• Report: #1021748

Complaint Review: Top Gun Executive Group

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  • Submitted: Thu, February 28, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, August 10, 2013

  • Reported By: Jennifer — Elmhurst Illinois United States of America
Top Gun Executive Group
9601 Jones Rd Ste 158 Houston, Texas United States of America

Top Gun Executive Group Executive HHG This company uses several aliases and fake employee names to scam executives out of several thousands of dollars. Houston, Texas

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Complaints true

*Author of original report: False Post/Recruiter - Retaliation Response

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: The real truth to the Byrds

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I wish I could save everyone from being as foolish as we were when we hired this firm. You would think, as an experienced recruiter, I'd know better... alas, we can all be fooled at times.

My husband hired this company to help him get in front of some private equity firms. He spoke with Wes Strauss who performed a decent sales pitch and convinced us to invest $1500 upfront. For this Wes would aggressively market my husband for 3 weeks. He guaranteed my husband at least one interview. Upon placement we would owe another $10K.  Wes confidently said we can mark up the contract however we wished. We added detail to qualify the interview -- must be an actual and viable opportunity, my husband must be qualified, the salary must fall within a certain range etc.

After paying the $1500 we never heard from the recruiter, but once responding by email that he was much too busy to talk. One day before the 3 week guarantee was to expire my husband receives a call from a PE agent, Douglass Robinson with a position based in California. During this 20-minute call, nothing significant is revealed about the opportunity nor does Mr. Robinson provide any contact information for himself. Wes Strauss quickly follows up to congratulate my husband on the call and ask for more money to continue his recruiting. Being suspicious, we elect to wait to see where the call leads. Not surprisingly the dubious position is put on hold and an actual interview never takes place. When my husband asked for his refund Top Gun owner, Craig Chrest, suggested he would do some marketing on my husband's behalf. Again, we never hear from him. I began my research on the company and quickly uncovered their "F-Rating" on the BBB. After doing more research I discovered many others who had been duped by this outfit. I contacted my credit card company with this information and our $1500 was refunded. We didn't hear from the company for a couple of months until, out of the blue, Douglass Robinson contacts my husband to say the position opened up. Immediately Wes calls to congratulate Jeff and then say "we need to collect that $1500 from you." This all seemed like fraud so my husband emails Douglass Robinson to say "thanks, but no thanks."

I since did a background search on Douglass B Robinson and discovered this is an 80-year old man (the man who called my husband was much younger than that.) Mr. Robinson's website www.robinson-ops.com is basic and provides no contact information which is unusual for any business that is recruiting for Private Equity. I've also recently uncovered that there was a Doug Robinson on linked in who was an employee of Top Gun. 

Craig Chrest, the owner of Top Gun Executive Group is a crook and an experienced scam artist. He invests money in SEO and in creating fictitious employees and clients to facilitate his scam operation. The BBB has my complaint on file but cannot do anything with it since we canceled our payment and Top Gun Executive doesn't owe us any money. Their industry is not regulated in Texas so they don't need a license, which is why I suspect they've been able to get away with this for a while. I have however contacted the Attorney General's office (spoke with them for 20 minutes) and am in the process of filing a formal complaint and working with them to stop this group. If you have had a similar experience, I urge you to file a report with the Attorney General's office in Texas. https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/filing.shtml

Bottom Line: Save your money! This firm, and its owner Craig Chrest, is a scam. He preys on people who are already trying to navigate the job search in a challenging economy. There are reputable headhunters and recruiting firms out there who will work hard to market you and probably won't charge you for it either.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/28/2013 05:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Top-Gun-Executive-Group/Houston-Texas-77065/Top-Gun-Executive-Group-Executive-HHG-This-company-uses-several-aliases-and-fake-employee-1021748. 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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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Complaints true

AUTHOR: Anonymous - ()

I worked for this company for 4 years, and every complaint is true. That's why I left. Mr. Chrest is a pathalogical liar, and a consumate con artist. Stay away.

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#2 Author of original report

False Post/Recruiter - Retaliation Response


In February 2013 My husband and I filed a ripoff report against this company, filed a report on the BBB and filed with the Attorney General's office in the state of Texas. This above report is a "business on consumer" retaliation written with a false recruiter name. We never talked to or dealt with a recruiter by the name of "Randy" or he, too, would have been mentioned in our report. This is retaliation from Craig Chrest and I'm sure written by him as well - under one of his many aliases -  as it contains the same unprofessional, choppy prose as the numerous threatening emails I received directly from Chrest when we voiced our intentions to reveal his scheme.

This rebuttal is merely a retaliation of our attempt to warn other consumers about the scam operation of Craig Chrest, Wesley Strauss, Douglass Robinson and several others working for or with The Top Gun Executive Group AKA Executive Headhunter Group (along with other aliases). The names and websites change constantly, but two things are real and unchanging 1) "Craig Chrest" is an actual person and he is absolutely the man behind the curtain and 2) The company has an F rating on the BBB.


The business no longer exists (as far as my most recent 10 minutes of research has been able to uncover.) The websites are down, linked in profiles removed, etc.  But in dealing with Chrest, who is sly as a fox and has the money to spend, I expect a morphed version of this scheme to rebirth under another name so "buyer beware".

It is unfortunate that ripoffreport.com doesn't provide protection for consumers using this site to try to protect other consumers.

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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

The real truth to the Byrds

AUTHOR: Randy recruiter for Bryd - ()

I am the recruiter that worked on Mr. Byrd’s account as a commissioned contract executive recruiter. I secured him an interview after making over 72 phones with follow up emails, sourcing research, researching the job market in all jobs boards that applied, in the executive recruiting network and the private equity / venture capital space collecting the requirements to ensure he gets seen then interviewed (which he did). I am the individual that got hurt!!

I lost the money I would have received when the placement was made the valuable time I spent in preparing the presentations, ensuring the requirements are meet, researching backgrounds, connecting with recruiter resources to ensure I had the correct information, hiring manager and all the people involved in the hiring process.  I am commission based recruiter; I lost not only the relationship with this hiring manager but all the relationships and associates he has in the hard to get PE space. 

Also the relationships with all the networked recruiting firms involved in this hiring process and likely all their relationships.  This has Damaged me financially and has affected my ability to support my family because this individual.  I will file a report about her and her husband and I will do what ever I can to ensure both are well known not just in the recruiting world but in the entire employment space.  I will ensure Jeff and Jennifer Byrd are known by all executive recruiting firms as well as 2400 networked commission based recruiters just like me and ask them to spread the word to all their relationships. 

The company attorney has filed a law suit citing slander and libel and they are coming after her because of the affect this selfish and unprofessional act has caused. In addition Byrd signed a mutual confidentiality clause that awards 10 times the amount they spent for any violation of this clause  Both Jennifer and Jeff are listed on the black list of credit card processing / I will do what it takes to ensure I do everything I can to ensure I have spread the word loud, clear and truthful.  

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