October 17, 2007
If you have been ripped off by Apropo Auctions, LLC or Apropas Auctions, LLC, or AproAuctions, LLC, or some variation of those names, read on and then make the complaints as outlined below. Here is how Benjamin J. Anderson, masquerading as a dead U.S. soldier from the Iraq War, stole $11 from me.
Benjamin J. Anderson, or BJA, date of birth March 13, 1981, uses aliases of dead Iraqi War vets and a non-existent, non-registered-in-California, alleged, limited liability company called, in my case, ApropoAuctions, LLC, to sell merchandise on Ebay and then does not fill the orders. He took $11 from me and never filled the order. In my case he always called himself Colby Farnan and used the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address and phone number (714) 717-0587 which always went to an answering machine.
He currently uses a variety of other names. When I asked for a refund, he repeatedly refused. Over ten weeks later he finally purported to send it via certified mail. He repeatedly refused to give me his real residence address, name and phone number. I had learned his postal mailbox had been shut down by the store owner, Thomas Lee, (858) 456-8573, due to other complaints. I had repeatedly asked his mother, Amy Anderson, for his real address, but she refused to give it to me (see below). Because the return address was invalid, and the return receipt was addressed to an invalid address in Michigan (see below), I became suspicious, fearing there might be something bad in the package. After I refused the package, BJA threatened in an email to libel and slander me and to illegally post on the internet voice messages I had left for another.
Apropos Auctions, LLC lists with the MI Dept. of Labor and Economic Growth 1025 Kronner, Columbus, MI as its registered office and BJA as its registered agent.
These forms can be viewed by going here
Type into the search box "apropos" and Apropos Auctions will come up as one of the hits. Click on it and you'll be taken to a page with the details of the company and a link to "View Document Images." Click on the link and you'll be able to view the two documents on file for Apropos Auctions, LLC, including the March 17, 2005 Certificate of Change of Registered Office and/or Change of Resident Agent form for Apropos Auctions, LLC, identification number B7514T, which lists the new resident agent as Benjamin J. Anderson and the new registered office as 1025 Kronner, Columbus, Michigan 48063.
There's much more (see below), but at this point I want to give you the information about how to make complaints against Benjamin Joseph Anderson. I recommend filing a complaint with the IRS, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspector, the Michigan Office of the Attorney General and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (see how to below) and also to Ebay, both online and by phone if you can get through to them.
The Internal Revenue Service (as I suspect, as may you, that he does not pay taxes on the money he steals). The Internal Revenue Service Information Referral Form 3949 A can be downloaded at:
Download the form and then mail it to the IRS.
Also, if he's used the mails, the internet and the phone system, then the FBI may be interested. I recommend you go to your local field office and also call this Special Agent Brett Kiwana in San Diego. His number is (858) 565-1255. Or just go to 9797 Aero Drive in San Diego.
Next, if he's posed as an LLC, with any of the Apropo names, he's masquerading as on LLC in California that is unregistered and as a Michigan LLC that is unregistered. Apropo Auctions LLC has no valid agent or address registered either with the Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Growth or with the California Secretary of State's office. Go to the Michigan Attorney General's web site at www.michigan.gov/ag
Click on the File a Complaint link. Then under File a Complaint, click on the Consumer Complaint/Inquiry Filing Information link. Then read the directions for filling out the form and click on link for the On-Line Consumer Complaint/Inquiry form. The form is straightforward and easy to use and one can cut and paste word processing documents directly into a comments block, up to about eight pages of text. My complaint with the Michigan Office of the Attorney General is number "cp60ch9001". I recommend you reference it in your complaint to help investigators keep the complaints together about the company. You can also call the Michigan State Attorney's complaint number at (517) 373-1140. On the online form, in the section for Primary Person, please enter the information we have about Anderson (name Benjamin J. Anderson, phone number (714) 717-0587, the 1025 Kronner, Columbus, MI 48063 address (because the La Jolla address no longer exists), and the email@example.com address) into the section for the primary person.
According to the California Attorney Generals website, the best places to complain re Anderson's activities would be the Postal Inspector and the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3. Go to www.ic3.org and fill out the online complaint form. You can and should do the same with the postal inspector online at: http://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/forms/MailFraudComplaint.aspx .
I have filed complaints with the IRS, the Postal Inspector, the IC3 and the Michigan Office of the Attorney General.
Now that we have a name (Meir Avraham Waknine (see below)) and address (see below) connected with Apropos Auctions, LLC legal process can be served on Apropos Auctions, LLC in California.
Amy Anderson told me BJA lives in California and neither she nor that address has anything to do with the LLC. Her number: (586) 727-5092; cell: (586) 933-6926; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy works at
Century 21 Market Tech Realtors
Chesterfield Township, MI 48051
586-949-2968 fax (http://www.century21.com/meet/office_detail.aspx?office_key=10003380 )
No ApropoAuctions or AproposAuctions or AproAuctions or any variation of those words is registered as a valid LLC with a registered agent in California. BJA hides behind postal mailbox addresses, aliases, a non-existent California LLC and a Michigan LLC without a valid registered office or a valid registered agent, who must reside in Michigan. BJA does not. Ripoffreport.com shows BJA has been running scams since at least 2002 and most people have just taken their lumps. He is defrauding people using the internet, the telephone system, the mails and the statutes relating to limited liability companies, both in Michigan and California designed to protect people by at least requiring any LLC to have a registered agent on file, with the Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Growth or the California Sec. of State office, respectively so that consumers may make claims against the entity. He hides his address to avoid being served with process to appear to answer small claims or civil complaints.
More on Benjamin Joseph Anderson:
Anderson graduated from Intercity Baptist, Allen Park, MI in 1999. Anderson never served in the military. He has denied to his friend Brent M. Dupay, from whom he took over Apropos Auctions, LLC, that he ever used the identity of any dead service member.
After high school, BJA attended Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Wisconsin, and then went to Western Michigan in Kalamazoo for a year before moving to California. Ben Anderson may have studied political science or history at Western Michigan and
may have enrolled at Cal State Long Beach or some other state college in southern California.
Benjamin J. Anderson claimed to be Colby Farnan on Ebay and used the e-mail address email@example.com and the Ebay name farnanfinds. On July 4 I won an auction for a vintage Life Magazine faranfinds had listed for auction. I paid for it promptly by check and mailed it to his address:
7486 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037
That address, at a PakMail store, was shut down by the store owner, Mr. Thomas Lee, (858) 456-8573, as mentioned above. Anderson moved his operation four blocks away on September 20, 2007, to a Postal Annex store operated by Amy Lee, (858) 456-3935:
7514 Girard Ave., #1-515
La Jolla, CA 92037
But Ben Anderson didn't open the account there. Rather, his accomplice
Meir Avraham Waknine opened the store. He's thin, dark skinned and around thirty years old and still lives with Mommy and Daddy (his father is Rabbi Daniel Waknine) at their home at 12714 Cumpston Street, Valley Village, CA 91607.
Meir's phone number is (818) 220-3373. His dad's phone numbers are (818) 915-3348 and (323) 852-1122. You may want to call Rabbi Waknine to express you support for him and your sympathy for having to deal with such a son.
The Bank of America account Anderson uses now is number 1851462687.
Anderson and Waknine are now also using the name Apro Auctions LLC.
Colby Farnan did not offer insurance. I paid him $7 for the magazine and $4 for shipping for a whopping grand total of $11. Then I got a notice from Ebay saying they had delisted farnanfinds and I should consider stopping payment on the item. It was too late for that. I waited a few weeks, but the magazine never arrived.
Here's how one person has described how Benjamin Joseph Anderson's (and Meir Waknine's, too, apparently) scam works:
HOW Benjamin Scams Everybody
1. He creates a number of eBay names. He generally uses dead military veterans found at www. fallenheroesmemorial.com. He will use their full name or partial and craft an email address at GMAIL that matches up with the fake military ID.
2. He sells low value items to run up his rating quickly.
3. He sells those items to HIMSELF using the various names so no money or merchandise actually has to change hands. He can do this all electronically without notice.
4. He posts rarer items and sells them to others. He obtains photos from third party sites and scans older sales. He also scans other auction boards. He prefers magazines, sports and sporting goods.
5. He changes the company name, Apropos, Apropo, Apropas but always slightly so he can endorse the check on the back as the company and deposit it.
6. He uses the San Diego mail drop (currently) to receive checks. If someone is in HIS area he now uses a Michigan address in Columbus to make sure they never have contact or try to just PICK UP an item.
7. He claims to accept credit cards, or other services and offer insurance, then rescinds on the payment screens so he can not be traced and no company can come back to him and demand he cover their loss.
8. He shifts his location often. Several times a year.
9. Whenever someone is bothered he writes glowing letters to throw them off or put off the complaint as long as possible to keep his positive ratings.
10. When the heat gets to be too much he changes his identity.
He has remained above the law because each crime is very petty but together constitute one of the greatest scams on the internet.
In my case, my check was dated July 6, 2007 and someone endorsed it as "Apropas" with account number 1857462687 (the seven might be a one, the two might be a three -- it is hard to tell on the electronic copy I have). The check was deposited at a Comerica bank in Los Angeles and the electronically generated numbers symbols associated with the bank and printed on the reverse of the check are: 1823>121137522< and 652076530 07-10-07 02.
Eventually, on August 24, 2007, I e-mailed Colby Farnan/farnanfinds:
I mailed you my check for the Life magazine (see below). You called me and
told me that you were going to mail it. You cashed my check on July 11. I
have not yet received the magazine. Could you please tell me when you
expect to mail it? Please call me on my cell phone at (480) 797-4946. If I
don't answer, please leave a detailed voice message.
Farnanfinds never called me but replied by e-mail four days later, on August 28, 2007, ignoring my question about the date of shipping:
It was already mailed out media mail. Please let me know as soon as it arrives.
This went on for a while. Eventually, I e-mailed him:
Why not stop playing games over my $11 and call me like I repeatedly asked?.
480-797-4946. You cashed my check immediately; you should have waited until
I confirmed receipt of the goods. You do business in AZ so I guess I will
have to file a small claims action here. You were kicked off Ebay. I guess
I can see why. By the way, I assume friends and family will be interested
in learning how you operate.
Again, please send me a refund.
At this time I decided to start trying to find some information on the internet about farnanfinds. My internet searches led me to the information Richard Rivette and already compiled and placed at www.aproposauctions.com and it was only then that I began to suspect that Colby Farnan was actually an alias (disgustingly, Benjamin J. Anderson uses the identities of dead Iraqi War service members) and that he was probably Anderson. I also learned that ApropoAuctions, LLC is not a valid limited liability company in California as it is not registered with the State of California. Benjamin J. Anderson did file with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic growth the following form for a limited liability company call Apropos Auctions, LLC.
I called his mother, Amy Anderson, at Century 21, (586) 727-5092, and asked her whether she was affiliated with a limited liability company called Apropos Auctions, LLP. She said no. I asked her if her son lived at that address. She said no. I asked her if she knew that her son had listed the property with the Michigan authorities as registered office of Apropos Auctions, LLC. She said no. I explained to her that I believed her son had deliberately tried to steal $11 from me and was masquerading on Ebay as someone else named Colby Farnan and pretending to be operating a legitimate limited liability company called ApropoAuctions, LLC but had not properly registered that company with either Michigan or California. I asked her to give me her son's current residence address and phone number. She refused. She did say she would call him to find out what was going on. She never called me back despite my leaving her a message on her cell phone asking her to call me back and give me her son's real residence address and real phone number in California.
Eventually, Colby Farnan/Benjamin J. Anderson threatened me after sending me a suspicious package via U.S. certified mail.
On September 19, a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier presented me at my door a large envelope for me to sign for, as it was sent certified. I noticed the address was not valid, as the return address was not only the defunct address of ApropoAuctions, LLC, with the defunct mailbox number, but instead a more generic address, just listing the alleged LLC without a mailbox number at the address of the PakMail store. More curiously still, the return receipt card was addressed to the invalid address for Apropos Auctions, LLC in Michigan. Because of my suspicions as to what might be in the envelope, and not really knowing who sent it, I declined delivery.
Apparently farnanfinds/Ben Anderson was tracking the delivery of the package, because a few minutes later I received the following e-mail from farnanfinds wherein he threatened to harass me, slander me, libel me and also threatened to violate the law by publicizing electronic recordings intended for another (see Calif. Penal Code sections 637 et seq.):
The post office confirms that you have opted to refuse the refund we sent you
Label/Receipt Number: 7007 0220 0003 9486 9157
Your item was refused by the addressee at 3:58 PM on September 19, 2007 in TEMPE, AZ 85283 and is being returned to the sender. Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later.
Your action leads me now believe that you have in fact received the original magazine I sent you. You are apparently only trying to play a game here. You have already been guilty of harrassing numerous individuals I know. I am considering starting a website to outline your tactics so that future clients can see what kind of attorney you are. I'm sure your clients will love that you harrass good people. I will also be happy to include your voicemails you have left on my phone and others in audio format so your professionalism can be on display for all to see. I think it is time to put a microscope on your past. Let's see if we can find any disgruntled people from your past (whether professional or otherwise) who would like to comment about you or your tactics on our website. I will be sure to take the appropriate steps so that it appears at the top of the google search engine. I guess this is the game you want to play. So be it. I will let you know once I have everything started.
I responded on Sept. 19:
I did not receive any package from you today, whoever you are. You refuse to tell me who you are or where you reside. I have repeatedly asked you to call me and you refuse. The only identity you have used in your dealings with me is Colby Farnan and that you are somehow affiliated with a limited liability company called ApropoAuctions, LLC operating at:
7486 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037
The post office presented me with a package with the return address of:
7486 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037
But I had been informed by Richard Rivette that the PakMail store owner for this address, Thomas Lee, has terminated the mailbox of ApropoAuctions, LLC at that address due to complaints that people had not received merchandise they had ordered through Ebay from that company at that address. Then Ebay told me to they had delisted farnanfinds and ApropoAuctions, LLC from Ebay and that I should considering stopping payment if I had already sent you a check. It was too late for that and, at any rate, I was on vacation.
I never received the magazine I had ordered from ApropoAuctions, LLC, but that company did cash my check.
Today, when the mail carrier attempted to deliver a package to me, I did not want to receive a package from an address that is not operative. Secondly, the mail carrier showed me that the return receipt was addressed to Apropo Auctions, LLC, 1025 Kronner, Columbus, MI 48063. But I have been informed by Amy Anderson that that address has no business connection whatsoever to Apropo Auctions, LLC. So I refused this suspicious package.
As, according to the California Secretary of State online records, no LLC called Apropo Auctions or ApropoAuctions exists, you can understand why I would want to know who I am actually dealing with. If such an entity actually exists, could you please identify the name and address of the registered agent for service of process? Per California Corporations Code section 17050, et seq.:
[deleted text of statute]
I havent received the merchandise and you (I suspect you are Benjamin J. Anderson, but you have never confirmed your real name or your real address) have not given me a refund. I certainly havent been playing any games. I ordered a magazine. I paid the shipping and handling. You cashed the check. I have a 100 per cent positive rating on Ebay as a buyer. I never received the magazine. I have repeatedly asked you to tell me who you really are and where you reside or actually do business. I have tried to track you down and have harassed no one. You ignore my requests and hide behind anonymous e-mail accounts and a Michigan LLC that does not have a resident agent or address for service of process in either California or Michigan.
Thus, Ben Anderson's logic regarding his thievery seems to go like this:
You should have purchased insurance for the item. [But, insurance wasn't offered.]
I mailed the item to you. [He's given me no evidence he did so.]
Okay, because you didn't get it and really need the $11 more than me, I guess I'll mail it to you.
See, just a like a purse snatcher who gets caught -- as long as he returns the purse, there's really been no crime. Because I'm sending you the $11, you really were never hurt and I never really committed a crime.