They have made wild claims about a wide range of cures that their Açaí berry concoction (including 18 other fruit juices) can do. After litigation by the FDA in 2007, these claims were wildly toned down on the website. However, it didn't affect distributors claims till the FDA stepped in again late 2008 to lecture the company again. Distributors haven't stopped making claims about this "panacea in a bottle" though.
They have made wild claims about celebrity endorsement of how great it is as well, much to the surprise of those who supposedly made the claims.
As a private company, it is impossible to dissect how the company operates. However, there are many former distributors that go on about it online. The gist of it seems to be that distributors (often in a group) will gather a group of friends to have a "tasting party", where they proceed to make outlandish claims about the products curative abilities. The tasting continues as the group tries to sign up (corners and badgers) as many people as possible for an upfront fee of ~$40 and the promise to sell at least 8 bottles of the stuff (at $40 a pop as well) a month with a percentage commission going to them.
Being a part of this company will certainly cure you of a number of things outside of your health, such as having money in your bank account and having friends that don't want to be constantly marketed at.
Foreclosure and takeover
They weren't able to pay of their US$ 182 million in debt and went into foreclosure in early 2015. Eventually operations were taken over by Jeunesse, another MLM
scam company. As of December 2015, the MonaVie website redirects to jeunessetransition.com and it looks like they're planning to continue MonaVie's operations.
- FDA's letter to MonaVie about their marketing
- Second letter to MonaVie about their distributors continuing to make claims
- Oprah is a constant target, who sues when she finds out. They have enough money to pay her off and lay low for a bit
- The Consumerist's Article about the "Purple Horror" blog by former distributor's
- Consumerist's take on MonaVie