in such time.
    Which the FTC found out to be just hype and lies beside they got sued and got them assets frozen so they cannot get access to their money.
    Expect more of this from the TFC since they have a close watch on those high price MLM programs that mislead people so they will, join and must of the time their members don’t achieve success.
    since is design to only get money from You and not to make money like the most MLM programs nowadays.
    Thank You for Your nice article

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Thanks Sergio. Yes I think the clams that some of these online companies make are the very things that get them in trouble. They attract the people in the first place so I guess they initially work, but most people soon realize that it’s all just nonsense except for a mysterious 0.0009% of users. I don’t mind any company making a business out of anything – except deception. And it seems the FTC agrees coz of this Digital Altitude lawsuit and their desire to expose the Digital Altitude truth…..

  • Dr. Doug says:

    Although there is a lawsuit against Digital Attitude it seems that people were making money with them if money was owed to you. From that, would you say that it was a successful company, just run in a corrupt way? If so then that is too bad cuz they just could have carried on making money the legit way.

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Yes Doug you’re right. I was fortunate enough to be part of a great team of young idealists who wanted to work from home, or work from anywhere in the world without the confines of an office or the overbearing presence of a ‘boss’. Thus, the team I was with worked overtime to help all new recruits at all levels. The problem though, which I came to understand more and more as time went on, was that we were more promoting the ‘opportunity’ rather than the ‘product’.

      To me, you can’t have one without the other. You can’t sell the dream if the bridge to that dream is a creaky old thing that’s flimsy. I actually liked the idea of Digital Altitude in principle, but in reality it doesn’t work – and that goes for ALL online businesses of a similar ilk.

      Whether it’s Mobe vs Digital Altitude or any other company, I just think the fundamentals don’t add up. It takes a while to realize though but yes, it was successful in that it sold. I’m happy to say all my team members went OK with retrieving most payouts. It’s only since this Digital Altitude lawsuit came out that we all saw everything in its real light

  • jessie palaypay says:

    I have seen some members of my local affiliate marketing community fall prey to digital altitude especially with their up sell memberships going to $28,000.

    I am wondering how you dealt with the people that you brought in. Where they understanding of what had happened considering you were in the same position as them as far as being owed money? I know you had good intentions.

    How did no one notice all the multiple aliases as a sign to avoid the company?

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Hi Jessie, yes some of the levels were out of this world. I daresay most people bought in to those levels coz they  were ‘sold’ the idea that they’d make their money back 10x. This Digital Altitude lawsuit shows the truth about Digital altitude wasn’t so true……

      Regarding my team, all of the people I brought in had relative success because of how hard we worked. In reality though, we were using resources beyond what Digital Altitude sells because it simply didn’t work very well. We weren’t to know that at first but we adapted, and made it work. And that was true for my team members too.

      And as for all the aliases, this has only become public knowledge since the Digital Altitude lawsuit came to light – in the last month or so…..

  • Patricia says:

    Hi! I am glad I saw your article. I was also a victim of DA. Pressured by the coaches to apply to all these credit cards through Seed Capital in order to purchase PEAK. Followed my coach and invested even more money by buying lists (Igor) hiring people to make my website, VSL etc. All I really wanted was to earn extra income for my family and it instead put me in a huge debt that I am still burdened with to this day. It has caused me so much stress and health problems!! Do you think there is a chance I could get a portion of my money back once this lawsuit is settled?

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Hi Patricia, I’m genuinely sorry to hear about your story. Sadly, it’s not unique, and people are coming forward every day to share what they’ve also been through. As far as getting your money back, I really hope you do, along with everyone who’s owed money. But remember, this Digital Altitude lawsuit has been brought on by the FTC in part because Digital Altitude was falling further and further behind with all its payments because all the merchants were striking Digital Altitude off their lists. So if this lawsuit ends up with them having to pay money, or go into liquidation or file for bankruptcy……it could be a while before anyone sees what’s owed to them. It’s sad that people can do this to other people.

  • Dave says:

    hi,

    Companies without customer service never go far and even if this one was functioning i would not use it still i learn’t the hard way after i lost money through a company that actually was sued and sued until it could not get on its feet any longer and they had no choice but to file for bankruptcy.
    If a company starts to get into loggerheads with its clients Rum my brother Run!

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Thanks for the comment Dave. What’s most interesting to me about this Digital Altitude lawsuit is that so many people are writing to me saying they’ve had similar experiences with different companies. It’s sad that people go to so much effort to set up companies knowing full well they’re deceiving people, particularly with their advertising and marketing campaigns. Hearing so many similar stories makes me appreciate being part of Wealthy Affiliate so much more. Between WA and Instagram, I think that’s more than enough for me for the time being. Cheers, Iain

  • Dave says:

    Hello,

    I have been a member of a different program that was recently involved in a lawsuit too. And I have to say that it was quite a rough experience for me.

    I had a very difficult time trying to withdraw my money from them and I finally got nothing. So even if this was functioning and not suspended I still wouldn’t have joined.

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Hi Dave, it’s sad to hear of more and more people experiencing similar problems to those going on now with this Digital Altitude lawsuit. I think it’s a message that everyone, in all facets of life, needs to remember – don’t make promises you can’t keep and never deliberately deceive people, especially for financial benefit. Unfortunately, noble intentions like these seem to fall on deaf ears for the most part. But as this Digital Altitude lawsuit clearly demonstrates, you can only get away with cheating people for so long. And I daresay all the names associated with these companies are all muddied forever now. 

  • Jerry says:

    What an amazing story about digital altitude lawsuit. I am sorry that you were part of this scam program, but hope you will come out well. In any case, you now have firsthand experience of how scammers work. It is my sad experience that they will go at length in order to convince people (talking about an investment scam). Fortunately, more and more people will do their research before joining any of these programs and will end up on necessary and useful websites such as yours.

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Thanks Jerry. Luckily, I met some good, genuine people through Digital Altitude who are not involved or caught up in this lawsuit at all. And through many of them, I was introduced to lots of wonderful ideas and methods for earning a nice 2nd income through the internet. Unfortunately, we were all victims of Michael Force and hopefully this Digital Altitude lawsuit will be a big wake up call to any other companies out there engaging in unscrupulous methods to try and part inexperienced people from the well-earned money. 

  • JeffWA says:

    Hi, Iian! Wow, that is some news about Digital Altitude. Although I was neve a member as you were, I did issue a review of this company back in the fall of 2017.

    This company, intent to be a training program for people seeking how to run an online business, just had the look, smell and feel of a scam as I did my research.

    The most important thing I found definitely to be rather fraudulent about Digital Altitude was their insanely expensive upsells. I mean, a $27,000+ upsell package that would enable two people to attend some fancy conference with the thought that would the attendees would learn, would carry them through in making a lot of $$$$ each in their businesses? Really? Attending any conference at that price is ridiculous. There would be NO guarantee that it would enable a person to eventually build up a lucrative online business through what would be purportedly taught at that conference.

    Even more so as stated in your excellent review, the fact that Digital Altitude tried to hide its activities through 20 different aliases, (shell companies) speaks to the absolute scam that this company, founded by Michael Force. I think a jail cell eventually is awaiting to be Mr. Force’s next place of residence when he is convicted in a court of law. Who knows how much money this guy made in his scam business? Besides jail, he should be forced to pay it back to every single person, (including yourself Iian) that he criminally stole money from!

    I was the victim of a scam back in 2006 – 2007, joining an MLM business venture that eventually got shut down by the Feds. This company which had as its physical products being in the niche of motivational techniques, (tapes, DVD’s and other nonsense) did have one conference out in Hawaii that I attended in the fall of 2006. It cost me close to $3,000 in total to fly out, pay for hotel reservations and the conference, as I did extend my trip before and afterwards staying in Waikiki. The conference itself was on the Big Island near Kona.

    I always remember the interesting thing about this conference as I met other relative “newbies” who had also joined. I can only recall one individual who I talked to, (out of at least several dozens of members) who had been able to successfully recruit even ONE new member to be placed underneath him/her in the company’s MLM business structure. And this guy was, as I recall a luxury car salesman, go figure. As for the rest of us, we had all drank of the Kool-Aid “lie” told by high-ranking owners this fraud company on just how rich they could make us quickly, and only if we were willing to follow their “proven system”. Don’t think so!

    I can only hope that Digital Altitude is eventually permanently shut down as a result of this lawsuit. People like Michael Force who have conned millions of people into joining there fraudulent businesses need to be permanently taken out of play. I’m sorry that you were one of Force’s victims. Just understand, Iian, that he WILL get what’s deservedly coming to him!

    Jeff

    • Iain Stanley says:

      excellent  comment Jeff and I agree with pretty much every single thing you say. The thing is, when you look at these online businesses that claim they do everything for you and that everything is automated and it’s a complete packaged business, you have to look at what you’re actually getting. Not just in terms of  The money they say you can make, but the actual product that you are getting as a consumer and someone spending money. In the case of the digital altitude products that you were getting, they were simply no good.  They didn’t work, they didn’t offer anything particularly valuable, and they didn’t convert into sales. So you are pretty much paying for nothing. And then, as you say, the prices that they wanted you to pay for conference attendance tickets was extortionate. Up to $30,000 for a seven day retreat!!  It’s interesting that you went through the same thing over 10 years ago, it seems things haven’t really changed in this industry doesn’t it? Unfortunately, there are a lot of good people who will be feeling incredibly sad and frustrated and cheated by this digital altitude lawsuit. But if it gets rid of people trying to exploit others and their desire to build a better life for themselves then surely that’s a good thing.

  • Gomer Magtibay says:

    Months or years before that incident, they were so loud online particularly on social media. Some even insulted members of Wealthy Affiliate as “broke affiliate”. Now, who’s broke now?

    I have a friend who parachuted to safety weeks before that incident. He stopped posting on social media as if he knew what will happen in the coming weeks. Now, he reinvented himself to an “offline entrepreneur” where I think he diverted the money he’s made from DA.

    Where are they now? The other DA affiliates who were cocky that after making thousands in commissions claim they were experts in online business?

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Thanks for your comment Gomer. To be fair, I met some wonderful people through my association with Digital Altitude. In fact, it was a DA member who encouraged me to keep my Wealthy Affiliate membership. Some of the top DA leaders weren’t the sort of people I like to associate with, and obviously the people running DA were up to no good, as this Digital Altitude lawsuit indicates. Every organisation has good and bad people, but you trust that the people running the show are good. At Wealthy Affiliate I love what Kyle and Carson and Jay etc do. In Digital Altitude, I can’t say Michael Force ever struck me as someone I’d like to emulate……this lawsuit will have a bad impact on many people, sadly.

  • Bryan says:

    Hi Iain,

    thank you for an insightful review of what appears to be yet another Online Scheme that is giving our industry a bad name. It is despicable what people are prepared to do to others to make money.

    Unfortunately, people seem to forget that on the other end of the internet are people too, just trying to make a living.

    I was also involved in another “scheme” last year that also promised mega income but refused to payout and I wrote an expose’ on them. I would love to post a link to that expose’. We need to name and shame all those online “Fraudsters” that give our industry a bad name.

    I will certainly be keeping an eye on your site for updates on this case.

    • Iain Stanley says:

      Exactly Bryan. We’re all here because, in one way or another we see the value and the power the internet platform can provide us. It’s an entry point for many to find extra sources of income. Unfortunately, too many people take advantage of the enthusiasm and vulnerability of those new to earning online. This Digital Altitude lawsuit will send warnings through the industry and show companies and top execs that you can’t rip people off and play with peoples’ lives and expect to get away with it. Because eventually, you’ll get found out.

  • >