DMC told to stop alleged free rent scheme by Maryland attorney general

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Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has ordered a Baltimore-area business to stop promising investors profits and use of an apartment for a year -- or a car -- if they bought into its program.

The Attorney General office's securities division investigation alleges that through public meetings in hotels starting in 2009, DMC sought investors in a "downline" program that hired them as employees -- if they invested $100 and then paid $100 monthly -- and promised commissions and the use of an apartment or car. Downline programs are also called multi-level or network marketing, and critics say they are profitable only for the members who have been in the program the longest.

The investors, called "sales reps," could sign up additional people under them and earn commissions for everyone who joined under them, according to the order. There was also talk of earning commissions for selling cell phones, goods or services. However the order alleges selling products wasn't necessary to earn commissions.