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Instagram star Alexis Sharkey, who was found dead near her Houston home, worked for a company that sold shoddy hair products and was labeled by some as a “pyramid scheme,” reports said Monday.
The 26-year-old was a “mentor” for the beleaguered Florida-based hair and skin care product company Monat, which has faced a series of lawsuits for deceptive marketing and selling products that led to hair loss, balding and itching, Fox News reported.
In 2019, the Guardian reported that Monat was a multi-level marketing scheme “akin to pyramid schemes” where a handful of people at the top reap in thousands from workers on the bottom who recruit others to work under them and take a cut of the profits.
Brittney Pember, a work friend of Sharkey’s at Monat, told KHOU 11 the influencer “worked her butt off” to reach the status of executive director at the company.
Monat has been labeled as a “scam” and has faced a slew of complaints from the Better Business Bureau and the USDA dating back to 2015, a year after the company was founded, Fox News reported.
In September, Monat was forced to promise it wouldn’t conduct deceptive sales and marketing practices in an agreement signed with Florida’s attorney general, which also required more than $80,000 in customer refunds because of the harmful products, the outlet said.
The agreement came after three class-action lawsuits accused the company of fraud and deception, KTNV reported.
“An inherent design and/or manufacturing defect in Monat hair care products causes significant hair loss and scalp irritation to many consumers,” one of the suits alleged.
Investigators are still working to figure out what happened to Sharkey after her nude body was found on the side of a busy road on the morning of Nov. 28 — not even 24 hours after she went missing following an apparent fight with her husband.
Friends previously said Sharkey was scared for her life and planning to divorce her husband Tom Sharkey but the 49-year-old pushed back on those allegations last week, saying Alexis may have been unhappy and stressed, but it wasn’t related to their marriage.
Sharkey’s autopsy and cause of death was still pending as of Monday morning and investigators are yet to rule out foul play.
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