• Report: #62277

Complaint Review: Pinacle

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  • Submitted: Mon, June 30, 2003
  • Updated: Thu, December 30, 2004

  • Reported By:apple valley Minnesota
Pinacle
76 Division Street, #206, Welland, Ontario Canada

Pinacle, Pinacle Publishing, Allpinacle.com ripoff FALSE INVOICING, will not respond to questions or provide proof of order. Welland Ontario

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: FYI They are being investigated now.

*UPDATE Employee: On The Run

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: fyi(mdsc publishing)

*Consumer Comment: Look Up World Wide Source, Ameri-source and IT Data Direct on the Rip Off Report. It's All the Same Scam!

*UPDATE Employee: Do Not Pay MDSC/Pinacle Publishing ..MDSC Publishing and Pinacle Publishing are one and the same company

*UPDATE Employee: don't pay your bill! ..Howard is stuffed duck that sits in the tree in the office

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Pinacle/MDSC Publishing DO NOT PAY!!!

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A BS company that falsly invoices your company in hopes that someone in your office will pay it without asking questions. Then will flood your office with unpaid invoices if payment not sent. Have requested proof of order 3 times and left messages 4 times. NO RESPONSE.

Lance
apple valley, Minnesota
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/30/2003 09:37 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Pinacle/Welland-Ontario-L3B-3Z7/Pinacle-Pinacle-Publishing-Allpinaclecom-ripoff-FALSE-INVOICING-will-not-respond-to-qu-62277. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 7Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

FYI They are being investigated now.

AUTHOR: Carrie - (Canada)

Welland man held in contempt by U.S. court
Violated court order on frozen assets

Tribune Staff
Local News - Friday, November 26, 2004 @ 09:00

CHICAGO - A U.S. District Court judge has held a Welland man and two Canadian corporations in contempt of court and ordered the man be jailed for violating a court-ordered asset freeze.

Terrence Croteau, who already faced criminal and civil charges in the United States for a cross-border telemarketing scheme operating under the business names of Pinacle Publishing and MDSC Publishing, has new legal troubles south of the border.

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit in July in the federal district court in Chicago, Ill., which resulted in an order freezing assets.

The court, according to a press release on the FTC website, has now found that the defendants Croteau and the two numbered companies violated the asset freeze when they transferred five real estate properties in Welland to another corporation, 1609685 Ontario Ltd., which then listed them for sale.

The court has ordered the defendants be fined $5,000 per day and that Croteau be arrested and confined in a U.S. federal prison until the court order is met.

The properties in Welland are located at 30 Jackson Court West, 185 Denistoun St. Unit 54, 185 Denistoun St. Unit 107, 91-93 East Main St. and 78 Jackson Court West.

The FTC's original complaint alleges Croteau and the two companies billed consumers in the U.S. with business directory listings that were not ordered and were not wanted. An in-house collection department is alleged to have harassed consumers with notices and phone calls, containing threats of lawsuits and damaged credit ratings. Estimated financial damages from the telemarketing scheme exceed $3 million.

A preliminary restraining order with the asset freeze was lodged in Chicago on July 27 and a preliminary injunction on Sept. 9.

In October, the U.S. Department of Justice filed criminal charges against Croteau as part of Operation Roaming Charge, a cross-border law enforcement crackdown on telemarketing fraud. The U.S. is seeking to extradite Croteau to face the criminal charges. The criminal and civil charges have not been proven in court.

The Chicago federal district court, which found the defendants in contempt, has ordered Croteau and the companies to: take all steps necessary to prevent any further sale of real estate assets which are subject to the freeze; to immediately deposit proceeds from the sale of any of the properties into the court register; the derendants are to be fined $5,000 per day for each day they remain in contempt; the arrest and jailing of Croteau until he complies with the court order.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

On The Run

AUTHOR: Mike - (Canada)

Terrance Croteau is on the Run. His assets frozen and vehicles too. He is attempting to sell what ever he to anyone. There are warrants for his arrest in the U.S. and soon Canada too. His Girlfriend and partner Amparo Arenata is opening a nail salon in Virgil Ontario Canada too try and make them some money.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

fyi(mdsc publishing)

AUTHOR: Carrie - (Canada)

Welland firms charged in scam

By ANGUS SCOTT, Tribune Staff

Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 09:00

Local News - WELLAND - A lengthy cross-border investigation into a Welland-based telemarketing program has resulted in charges being laid in Canada and the United States.

In Canada, two telemarketing firms located at 76 Division Street, Suite 206, each face charges of fraud over $5,000 and attempted fraud. Their owner faces two counts of fraud over $5,000 and two counts of attempted fraud.

The businesses are 4049705 Canada Inc., operating as Pinacle Publishing, and 3782484 Canada Inc., operating as MDSC Publishing, says an NRP release. The owner of both companies is Terrence Croteau, 29, said the release.

In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has laid civil charges under the FTC Act, alleging the businesses scammed small businesses and charities out of millions of dollars.

The FTC complaint alleges the firms have been making telemarketing calls to small businesses, charities and other organizations across the States since 2000. Allegedly, the defendants call to verify names, addresses and telephone numbers for a listing in a business directory. Consumers are led to believe they are already listed in the directory and the listing is being updated.

The FTC alleges the defendants record consumers verifying their information and later use the recordings to prevent them from cancelling unauthorized orders.

Consumers are often not told there is a fee associated with being listed in the directory, said the FTC.

Victims receive invoices for $389.99, $279.99 or $336.99 depending on the type of listing. When consumers called to cancel the order, they were allegedly told the company had a tape recording of the order being placed and this was a binding oral contract.

Consumers who refuse to pay have been referred to the defendants' in-house collection department, which allegedly harasses them, says the FTC. Many consumers ended up paying as a way of stopping the ongoing harassment, says the FTC.

Katherine Romano Schnack, a staff attorney with the FTC's midwest regional office in Chicago, told The Tribune the total amount of money involved and the number of victims remains unknown. Further investigation will give us an idea of how much money is involved, but my guess is this is not one of the smaller operations we've investigated, said Schnack. It's not the biggest either, it's in the middle.

The U.S. charges claim the defendants violated the federal FTC Act by billing victims for business directory services they did not order or authorize. The FTC has asked the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, to impose an injunction temporarily barring the defendants' business practises and freezing the defendants' assets. The request will be heard on Tuesday, July 27.

Our agency only has civil authority, said Schnack. Our goal is to recover as much money as possible for the victims.

The Niagara Regional Police (NRP), the OPP and the Toronto Strategic Partnership, a cross-border fraud enforcement partnership, aided the American agency with the investigation.

We have had invaluable assistance from the Niagara Regional Police in particular, said Schnack.

On the American side, the United States Postal Inspection Service and Department of Justice were also involved in the investigation.

NRP Detective Jeff Skelton said the force has been involved in the investigation for about a year.

We've been receiving sporadic complaints from business and organizations in the US over the past year, he said.

The NRP executed a search warrant at the companies' offices on Division Street on April 22 of this year as part of the investigation

A Sept. 15, 2004 court appearance is scheduled in the Ontario Court of Justice, Provincial Division, in Welland for the Canadian charges to be heard.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Look Up World Wide Source, Ameri-source and IT Data Direct on the Rip Off Report. It's All the Same Scam!

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Montreal is full of these "companies." They are all frauds. Paying them is the worst mistake you'll ever make. Reporting them to the authorities (who already know about them and just need your complaints to convince them to act) is the best thing you can do!
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Do Not Pay MDSC/Pinacle Publishing ..MDSC Publishing and Pinacle Publishing are one and the same company

AUTHOR: Insider - (Canada)

Having some inside information can be useful to others. I know for a fact that both MDSC Publishing and Pinacle Publishing are one and the same company. The owner of the company uses the alias of Terrence (Terry) Croteau. I have yet to find out what his real name is.

If you are a company receiving harassing phone call from either the collections department or Lawyers' Co-Operative Group, disregard the calls. They have no legal grounds for credit action, in fact, The Lawyers' Co-Operative Group does not exist. The previous rebuttal stating that Howard Anderson is a "duck", is incredibly true. Howard Anderson Esq. is a fictional name used by the collections department of both MDSC Publishing ,as well as Pinacle Publishing.
If your company is being harassed by a representaive of either of these "boiler room" companies, I urge you to contact your local Attorney General, Phonebusters in Canada, the Ontario Provincial Police or The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

An investigation has been in place for quite some time but your help is required to stop this type of illegal activity. Lodge your complaint and don't let your company be taken advatage of by an individual who cares only about the money and less about himself.
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#6 UPDATE Employee

don't pay your bill! ..Howard is stuffed duck that sits in the tree in the office

AUTHOR: Howard - (Canada)

Howard Andersone is not a real person. Howard is stuffed duck that sits in the tree in the office. There is no Lawyers co op group. It is Shelby Robbins, Kelly Foster, and Victoria Andrews are all fake names used by 3 people who work there. Shelby's real name is Robin, Victoria is Kristen and Kelly is Tammy. If you don't pay just hang up. Your credit will not even be effected. Terry Croteau is the owner of this fake business. Want to know what he is doing with your money??? He's got a mustang, a corvette, a Honda and a Jeep, also a nice home. He also just went to Florida for a weekend. He is bribing his collection agents with a trip to Florida if they make him $50,000.00 by the end of November. his sales people are dropping like flies. everyone is in one building, on one floor. the sectrtary does the verifying and the secretary work. Michelle is his personnal secretary and she writes all the "Lawyers letters" DO NOT PAY.
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#7 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Pinacle/MDSC Publishing DO NOT PAY!!!

AUTHOR: Carrie - (Canada)

Both these companies are run out of 76 Division St., Welland Ontario and you can bet your bottom dollar (or should I say $279.99 or $389.99) that you will be receiving another fake invoice from MDSC Publishing. They send out invoices to unsuspecting companies and harrass them until they pay. They sometimes mislead people on the phone so that the person can recorded and then have this tape held over their head for payment. They make threats of bad credit, getting you fired, lawsuits, etc. if you don't pay. Trust me when I say that if you pay you will be sorry because they list you as a payer and invoice you over and over. They cannot charge you even if they have a tape. They do not provide a service as most companies know. Their "advertising business directory" or whatever you want to call it is run from a personal computer and after so many hits from businesses trying to access their listing, the computer shuts down. If this type of business was legitimate everyone would be doing this from home. I will say again DO NOT PAY but notify your Attorney General immediately.
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