Oxebridge has filed separate complaints against the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) alleging consumer fraud and deceptive marketing. The complaint against ASQ was filed with the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection, and the APICS complaint was filed with the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

The complaints originated from alleged violations of each organization’s published “Codes of Ethics” by ASQ’s Section Chair William Levinson, who is also a member of APICS. Both organization’s Codes include language prohibiting discriminatory actions by its members, something Oxebridge alleges Levinson has violated through his decade or more of posting anti-Muslim and anti-immigration political articles and postings.

ASQ forwarded the complaint to Scott Laman for processing, but Mr. Laman has since refused to respond to any requests for updates. As a result, Oxebridge has filed a consumer complaint with the WI Bureau of Consumer Protection, which then forwarded it to the appropriate charity division for formal investigation. ASQ is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization which falls under the charity division’s oversight.

APICS had also refused to provide any information on the complaint. Representative Roy Guevara at first threatened to “dismiss” the complaint before it was filed, and then later refused to provide the names of APICS management assigned to process the complaint. All further emails to APICS, requesting status updates, went unanswered for months.

As a result, Oxebridge filed an official complaint with the Illinois Attorney General’s office. Within hours, APICS deputy counsel contacted Oxebridge, asking for a written complaint; it appears the original complaint filed with Mr. Guevara was never processed at all, and sat ignored for months. APICS is also a 501(c)(3) registered entity.

The new complaints against ASQ and APICS charge the organizations with false and deceptive advertising, and attempts to fraudulently induce consumers to join their organizations. ASQ earns about $11 million per year in membership dues, and APICS over $5 million. Both organizations then earn more money selling “certification programs” to members. The organizations include marketing of their various codes and policies as a means of attracting members. Oxebridge argues that if membership organizations are going to publish a “Code of Ethics” as a means of attracting potential members, consumers thus have a right to know such Codes — and any other policies — are not false, deceptive or otherwise untruthful. Such members may also want assurances that the others members in the organization share their professional values, and do not engage in hate speech or other violations.

Oxebridge also argues that failure to uphold the Codes risks exposing such membership organizations to class-action suits. ASQ reports it has 80,000 members worldwide; APICS reports about 45,000.

This is not the first time Oxebridge has filed a complaint against ASQ. In 2016, Oxebridge filed a report with the US Internal Revenue Service alleging that ASQ was involved in potentially illegal fundraising. In 2010, representatives of ASQ were publicly soliciting individual donations of $50,000 or more to fund an ISO event that was never even held. ASQ then refused to report on where any collected funds went, nor how the bank account for the funds was set up, nor who managed the account. As a 501(c)(3), ASQ is limited to conduct only “public charity” fundraising, which would likely not have covered the ISO event which was targeted at benefiting private, for-profit consultants. ASQ CEO William Troy promised to investigate the scandal, but then did nothing. The problem was escalated to ANSI, which oversees some of the ISO committee work administered by ASQ, who also refused to investigate unless Oxebridge paid a $1,000+ filing fee. Oxebridge argued that ANSI had a responsibility, by law, to investigate potential crimes without waiting for filing fees; ANSI ignored the issue, and it remains open.

It is likely the new complaints will not result in any formal response, as the agencies handling them are typically overwhelmed, and even then must calculate the cost-benefit considerations of tackling an organization that provides significant tax revenue to the state.

A complaint has also been made to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), alleging Levinson has violated their Code of Ethics as well. SME has likewise not provided any updates on the complaint, but it was filed much later.

Levinson is currently suing Oxebridge for defamation; Oxebridge is seeking to have the case thrown out under Florida Anti-SLAPP law, which disallows defamation lawsuits actually intended to chill free speech. Levinson argues he is not racist, and that claiming so is defamatory, even though he has published numerous articles referring to Muslims as “subhuman” and “apes,” and openly referred to Blacks as “niggers.” Levinson has since filed another two dozen threats of additional litigation, and has opened three separate websites dedicated to defaming Oxebridge.

To donate to the Oxebridge ISO 9001 Users Legal Defense Fund, click here.