Just like others that have filed similiar reports, I was first approached by Ms. Barbara Forman of Enterprise Financial as a finance finder as I was searching for funding with a new startup buinsess. Ms. Barbara Forman said she has some sources that would fund my ideas and new business.
She then referred me to Mr. Anthony Tobin of Universal Corporate who them contacted me and took a look at my business plan. After a few day, Mr. Tobin was very happy to say that he had an investor that wanted to meet me in person in Atlanta to finalize an investment deal and could fully fund our capital need of $20 million dollars.
As excited as I was to hear the news, I told them upfront that prior to me heading out to Atlanta from San Fran, that it was company policy to not enter into any deals that would require any upfront fee or cost reimbursement. Mr. Tobin then sent me a long email specifically stating that they were equity investors only and charged no upfront closing cost, reimbursement fees, NOTHING!
After I visted Mr. Tobin and his very polished team which consisted of Mr. Bertus Seickeijer, Mr. Neil Barnett, Mr. Tobin himself, and with Mr. Eyal Dulin of VIP Technologies on the phone, I felt very comfortable with them when we spent about 2-3 hours going through my plan and a possible investment. THESE GUYS ARE VERY POLISHED AND KNOW HOW TO TALK THE TALK WITH FINANCE. During the meeting, we all concluded that there would be very minor due dilligence to be done and that an equity deal could be worked out.
Mr. Tobin and Mr. Seickemeijer (as investor) noted that Mr. Dulin was a hired third party to perform the due dilligence tasks and vetting out of the company.
I told them no problem and I then sent them all the info they requested in a 22 item checklist to vet out the deal.
TO MY SUPRISE, they sent me a Letter of Interest THE NEXT
DAY for an equity investment deal of $22 million
dollars. THE LOI was very sophisticated AND NOTED THAT I
HAD TO PAY MR. DULIN $35,000 FOR DUE DILLIGENCE FEES (NON-
REFUNDABLE) EVEN AFTER WE HAD AGREED IN ATLANTA AND PRIOR
TO MY TRIP THAT THERE WOULD BE NO UPFRONT FEES IN THIS
I then sent them a letter saying that we already agreed that there would be no upfront costs and very minor due dilligence. They said the $35,000 was mandatory to do the deal and was customary. They gave me the banking info to wire the money and said I had to do it as part of the offer.
I then took a step back and did some quick research on the Net and found prior reports about Ms. Forman and Mr. Tobin. To my surprise and dissapointment, they turned out to be a scam and most likely have never funded a deal.
I never paid the $35,000, but I did incur about $1,000 from the during our my dealings with them (mostly travel). I feel these people should be stopped and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
I do hope others find these reports prior to taking any flights out to visit any of these individuals.
SAN FRANCISCO, California