YTB News

Investor to Resurrect YTB International

YTB International Files Chapter 11

YTB Calls off LTS Merger

YTB International Appoints Andrew Cauthen President and CEO

YTB International CEO Resigns Amid Restructuring Program

YTB International Announces Merger Agreement

For more information on YTB including the company's current rank in our home business index, please click here.

Investor to Resurrect YTB International | 10/14/2013

October 14, 2013 -- An investor has acquired the assets of YTB International. YTB, which once had more than 130,000 independent agents, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March after fallout from lawsuits filed by Illinois' and California's Attorneys General, alleging it operated as an illegal pyramid scheme.

Jamraval Inc., which purchased YTB's assets for $3.5 million, will resurrect the company as YTB Global Travel Inc., overseen by the owner of Jamraval, Sam Hathi. YTB International's president and CEO, Andy Cauthen, will stay on in a management position at the new company.

YTB International Files Chapter 11

Npros | 3/5/2013

YTB International filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court on March 2.

Andrew Cauthen, YTB's President, said in a press release that “YTB intends to utilize ... Chapter 11 to regroup, reorganize, and relaunch.”

Before the company's downward spiral, YTB reported $45 million in revenue in a quarter during 2008 and employed hundreds of people. When the California Attorney General sued YTB, calling it a "gigantic pyramid scheme," the resulting settlement and bad publicity drove agents away, causing revenue to fall sharply.

Since 2008, YTB has tried new business models and launched a merger only to later pull out.

YTB’s stock now trades for a penny and it hasn’t filed a quarterly earnings report since the third quarter of 2011. The Chapter 11 filing lists assets of $1.3 million and debts of $7.2 million.

YTB Calls off LTS Merger | 9/7/2012

September 6, 2012 -- YTB International Inc. announced that it has ended merger discussions with LTS Neutraceuticals Inc. In a regulatory filing, YTB said that it "has determined that, after further analysis and consideration, a merger with LTS Neutraceuticals Inc. is not in the best long-term interests of the stockholders and would no enhance the strategic or competitive stance of the company."

YTB also announced that executive vice president and chairman J. Scott Tomer resigned his posts in the company as of August 31. A new chairman will be appointed at YTB's next board meeting.

YTB International Appoints Andrew Cauthen President and CEO

Press Release | 6/5/2012

WOOD RIVER, IL--(Jun 5, 2012) - The Board of Directors of YTB International, Inc. announced today that it has appointed Andrew Cauthen as President and CEO. Mr. Cauthen has also been appointed as a Director to fill a vacancy on the Company's Board. The appointments became effective on May 31, 2012.

Mr. Cauthen brings many years of executive leadership experience to his new role at YTB, spanning several industries. Most recently, Mr. Cauthen has served as a consultant to numerous domestic and international companies on project management, operations, and sales and marketing engagements.

Mr. Cauthen served as President and COO of YTB Marketing, Inc. (now known as YTB, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of YTB) from 2009 to 2010, and as President and COO of YTB from 2004 to 2009.

"We are delighted to have Andy back at YTB," said Fred. E. Lutzeier, Director. "Andy knows the industry, the Company, and all of our stakeholders well. He is admired and respected, and we are fortunate that he was available to take up the leadership reins at this pivotal time for the Company," Mr. Lutzeier added.

Earlier this month, YTB announced that it was embarking on a reorganization plan to refocus on organizational improvement and operational execution. The plan entails a renewed commitment to its core travel services offerings, a review of product distribution programs, and cost reduction initiatives.

"I'm truly excited to be back at YTB," Mr. Cauthen said, "and appreciate the confidence of the Board. There are a number of challenges for YTB, and we are going to confront them as opportunities for improvement. We have a supportive group of corporate and field leaders, and we will be working together diligently on a plan for energizing and growing the Company. We will work hard to regain a respected position in the travel industry."

YTB International CEO Resigns Amid Restructuring Program

Press Release | 5/16/2012

WOOD RIVER, IL, May 15, 2012 -- YTB International, Inc. announced today that it is embarking on an important restructuring program aimed at restoring the Company's profitability and focusing its strategy on its core business of web-based travel-related services.

"The Company needs to refocus on organizational improvement and operational execution," said Mr. Fred Lutzeier, a member of the Company's Board of Directors, who went on to say, "We believe there are a number of steps that can be taken during the next few months that will improve the operating results of the business."

In connection with the restructuring program, Robert M. Van Patten submitted his resignation as President, CEO, Interim CFO, and as a member of the Board of Directors. "The Company would like to thank Bob for his efforts since being appointed CEO in 2009," said Mr. Lutzeier. The Board has begun a search for a new President, CEO and CFO. In the interim, the independent directors, led by Mr. Lutzeier and Ms. Patricia S. Williams, are overseeing a management committee of staff and operating executives which is guiding the daily affairs of the Company.

In another management move, the Company announced that Steven Boyd has been appointed as the Company's principal financial and accounting officer. Mr. Boyd previously served as Senior Manager of Finance and Compensation for MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. from 2008 through earlier this year in 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Boyd was Controller for YTB from 2006 through 2008.

The Company has taken the first step in its reorganization program by implementing a reduction in force. Effective immediately, approximately one-third of the total employees at the Company's headquarters have been eliminated. Salaries for certain ongoing positions are also being reduced. "Like so many other companies that have had to make difficult and painful decisions in this highly uncertain economic environment, the Board regrets the loss of these jobs," Ms. Williams said. "YTB has some wonderful employees and these types of decisions are not taken lightly, nor are they taken without consideration of the impact on the lives and families of the employees whose positions have been eliminated," Ms. Williams added. "Unfortunately, the Company needs to adjust its cost structure in keeping with ongoing weakness in its top line results," she went on to say. The Company estimates that the reduction in force and the reduction in salaries will save approximately $2.4 million in operating costs.

In addition to the cost savings stemming from the elimination of these full-time positions and salary reductions, the Company also expects to realize other important efficiencies and cost reduction through a review of non-personnel related costs. As importantly, though, the Company will begin taking a more strategic approach to its business model. It intends to eliminate non-core products and services that are not producing a satisfactory return and explore new growth opportunities for leveraging its competitive advantages and large sales organization. By focusing simultaneously on cost-savings and growth opportunities, the Board believes the Company can be restructured, return to profitability in the future, and remain a viable force in the marketplace." The Company anticipates that full implementation of the restructuring program will take up to 12 months.

Regarding the Company's announcement in March of a potential merger with LTS Neutraceuticals, Inc., Mr. Lutzeier said: "The development of the Company's restructuring program has consumed significant attention of the Board and management in recent weeks. We felt it important to get our own house in better order first. We will be returning to our due diligence efforts and to an evaluation of the proposed transaction to determine whether it remains in the best interest of YTB's stockholders."

YTB International Announces Merger Agreement

Press Release | 3/12/2012

WOOD RIVER, IL--(Mar 12, 2012) - YTB International, Inc. ("YTB" or the "Company"), a provider of e-commerce business solutions for individual consumers and home-based independent representatives in the United States, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Canada, announced on Saturday, March 10, 2012, that the Company has reached an agreement in principle to merge with LTS Nutraceuticals, Inc. (which shall be renamed LTS International, Inc. upon consummation of the merger) ("LTS").

The parties intend for YTB to be the survivor in a merger with a wholly-owned subsidiary of LTS. YTB will continue to operate as a standalone company focusing on the sale of travel businesses as it has done for over 10 years.

LTS focuses on "people helping people" by developing breakthrough nutritional products that promote positive change and lifelong transformation. LTS markets its products through multiple channels; including retail, direct sales (direct to consumer via TV, radio, Web and mail) and a new and improved form of person-to-person selling, commonly known as network or multi-level marketing.

The proposed merger would result in substantial cost savings and efficiencies allowing the Company to continue its plan for growth and global expansion. LTS has been approved to operate in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan and will be a great resource as YTB seeks to expand its business into Asia.

Consummation of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and approvals, including ratification of the Board of Directors for YTB and LTS, shareholder approval of the Company and applicable regulatory approvals.

J. Scott Tomer, Chairman of the Board of YTB International, Inc., commented, "We are very excited about the new global capacity that this potential merger agreement could bring to our business. Two companies working together to individually strengthen their own products and services is a first for our industry, and we're excited to be a part of it."

YTB Completes Travel Agreement

Press Release | 10/27/2011

WOOD RIVER, IL, Oct 26, 2011 -- YTB International Inc., a provider of e-commerce business solutions for individual consumers and home-based independent representatives in the United States, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Canada, today is pleased to announce the Company executed an asset purchase agreement ("Agreement") with an unaffiliated third party, Sixth Scott, LLC ("Sixth Scott"). Sixth Scott, which will operate under the name First Travel Alliance, has access to a collection of companies that generate $1.2 billion in travel sales annually.

According to the Agreement, Sixth Scott agrees to assume contracts, agreements and licenses previously held by the Company's subsidiary, YTB Travel Network of Illinois, Inc. Sixth Scott will independently manage all travel content and provide the customer support function as well as handle all group travel booking.

President of YTB Travel Network, Inc., J. Kim Sorensen, said the deal strengthens the product mix and increases the travel commission earning potential for all site owners. "We are excited about the potential for our current and future travel members. Because the Agreement makes more travel products available at higher commission levels, I expect our home based travel agents to re-establish their market position within the industry."

A representative from Sixth Scott added, "We have been very impressed with the incredible size of the YTB member network, which can provide a distribution channel to our portfolio of travel businesses. As we continue to expand the breadth of our businesses, strategic acquisitions such as that of YTB Travel Network of Illinois will further support our objectives."

Bob Van Patten, President and CEO of YTB International, Inc., also commented, "After a thorough search, we found a strategic partner to manage the content and travel sites of our business owners. The Agreement allows YTB to focus both on marketing of the travel program opportunity, as well as YTB's new product offerings, which include Ganovia Coffee, Spider Mobile Marketing and Suklaa Personal Care Products. Giving Sixth Scott the ability to manage the content of the travel sites is a positive for YTB and site owners; both companies can focus on their individual expertise increasing the likelihood of future growth."

YTB – ZamZuu to Market Energy

Press Release | 2/3/2011

YTB International, Inc. a provider of e-commerce business solutions for individual consumers and home-based independent representatives in the United States, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Canada, today announced the Company has entered into a marketing agreement with Ft. Myers, Florida-based America Approved Energy Services (America Approved Commercial, LLC, "AMC,") a full service energy procurement and management company, to provide commercial and residential energy services and renewable energy solutions through ZamZuu's network of approximately 34,000 Subscribers and 96,000 Free Agent Site Owners.

America Approved Energy Services (AMC) is one of the largest, most experienced and trusted energy consulting firms in North America. AMC is licensed and bonded in U.S. de-regulated states and will now service ZamZuu's sales organization for resale. By having the largest footprint in the energy industry, working with the nation's largest Retail Energy Providers (REPs,) AMC offers an all inclusive "fixed rate" product, helping small, medium and Fortune 100 companies save up to an estimated 20% - 40% off their electricity bills and providing clean energy solutions and category-leading renewable energy technologies.

Jon Gilbert, President of AMC said, "Through our valued affiliation with 26 top Retail Energy Providers across the country, AMC is the only energy consulting firm that offers "true" non-bias consulting to our customers. Representing multiple REPs allows us to analyze our customer's energy needs and deliver the best pricing possible, creating a "win win" for all parties. He added, "AMC also offers LED lighting initiatives, boiler technology, solar and wind programs, and are able to offer the end user a one stop shop "full turnkey"energy solution package for all of their renewable energy needs."

Robert M. Van Patten, YTB International's Chief Executive Officer commented, "We are pleased to be in this association with America Approved. Their reputation for quality service to their clients is stellar, and we are excited that they will be bringing their electric services and renewable technologies to ZamZuu's valued sales organization."

"By creating this relationship between AMC and YTB, we can now provide cost savings and energy efficiencies through ZamZuu's vast network of independent representatives," said Paula Betz, Director of Pricing for AMC.

YTB International Faces Illinois Pyramid Scheme Lawsuit | 1/8/2010

A year end filing by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois vs YTB International alleges that YTB has “perpetrated an illegal pyramid scheme that represents one of largest fraud(s) in the history of the State of Illinois and the history of this nation.” The suit seeks $ 100 million in actual and punitive damages.

The suit alleges that “The defendant corporations have taken over half a billion dollars from their unsophisticated customers, selling them on the dream of cheap travel and million dollar pay-outs when the only way that Plaintiffs and their class could make a net profit was by recruiting others to join the illegal pyramid scheme, while over half of the its customers received no travel commissions at all, the directors of YTB International, Inc. each paid themselves multi-million dollar salaries while also siphoning tens of millions of dollars from their publicly traded corporation to privately owned corporations that they owned and controlled. Plaintiffs and their proposed class ask this Court to end Defendants’ massive fraud and to enter a judgment that compensates them for the hundreds of millions of dollars that Defendants swindled. Plaintiffs’ claims are typical to those of their proposed class because they arise out of Illinois common law.”

YTB also faces legal action by the State of Illinois Attorney

YTB Faces Court Action

Travel Agent | 1/13/2009

Travel agents concerned with the future of YTB Inc. and its impact on the travel industry will have to wait until September when, reportedly, the lawsuit by California’s state Attorney General against YTB will be heard in a Los Angeles court.

The State’s attorney general filed the suit against YTB in August 2008, alleging that YTB “operates an unlawful endless chain scheme (pyramid scheme) that relies on untrue and misleading representations and unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices.” This, the state said, includes “violations of laws regulating the sale of seller assisted marketing plans, franchises, and travel discount plans.”

While YTB has remained silent on the charges, as is their right, the issues have special meaning for agents who are also facing the demise of TravelStar/JoyStar which, at press time, may impact scores of agents and at least $350,000 in unpaid commissions. Both Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines have dropped JoyStar. Unlike YTB, however, legal action is being left to individuals.

YTBTravel Mentioned in ASTA Article | 9/16/2008

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) issued a statement reiterating its standing opposition to abuse of multilevel marketing and card mills and distanced itself from remarks by former ASTA president Phil Davidoff that appeared exclusively in Travel Agent. {Davidoff, who provides education and training for YTB, gave the controversial company’s business model a measured endorsement.}

“Following on the heels of legal actions taken by various states, including California, against a multilevel travel marketing firm (MLMs), ASTA is reiterating its stance regarding MLMs and card mills,” an ASTA spokesperson said. ASTA did not mention Davidoff or YTB by name.

Insider Deals at YTB Raise Questions, Concerns

St Louis Today | 8/31/2008

When YTB International held its annual convention in St. Louis earlier this month, the fast-growing travel company wanted to make a big splash.

So it commissioned an Indiana design firm to build a nearly life-size foam replica of the Statue of Liberty, 130 feet tall and 50,000 pounds, to be erected in the Edward Jones Dome and unveiled to much fanfare at the opening ceremonies.

It's unclear how much YTB paid for the massive statue — published estimates of its cost range from $1.8 million to $8 million — but the company that YTB hired to make it, BerylMartin of Griffith, Ind., has received more than $7 million for printing and event work for YTB since 2004, according to regulatory filings. And it's owned by YTB's trio of co-founders.

"The New Lady Liberty," as the foam colossus was called, is just the latest in a string of deals in recent years between Wood River-based YTB and companies owned or controlled by its top executives and board members. While it has been racking up big sales of online travel agencies to hundreds of thousands of people, it has been paying out millions of dollars for office buildings, construction contracts and sales materials to companies controlled by a handful of insiders.

California AG Files for Injunction Against YTB

Travel Agent Central | 8/12/2008

The California Attorney General filed for a permanent injunction against YTB Travel in August, 2008, naming YOURTRAVELBIZ.COM, aka YTB.COM, YTB Travel Network of Illinois, J. Lloyd Tomer, J. Scott Tomer, J. Kim Sorensen, and Andrew Cauthen.

The suit alleges that defendents are operating an endless chain scheme ( pyramid scheme ) that relies on "untrue and misleading representations and unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practices..."

To read the complete filing, click the link below.

Brown Sues to Topple YTB

Office of the Attorney General | 8/12/2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Gareth Lacy (916) 324-5500

Brown Sues To Topple Online Pyramid Scheme

LOS ANGELES--California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a lawsuit against for operating a "gigantic pyramid scheme" that recruited tens of thousands of members with deceptive claims that members could earn huge sums of money through its online travel agencies.

“ operates a gigantic pyramid scheme that is immensely profitable to a few individuals on top and a complete rip-off for most everyone else,” Attorney General Brown said. “Today’s lawsuit seeks to shut down the company’s unlawful operation before more people are exploited by the scam.” and its affiliates operate an illegal pyramid scheme that only benefits members if and when they find enough new members to join the scam. Once enrolled, members who join the pyramid scheme earn compensation for each new person they enlist, regardless of whether they sell any travel. The company lures new members by offering huge income opportunities through online travel agencies yet the typical person actually makes nothing selling travel.

According to company records there were over 200,000 members in 2007 who typically pay more than $1,000 per year--$449.95 to set up an “online travel agency” with a monthly fee of $49.95. In 2007, only 38 percent of the company’s members made any travel commissions. For the minority of members who made any travel commission in 2007, the median income was $39.00--less than one month’s cost to keep the Website. There are at least 139,000 of the company’s travel Websites, all virtually identical, on the Internet.

YourTravelBiz’s extensive marketing materials include videos of people driving Porsches and other luxury cars, holding ten-thousand dollar checks, and claiming to be raking in millions of dollars in profits. The company advertises through its Website, and at conventions, workshops and nationwide sales meetings which have been held in California locations such as Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego.

Brown charges the company, its affiliates, and the company’s founders J. Lloyd Tomer, J. Scott Tomer, J. Kim Sorensen and Andrew Cauthen with operating an “endless chain scheme,” an unlawful pyramid in which a person pays money for the chance to receive money by recruiting new members to join the pyramid. Brown also charges the company with unfair business practices and false advertising practices including:

* Deceptive claims that members can earn millions of dollars with the company * Operating without filing legally mandated documents with the attorney general and the Department of Corporations * Selling an illegal travel discount program

Under California’s unfair business practices statue, the company is liable for $2,500 per violation of law. Attorney General Brown is suing to get a court order that:

* Bars the company from making false or misleading statements * Assesses a civil penalty of at least $15,000,000 and at least $10,000,000 in restitution for Californians who were ripped off by the company.

YTB Travel Considers Dropping Network Marketing Model | 7/16/2008

YTB Travel says that they are considering converting to a franchise model. The change is under consideration for as early as 2009, though the company says existing RTAs would be treated favorably under its forthcoming proposal.

YTB Named in Travel Weekly Power List

PR Web | 7/6/2007

In their annual Power List, Travel Weekly, a prominent and established travel magazine ranked YTB International #35 out of 53 travel companies. The list represents all travel companies with an annual revenue of over 100 million dollars and lists the nation's top travel sellers in terms of total dollar volume and annual sales.

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) July 3, 2007 -- Travel Weekly, a travel magazine with a circulation of over 51,000 travel agents, business owners and executives announced their 2007 Power List last month. A little known but explosive company named YTB International ranked #35 out of 53 giant travel companies.

That the six-year old on-line company, sold over $226 million dollars of travel in 2006 does not make it unique. What does make the company unique, however, is the company's business model and goal of $1 billion in travel sales in 2007 and becoming the largest travel company in the world by 2011.

YTB refutes negative images, emphasizing multilevel biz model | 1/8/2007

Travel Weekly ran this article today which offers an excellent overview and history of YTB, as well as info on where they plan to go in the future.

You will need to create a login (free) at Travel Weekly to access the article.

"YTB Travel Network, a little-known, 6-year-old host agency with some awfully big numbers -- $250 million to $300 million in 2006 sales and 61,000 referring travel agents -- is growing so fast it had to relocate its offices after Christmas, a second relocation in 18 months."

YTB International Announces Removal from OTC

Your Travel Biz Press Release | 6/1/2006

YTB International, Inc. Announces Removal From OTC Bulletin Board

EDWARDSVILLE, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 06/01/2006 -- YTB International, Inc. (the "Company") (PINKSHEETS: YTBL) announced today that its common stock has been removed from trading on the OTC Bulletin Board as a result of its annual report on Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2005 having not yet been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). As previously reported on our Current Report on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on February 7, 2006, the Company is in the process of having its previously-filed SEC annual reports from 2003 and 2004 audited by UHY LLP, the Company's new independently registered public accounting firm. The Company believes that it has made significant progress in this audit process and will be able to file its required reports for the year ended December 31, 2005 and the first quarter of 2006, as well as the amended 2003 and 2004 reports, in the near future, which the Company believes would result in the renewed trading of the Company's common stock on the OTC Bulletin Board.

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