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Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
All good and sound advice except for -Never invest with someone under 30-age has nothing to do with it, there are successful young entrepreneurs as many as old fools :)

Ludmilla, you are a voice of reason and I respect every comment you make in these forums and am honored by your agreement to my post.

But believe me, this under 30 thing is very true in our Chareidi communities. Probably due to the fact that most people rely on “getting experience” vs getting educated (aka “I’ll learn on the job”). The guys you’re referring to are Harvard dropouts, not BMG or Monroe grads.

February 10, 2019, 09:44:37 PM
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Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
The only advice here that matters is to never invest money you can’t afford to lose.

I disagree about the others. I think the people that became billionaires from investing with Zuckerberg would disagree with you.

Do you understand that Zuckerberg got into Harvard on a full scholarship? That he only took on investors once his platform had tens of millions of users? Are you comparing him to every joe out of Kolel? Seriously!

February 10, 2019, 09:49:18 PM
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Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
How did you warn people ? Just people you knew ?
Should the scammer go to jail ?
What did the scammers say to you when you confronted them that their method wouldn’t work ?


When I was there funding was from a group of investors. Whoever asked my opinion I said to not invest more.

Remember this was a legitimate business, not a Ponzi scheme. They should not go to jail. They’re response to my concerns was “you’re an employee, we’re The bosses, this is how we do things etc.”

Remember, hindsight is 20-20. Before this all blew up there was no way of knowing I’d be right. I’m actually sad I was.

Many very successful businessmen make grave mistakes and take fortunes with them to the bottom. Just because an analyst tucked away at some ratings firm voiced concern once doesn’t mean it was a scam all along.

February 10, 2019, 10:05:17 PM
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Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
Any more cases like this?

Did a scary lady call you about lahyuhs in suits yet for posting this?

February 12, 2019, 02:12:31 PM
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Re: Lakewood NJ Master Thread
Is this the same business which you had considered to be mismanaged?

Obviously!

February 14, 2019, 12:48:24 PM
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Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others During my days at Sterling I had some time on my hands. My job consisted of very basic bookkeeping on excel sheets, otherwise there wasn’t much work that our inventory software didn’t do for us, except during tax season. (Another reason I left, and why I wasn’t replaced until a few months ago).

Anyways I spent time reading these forums. When I found the Sungames thread I was enthralled, read it from start to end, which took me 2 days! (I knew shimino1 personally so really found it entertaining).

I then remember thinking, yikes, I’m sitting at a Sungames in the making, if things continue in certain ways. It’s so saddening to see “the end”. The owners were wonderful hardworking yidden who would run away from even a Chasash of Gezel. They didn’t take anything for themselves, they lived on the bare minimum. Most employees were getting paid more, which was kind of ridiculous, but they wanted to sacrifice in order to build. I hope everyone, including them, come out b’shalom. If there is a process in the making which can solve something, it should be at least given a try, it’s the best bad option right now. All the hate definitely won’t help and will make things worse.

February 18, 2019, 12:23:32 AM
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Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
+1 @yesitsme can you elaborate a bit more about the operation? Was the retail store itself profitable, or was it just a front for other businesses like Amazon etc?

The store was profitable enough to pay a decent profit to the owners. A few good management decisions had been taken about 3 - 4 years ago to get it there. A small business, friendly service, part of the community, run by great guys.

Now one employee at the store began selling stuff online from the basement. They were very successful. They expanded - to a warehouse in Lakewood -, hired guys - working "virtually" (not in Lakewood) - to manage the Amazon accounts (buyers basically), and took investors - (or people they believed had access to investors) - money to fund purchases.

A lot, if not most of products were giving amazing returns. However, a lot sat in inventory and wouldn't move. Some sold for cost, or even a bit less. Also, no star product would last a decent cycle. A certain anonymous vendor came onto the listings of a great line and basically wiped away the micro-industry. The competition on Amazon is so fierce it's scary. So the profits were being used to run operations, while the warehouse became overloaded and inventory was ignored - especially on the financial statements.

Everyone involved was promised "commissions", basically a waterfall from the "profits". It was my job to calculate what the profits per Amazon account was. However, investors were promised a 10% ROE, plus a percentage of the profits (obviously the owners had no idea how to differentiate between a "loan" and an "investment"). The account manager got decent wages (paid by Sterling), and 10% of the profits. Yet inventory was never accounted for. So a buyer could spend $200K on various goods, and turn over $100K of it for $150K. Now the $50K profit got divvied up, but the $100K that didn't sell (and in my opinion, never will) sat. The right place for this would be a $100K write-off, but the only books it would go on were Sterling's. The buyers and investors were doing great! The buyers got paid quarterly, the investors got great Excel sheets, and Sterling was running out of money.

Eventually, such an operation will run out of cash. Also, towards the end of my tenure, the owners began buying up different businesses they felt they can turn around. They began a affiliate trucking business which was very successful. In order to pay-where-they-needed, they used money from wherever-there-was that day. Investors who understood they were investing in account X, managed by Mr. X, focusing on product X, which was a sound idea, found their money being "inter-company-loaned" to whoever needed money that day. There was no Controller or CFO, the owners just "Churned Water".

Now I have no idea how the CC thing began. It was definitely not something that would of crossed the owners minds during my stint there. I guess the situation got really desperate. Again, they were, and are, great honest Erliche guys. They gave Tzedakah, kept people on payroll because they were scared to take way Parnassah from a Yid, and kept their work-space to the highest Tznius standards. They took Mamesh nothing, even when one made Chasuna. They legitimately believed they knew what they were doing, and wouldn't listen to whoever said otherwise. This was, in my opinion, their only fault.

 

February 18, 2019, 12:05:27 PM
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Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
They are all reading this thread and for some reason (which I don’t understand) they still don’t wanto come out.....

Totally understand them. If you would just know how many PM's and calls I got from "people involved" to shut up. I don't care because I have 0 to lose, but I guess others are.

February 18, 2019, 12:19:27 PM
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Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
Thank you for the edit, however it's still not the full truth. True you may have been there for the birth of the trucking company, however it grew a whole lot more since you left. And AFAIK you were definitely not there for any of the other purchases, especially not The Buzz, which you wrote about with lots of "authority" earlier.

Anyways, I'm not here to argue. My point is, you left 2 years ago and have no idea what happened since then—as you yourself admitted—so please stop spreading rumors. It helps no-one.

Yes I apologize for anything that may be exaggerated or assuming. From vendors and employees I kept on hearing of the exponential growth. I was not there for The Buzz (I think it went live less than a month after I left IIRC) but I did help a little with the preliminary UW. I spread no rumors, I seek to help all. Admins can verify that I seeked to have certain earlier posts removed for your sake.

HaRav Password, may you or whomever you represent come out this B'Shalom, may all of the stakeholders do well, and may the future be as bright as possible. I think you guys are great, I personally owe you a debt of gratitude for giving me a job and the experience, and I hope you will be Zoche to do well in whatever you choose.

February 18, 2019, 02:07:08 PM
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Re: PSA: Don't swipe recklessly for others
ere is the story in regards to one of the recent credit card swiping scams.

Someone already mentioned the owners name S*****. He has a business reselling toners and other photo electronics.

He's been using people's credit cards for quite a number of years where he would use people's cards and pay the bills when they were due. He also had a lot of loans from loan sharks - paying 30% interest and paying over a year etc.

It reached a point where his business couldn't sustain the extreme amount of interest he was paying for swiping other people's credit cards.

He paid people to get him credit cards from other to swipe by him.
I know for a fact that he and his brother hounded people for credit cards when they already knew that things were going downhill, so all this talk that he's not a ganev, and didn't mean to screw anyone is a load of BS

The straw that broke the camel's back was when his credit card processor froze his processor and alot of money as well, and that is when the whole thing went bust.

There is between 15-18mm dollars owed to over 200 people just on credit cards alone. This doesn't include cash loans that he owes people.

These people live a very comfortable lifestyle, nice houses, expensive cards, own real estate etc.

Unfortunately there are many young kollel guys involved that don't have a single penny to their name and got connected to all this via the guys who brokered credit cards to this business.

At this point he hasn't given any sort of plan on how and when hes paying people back and is mostly just avoiding giving any real concrete plan. The options for all the victims all have downsides to them.

A few people have already disputed 100's of thousands of dollars, and this caused the merchant account to be flagged. Almost every person I know that is involved have gotten FR'ed by Amex.

People are either going to just have to default on the loans and hope for the best, or some may take the dispute route although with this much money at stake I doubt the processing bank will go down so easily. There are ways to dispute legally without saying any lies but it can be expensive and in addition there is a very big chance that this can blow up into an even larger criminal fraud investigation, and people might not want to be connected in any way shape or form to this business.

Its a big mess, and this isn't the only story happening right now - aside from Sterling there are at least 3 more stories that I know of going on right now.

I know it's been said many times here, and I myself always thought it won't happen to me, and its quite embarrassing - I'm a longtime ddfer and know many people on here personally - hence I created a new username for this post.

It's a very unfortunate situation with many victims involved. I know people who were/are on the verge of getting divorced bec of this. It's just not worth it. No matter how much point/money you can make. There are too many risks involved.

I will not answer any pm's and will try my best to answer any questions that are asked here.

Wow.  I PITY YOU.

This S**** sure lives in an expensive house (Zestimate $2,094,259, would sell for $3MM), and his kids are all mesudar. But good luck, the house is definitely in an LLC (probably retro transferred) and you won't see a penny there. Other than that he prob has 0 assets (like 90% of the people in Chareidy America who own a house and some brand name clothes and sit in seat 3C).

Oy, we have come a far way since the camps. Our grandparents who came to America found a land where opportunity abounded. They were happy to work and live w/o the fear of the last 2,000 years.

The next generation learned to take materialism to a whole new level, becoming the ultimate Americans. And generation 3 knows no answer other than debt. "Everyone has it" "What am I, a neb" "Yoish I love it I need it" etc. etc. etc.

"דרייט קרעדיט קארדס" is in Chareidy America today considered normal. How can a community which shuns the professions ever keep the Champ-Des-Elysees which 13th Ave has become busy? Pay for leases (-another form of debt) on Escalades and Navigators? Fly to Israel in first and stay at the WAJ? Make Chasuna for $200K a side? Buy $5K Shtreimels and Sheitels every 2-3 years?

Credit cards, LOC's, triple mortgages, Amazon Loans, and now - screwing the rest.

The Chareidy Tri State communites are the Soddom of our times. Everything is money money money. Kavod Kavod Kavod. SAD.

February 23, 2019, 09:02:54 PM
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