Spherature Investments LLC – Direct Seller of Travel Packages Files for Chapter 11 as COVID-19 and Pyramid Scheme Allegations Take Their Toll

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[Just filed. Developing story.] December 21, 2020 – Spherature Investments LLC and five affiliated Debtors (dba WorldVentures, “Spherature” or the “Debtors”) filed for Chapter 11 protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Texas, lead case number 20-42492 (Judge Brenda T. Rhoades). The Debtors, direct sellers of travel packages using a multi-level marketing ("MLM") business model, are represented by Marcus A Helt of Foley & Lardner LLP. Further board-authorized engagements include (i) Larx Advisors, Inc. as restructuring advisors and (ii) Stretto as claims agent. 

The Debtors’ lead petition notes between 100 and 200 creditors; estimated assets between $50.0mn and $100.0mn; and estimated liabilities between $50.0mn and $100.mn. Documents filed with the Court list the Debtors’ three largest unsecured creditors as (i) Franklin Street Properties ($1.8mn rent claim), (ii) KGS Services LLC ("KGS," $1.8mn unsecured note claim; NB: KGS is the Debtors' controlling shareholder) and (iii) Phelps Dunbar LLP ($1.8mn professional services claim). 32 of the Debtors' top 40 unsecured claims are for professional services for these litigation-challenged Debtors.

The Debtors are 88% owned by Wayne Nugent (through KGS Services) who describes himself as “The Master in the Art of Living” and a "Chief Visionary Officer." Others have been less charitable, accusing Mr. Nugent and the Debtors of running a pyramid scheme. In September 2020, a federal judge sent a class action lawsuit (commenced in May 2017) back to the arbitrator asking for clarification regarding his findings that a supposed arbitration agreement was illusory. For those wondering, yes, the Debtors arranged trips to Egypt (see, inter alia, Facebook).

About the Debtors

According to the Debtors: “WorldVentures Holdings LLC is a privately held company based in Plano, Texas, an affiliate of WorldVentures Marketing that sells travel and lifestyle community memberships providing a diverse set of products and experiences. The company's goal is to help Independent Representatives, DreamTrips Members and employees achieve more fun, freedom and fulfillment in their lives. WorldVentures uses the direct sales model to go to market with active Representatives and members worldwide. 

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