Walker, the former football player turned businessman, and his technology company34 Technologies in 2012 partnered with Momentis, a multi-level marketing subsidiary of Just Energy, to sell an online marketing service. Walker’s partnership with the subsidiary and the online marketing service they sold does not appear to have been targeted by the states as they investigated parent company Just Energy’s sales practices.
Before Walker and Momentis’ partnership was publicized in 2012, Just Energy, at times doing business under their previous name US Energy Savings, was repeatedly targeted for enforcement action by attorneys general in New York and Illinois. The parent company’s practices allegedly enticed potential customers into long term contacts falsely saying they would save them money, allegedly included the elderly and those with language barriers being put into contracts they did not understand.
Walker and Momentis’ relationship began in 2012, according to a CNN KFile review of his business record, when Momentis and Walker’s company partnered on a product called M-Marketing Systems. The product, sold through Momentis, was billed as an online marketing service bundle for clients offering businesses website, social, and email services. Walker was featured heavily in the promotion of the product on the Momentis company’s website and at a conference in 2012.
“This is a product that has the power to make a tangible difference in the business community,” Walker said in a video hosted on the website on Momentis in 2012 and 2013. The video said Walker found the product “was so compelling” that “he decided to buy into the company that was backing up the technology.”
Walker spoke at a Momentis convention about M-Marketing Systems in 2012, where the CEO of Momentis Andy McWilliams described Walker as a “partner” in the company.
“We obviously want you to know that Herschel is not just somebody we brought up on stage,” McWilliams said. “He is a partner in Momentis.”
Though much of Walker’s business record — and lawsuits and falseclaims around it — have been widely covered, his ties to Just Energy have not been scrutinized.
Walker’s campaign did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.
In 2014, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office alleged that the multi-level marketing practices pushed by Just Energy and Momentis’ salespeople falsely represented or misled customers about Just Energy’s products, including that the products would save customers money, were offered through a state-run program and that the company made special efforts to purchase state-based renewable energy.
The state of Massachusetts and Just Energy and Momentis agreed to enter into an “assurance of discontinuance” action — a legal agreement between the attorney general’s office and another party to resolve the alleged unlawful practice without litigation — against Just Energy. Just Energy denied all wrongdoing but agreed to pay $4,000,000, most of it going to consumers. Neither Walker nor 34 Technologies were named alongside Momentis in that action.
The parent company Just Energy’s practices also resulted in settlements and payments to a state watchdog group in Illinois in 2006 and state regulators in Ohio in 2010 and 2016. Just Energy settled all of them by agreeing to pay large fines and restitution and promising to change their sales tactics. Momentis was not implicated in wrongdoing in those cases and was not a party to those settlements.
Just Energy filed for bankruptcy in March 2021 after the Texas energy crisis left millions without power and losses for the company. A spokesperson for Just Energy told CNN it sold all of Momentis’ assets in March 2014 and has had no relationship with the company since then.
It’s unclear what happened to M-Marketing Systems. By 2015, the website for M-Marketing was defunct, according to snapshots archived online.
Walker’s current business website, H-Walker Enterprises, has never listed the company as owned by Walker according to screenshots reviewed on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine that go back to 2018. The Facebook and Twitter accounts for 34 Technologies have not posted since 2013.
Former employees of both companies did not return CNN’s request to speak to them.
Walker has not spoken about his tech company often but in one 2013 podcast he said the company had a first ever patented eCommerce video platform.
“I have a tech company — where I’m the first, we have the first ever patented video that you can do eCommerce off the video without leaving the video,” Walker said on one 2013 podcast. “And it will be out very soon. It’s called InSay.”