I and four others were employed by Leverage Communications, LLC on January 14, 2008. We were all required to work an entire month before receiving our first paychecks on February 14. All of our checks ended up either bouncing or put on hold by our banks.
Those of us whose banks put our money on hold had to wait until March 3rd to see if they would clear again. They did for 24 hours, and then were returned due to insufficient funds. As of this date, those of us in this situation have large negative balances in our checking accounts, and our finances are effectively frozen until we recover what is owed us.
At the time of the initial problem, on February 19, we were told that they were doing everything in their power to get "funds released," that they were very sorry, etc., etc., and that they would be able to get us cashier's checks on Monday.
Monday arrived with excuses and a promise of payment on Tuesday. Tuesday arrived with the same excuses. On Thursday, four of us arrived as a group and demanded payment. Mike Doughty and Andy Choquette both proffered the same excuses yet again, and we ultimately got a verbal promise of cashier's checks the following Monday. We are also in possession of email and IM evidence to this effect.
Guess what happened on Monday? The same old song and dance. "The money is there, we are just working to get it released."
I am warning all graphic artists, web designers, ANYONE... Do not work for these people, they are unscrupulous. To this date they have made no attempt to make things right despite repeated emails. They are completely ignoring us all at this time.
Also to be viewed with suspicion is Nickie Hyde, who was supposed to be our Human Resources person, and who never once contacted me when the checks bounced the first time.
At this time, each of us who were ripped off are engaged in various methods to gain justice. Some have already filed suit in small claims court to try to get our rightful earnings.
All of my claims here can be verified by a mountain of email evidence, bank statements, and certified letters of demand. According to the Austin Police Department, what further needs to be established is whether Mr. Doughty and Mr. Choquette did this with the intent to defraud, or whether they are just terrible businesspeople.
There are prior employees who apparently endured the same maltreatment in the past; whether they would be willing to testify is a matter being pursued. Also, according to one of my co-workers, a complaint about not being paid was filed at the Better Business Bureau against Creative Market, another company associated with Mr. Doughty.