SUMMARY Though Amadouba Tall has made lofty claims that he has extensive experience managing professional athletes, an investigation not only reveals that this is a total fabrication, but also shows that Mr. Tall has a checkered employment history as an admissions representative and high school lead generator for third rate for-profit colleges.
In fact, one of those colleges fired Mr. Tall, claiming that he not only misrepresented his credentials, but also misused campus resources for his own private for-profit enterprise. The subject has an apparent history telling "Tall Tales" and lining his own pockets at the expense of his employers. Research did not
identify any evidence of the subject currently or previously holding a member
position with any Boards of Directors, including Fortune 500 companies. (Fortune 500 companies list board members in various industry publications, SEC records, and on their corporate website.)
PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT The subject was identified previously employed with the below companies; presented in order of oldest to newest, with information learned in regards to each employment included:
American Intercontinental University, Inc. (AIU) (Parent company: Career Education
Corporation) LOS ANGELES CAMPUS 12655 West Jefferson Blvd., Los
Angeles, California 90066
Original Date of Hire: December 21, 1998 Most Recent Start Date: September
Separation Date: December 15, 2005
Last position held: VP Marketing & Admissions
The above employment dates were verified with a human resources clerk at the corporate offices of Career Education Corporation. The clerk stated that the Los Angeles campus where Mr. Tall worked is no longer in existence. The president of the LA campus is also no longer with the firm.
The previous president of the Los Angeles campus of A.I.U. was identified as Steven Tartaglini. Mr. Tartaglini was named in an article published in January 13, 2006 publication of The Chronicle of Higher Education entitled
A for-profit college is under investigation for pumping up enrollment while skimping on education. The below excerpt was secured from a Schedule 14A filed May 2, 2006 with the Security & Exchange Commission by publicly-traded parent company Career Education Corporation as Definitive Additional Materials with the companys proxy statement. Time was running out. It was just days before the 2004 spring quarter was to start, and administrators at American InterContinental University's campus here were struggling to meet the enrollment targets set for them by the for-profit college's corporate parent. The goal was to have more than
350 new "starts" for the term. That meant that the college's recruiters needed to sign up that many students, put together financial-aid packages for them, and make sure they remained enrolled for at least five straight weekdays.
That objective remained elusive, however, and desperate times called for desperate measures. So Steven E. Tartaglini, the college's president, made a plea to the institution's full-time faculty and staff members. If they pitched in and helped the institution achieve 351 starts, then "the Complete Campus goes to Disneyland for the entire day on a Friday in May as my guests!" he wrote in an e-mail message that March. "You will even get paid as if it was a normal workday -- all while you're having fun!"
Noting that "Starts are EVERYONE's responsibility," he pressed the professors to contact former students with whom they had formed "a good bond" and encourage them to return to AIU to pursue graduate degrees. And he had another suggestion: Employees could do their "fair share" by signing themselves up as students. "Have YOU thought about going back to school to get that Bachelor or Master's Degree?" he asked. "How about a Master's of Education Degree? If you are serious about continuing your education and if you start in April, YOU could be considered a Start that meets the criteria of this Challenge." Although Mr. Tartaglini's gambit failed, few of the college's longtime faculty members were surprised by the request. Ever since the Career Education Corporation, the country's second-largest chain of for-profit colleges, purchased AIU's seven U.S. and foreign campuses in late 2000, the institution had become increasingly focused on trying to bring in more and more students.
William J. Lynch says that when the corporation took over "it became all about making money." "It was no longer, Are the
students getting the education they need to progress in their future careers and lives?" says Mr. Lynch, who worked at the Los Angeles university as a professor and academic administrator for more than a decade before Career Education purchased it, and then served for a year, starting in September 2001, as its vice president for academic affairs. "It was, How many students have we brought in today?" Just how officials at the university here, and those at many of Career Education's other 85 campuses, have tried to pump up their enrollment numbers has become a topic of great interest to federal and state officials, who have begun to examine proprietary colleges' business practices. The U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Career Education, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., as are state officials in California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, the U.S. Education Department has put a freeze on approving any new applications for campuses or acquisitions by Career Education while department investigators examine the company's financial records and
compliance with federal financial-aid regulations.
The company -- like several other for-profit higher-education corporations, such as the Apollo Group and Corinthian Colleges -- is also facing class-action lawsuits by former employees, shareholders, or students.
A Ripoff Report (RipoffReport.com) from May 2006 identified former employees of American InterContinental University complaining about the management and recruiting practices of the Los Angeles campus of AIU and the ex-president Steven Tartaglini. Three ex-employees provided information between July 30, 2006 and July 14, 2011 describing Amadou Tall as sleazy...narcissistic... scam artist. Below is an excerpt from Ex-employee #2: Dave - Los Angeles:
Larson may be a crook, but he's just the tip of the iceberg! At the LA campus, there was a string of fellows who could be considered "special." Starting with the ex President, Steve Tartaglini. I have never met anyone quite like him. You saw the Chronicle story - it's all true. He sent an email to all AIU employees asking us to enroll ourselves and try and hit the "budget starts." If we did, he'd take us all to Disneyland on his bill and if we were the first to see him at Disneyland, he'd give us a "crisp $50 bill to spend as we'd like." That's just the tip of the iceberg on this jacka**. He would regularly berate employees, he would pit employees against each other, he was unprofessional in his dealings with people, he was inappropriate, etc.
I really think he had a Napoleon complex which made him act the way he did. He was a complete imbecile when it came to running a school. Then there was Amadou Tall - went from DOA of High School Division to VP of Admissions of LA to Regional VP for AIU Division (Corporate). This guy was one of the sleaziest individuals I have ever met. He would dress like a pimp and berate his employees... at times making them bark if they didn't hit their numbers. Like Steve, Amadou was finally asked to leave (from what I hear), but it was too late. Both of those idiots single-handedly destroyed the LA school and its infrastructure. The spent thousands of dollars on unnecessary things... fashion shows, orientations at the Marriott Hotel, taking 40+ Admissions Reps in stretch Hummer limos to a fully paid dinner award dinner for "hitting their numbers" - which many did not graduate from high school - shall we bring up that ugly topic?
A response was submitted February 8, 2007 in favor of Tall, written by an Ethel in Murrieta, CA (possibly Ethel Laroche, the subjects then-girlfriend). A submission by Ex-employee #5-- Anonymous - Monrovia from July 14, 2011 stated: Amadou Tall is one of the biggest narcissistic scam artists in the education industry. Companies beware of this man; he has sued every single proprietary school on his resume.
Amadou Tall responded to the above post himself in a comment entitled Dear Mr. Anonymous from Monrovia and warning Libel and Slander are Illegal and Actionable in Court. He defended his reputation and provided details of his current litigation against former employer (Mt. Sierra College). Steven E. Tartaglini was identified as the current Chairman and CEO of Charles M. Edwards & Company, which operates two divisions: CharlesEdwards, a life settlement broker; and Life Settlement Administrators, a back-office support company for life settlement brokers.
Mr. Tartaglini also operates The CEO Resum Review, an online company where one can upload their personal resum for review by a CEO, and possible revisions. The company charges between $5.00 and $70.00 for resum reviews and revisions.
****************** DeVry University
Pomona (Parent company: DeVry, Inc.) 901 Corporate Center Drive Pomona, California 91768
Original Date of Hire: April 16,2007
Separation Date: January 28, 2009
Last position held: Director II, Admissions
The above employment information was provided in this subjects Income & Expense Declaration, filed in regards to an action brought in February 2009. At the time of the Declaration, filed March 23, 2009, he reported previous employment with DeVry Inc. from September 2007 as a sales manager until he was laid off in January 28, 2009. He did not report any association with DND Marketing Group; and did not report attending college or receiving a college degree. It was noted there is a gap in the subjects employment, between December 15, 2005 and April 16, 2007. He registered fictitious business name DND Marketing Group in March 2007.
****************** Mt. Sierra College 101 E. Huntington Drive Monrovia, California 91016
Binding Letter of Intent to Hire: October 18, 2010
Actual Date of Hire: October 15, 2010
Indefinite Suspension Date: March 18, 2011
Last position held: Executive Director
A Complaint of Discrimination was filed by Amadou Tall against Mt. Sierra on April 6, 2011 with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Mr. Tall claimed that he was retaliated against for protesting gender discrimination by a Mt. Sierra College supervisor. Amadou Tall then filed a Breach of Contract/Wrongful Discharge action against Mt. Sierra College and two of its officers on April 8, 2011, Los Angeles Superior Court case number BC459256.
A review of available court documents identified the following sequence of events:
A Binding Letter of Intent was issued to Mr. Tall on October 18, 2010 stating that Tall will invest approximately $785,000 in Mount Sierra College through two efforts:
(1) Providing 20,000 quality high school leads at no cost to Mount Sierra College and at your own cost valued at approximately $500,000... The quality of the leads shall be measured based on the applications /enrollment projections submitted by you and attached hereto [no attachment included]; and
(2) You shall provide Mount Sierra College sweat equity as Executive Director with full P&L responsibilities for a 15-month period (October 15, 2010 to January 15, 2012) in charge of Admissions and Marketing, Student Retention, Career Placement, and Student Finance/Financial Aid. Sweat equity shall be valued at approximately $285,000.00.
In return, Amadou Tall was to receive up to 20% of all outstanding shares of Mt. Sierra College, with 5% due upon execution of the Binding Letter of Intent, another 5% on January 15, 2011, July 15, 2011 and January 15, 2012 provided you meet 90% of revenue targets. Tall was to commit himself as Executive Director to a 3 to 5 year period and accept a salary of no more than $240,000.00 a year for the calendar year 2012. The Letter of Intent includes a salary for Mr. Tall to begin in January 2012, and does not mention any agreement with his company, co-plaintiff DND Marketing Group. Court records indicate the subject secured verbal agreements from board members for a salary, or rent subsidy, of $3,500 per month; and $25 per lead to DND Marketing Group.
In the original complaint filed by Amadou Tall the subject stated that DND Marketing Group is a sole proprietorship owned by Amadou Tall. The subject declared he has over 17 years of experience working in the corporate business and marketing area of for-profit post high school and college educational companies with highly-placed positions in both regional and national for-profit companies. He has held positions from High School Recruiter through Corporate Vice President of Marketing & Admissions, and above. In all such positions, he has performed successfully, exceeding expectations. DND Marketing Group... is a business owned by Mr. Tall, whose primary business is that of marketing for-profit colleges to high school students and producing letters of interest from specific students, specific to the college for which the marketing is being performed (hereinafter a quality high school lead). He went on to claim that during the negotiations with Mt. Sierra College, which resulted in the above detailed Binding Letter of Intent he received a lucrative offer of employment from Crimson Aero Corporation, which would have earned him a 33% interest in that company. Please note:
Crimson Aero Corporation is the parent company of Crimson Technical College. In an interview with the Director of Admission & Marketing for Crimson Technical College, the Director stated that this company views Mr. Tall as a smooth talker, but that they had problems in the past with him. We were advised to avoid doing business with him, and told heed my warning.
Tall alleged Wrongful Termination and Breach of Oral Contract for compensation of $3,500 per month paid between October 16, 2010 and February 15, 2011. He also alleged an oral contract between the parties from about October 15, 2010 whereby MSC agreed to pay DND Marketing for marketing of MSC and production of quality high school leads... at $25 per lead produced specific to Mt. Sierra College. He went on to claim that DND delivered the following number of leads to MSC:
- November 2010 -- 6,203
- December 2010 -- 2,043
- January 1-31, 2011 -- 7,812
- February 1 - March 18, 2011 --1,816
In conformance with the oral contract, MSC made payments to DND of $60,000 on October 27, 2010; $60,000 on December 16, 2010; and $60,000 on January 18, 2011. And, on February 21, 2011 DND submitted another invoice for $60,000 (for 2,400 leads) but MSC refused to pay the invoice. Then, on March 23, 2011 DND made a demand for payment of $105,400 to MSC, which was also refused and unpaid.
The total of the above leads was 17,874. At $25 per lead, this would compensate DND a total of $446,850. (One wonders what happened to the agreement in the Letter of Intent for Tall to provide 20,000 leads at no cost to Mt. Sierra College.) A Cross-Complaint was filed August 1, 2011 by Mt. Sierra College against Amadou Tall, DND Marketing, and MSC employee identified as the Assistant Director of Admissions; alleging Breach of Contract, Fraud in the Inducement, Rescission, Conversion, Accounting, and Breach of Fiduciary Duty. The cross-complainants (MSC) provided the following facts (summarized):
The college was having financial difficulty due to the downturn of the economy. The company was in the process of undertaking measures at cost-cutting, revenue enhancement and actively sought to sell or merge the college with another institution. In about April 2010 a board member of MSC met Amadou Tall by chance meeting. Tall represented himself as a highly experienced expert in the field of school education, with a reputation of integrity. He claimed to have had management experience in multi-million dollar private schools; sat on the board of Fortune 500 companies...
In June 2010, while the Board was still actively seeking a purchaser or merging institutions; they reached an agreement to have Tall work as a full time consultant for three months at $10,000 per month. After negotiations for a sale of the college broke down, Tall went to the Board and convinced the individual Board members that he could turn the college around financially and operate it as a profit making institution.
During the interview/due diligence process, Tall represented himself as honest, capable of turning around financially troubled schools and particular skilful (sic) in college management.
He represented that he was the owner of a well organized high school lead generating entity called DND. He represented that DND had a great professional work force which was very experienced in generating high quality high school leads. Tall assured the Board of Directors... that based on his unique capabilities, experience and track record, he would be able to successfully manage the school staff, increase enrollment, and reduce debt.
The cross-complainants alleged, however, that contrary to Talls assertions, Upon commencing his full time duties, Tall began complaining to members of the Board that he needed to live near the school because of the extensive hours that he was working for Mt. Sierra and requested a $5,000 monthly rental stipend (this is a 24/7 job). The school agreed to a monthly allowance of $3,500 for rent. However, upon commencing his employment the Board became aware of unacceptable conduct and activities by Tall which seem disadvantageous and destructive to the college and at the same time financially beneficial to Tall and DND.
Instead of uniting staff and Board members, Tall engaged in derisive behavior
(at one point offering, in front of witnesses, to have a Board member removed by having Talls wife file a false sexual harassment claim against that member
utilizing school property and assets for the sole benefit of DND; attempting to pressure Board members into personal loans for himself; creating misleading data and reports to be distributed to the members of the Board for his own personal benefit and gain, overseeing unverified DND invoices for alleged student leads; etc.
The cross-complainants alleged that instead of working extensive hours, as Tall claimed, he was spending no more than 3-4 hours a day at the college, and even when at the college he was not
spending some of that time dealing with school issues. In fact, unbeknownst to Mt. Sierra, Tall had commitments with at least two other institutions... Instead of overseeing a cohesive, cooperative, trusting and professional atmosphere at the college, Tall instituted a systematic scheme to diminish and destroy portions of the school which would ultimately benefit DND and therefore Tall. Tall moved to other departments experienced adult admissions representatives, or fired such representatives in order to diminish or even destroy the schools adult admissions department, thereby making the school more dependent on DND and its high school leads.
Additionally, Tall hired and fired staff without Board approval; maligned and defaced Board members to each other and to managers and employees; introduced and promoted a culture of gender discrimination, race discrimination, homophobia, and interfered with and attempted to forcefully derail personal complaints against him.
Tall violated and failed to enforce many school administrative policies by making payments by the college to DND without purchase orders or signed approvals. DND, which was under Talls control, was to provide Mt. Sierra with verifiable potential student leads, and in particular, documentation supporting lead volume, lead disposition or bad leads. Instead, with the assistance of Cross-Defendant, such documentation was not kept, or was disposed of.... Tall and members of DND created documentation that materially misrepresented lead volume and other services being provided by DND all in an attempt to increase payments to DND for nonexistent services.
Tall made representations to the Board of Directors that $25.00 per lead that DND was charging the college represented very minimal profit margin for DND, especially considering that the leads to be received by the college were verifiable, very high quality leads which were procured exclusively for Mt. Sierra. However, Cross-Complainant is informed and believes and based thereon alleged that DND was paying approximately $3.00 per lead (in and of itself violation of the Department Education Regulations which prohibit schools from paying directly or indirectly per lead) thereby making enormous profits for DND and further unnecessary debt to Mt. Sierra.
Research in regards to the legality of paying for high school leads directly or indirectly per lead identified this practice as legal and prolific, as long as the lead generator is not paid on a basis of performance (i.e.: number of actual enrollees, or student loan financing acceptance). Payment must be made for all leads whether they result in enrollment or not. Mt. Sierra went on to allege: Although the Binding Letter of Intent called for Tall to produce 20,000 leads during his first nine months on campus, from October, 2010 to June, 2011, in return to equity, and although Tall claimed that he, through DND, secured 29,000 such leads, documentation exists for only approximately 6,000 to 7,000 high school leads. There were no checks and balances, no purchase orders, no records, no computer recordation for most of the claimed leads.
As executive director of the college, Tall authorized the use of permanent space at the school facilities and personnel for the benefit of DND without payment and without authority by the Board of Directors. For example, DND utilized campus facilities for teaching and training its own personnel; DND presenters were using Mt. Sierra email addresses and some were using computer equipment and a projector owned by the college, all without the knowledge or authority of the Board.
Further investigation also led to the discovery that... Tall was taking kick backs from vendors of the school
; demanding increased housing allowance, ostensibly so he could spend more time at the school, while at the same time secretly working for other business entities...Tall intended to put the school into bankruptcy so that he, or third parties, could purchase the school at a discount.
The Cross-Complainants filed an Ex Parte Application for Order to Issue a Deposition Subpoena in Oklahoma on Raymond Daniel Wilson aka Daniel Wilson. The accompanying declarations alleged, as part of his initial employment proposal to Mt. Sierra College, Tall informed defendants that the CEO of Talls company, DND Marketing, was Raymond Daniel Wilson... At that time, Wilson was an employee of Crimson Technical College. Further, while Tall was an employee of Mt. Sierra College and his company DND marketing was providing high school leads to Mt. Sierra College, Tall/DND also provided high school leads to Wilson Crimson Technical College.
On June 20, 2012 the judge issued a ruling in favor of MSCs ex parte motion for subpoena in regards to the deposition of Raymond Daniel Wilson.
Raymond Daniel Wilson was identified as the former Vice President of Marketing and Admissions at Crimson Technical College, under the name Danny Wilson. He was also identified on the subjects most recent divorce action as providing a personal loan to the subject in the amount of $7,000.
MSC further requested for a Deposition Subpoena for Production of Business Records to U. S. Bank in regards to the known bank account of DND Marketing Group, account number 153465021829, including but not limited to any records/documents from January 1, 2008 to present. Tall filed a Motion to Quash Subpoena based on the grounds of privacy. Included with this Motion to Quash was a letter from U.S. Bank notifying their customer, Tall Amadou DBA DND Marketing Group, 7225 Hollywood Blvd., Apt. 225, Los Angeles (note the reversed name for the subject, also reflected on the subjects driving record).
During research of the subject, we identified the Mt. Sierra College 2010/2011 Academic Catalog. Page 162 of the catalog provided a list of Administration & Faculty with Amadou Tall identified as the Executive Director. Included directly under each individuals name and title was their highest degree attained. Directly under Talls name was the claim of a B.A. University of Paris, Academy of Lyon; Paris, France.
Research identified the following facts of potential interest:
The French education system is organized by academies; with thirty-five different academies,
of which thirty-one host the principal administrative seats of universities. Although the rectors or vice-rectors who head the academies do not have administrative control over the universities, the division into academies is nonetheless important because it governs admissions.
1. The University of Paris was founded in the mid-twelfth century but ceased to exist in 1970
. It was broken up into thirteen (13) autonomous universities, none of which are the Academy of Lyon. The current universities are split between three academies in the le-de-France region: Academy
of Paris; Academy of Crteil, and Academy of Versailles.
2. Academy of Lyon is not located in Paris, France or the le-de-France region. In fact, it is about four and one-half (4-1/2) hours to the south of Paris.
The Academy of Lyon educates students from kindergarten through baccalaureate, with schools located in Loire, Rhone, and Ain. The higher-education universities that are under the Academy of Lyon are as follows:
- Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 (Universit Claude Bernard Lyon 1)
- Lumire University Lyon 2 (Universit Lumire Lyon 2)
- Jean Moulin University Lyon 3 (Universit Jean Moulin Lyon 3)
- Jean Monnet University (Universit Jean Monnet)
In addition, it was noted that bachelor degrees available for economics are usually awarded as
a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), not a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). A Bachelor of Arts degree is available; however, it does not provide the business core courses in addition to economics and is recommended to accompany a second-degree such as a teaching degree. Amadou Tall also represented to Mt. Sierra College that he had management experience in multi-million dollar private schools; sat on the board of Fortune 500 companies... He also declared in the original complaint with MSC that, he has performed successfully, exceeding expectations.
Research did not identify the subject with extensive experience in the management of multi-million dollar private schools:
His employment with American InterContinental University (AIU) from 1997 through 2005 was primarily in Admissions. Near the end of his employment, he was reportedly Regional VP for the AIU Division; however, the Los Angeles campus where the subject worked was closed in 2004/2005 after an education department investigation in regards to admissions at the school, including false-reporting of admissions numbers. The L.A. campus was unable to meet admissions requirements of the parent company.
In regards to DeVry University, the subject was identified as Director II Admissions from April 2007 through January 2009; not a high-level management position. In addition, in March of 2009, the subject filed an Income & Expense Declaration where he claimed to have completing high school or equivalent, but did not report attending college or obtaining a degree.
As far as his claim to have sat on the board of Fortune 500 companies, research by this office did not identify any records verifying this claim. We conducted searches through Yahoo Finance,
Google, and the Security & Exchange Commission for public traded companies. The only reference to an individual by the name of Amadou Tall being a board member was in regards to Dr. Amadou Tall of Cte dIvoire (South Africa), who is a member of the Technical Advisory Board for the Marine Stewardship Council. Dr. Tall was identified as a prominent veterinarian doctor in South Africa. Finally, the Nation Football Leagues Players Association issued an alert regarding: Amadouba T. Tall, A/K/A Amadou Tall, A/K/A Tall Amadouba Invictus Executive Management
Services, LLC.( http://www.scribd.com/doc/128130578/Amadou-Tall-Alert
) This is in response to Mr. Talls current business, Invictus Executive Management Services, LLC, which seems to market business services to professional athletes. (http://www.invictusports.com