Village Life Agrees to Cease Operations
On the heels of an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation, the people who run Village Life have apparently decided to call it quits.
The company, based in Smyrna, had promised investors it would pay off their debts in three easy steps.
But the state claimed Village Life was nothing more than a pyramid scheme that was defrauding investors.
Right after our first story on Village Life aired, the state of Tennessee moved in and shut the company down. That was supposed to be just a temporary thing while the state conducted a full investigation.
But now, the folks who ran Village Life have agreed to work with state regulators to dissolve the company and distribute its assets.
Freddie and Jenelle Carr will meet next week with state regulators to talk about what's left of the company and how to refund that money to everyone who invested in the company.
This comes after our undercover investigation found that Village Life was telling people it would buy them a new house, a new car or pay off an existing loan.
All they had to do was pay a small down payment and then signed up four other people for the program.
The Carrs called this a debt elimination program.
What we found was that Village Life was paying off debts...but they were the Carrs' debts. We found Village Life had paid off the Carrs' house, and bought a car for their foster son, and another car for Jenelle Carr's sister.
The big question now is just how much money is left with Village Life?
The Carrs told NewsChannel 5 a couple of weeks ago they had about $300,000 in the bank. But they also said they had some three thousand members at the time.
The state now says they're going to do all they can to make sure that the assets are dividing fairly.
"You have to figure out where the assets are that were derived from the business, and then you have to figure out okay how many people signed up under this, what if anything have they received, how much did they put in and then how is the most equitable way to take these assets and redistribute them," says Paula Wade, spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.