Tag Archives: scam

Tylsin huijaus Oulusta: Rohtos Oy Detoxformula

UPDATE 13.7.2017: Eikä olekaan tylsä tapaus, viranomaiset tutkivat sitä juuri nyt.

“Isänmaallinen” verkkolehti Uusi Suomi kertoi eilen Rohtos Oy-nimisen startup-yrityksen valmistamasta uudenlaisesta krapulapillerista. Oululainen firma perustettiin 9 kk sitten Luova Nutraceuticals Oy:nä. Sen toimiala on “Lääketeollisuus”.

Toimitusjohtaja Marko Petteri Mäkinen esintyy jutussa sopivasti valkoisessa takissa, vaikka hänellä ei ole alan kokemusta tai koulutusta. Hän on pyörinyt samassa osoitteessa muutamia pikkufirmoja, mm. LionEar Oy ja Professional Audio Company Finland Oy.

us-rohtos

Toinen perustajista on Sasu-Kimmo Aleksis Ripatti, joka on lehden mukaan “itseoppinut biohakkeroinnin eli ihmiskehon optimoinnin tuntija”. Hänet tunnetaan paremmin taiteilijanimellään Vladislav Delay. Muusiikko sai viime vuonna Pohjois-Pohjanmaan ja Kainuun taidepalkkinnon, eli 5000€ veikkausrahaa.

vladislav-delay

Kaksikko otti mukaan kollegan, joka on “koulutukseltaan biokemisti”, saadakseen heti TEKES-avustuksen. Se oli vain 6200€, koska firma pääsi kaupparekisteriin vasta Marraskuun 2016 puolivälissä. Perinteisesti TEKES maksaa Oululais”startup”-yrityksille reilumpia summia, jotta firma jäisi hetkeksi pystyyn.

luova-tekes

Värikkäästä taustasta huolimatta firman tuote on varsin tylsä. Se on tavallinen “Detox”-, eli huijauspilleri. Tutkimustuloksia ei ole, johon terveysväitteet voisivat perustua. Sitä ei tarvita saadakseen TEKES-rahaa ja maksutonta mainontaa Uudessa Suomessa. Firma ilmeisesti arvioi, että alkoholisteillekin tuotetta voi myydä ilman todisteita.

Verkkomyynnissä oleva pilleri sisältää sekoituksen “synteettisiä valmisteita että luonnon rohdoksia ja vitamiineja”. Jutussa mainitaan NAC eli N-Acetylcystein. Pörssiyhtiö BioHit Oy, joka harrastaa muutenkin kyseenalaista toimintaa, myy jo useiden vuosien ajan Acetium-kapseleitaan. Ne sisältävät L-Cysteiniä, joka on NAC:n lähisukulainen, ja niitä käytetään jo pitkään “krapulan helpottamiseen“. NAC on käytössä myös akuutisen Paracetamol-myrkytyksen hoidossa.

Uuden Suomen-artikkelissa puhuu alkoholitutkija Peter Eriksson. Tieteellisesti oikein hän sanoo, ettei ole täysin mahdotonta, että pillerillä olisi jonkinlainen myönteinen vaikutus. Olemattoman asian olemattomuus ei voi todistaa, siksi ei voi tätä sulkea pois. Lehti tekee siitä “ekspertin lausuma”, jonka mukaan tuote voisi oikeasti toimia. Erikssonin olisi pitänyt tietää, ettei toimittajiin voi luottaa, jos on kyse isänmaallisestä huijauksesta.

Kun verrataan muihin Oululaishuijauksiin, esim. ASMO-turvalaturiin tai vaikka Valkee-korvavaloon, tämä on varsin tylsä huijaus. Lehtijutulla oli jo myönteinen vaikutus valmistajalle: Tuote on tilapäisesti loppunut Rohtos Labs-kaupasta.

detoxformula

Valkee Ltd collapses as predicted: All share capital lost

UPDATE: My original story has reached more than 500.000 800.000 readers.
See ILTALEHTI | KAUPPALEHTI | TEKNIIKKA&TALOUS | ILTA-SANOMAT etc.pp.

The finnish trade register has just announced, that the HumanCharger manufacturer Valkee Ltd has lost all of its share capital. That means, that all of the company’s ressources are depleted, and new capital is not in sight – not even theoretically.

valkee-bankrupt

In other countries, the firm would have to file for immediate insolvency or bankruptcy, which is regulated in the same chapter of finnish corporate law.  In Finland, however, business could go on for a while – under extreme conditions, as purchases must all be paid in advance, and credits are stroke off. All business partners are now informed officially, that Valkee cannot fulfil upcoming liabilities.

Because of the consequences, such a notification is usually done in the least possible moment. It may be driven by the fact, that management and owners can be held liable personally from now on, if they don’t declare the final state publicly.

If anyone has claims against Valkee Ltd, now is the time to demand.

Personally I think, that the company will exist on paper for a few months, until its chairman Timo Ahopelto resigns from the board of TEKES, Finland’s tax-financed innovation funding agency. TEKES has shot in more than 100.000€ last year into Valkee, despite the obviously desperate state of the company, which was strictly documented in the 2016 balance.

Probably it’s the political dimension of the case. The snail media will report more soon. The source is earlightswindle.com – just in case they “forget” it again. /-Ed.

Valkee ist pleite

Wie die finnische Registerbehörde PRH gestern mitteilte, hat der Ohrleuchtenhersteller Valkee Oy aus Oulu am vergangenen Donnerstag den Verlust des gesamten Stammkapitals gemeldet.

valkee-bankrupt

Während nach deutschem Recht die Gesellschafter zum sofortigen Insolvenzantrag verpflichtet wären, kann die Firma in Finnland unter Umständen fortgesetzt werden. Wegen der Auswirkungen auf die Geschäftstätigkeit (Einkäufe nur noch gegen Vorkasse, Kündigung von Kreditlinien, usw.) ist aber eine Insolvenz mit Gläubigerschutz und Sanierungsversuch oder ein direkter Konkurs wahrscheinlicher. [s. Abschnitt 20, §§23-25 des finnischen Kapitalgesellschaftsgesetzes: Stammkapitalverlust, Insolvenz und Konkurs]

Die Meldung über den Stammkapitalsverlust erfolgt in der Regel zum allerletzten rechtlich möglichen Zeitpunkt. Unterbleibt die Anzeige, oder erfolgt sie zu spät, können Geschäftsführung und Gesellschafter im Falle des Konkurses in Anspruch genommen werden. Hiermit zeigen demnach die Verantwortlichen bei Valkee an, dass sämtliche finanziellen Möglichkeiten ausgeschöpft sind, und sie nicht persönlich haften wollen.

Da das Schicksal von Valkee in Finnland wegen der Verwicklung der Regierung politische Bedeutung hat, könnte die Skandalfirma auf dem Papier noch fortbestehen – etwa bis zum Sommer 2017, wenn der Firmenchef Timo Ahopelto vom Leitungsgremium der Innovationsförderungsbehörde TEKES zurücktritt. TEKES hat im letzten Jahr noch über 100.000 € in Valkee nachgeschossen, obwohl die Geschäftsführung öffentlich zugegeben hat, dass die Ohrleuchtengeräte in Finnland unverkäuflich sind und der sinkende Auslandsumsatz maximal 1/4 der Kosten deckt.

Wenn Sie noch Ansprüche an die Firma Valkee haben, dann ist jetzt der Zeitpunkt, sie anzumelden. Das Zeitfenster kann sich bald schließen.

Valkee Ltd to go belly-up: The 2016 balance

Traditionally, earlightswindle.com makes Valkee’s balance sheets publicly available. Here is it for the fiscal year 3/2015 – 2/2016:

Valkee balance 2016

Revenue is down to 426.000 Euro from 645.000, again -35%. That’s directly continuing the long-time downward trend (2014: -44%, 2015: -40%).

Loss is also down, to “only” 1,646 million. Now the equity ratio (omavaraisuusaste) fell sharply, own capital is now negative (-1,049 million). In other words, there’s nothing left than debt. Banks and investors will not recover what they gave.

Last year, there was still some money left from the 7,3M investment. That’s completely burned now, and an additional million evaporated. As last year, Valkee got an audit warning. Now plus a clear prognosis, that the company will run out of capital during the next 12 months – cease to exist – if no new cash is found from some easy-to-fool investor. Or the americans buy millions of HumanChargers.

Update:
The snail media has reacted to this post: Kauppalehti 1 | Kauppalehti 2 | Talouselämä

Valkee’s CEO Aki Backman made absurd comments. Interestingly, he admitted that the earlight does “practically” not sell anymore in Finland. An open secret, now confirmed.

How to handle an unwanted blogger – the Valkee solution

Imagine the following: You have a company selling some unproven wonder treatment to naïve customers. You get maximum-level political support – even from the President of the Republic and the PM. You’re getting multi-million public and private funding enabling you to produce “research” to bolster your marketing.

But the target population still doesn’t believe you. An ugly makeshift website with an unfriendly blog draws as much attention as your glossy campaign. Although it is maintained anonymously, it has higher credibility. The facts presented there are a threat to your business, you want to get rid of that. What shall you do?

Here is, what Valkee Ltd did.

 

1. Send a threatening letter

in which you demand to shut down the website.

cease-and-desist letter by Valkee's CEO Somerto

 

If unsuccessful,

2. Let your lawyers send a threatening letter.

cease-and-desist by Borenius law firm

Luckily, you have Borenius, a leading law firm, at hand – at the expense of others.

 

If unsuccessful, start some

3. Text message stalking

somerto-sms1

Send the messages preferably in the morning (before 7:30 a.m.) or at night (after 8:00 p.m.). You may achieve a good shock-and-awe effect when the target is with the family, not expecting anything bad.

somerto-sms2

 

If unsuccessful, make a

4. Denunciation to the police.

The outcome may be disappointing (detailed description of the case here), because the website/blog does nothing illegal. The presented facts are correct, as you know.

 

Anyway, if unsuccessful, try a

5. Second complaint to the police

in which you decry the activities of that blog as a vital threat to your business. Urge the police to do anything soon. At least, it will keep the blogger busy and under pressure.

lawsuit2-4[1]

 

If all those methods are unsuccessful,

6. Hire a private investigator.

This may be outsourced to some of your pals. Their growing concerns about the failing investment could make them try a whole bunch of unconventional measures. You must convince them, that all negative publicity is caused by that blogger and his friends, not by your foul claims.

valkee-amateur-spies

Security expert Dave may find out interesting things about one’s personal life (cut out from the JPG above). Keep it for later use. But next time avoid leaking the memos, because of your sheer incompetence with web techniques.

  • Guessing game: Who hired David as a private eye?
    • Hint 1 (symbolic picture):
      (symbolic picture only)
    • Hint 2: it begins with M.

 

If still unsuccessful,

7. Contact the blogger’s employer.

This is, of course, a do-not for a civilized person. Use only if despair strikes. You may try to find out more details about your target. Or simply ask random things, to make clear you’re despicable enough to actually play that card.

Be aware, that the HR department may be used already to 3C-requests (criminals, crooks, and crackpots) due to the nature of that institution. Your questions may be redirected instead and cause further damage.

update: Pekka Somerto contacted my employer via phone and from a DNA welho.com e-mail (probably he changed it now to Elisa.fi). I received a HR call at home on my day off, and had to explain. An uncomfortable situation, as you may understand./-Ed.

 

If all is unsuccessful,

8. Leave the company

after all you’ve done.

thelastoneswitchesoffthelight

Your pals/investors could help with parachuting you into a leading position elsewhere – even with comparable pay checks.

valkeelisa

Then resume where you stopped: Selling flimflam devices. Enjoy life!

***

Surprise: Elisa Oyj sells Valkee-succeeding Oura crap

Some twists in the Valkee saga still may surprise me. That one is hard to comment:

Oura-Valkee-Somerto-Elisa

Oura-Valkee-Somerto-Elisa

[ background 1 ] [ background 2 ] [ background 3 ]

The Oura ring is another gadget linked to unfounded claims, misleading advertising, and Valkee. Elisa Oyj‘s new Business Development Director is the former CEO of Valkee, and multiple Valkee employees now appear at Oura, which original name is JouZen Oy. Valkee’s co-founder is listed among the inventors of Oura’s founding patents. Among JouZen/Oura leaders is Petteri Lahtela, from Valkee’s Japan operations.

A so-called butt-on-bucket constellation, with helping hands by good old boys.

The 3rd Relaunch of the Valkee Scam: “SummerLight”!

With worldwide sales nearing zero, the finnish earlight maker Valkee Ltd undertakes the next (and probably last) “relaunch” of its 10 year-old scam. The product is now called SummerLight. The accompanying website summerlight.com is a shady copy of the previous humancharger.com fraud.

valkee-summerlight-therapy-deviceNo further comment needed.

Update: Valkee’s scam sites won’t open w/ earlightswindle.com referrers. They also block me on Twitter. OMG. OMG!!1!

Valkee’s chairman joining antivax conspiracists?

Valkee Ltd’s chairman Timo Ahopelto has often been reluctant to give interviews to critical, or un-bribed reporters. The finnish SEURA magazine tried to get an interview last year, but he refused for many weeks. Finally Ahopelto agreed to answer questions, which he approved beforehand. Here is what he said about the faulty scientific base for Valkee’s claims:

“In Finland, there are also doctors who want everybody to be vaccinated against influenza. Others think nobody should be vaccinated, and then there’s everything in between. In science, it takes time to find the final truth and get it accepted. Things get either rejected or accepted at a certain time. For Valkee, the talk in Finland is not very important. Here’s 5 million people, but the world has 8 billions.”

In Finnish:

”Onhan Suomessa lääkäreitäkin, joiden mielestä kaikkien pitäisi ottaa influenssarokote, toisten mielestä kenenkään ei pitäisi ottaa, ja kaikkea siltä väliltä. Tieteessä lopullisen totuuden löytäminen ja hyväksytyksi saattaminen vie aikaa; asiat joko hylätään tai hyväksytään tietyssä vaiheessa. Valkeen kannalta suomalainen keskustelu ei ole kovin merkityksellinen. Täällä on 5 miljoonaa ihmistä, ja maailmassa on 8 miljardia.”

 

Ahopelto has defended Valkee’s actions with conspiracy theories before. For finnish readers, the SEURA article is worth a read. An important piece about probably corruptive practices in TEKES. — However, stay tuned for Monday, April 4th.

April 1st – with a serious background

Many thanks to all concerned visitors who wondered about the re-direct to Valkee.com. I had prepared a stricter version with technical details, but I will leave it at that. I accidentally found a new unbelievable piece for the Valkee saga. I am checking this out at the moment and will not waste time.

So stay tuned – this is also meant for the snail media writers who regularly visit me and my twitter account for lame articles of theirs. I am serious about this one.

However, although Valkee Ltd did not seize earlightswindle.com, it still is squatting a large number of such domains, for instance earlightswindle.net and .info. Whois it?

Domain Name: EARLIGHTSWINDLE.INFO
Domain ID: D51708183-LRMS
Referral URL: http://www.joker.com
Updated Date: 2015-01-19T07:15:36Z
Creation Date: 2014-02-17T11:36:28Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2017-02-17T11:36:28Z
Sponsoring Registrar: CSL Computer Service Langenbach GmbH d/b/a joker.com
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 113
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Registrant ID: CAFI-397749
Registrant Name: - -
Registrant Organization: Valkee Oy
Registrant Street: Elektroniikkatie 5
Registrant City: Oulu
Registrant Postal Code: 90590
Registrant Country: FI
Registrant Phone: +358.404554331
Registrant Email: 
Admin ID: CAFI-397748
Admin Name: Juuso Nissila
Admin Organization: Valkee Oy
Admin Street: Elektroniikkatie 4
Admin City: Oulu
Admin Postal Code: 90590
Admin Country: FI
Admin Phone: +358.407019897
Admin Email: 
Tech ID: CAFI-397748
Tech Name: Juuso Nissila
Tech Organization: Valkee Oy
Tech Street: Elektroniikkatie 4
Tech City: Oulu
Tech Postal Code: 90590
Tech Country: FI
Tech Phone: +358.407019897
Tech Email: 
Billing ID: CAFI-397748
Billing Name: Juuso Nissila
Billing Organization: Valkee Oy
Billing Street: Elektroniikkatie 4
Billing City: Oulu
Billing Postal Code: 90590
Billing Country: FI
Billing Phone: +358.407019897
Billing Email: 
Name Server: B.NS.JOKER.COM
Name Server: C.NS.JOKER.COM
Name Server: A.NS.JOKER.COM

So that’s where the money goes. CU soon!

New (not so) independent study: Valkee’s HumanCharger is a placebo (Update)

The finnish earlight maker Valkee Ltd is putting all-in on the american market after plunging sales in Europe. Its product, the premium-priced placebo HumanCharger, is sold with wonder claims online by Walmart and others:

Walmart as a co-scammer!

  • Keep in sync, all the time: regular exposure to light helps maintain the rhythm of our natural body clock, so with HumanCharger you always feel “in sync”
  • Better sleep, better health: HumanCharger reduces the need for excess sleep and reduces food cravings associated with jetlag, tiredness and low energy levels

At the same time, the second independent study about the device’s effects (or the lack thereof) is published. The result … is the same as in all other placebo-controlled tests.

Independent trial: Valkee is a sleep and mood placebo

It is concluded that transcranial bright light, at times where conventional light therapy has phase-advancing properties, did not influence any sleep parameters differently than placebo.

This is by no means surprising, as the first independent trial, published in November 2013, came to similar conclusions with a somewhat different methodology. Valkee’s HumanCharger has no effects on circadian rhythms. The new independent study is from the University of Bergen, Norway. With 50 participants, it was adequately powered to detect any effects consistent with Valkee claims.

The company has admitted, that their earlight doesn’t have any physiological effect comparable to standard light therapy. Their own data also show, that it does not influence Melatonin or Cortisol like real light therapy. Now we know, it doesn’t improve or at least change sleep in any way.

The HumanCharger does not influence the biological clock.
No “better sleep. better health – sync with the sun”. It’s all made up.

Ironically, Valkee Ltd is just touring the US with exactly these false claims. The company has been presenting on the Consumer Electronics Show CES2016 from Jan 6-9 in Las Vegas. It would be interesting to see the reactions of any resellers, when they realize that the HumanCharger again is scientifically demonstrated to be humbug.

 

Update 1: I got the study pdf. Cool, that was fast! Big thanks to J. – and to all the other nice readers whose support I am experiencing regularly.

Update 2: According to the small print in the full text, Valkee Ltd paid 12.000 Euros for this trial. That’s more than for the ice hockey trial a few years ago. But they did not get full control over the results and the publishing. Literally a bad investment. (16.1.2016)