Extracts of the get-rich-quick scheme created by the Conservative Party chairman, Grant Shapps, were revealed for the first time last night since it disappeared from the internet.
Written under the pen name of Michael Green – an internet marketing expert invented by Mr Shapps – the lengthy "20/20 Challenge eBook" promises entrepreneurs that they can make $20,000 in 20 days by creating their own online guide to sell to others.
After creating their own "toolkit", readers are told to recruit one hundred "Joint Venture (JV) partners" to sell the product for a portion of the profits, according to extracts of the 250-page eBook seen by The Times.
Mr Green writes: "It's my guess that this is the point when some people will suddenly give up hope and fail," he says. "Before you allow yourself to get into that category, let me just remind you of a few home truths: You want to make money online and I'm providing the exact formula required to make that happen. So don't wimp out now!"
The eBook then tells its readers that they can make even more than the headline $20,000 through the scheme.
The guide is dated 2007 and produced by HowToCorp, a company which Mr Shapps part-owned until he transferred his interest to his wife, Belinda, a year later. Mr Shapps founded the website before going into Parliament, but says he has had nothing to do with it in recent years.
The Advertising Standards Authority launched an inquiry into the company after receiving complaints that the website misleadingly implied that Michael Green was a real person, and that testimonials were not genuine. It closed the investigation this week after receiving assurances on its use of pseudonyms and testimonials. A spokeswoman for Mr Shapps told The Times: "Grant had a career in business before entering politics. He is completely open about this and believes that Parliament benefits from the experience of members from a wide variety of backgrounds."
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