Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What to Do if You've Been Burned

Updated with more channels for complaints on Dec 13th, 2012

So you've been scammed by Brio Birth.  If you were part of the initial group of educators, I feel your pain.  If you jumped on board later, I have much more mixed feelings.  There was a huge body of red flags out there that even a simple google search should have revealed.  There are also many childbirth educators, doulas, midwives and so on out there who have raised their voices in warning, and yet people jumped in anyway, enabling the Brio Bunch to continue scamming the birth community and innocent mothers.

With that said, if you have truly finally seen the light, welcome to the other side!  You may never see a dime of any money that you may have put out, though you could get lucky, but you can make your experience mean something, and try to recoup what you lost along the way.  Here are a couple of suggestions for actions you might take.

  1. Charge back any money you paid via Paypal or Google Checkout.  You can also file a fraud complaint.  Brio has had, as of this writing, at least one Paypal and at least one Google Checkout account shut down.  Keep them on the run.
  2. If you are unsuccessful in getting a refund via Paypal/Google Checkout, be sure to file a complaint with the service, and if you used a credit card, go to your credit card provider. Some victims have had success getting a refund to their credit card by doing this.
  3. File a complaint with IC3, the Internet Crime Complaint Commission.  They investigate internet fraud and white collar crime, and they take a vacuum-cleaner approach and then correlate complaints that are scattered geographically.  Thus, they might realize that an educator in Oregon and an educator in Florida were both scammed by Brio Birth, and lend more weight to the need for an investigation into their internet activities.
  4. File a complaint with the CO Attorney General's Office.  This will reach BBB and/or law enforcement as appropriate.
  5. Share your experience with your local birth community and any birth-y contacts you have elsewhere.  Let the truth flow through the internet, in hopes that eventually there will be a dense enough net that they can't continue to swim through. They are thriving on others' silence, however well intended that silence might be. 

Please feel free to add to this list in the comments.  I know that people have gone to other law enforcement resources including the F.B.I. and different levels of prosecuting attorneys, and I would love to hear experiences from these efforts. With good information, this may become its own tab that people can refer to.


  1. How about show up at Kyle's door, and give him a taste of his own medicine. Maybe he'd act differently if people showed up at his door banging on it and yelling and screaming. If everyone that he has wronged showed up at his door I bet the coward would be on the next flight to the Philippines.

  2. I did the IC3 complaint and a BBB complaint at roughly the same time. I could not get money back through paypal, but honestly okay. I just don't want more and more people scammed by them.

  3. This is INSANE. I just found this by accident when looking for info on the LIVE birth. Did a quick search and came up with this guy's Linked In profile. Sheesh. Half of the companies don't even have websites... wonder what that means for their existence! And as someone who is a business professional, I wonder how he can claim all of those high-end jobs after being just a consultant for a few years and company hopping so frequently. I wonder if any of those investigative shows would be interested in this couple... there seems to be a definite personality disorder going on here- he seems to have visions of grandeur and nothing to really back it up. His ego causing him to make missteps along the way, nothing to back up the bravado and assuming he can just threaten his way to what he wants... Isn't that called sociopath or narcissist?

    Very disturbing. But I'm glad there is a place where this can all be aired and made public! You need a Facebook page, I think. Just call it Birth Scams... and be open to more than just the Brio Bunch. Then they can't get you shut down.

    1. And no college degree...I'm sorry, but in today's day and age, it is VERY unusual to get to such high powered positions without a college degree. Especially since he bounces around so much, and can't even spell "telephone" (spelled it "telephony" on his profile).

      This quote in his profile really stood out to me:

      I love finding people smarter than myself then learning from them what they do best. I have a great gift for absorbing an immense amount of info in a very short time and holding on to what I learn. As a result I am your quint essential "Jack of all Trades" and a "master of many" in the making (youth comes with its drawbacks, to be great takes time). My strengths are vision, creativity, inspiration, marketing, sales, business development, and general strategic planning.

      REALLY? How often has he really found anyone that he considers to be smarter than himself? Obviously he hasn't learned anything about humility from any of these select individuals. The correct phrase "Jack of all trades, master of NONE" applies to him much better than his arrogant re-phrase.

  4. Here is that profile:

    1. Be forewarned folks...if you look at a profile on LinkedIn, the owner of the profile is sometimes notified that you were looking at it if you are logged into your profile.

  5. Anon 5:28, I was one of the early scammed people and find it embarrassing that you caught on to him so quick and easy. It took a lot of us months. And lots of others are still getting suckered. Thanks for commenting.

  6. ServerPlus has a website

    I know of at least one person who called them. There is more to that story.

    ServerPlus does work with call centers. No one currently holds the title of "Head of Global Marketing".

    The ealier 6 month stints with more famous companies also sounds like they could be call center work. Is this traditional "marketing" as posted on the CV or "telemarketing"?

    1. The "marketting" vs. "telemarketing" question is a good point. I think that it is likely that he worked in telemarketing. Most companies will only reveal that you worked there and for what dates, so he can feel pretty safe in manufacturing whatever story he wants about what he actually did.

      Do you know more about the story with ServerPlus?

  7. I'm getting quite a chuckle reading this profile on Linked In. How about THIS one below? He last worked there in 2002 (and was only there 6 months) and he's implying that his work led to WalMart's new "Bluebird" service they started offering about two months ago. Sheesh - talk about a colossal ego.

    Marketing Consultant
    American Express

    Public Company; 10,001+ employees; AXP; Financial Services industry

    April 2002 – September 2002 (6 months)

    Worked on a marketing team that developed and marketed American Expresses first fee free cards. We also made the recommendation that AMEX partner with other institutions to broaden its brand, they soon began partnering with Costco and have now partnered with Walmart to create 'Bluebird' the largest fee free prepaid card system in the world!

  8. And he's finally put this part out there for the world to see. It's not "all about the mothers and babies" -- it's about dominating a market. His dreams of domination and riches -- unbelievable.

    Business Development
    Embrion Group

    October 2011 – Present (1 year 3 months) Castle Rock Colorado

    Embrion Group is the parent company for Brio Birth and will be launching other organizations such as Brio Babies, Brio Kids, Brio Families, Brio Health, Brio Fitness and other lifestyle focused companies.

    1. Oh, he was admitting this back in 2010, at least to those of us on the "inside" (i.e. workbook designers, Regional Reps) It made some of the childbirth educators nervous because they just wanted to deal with childbirth, not all this other stuff. I don't know how many people heard it...he might have talked about it in some of his "Business 101" presentations? He was SO unscripted in those.

      Honestly, I don't have a problem with someone joining all of these ideas together. It's kind of like how "The Knot" moved on to "The Nest" and "The Bump." I just want it done ethically!

    2. If Kylomi would just move on to the rest of his empire (Brio Kids, Families, Health, etc) and leave the birth world alone, I suspect he'd quickly be forgotten and left alone. Shoot, I suspect that if Kyle even went out and got a real job and made some attempt to repay his massive debts, people might leave him alone. But as long as he continues to beg, borrow, and steal money when he hasn't made any effort to repay the past debts, his steps will be closely watched. There's a point, Kyle, where you have to admit that enough is enough. You've "borrowed" enough money to start almost ANY type of small business; it's time to either repay or bow out.

  9. Anonymous 5:28, I'm curious. You said "... and be open to more than just the Brio Bunch". Are there other birth groups out there that you think are a scam? All of the ones I know seem pretty reputable. Are you aware of something else?