Fluent LLC, through a multitude of mergers, has been at the center of ad click technology — and fraud — since the dawn of the industry. RewardZoneUSA LLC, its subsidiary, has 117 complaints at the Better Business Bureau and is the subject of many spiteful comments at the Ripoff Report.
The social media giants and digital ad execs have a bi-weekly call to discuss the scourge and have been working to get to the bottom of the chaos caused by Fluent.
Facebook Director of Product Rob Leathern, charged with managing its ad networks, posted on Twitter, where he identified this whistleblower based on his retweets and the previous article about his relationship with Fluent’s Brauser:
I got hijacked while visiting @urbandictionary -> shitty Gift card offer. Looks like an affiliate of consumerproductsusa[.]com which is RewardZoneUSA, LLC cc @bd2k who helps publishers find this s**t cc @jason_kint pic.twitter.com/K5yCAHr2US
— Rob Leathern (@robleathern) September 9, 2018
They contacted the whistleblower to learn what he knows about Fluent’s redirect technology and to better understand the mounting legal cases against Brauser.
RewardZone and Fluent were caught up last year in a case focused around their “lead-generation” websites, how they gather customer data through innocuous customer inquiry forms to add to their uber-database, and sell on to their clients, repeatedly.
He resigned this week from being chairman of Red Violet ($RDVT) — formerly known as IDI, formerly known as TLO — the “regulated data” part of the business, when he was named in a wide-ranging SEC stock market manipulation investigation. Red Violet was spun out of Cogint, which was renamed Fluent to now only manage the click ad business.
The SEC accused him of being a member of a South Florida-based insider trading ring — although, this same whistleblower fingers him as the combination’s “wizard,” using Brauser’s own words.