Global Prosperity; The Story of a "True Believer"

By: Bill E. Branscum
Copyright 2002

This is the story of David Starkey, one of Global Prosperity's "Faithful" as he tells it in his own words. Read and heed.

"Hello everyone. Let me introduce myself. My name is David Starkey. I am 40 years old and a father of 3 children and a believer in the American Dream. Well, recently my world got turned upside down on September 5, 2000. That is the day I was sentenced to 8 months in federal prison for failing to file a proper income tax return.

Like most people, I was all for making money and saving as much on my taxes as the other guy, until January, 1997. This is when I was introduced to G.P.G., Global Prosperity Group, now known as I.G.P., Institute for Global Prosperity. At the time I was looking for something to make money at and I knew that working 9-5 would not get me rich. In January, 1997, I was taken to a conference call to a presentation of an organization called G.P.G., now I.G.P., and listened to how you could make thousands of dollars and NOT have to pay any income tax on that money. I was amazed and excited and thought I had found my pot of gold! I sent my $1250.00 by way of a cashiers check to the person who brought me in, called a director.

I immediately started listening to every training call and followed everything she told me to do. I ordered leads and made a sale my very first day and my second sale a few days later. I was so excited because I saw this working and then the next sale went to me and out of $1250.00, I made $1000.00 profit. You couldn’t believe how happy I was to see something working and I was actually making money! Well. As the story goes on, I kept making sales and then I was introduced to the co-founder of Global, Dave Struckman.

Dave said if I stepped up to Global II, he would work with me personally. I did and I was qualified (having 7 sales under me) my second month.

I was looking forward to going to the offshore seminar and hearing about all of the investments and meeting all the people I had been working with. When I got to the seminar, I saw so many positive people that were making money and not having to pay taxes on it. There were different speakers but the main guy was Keith Anderson (now a federal fugitive) and he explained how a person could set up trust and other methods to hide money from the I.R.S.

Of course, I followed Dave Struckman’s and Keith Anderson’s advise and set everything up like they said. The investments looked great but I was a newbie and used most of my money to get to the seminar. It was a little scary to hear this information about taxes and the I.R.S. but I believed them.

I went back and kept selling the product and by May, 1997, I sent $10000.00 in for a down payment on my Global 3 ticket, which cost $18750.00. It was supposed to be the mother of all investments, where we would get exclusive programs just for Global members.

Well, moving right along, I kept marketing and working with Dave Struckman. I considered myself pretty close to Dave and we would go out to eat and dancing with some of the other top leaders. It was quite an honor to be one of the first people to step up to Global 3 and things were going good.

A while later I kept hearing rumors about cease and desist orders but Dave Struckman, Dan Anderson and Zo Lamatius said that they were not a company and they just didn’t respond to it. That bothered me but I bought the explanation. Then came more problems with different states with the same thing and those states said that we couldn’t sell Global any more and some were saying the fine would be $25000.00 per occurrence. Struckman, Anderson and Lamatius took action and changed the name to I.G.P. and came out with new tapes and got into a big fight with Keith Anderson.

Keith left and started doing his own thing but then new people came in and they said the trusts Keith had set up were no good and we would need something new. By changing the name, they bypassed all those cease and desist orders but the bad publicity was already out. I kept marketing the product but would run into people who had seen this on the net, so I was losing sales. More seminars came and went and all this time I wasn’t filing income tax and was worrying that I needed to get things straightened out.

About that time, Global/I.G.P. brought in Bill Benson (a very nice man and friend). He had a series of books and information that said the 16th Amendment was not ratified. Struckman said that you must have this information because it explains how you don’t have to file or pay taxes. Again, I bought in and after a couple of Trusts and now this method, it was getting expensive but to keep from paying taxes legally, I felt it was worth it. Then came along Judge Rizzo and the title sounds impressive but when you check him out, he was just a city judge handling traffic court and such. Well, he modified Bill’s system, he said, and made it better.

Now for the BIG news. I was contacted by the I.R.S. and they knew I hadn’t filed in some time and that I was in Global. I didn’t talk to them and I went and hired an attorney that used to work as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorneys office. It is not a good feeling having the I.R.S. come after you as a tax protestor and I was scrambling for what to do next. I tried to explain to my attorney how, through Trusts and the information I had been given, that I didn’t have to pay income tax. He we really unsure of this but he was open minded to listen to the people who had sold me all of this tax stuff.

I called Dave Struckman and told him I was under investigation by the I.R.S. for not paying or filing taxes and wanted help on what to do. You see, I am the first Director in Global that had been charged by the I.R.S. and Dave wanted to fight this and prove his material would hold up in court. Dave even helped with the attorney bill, or I should say his Trust paid $15000.00 to the cause. We started getting all the details and talking to the experts, like Judge Rizzo, and having all of this explained to my attorney.

Well, we finally called the attorney that represented Bill Benson and he put out all my hopes. Now this guy was the biggest fighter for the 16th Amendment argument and we were planning to hire him as a second attorney since he was an expert with this 16th Amendment stuff. I was ready for a fight and knew that if charged with tax evasion, I could be looking at over 20 years in prison. This guy burst my bubble and told me he would LOVE to fight it but it CANNOT be argued in court again. It is what they call “beyond review” which means the 16th Amendment defense is out the door and I mean gone for good! It’s a way that the higher courts locked the discussion up where no one could use it again. I had no defense and I was in deep trouble.

I told Judge Rizzo, Bill Benson and Dave Struckman that this defense was useless and that every Trust and 16th Amendment was going to get everyone thrown in prison. Well, after that, Dave Struckman quit taking my phone calls and I was on my own. It’s tough to market something that you’re getting prosecuted for and then the big news: I was kicked out of Global! They came up with some lame excuse, but I was out.

Now keep in mind, I had been one of the first 600 people to start with good old Dave, Dan and Zo back in 1997.

Things were heating up with the I.R.S. and I didn’t want to go to prison so we brought in another attorney but he didn’t do me any good. The thought of going away to prison and being locked up like an animal was scaring the hell out of me but my attorney cut a deal. If I would plead guilty to only one count of failing to file a tax return, I would be charged with a misdemeanor and wouldn’t have to do over a year in federal prison. It was a terrible decision to make but I couldn’t do the 20 year thing for tax evasion if I was to fight them and lose. I took their deal and my life changed forever knowing that me, David Starkey, with NO prior convictions, would have to do time in a federal prison because I believed David Struckman and the whole gang selling the tax scam stuff.

Everyone going to prison has to have a pre-sentence investigation where the probation office looks at your background for the Judge to sentence you by. They slammed me so hard on Global, Dave Struckman, Dan Anderson and Zo Lamitus, and labeled me a tax protestor. They told about the cease and desist orders and how we set up Trusts to keep from paying income tax. It was awful and I knew I was going to make the Judge mad with this information but there was nothing I could do and Global had pushed me aside because I was a liability and it would shut Global down if this got out that one of the top people got sent to prison for using their methods.

My day in court came and my Mom and Dad were there and the Judge had made up his mind and sentenced me to 8 months in prison. My Mom busted out crying and fainted on the bench. It was then it hit me that I was going to go to prison for believing Global and their so called system. I really felt so bad for what I had put my family through and what would I tell my kids, 6,14 and 17, about why daddy had to go away. You think of many things when reality sets in and I love my children dearly but daddy had to go to prison.

My parents drove me to El Reno Federal Prison at 12:00 on September 5, 2000. We pulled to the security box and told them I was there to self report and the guard yelled “Get out of the car and walk the line”. It scared me half to death and I don’t scare easily. I got out and said goodbye and not to worry. I turned and walked by this huge, double fence with razor wire and went to the iron gate and pushed the button. The guard came out and walked me in with the gate slamming closed behind me. They asked me who I was and why I was here and I told them a misdemeanor failure to file a tax return and the guard looked at me and said “Boy, you must have pissed some people off.”

I was then told to strip and stand by an inspection wall where I was strip searched for weapons and drugs and then I was booked in. I was in with murderers and drug dealers that had 25 years sentences and more and boy, did I stand out. They say you don’t know what you have till it’s gone and when your freedom and family are taken from you and you become an inmate with just a number, well, you really reflect on things.

I would wish this on no one but on May 3, 2001, I walked out a free man. You just don’t know what is was like just to get some decent food at McDonalds but I chowed down and let me tell you, it was great just to be free again! Did I learn my lesson? Yes, I did and I am catching up on all my taxes with the assistance of the I.R.S. and my attorney. You see, I didn’t get out of paying and look what it caused. I am here to say anyone who is in Global Prosperity, now I.G.P., needs to quit and get their taxes filed before this happens to them.

You know, Global/I.G.P. is still selling that 16th amendment course with Struckman getting 50% of all the profit from city Judge Rizzo and the rest of the people setting up Trusts, structures and whatever they come up with next. I am sure they will try to smear this in someway like “he didn’t do it right” or “we have changed this now” but don’t buy it! They are making millions and while I was in prison and my family was suffering, good old I.G.P. turned it’s back on me and hung me out to dry.

Global Prosperity might try to smear me personally but if I can keep one person from going what I went through then it’s worth coming forward and telling the truth about Global/I.G.P. and the scam they’re selling. I am not one of those people that bought the course and couldn’t sell it and everything was great until I heard from the I.R.S, IT JUST DOES NOT WORK.

So many people have lost their life savings believing Dave Struckman and the Global gang. There have been two investment managers of Global that have run off with money and people losing millions with their hopes of making this high percent of return on their savings. One of the other funds was even closed in the Bahamas for misuse of funds. I even have an $18750.00 Global 3 ticket and a Global 2 ticket that I am stuck with.

I know I am doing the right thing and I am going to explore every avenue with my attorney in Federal Court against Global/I.G.P. so we will see what happens. My final word is if you’re in I.G.P., then get the hell out and file your taxes. If you’re looking at this as an opportunity, then run as fast as you can and never look back. It is not worth going to federal prison over."

Good Luck!

David Starkey

Further information regarding our investigation the Institute of Global Prosperity will soon be published on the Case Studies page.


I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.

© Copyright 2002 - Bill E. Branscum. All Rights Reserved.