The Checkered Legal History of Robert Kiyosaki

by James on November 12, 2012 · 7 comments

All,

Since you’re probably not glued your computer watching the financial news 24/7, you most likely didn’t notice that Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame had a little problem with one of his companies going bankrupt.  Yep, bankrupt, as in out of business, finito.  Since the internet delights in the misfortunes of others, the circumstances have been widely reported.  Essentially what happened was Kiyosaki’s company, Rich Global, LLC. had an agreement with the Learning Annex to promote Kiyosaki’s books and games.  The Learning Annex did their part, but when it came time to pay, Kiyosaki stiffed them.  In response the Learning Annex sued and got a judgement to the tune of 23.7 million dollars.  Since Rich Global didn’t have the cash and because Kiyosaki didn’t want to backstop his company with his personal fortune, Rich Global went belly up (1) while Kiyosaki keeps his personal fortune.

The only thing is…its not the first time that Kiyosaki has run into legal issues.  Several other problems have cropped up in recent years.

Back in 2008 he was he was sued by his former business partner, Sharon Lechter.  Lechter was co-author on earlier editions of Rich Dad Poor Dad, but the two had a falling out over the direction of the Rich Dad company.  In her suit, Lechter made several allegations as part of the split.  She indicated that Kiyosaki and his wife were looting the company by taking a disproportionate share of the company’s profits.  Lechter also said that Kiyosaki created a hostile work environment by being verbally abusive and by having an explosive temper (2).

In 2011 Kiyosaki’s real estate seminars were subject to a Federal class action lawsuit (here) and appear to be getting plenty of complaints (3,4).  In fact, someone has been so dissatisfied with Kiyosaki’s products that they even built a website to share their frustration (clicky).  Kiyosaki has also been the subject of two negative TV specials in recent years, both in Australia as well as in Canada, both of which have been critical of his seminar series alleging high pressure sales tactics and ineffective educational content.

In terms if my own personal experience with Kiyosaki’s operations.  I signed up for his “Conspiracy of the Rich”  website a while back.  I was supposed to get an email confirmation to access the free content on the web.  I still haven’t gotten the email and never got access to the content.

So, in a nutshell, Kiyosaki and his companies are starting to develop a track record of legal problems and dissatisfied customers.  While it is certainly true that Kiyosaki has prospered in recent years, one wonders if the numerous lawsuits and complaints aren’t indicative of larger issues.  Obviously, some people will never be satisfied regardless of whatever you do, but a class action lawsuit and several nationally prominent legal actions against you suggests something isn’t quite right with either your ethics or your business practices.

Best.

James H.



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