I am the founder of Pumped Media, a start-up company that was looking for investors and grant funding. It is not uncommon that companies in need of capital go to a professional intermediary seeking funds for expansion and my business was no exception. We were seeking capital to expand our business in Canada and the USA.
I had been assisted by a company (I will not name them here) in preparing business documents to help me prepare for the funding process. It was this company that I was referred to Robert Van Eyk and his company, Ryk Oliver Corporation. The referral to Ryk Oliver Corporation was in Sept 2011. I was advised that Robert Van Eyk had seen my business documents and that he had expressed interest in my project and that he could easily raise funds for my business. I was made aware of his contact details and that Robert Van Eyk only takes on projects he deems can be successful at raising the funds.
I preceded to speak to Mr. Van Eyk on many occasions during the month of October 2011. He told me on many occasions that my business could receive funding in the form of government grants in the range of $30,000 to $160,000. On October 18, 2011 he sent me the following email.
"As promised please find attached a proposal for grant funding to support the marketing effort to expand in other cities in Canada and into the United States.
I would like to start on this grant immediately so that you have these funds to pursue marketing efforts outside of the Medicine Hat area.
I am now completing a second proposal that deals with accessing start up capital in the range of about $3,000,000 from private sources. I have spoken to may associate who has just now returned from New York for another project and we believe that we could be successful in raising this investment capital.
Please review the proposal that is attached and if accepted I will send you an invoice for the retainer payment and look forward to getting both the contract and payment back so that we can proceed with this project.
Robert van Eyk
The above email is directly copied from my email. Also in this email he attached a proposal that outlined his duties and responsibilities. He also included his CV for my review. On October 25, 2011 Mr. Van Eyk had contacted me stating he had confirmation from an investment company and that he was sending over a second proposal.
He also sent this email to me:
Further to our telephone conversation today, this is to confirm that we can proceed with the grant funding immediately on receipt of the retainer payment in the amount of $3,000 plus HST.
I have confirmed with the equity investors that they are prepared to issue a term sheet for $1.5 million of 30% of the company common shares. The terms will include a 36 month investment with the intent to have the investment repaid within that period of time. There are other conditions but they seem to be reasonable and consistent with the other investments that they have made this
year. They propose to also provide a standby credit of a further $1 million depending on milestones for success and working capital if needed as the company expands. The investment group will require a commitment fee of $30,000 to ensure that you are committed to this.
We are prepared to proceed immediately with the grant funding as detailed on our proposal dated October 17th and ask that you proceed to pay the retainer fee in the amount of $3,390.00. I will send you an invoice for this amount. I ask that you sign the contract agreement and email that page to me as well. We will proceed to make the arrangements with the equity funding group.
Upon further telephone conversations and consideration, on November 23, 2011 I proceeded to send him a "retainer fee" of $3000.00 CDN plus taxes for a total of $3390.00 for his services using my Paypal account. He sent me confirmation as follows:
"From: Robert van Eyk [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: November 23, 2011 10:50 AM
Subject: Re: FW: You sent a payment
Thank you for proceeding with the grant contract.
On Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM, ken <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
This was the last email I received from him. Later, he advised me they were working on the grant funding and that I would receive funding by Christmas 2011 from the government grants. He later advised me in an email that I would need $30,000.00 as a commitment to the investment company in order to receive private funding from the investment company. *I now realize this was a feeler to see how much money I had and to judge how much he could rip me off for!*
I proceed to follow up Ryk Oliver Corporation many times, with weekly emails and daily phone calls in January as I had not even seen the grant applications or term sheet from the investment company. I certainly can show email trail of this con-artist and that everything he said and did was to get the $3000.00 retainer.
His contract is a very clever and deceiving document and outlines that he can stop working on a client's project any time and for any reason he chooses. Robert Van Eyk is a wolf preying on entrepreneurs that are looking for help from a professional. I assure he is only after the retainer and will never call or contact you. Everything he said and did was to build trust and I assure you this man is a experienced con-artist. He is not a professional intermediary or business consultant, anything he sends you to reference is over 20 years old and impossible to confirm.
I have been unsuccessful in trying to reach Robert Van Eyk and the company that referred him will not return my calls. He is unresponsive to emails, text messages and his phone number can not be reached.
I can back-up everything I am stating here and provide a case in greater detail of the events and my experience with Ryk Oliver Corporation. Warning to all entrepreneurs and businesses looking for funding for their business: DO NOT USE RYK OILVER CORPORATION OR THE SERVICES OF ROBERT VAN EYK.