Name: Patrick Neal Weddington
Home Address: 108 W MARANTA RD., MOORESVILLE NC 28117
Mobile Number: 704-506-6876
Vehicle: Navy blue Nissan Xterra - Approx. 2006 model?
Vehicle Tag: ZRS 2210
Unrelated Mecklenburg County Arrest #: 1487989 on 3/16/2011
When: 10am on Friday, 7/15/2011
Location: In the parking lot of the Mecklenburg County Building Code Enforcement Department at 700 N. Tryon St. in Charlotte, NC.
Scam: Scammer drove by as I was parking and said, "This may sound strange, but do you want a brand new home theater system? I was here to renew my business license (which he showed me) and I've got these home theater systems and projectors with screens that I picked up at the airport and was delivering to the city of charlotte and it turns out they sent too many! I own a home theater store in Mooresville called Custom Audio. [continued below]....
..... Anyway, I have these high-end systems that we didn't pay for and I don't want to take them back to the store because I know my ex-brother in law will want them and he isn't paying his child support, so I don't want him to get them." He showed me the back of his Xterra, which was full of boxes of systems. He had a folder of information including the business license he claimed to just have picked up.
I asked what he wanted for them and he said that he wanted as much as he could get for them, he just didn't want to take them back. He seemed anxious and in a hurry. Blinded by my own impulsive nature, I had him meet me at work and wrote him a $1000.00 check for a projector and screen, which he had already shoved in my back seat. He pointed out quickly that I had written the numerical amount in the space where the date should go and that I needed to change it, which I thought was a little strange. I finally started to trust my instincts and took down his license plate number as he drove away. I did some research in the next hour or two and came to the conclusion that I had been scammed, so I called the bank and stopped payment on the check. I would attempt to return the merchandise, but the fact that he lied and manipulated me, and that he has clearly done it to so many others makes me rethink that action.
It turns out that the merchandise is far below the specifications marked on the box, just enough to make them work for a few days to fool a consumer. There is very little information about the brand company, and the website is very vague and simple, again, just enough to fool an impulsive consumer like myself. With my projector, it turns out to be more like a standard VGA resolution, not the 1080p stated on the box, instruction booklet and website. It also has a lamp with far less brightness than stated, and cycles off after overheating every 15 minutes or so. I could go on, but the point should be clear. Mr. Weddington must be fully aware of the quality, as he undoubtedly purchased the merchandise for less than $100 per unit.
The company listed on the box is Crystal Hybrid Dynamics http://crystalhybriddynamics.com/,
which is actually owned by:
Hi-Tech Pro Electronics, Inc.
P.O. Box 6644
Alhambra, CA 91802
Dave Chuang CEO
HI-TECH PRO ELECTRONICS, INC.
14910 E. Nelson Avenue
City of Industry, CA 91744
Tel. (626) 575-1010
Fax (626) 855-1010
Cell (626) 475-1010
Apparently, a string of similar scam cases involve products under the name Wahldorf. In response to some negative feedback on a scam forum, Mr. Chuang wrote the following, clearly indicating to dealers that his products are still effective in scamming operations: I just wanted to let you know that we have a new line under Crystal Home Theater. Crystal has no negativity online so that way when youre in the middle of it and they research online, they wont find any negativity about Crystal.
You can check out the products online at www.crystalhometheater.com. I hope to hear from you soon. It also appears that Mr. Chuang supplies to scamming operations throught the country, and possibly beyond.
Other websites owned by Hi-Tech Pro Electronics:
GUANGZHOU AIDI INTERNATIONAL TRADE
ROOM13A01,EAST TOWER,YUEXIU NEO MET NO.232 ZHONGSHAN LIU ROAD
GUANGZHOU, ,CN 02036369987
HI-TECH PRO ELECTRONICS,INC
9855 JOE VARGAS WAY SOUTH
EL MONTE,CA 91733,US
HI-TECH PRO ELECTRONICS,INC
Port of Loading:
Port of Discharge:
Long Beach, California
Declaration of Goods:
SPEAKER MODEL AT 801
Other Information: (See accounts from others scammed by Mr. Weddington below)
Beware of vans bearing gifts!
Provided by the Scam Shield Staff
Apparently, a very questionable sales program has been employed by van-driving teams of salespeople around the world. These infamous vans have stalked intersections and parking lots from London, England to Sydney, Australia to Geneva, Switzerland for the past several years. They have spread around the world and have not spared the highways and byways of the United States. They have established hunting grounds from Los Angeles to Cincinnati to New York to Orlando. It seems no city or town is safe. Where there are people with money, there will be people looking to make a fast buck.
Current Active Areas For This Sales Tactic
Atlanta, GA Boulder, CO Calgary, Canada
Cincinnati, OH Chicago, IL College Park, MD
Columbus, OH Edmonton, Canada London, United Kingdom
Los Angeles, CA Salt Lake City, UT Melbourne, Australia
Nashville, TN New York City, NY Orlando, FL
Philadelphia, PA Phoenix, AZ Portland, OR
Sacramento, CA Savannah, GA Sydney, Australia
Toronto, Canada Tuscon, AZ Washington, DC
If you are within 250 miles of any of these cities, be on the lookout.
Click for audio speaker distributor locations
What these people are doing follows a strangely similar pattern worldwide, which makes it hard to believe that this is not an organized effort. You can read through the many SIGHTINGS listed below from around the world to see the similarities. In general terms, a team in a delivery van (generally white) or SUV will cruise the streets looking for a potential score... anyone who looks like they may have disposable income. They will honk, wave and be very aggressive at getting your attention. If you ignore them, you are lucky. However, many people will give in to their curiosity and see what all the excitement is about. Upon luring the potential score to their van, they begin their rehearsed routine with a passion and excitement worthy of an Oscar nomination. They are very persuasive and aggressive. The drivers generally tell the person that they have fallen into an unbelievably fortunate situation. They present themselves as delivery drivers and/or installers who have just finished a job, telling the score that by inventory error, they have extra hi-fi speakers unaccounted for. They often tell the score that they need to get rid of them before they return to the warehouse and have to give them back to their boss. Some have presented themselves as speaker company representatives, while some have presented themselves as drivers for local audio/entertainment companies.
They present themselves very well and are very believable. They show delivery invoices, business cards to look very legitimate. Then they show you speakers they describe as high-end speakers worth well over $1000 per pair. They justify this claim with colorful ads in audiophile magazines or slick brochures listing a very high retail price. Even the web sites displayed prominently on the box justify the high price for the speakers. When the potential buyer begins to walk away, the driver then asks what the person is willing to pay for the "high-quality" speakers. Buyers have paid anywhere from $200-$1000 for a pair, thinking they made a great deal. The drivers have commonly been known to ask for extra "beer money" for giving the buyers such a great deal.
For people who are in the market for speakers, this may seem like a great deal. However, there are audio review web sites, such as AudioReview.com, which have given poor ratings on these speakers. Many have felt ripped off and tried successfully, or unsuccessfully to get a refund. People who are not interested usually receive an increased dose of intimidation and pressure from these salespersons who don't like to take "no" for an answer. Some are lucky enough to walk away. Some give in to the intimidation because of fear. These people may assume because they got such a great deal, they could recoup their costs by selling the speakers to a friend or to someone on eBay, only to discover that it is easier said than done with the product's lack of name-recognition and poor reputation.
The salespersons may give the buyer the impression that he or she is benefitting from a "shady" deal, giving no receipt and hoping the buyer would feel too guilty to ask for a refund. However, if you want a refund you are entitled within 3-days by law. You may pursue it by contacting the manufacturer or the local distributor.
An actual case reported on April 2001 by one of Scam Shield's own staff members was investigated. The speakers sold to him by the questionable salespersons listed a phone number to JAM Entertainment. A call to John Mehaffey of JAM Entertainment led the staff member to Mike Amoroso of the manufacturer Audio Wood Products (also known as Audiofile) in Chino Hills, California, which ships the product to regional/local distributors who have independent contractors (van drivers) who sell the speakers. Mr. Amoroso of Audi Wood Products referred our staff member to Orka Distributors/O-Town Sound in Longwood, FL. The manager of Orka Distributors denied any responsibility for the salespersons who sold his speakers.
Each person in the chain claimed to be running a legitimate business without any direct ties to the contract salespersons. The fact that these van drivers are provided with the means to deceive consumers and are still in business probably means that someone has done their legal homework.
It seems coincidental that there can be so many similarities in the marketing tactics nationwide and even worldwide without an organized and coordinated effort. Many elements of the sales pitch are consistent worldwide. Even the supplemental "beer money" is not an isolated incident. The distributors maintain their legitimacy, even though they work closely with these contractors on a routine basis. Responsibility does rest on the salesperson based on the misleading sales tactics they choose to use, but what about those that coordinate and train these people how to use these tactics? What about those who provide the misleading materials used by the salespeople? What about the company that provides the vans for these people to drive?
Read about the experience others have had with this scam and get info from people in your local area in the SIGHTINGS & LOCATIONS section. If you have had any experiences with the White Van Speaker Scam, please share your experience with others, because only through the sharing of information can we help others.
Other incidents documented on scamshield.com:
Product or Service Involved: CRYSTAL HOME THEATER
IF u live in the WT HArris and Mallard Creek church road area of charlotte NC watch out for a White male looked in his 35 age range, kinda chubby drives a Blue FOrd Explorer. That b**tard got me for 200 dollars. Selling some Crystal home theater 5.1 system. he showed this magizne with its listed msrp price which was lised over a bogus 2,000. He stared at 600 and talked it down to 200. He stated that he did not want his bother to have those speakers. He is very persistant IF u see this MAn Watch OUT, Seriously IM SO FREAKING PISSED> I Knew it was too good to be true but yet i still gave in and brought it. Dont fall a victim to this
Product or Service Involved: Crystal Home Theater System
** SCAMMER PERSONAL INFO BELOW **
I was approached at the bank by two men in a dark SUV. The man, told me that he owned an A/V store in Mooresville, NC and was shipped two extra display units of the Crystal Home Theater system. The system came in sealed packaging, with an MSRP of around $2800. He also showed me a magazine article displaying the home theater system that also had the same MSRP on it. He was a partner with his ex-brother in law who was not paying child support to his sister. Since he got them for free he would be willing to let them go really cheap just so he wouldn't have to pay his ex-brother in law a profit. When asked, he presented his business license for the city of Charlotte, and the bill of lading for the shipment he got in. Against my better judgement I took the deal, and a quick internet search revealed to me that I had in fact been scammed.
I realize that it was my own d*mned fault that I was taken so easily by two ignorant rednecks. However, he was stupid enough to use his real name, and at the time of this posting has most of his Facebook profile public. His partner in the SUV is his son, whose profile you can find a link to through a Facebook profile [Name and contact info removed by Scam Shield pending investigation] You will notice on his Facebook that he posts all this bullshirt about being blessed by God for his life and family and all that. It is of course hypocritical to fake being all religious when your life is about conning people for money. I hope he eventually does something that gets him sent to prison and takes it all away from him.
Product or Service Involved: CRYSTAL HOME THEATER SYSTEM CTx-1500
Exact location: Wachovia Bank, on the corner of NC-54 and Davis Dr. I was sitting in the car waiting for someone in the bank. A white van pulled up right besides me and two white males asked if I wanted to buy some speakers. So I went to the back of the van with them to check out the speakers. They showed me a FedEx envelope with paperwork and said that the company/manufacturer accidently sent them too many extras and they just wanted to get rid of them. They also showed me a magazine (which I've never heard of) that proved how much the speakers costed ($4954).
Then I told them that I only got $200 in my pocket and they said oh wth we'll give it to you for $200. But luckily the box couldn't have fitted in my car and I didn't really have the money anyway, lol. So I went home, did a little research and found this website, haha.
Concord, North Carolina
Product or Service Involved: Crystal Home Theatre System I was at a Walgreens and a guy pulled up and said "this might sound crazy but would you want a speaker system?" Against my better judgement I said yea why not. He showed me the magazine article, his business license for 'Compact Audio' in Mooresville and the shipping orders. Went through the whole story about how they sent these to him by mistake and he was trying to get rid of them. Overall a pretty convincing story along with everything he showed me, they even have a website that details all the product info. Don't recall his name but he was about 5'9" short spiky hair and a brown/gray goatee. Driving around in a dark blue newer model Xterra or similar SUV. I was surprised to find out that the speakers actually work after reading all these articles, quality isn't great but what can you say for $100. I did read somewhere that these are shipped from China for $25 - $50 though.
Pam Taylorsville, North Carolina
Product or Service Involved: Crystal speakers Oh my GOD!!! Same story!Blue SUV brother in law not paying support! God's vengence on them! All he talked about was God blessing him and the blessing we were both getting with this deal...I got crappy speakers and he got $200. What a DEAL!! Where's the vaseline? Did notify local police!!!
I was approached by similar con artists as reported earlier in Denver, NC. outside of charlotte NC. Here are two guys saying that they install home theaters and that they have stock that is unaccounted for by a supply wharehouse and the owner of the install company will just take them home and resell them and keep all the money. They felt he should not have the money because he ripped them off on a past job and was not paying his child support. They offered me 1 unit for 800$ after whipping out some obscure home theater mag showing MSRP for 3,600$, or 2 for 600$. The boxes looked like china crap, with bad color printing which tipped me off. I am also a christian so I would never go for this type of scenario in the first place. Their white Jeep Cherokee with temporary dealer plates is out here in Charlotte. Hope you read this before you get taken.
boone, North Carolina
There are a group (3) of men in their 20's selling stereo equipment out of the back of their blue ford bronco. The stereo equipment has a mfg of 3k plus but is worth only about $50 at a flea market. This is a complete scam. I went to file at the police dept but they said what they were doing was legit. There were other complaint listed in ripoff report. If we could get together maybe there is something we could do as a class action against them such as misrepresentation of product. They are selling rdx stereos that have 140 wats and higher. I hooked up mine and it puts out about 20 max. Everything is substandard from the cheap remote to the lighting that spins around the reciever. The box says mfg $3200, and they will sell it for $250. Do not buy rdx out of the back of their truck for more than $50.