I will start by admitting I am a fool. I read Ripoff Report and still gave Robert Ritch $3,000 for an audience to confirm funding of my venture. Initially, I had responded to a posting on the LinkedIn Deal Flow Network seeking ventures. Jeff Neuman made the posting and called me to say that he had a Hedge Fund looking for viable ventures. A few days later, Jeff called and said my venture had been selected because the hedge fund owner, Robert Ritch, son had an interest in the venture area (entertainment). Jeff then informed me I had to send $3,000 to Ritch for my appointment, but, not to worry. It was a formality. My deal would be funded. Because front money is a scam trademark, I went on Ripoff Report and found the earlier reports on Ritch. I wanted to believe I had been funded and paid the $3,000 audience fee.
Ritch came to Houston for our meeting. He wanted to meet in the dining room and was thirty minutes late, but, nevertheless, we had a pleasant meeting. I like dealing with pleasant people and Ritch was pleasant. He laid out two funding options. The first involved my putting in money which I do not have and told Ritch. He went to a second option - a prerevenue stock offering which I liked because it fits the venture well. I offered to drive Ritch around while he was in Houston, but he declined saying he would visit an investor. I notified our management team that Ritch would call, for due diligence, and had a list of phone numbers. Ritch declined to make the calls. Ritch promised to send a written offer next week. We parted. I thought I was funded.
No written report came next week. I waited a month and contacted Ritch by email. No response. By telephone. No response. Finally, Jeff called and gave me the "offer" verbally. I had to put in $25,000 as partial payment for a suitable corporate shell. I became angry as I had told Jeff and Ritch that I had no more money to put into the funding. In fact, I had to borrow $3,000 to get the audience. Jeff said he would get back to me. Never did.
I wrote an email to Jeff with copy to Ritch stating the above and I was disappointed with both of them. Ritch did respond to this email. He told me that Jeff had told me, in advance, that I had to put in $25,000 to get funded. He ended by accusing me of wasting his time. (This is, of course, after I paid him $3,000 for the audience.)
To any reading this report, do no make mistake. In fact, with regard to funding, I have never had a positive outcome from paying any front fee.